Things to Do in Cork with Kids

Cork has something for all ages so if you’re wondering what to do with the kids, you have nothing to worry about. We’re lucky to have family attractions within walking distance of the hotel including Fitzgerald’s Park & Playground with its beautiful tree lined avenues, brimming flower beds and rose garden to its many statues and sculptures and the large central fountain, this 18 acre park is a wonderful treat in the heart of the City. The Park is home to Dermot Gavin’s Sky Garden which won a gold medal at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in 2011. From the Park, you can stroll across the river on Daly’s Bridge (The Shakey Bridge) to Sunday’s Well where you can visit Cork City Gaol.

Head towards the Marina where you can walk along the banks of the River Lee stopping at Marina Market, the market brings new life and energy to one of the city’s oldest industrial sites – the old Ford factory. From here you can walk towards Blackrock Village and Castle and Observatory.

Or why not visit the Donkey Sanctuary in Mallow where we have adaopted a donkey. As a team, we’re committed to supporting the care of neglected and abandoned donkeys.

Coming during the Christmas season? Glow Cork is a must-do family activity! And if the family is travelling on a tight budget, be sure to check the list of what to do in Cork City for free.

Crafty Kids

This July and August “Crafty Kids” is back in Maldron Hotel South Mall. “Crafty Kids” children’s club will host activities and programs specifically designed for children throughout the summer. Activities include arts and crafts, games and some educational activities.

Our dedicated and trained staff will ensure that the dreaded words “I’m bored” are not uttered throughout your stay in Maldron Hotel South Mall. Their time spent at Crafty Kids will be full of laughter, fun, activities and making new friends, allowing you to relax, without the stress of keeping your little ones entertained.

Beautiful Beaches

Cork boasts some spectacular beaches some just over 30 minute drive from the hotel including Garretstown & Garrylucas Beach, both in West Cork not far from the Old Head of Kinsale & Old Head Golf Club. They are both a short drive from Kinsale which is a historic port and fishing town. Kinsale town has lots of lovely artisan cafes and restaurants, many overlooking the seafront serving delicious seafood.

Or head East to Garryvoe Beach which is a 30 minutes drive from the City towards Midleton home of the Jameson Distillery. From the sea, you can see Ballycotton lighthouse and drive or walk along the coastline. All the beaches are ideal for a family stroll, swimming, sand-castle making, kite-flying, a game of football or frisbee.

Our Staff’s Top Picks

  • Fota Island Wildlife Park
  • Model Railway Village
  • Fitzgerald Park
  • Rumley’s Farm
  • Blackrock Castle & Observatory
  • Blarney Castle & Gardens

Things to Do with Small Kids

Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park, one of Ireland’s most popular family attractions, is located 17km from the hotel and can be reached in 18-minutes by car. The park is celebrating 40 years in existence in 2023. Keep an eye on their website and socials as there is several exciting events organised throughout the year

Fota Wildlife Park is not like an ordinary zoo – the animals thrive in a free-range environment, which allows them to roam free while mixed with other species and with us human visitors. Every Year Fota adds various attractions to their site like the recent addition of new male Asiatic Lion and two female Roleway monkeys which added to its primate faunal collection. With so many interesting animals and lots of things to keep the kids entertained, Fota really is the perfect family day out.

Discounted tickets for Fota Wildlife Park are available for purchase before your stay. Please contact our reservations team.

Fota House

Situated just a 20-minute drive, and 18km from the hotel is Fota House, which was designed by 19th century architects Richard and William Morrison. From the beautifully proportioned rooms with exquisite plasterwork to the preserved service wing and kitchens, Fota House offers visitors an intimate look at how life was lived in the past, whether as a servant or as a member of the gentry.

It houses a collection of paintings which are considered to be one of the finest collections of landscape painting outside the National Gallery of Ireland. There are also beautiful Victorian Working Gardens to stroll around and admire beautiful orchards, pit houses and working glasshouses.

Model Railway Village

Model Railway Village located in Clonakilty is a 55-minutes drive and 55km from the hotel. Visitors can experience the sights and sounds of railway life in West Cork during the 1940’s. The Model Village depicts miniature life and industry as it were in ’1950s in West Cork.

Rumley’s Open Farm

Rumley’s Open Farm is a unique working farm experience only 12km and a 15-minute drive from the hotel, providing an excellent day out for all the family. The 20 acre farm was transformed in 2012 from a small shop to what it is today and is unique in the fact that it is still a working farm which makes it an enjoyable day out for young and old.

The farm has a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities for children of all ages and has many exotic and domestic animals. The first animal introduced to the public farm was a llama while the first exotic animal was a marmoset monkey.

The farm includes 2km of walkways, petting zone, tractor drawn trailer rides, zip lines, robotic milking machine and much more.

Fitzgerald Park

Fitzgerald Park is just a 15-minute walk and 3.1km from the hotel and is located along the historic Mardyke walk on the banks of the River Lee. The park contains rose beds, flower beds, water fountain dating back to the Industrial Exhibition and some unusual sculptures.

Whilst strolling through the park you can walk over the iconic 48m span wrought-iron Daly Bridge or as known locally the “Shakey Bridge” which is over 90 years old.

There is a large kids playground located in the middle of the park.

Blackrock Castle & Observatory

A short 11-minute drive and 5km from the hotel is Blackrock Castle, located on the banks of the River Lee. It is a science centre and home to Cosmos at the Castle, an award-winning interactive astronomy exhibition that highlights recent scientific discoveries and their implications for life in outer space.

The venue has a unique location and ambience with a magnificent courtyard, fully restored buildings and a restaurant.

Things to Do with Teens

Cork City Gaol

Cork is a city with a very rich historical and archaeological heritage – much of it still in evidence today. Part of this heritage, Cork City Gaol, a 10-minute drive from the hotel, is located 2 km from Patrick’s Street. While the magnificent castle-like building is now a major and unique visitor attraction, this Gaol once housed 19th century prisoners.

Visitors get a fascinating insight into day-to-day prison life at a time when the high walls ensured no escape and denied law-abiding citizens the opportunity to see one of the finest examples of Ireland’s architectural heritage.

Titanic Experience Cobh

Titanic Experience Cobh is located in Casement Square in the heart of Cobh Town. This amazing attraction is 27km away and can be reached in 28-minutes by driving. It is home to the original White Star Line Ticket Office, a building steeped in history dating back to the early 19th century and the departure point for many thousands of White Star Line passengers.

On arrival, you will receive a Titanic boarding pass for one of the passengers who boarded the famous ship and relive their journey and experience. At the end, you will learn whether you survived the tragic sinking or not.

Spike Island

In the last 1300 years, Spike Island has been host to a 6th century Monastery, a 24 acre Fortress and the largest convict depot in the world. Today the island is dominated by the 200-year-old Fort Mitchel, a star shaped fortress which became a prison holding over 2300 prisoners.

Tours run daily from Kennedy Pier, which is 27km and a 29-minute drive from the hotel. Here you can take the scenic ferry across to the island and enjoy a fully guided tour of the island and fortress. Spike Island is the Winner of Europe’s Leading Tourist Attractions in 2017.

Kinsale & Kinsale Harbour Cruise

Originally a medieval fishing port, historic Kinsale is one of the most picturesque, popular and historic towns. This beautiful town is easily reached, being just 31km and a 36-minute drive from the hotel. It has been hailed as the Gourmet Capital with lots of lots of pubs, cafés and restaurants including some of Michelin Star fame. For the true seaside experience, why not try some traditional fish and chips vans serving delicious fish caught in local waters.The coloured streets are filled with local craft shops and art galleries including the Giles Norman Gallery.

The Harbour Cruise is a lovely way to see the town and its surrounds you’ll sail down towards Charles Fort, which was built in the late 1600s. It had a garrison up until the 1920s. After the War of Independence it was surrendered and now is an OPW heritage site. From there you’ll catch a view of the Old Head of Kinsale before sailing back towards the town via the Bandon River. Along the way, you’ll see the small fishing boats out fishing.

Ballyhass Lakes & Adventure

Ballyhass Lakes & Adventure is located 46km away and a 50-minute drive from the hotel, in Ballyhass near Mallow. This exhilarating activity centre offers an adventure fun, filled day. Discover up to 20 different outdoor activities set in acres of natural landscapes and water sports lakes.

Farren Woods & Zipit

Zipit located 25km away in Farren woods, is a short 24-minute drive from the hotel. Adventure in the trees awaits all age groups. You can climb high into the treetops, swing into cargo nets, even ride a BMX across a bridge, before zipping down one of our many ziplines.

Don’t feel like zipping around the woods there are two walking trails to suit moderate levels of fitness. The Enclosure Trail (1.1 km,) will take you around the perimeter of the deer enclosure and duck pond offering clear viewing of the mammals and birds; the Woodland Loop (3 km) gives the walker a chance to experience the full park which includes the homeward leg beside Inniscarra Lake.

The wildlife enclosure holds a herd of red and fallow deer along with some very friendly ducks. Watching the deer antics with their impressive antlers during the rutting season in autumn and then with their young in the spring, is reason enough to come to the Park.

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