Ten family-friendly activities for the Christmas break

Your favourite news site has concocted a list of open and entertaining ways to pass the days until work and worries reenter your existence.
Ten family-friendly activities for the Christmas break

The Echo is all for vacuous programme streaming and chain-eating chocolate, but just in case you get bored or want a family activity to engage in, your favourite news site has concocted a list of open and entertaining ways to pass the days until work and worries reenter your existence. Picture Dan Linehan

POST-CHRISTMAS is a beautiful oasis of time where days, duties and diets don’t really matter, so it’s important to make the most of the magical break and what better way to enhance the lazy lounging vibes, than by breaking up the monotony with an exciting activity!

The Echo is all for vacuous programme streaming and chain-eating chocolate, but just in case you get bored or want a family activity to engage in, your favourite news site has concocted a list of open and entertaining ways to pass the days until work and worries reenter your existence.


Fota Wildlife Park 

From Cheetahs to Giraffes, Monkeys to Bison, you’ll find the animal you are looking for in Fota.

The popular animal wildlife park reopened on Monday, December 27 and is open all week from 10am with last entry around 4.30pm.

Tickets can be purchased here.

From Cheetahs to Giraffes, Monkeys to Bison, you’ll find the animal you are looking for in Fota.
From Cheetahs to Giraffes, Monkeys to Bison, you’ll find the animal you are looking for in Fota.

The Donkey Sanctuary 

Open to the public from Wednesday, December 29, visitors can head in the Mallow direction to see Echo the Donkey and all his friends!

The sanctuary has an online booking system on their website and visits are between 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm and 4.30pm.

Open to the public from Wednesday, December 29, visitors can head in the Mallow direction to see Echo the Donkey and all his friends!
Open to the public from Wednesday, December 29, visitors can head in the Mallow direction to see Echo the Donkey and all his friends!

Titanic Experience Cobh 

Home to the original White Star Line Ticket Office, a building steeped in history dating back to the 19th Century, the Titanic Experience reopened Monday, December 27 from 10am with doors closing at 5.30pm and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The Museum is also open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. 

More detail is available here.

The Museum is also open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. 
The Museum is also open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. 

Blarney Castle and Gardens 

Open all through the week, Blarney Castle and Gardens are a great place to soak up some history, take in some fresh air and stretch the legs and don't forget to come home with the gift of the gab.

The Castle, Rock close gardens and Lakeland walk are open all week but take note, dogs are not permitted in any part of the estate. Guide dogs are welcome.

Tickets can be booked online.

The Castle, Rock close gardens and Lakeland walk are open all week but take note, dogs are not permitted in any part of the estate. Guide dogs are welcome.
The Castle, Rock close gardens and Lakeland walk are open all week but take note, dogs are not permitted in any part of the estate. Guide dogs are welcome.


Marina Market and Crazy Golf 

Get your lunch, pick up a plant, browse some vintage wear and play some golf. Whats not to like?

LipOut Golf Club are hosting Crazy Golf at the Marina Market all week.

They are open 12pm to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday. 

Tickets can be purchased online.

Get your lunch, pick up a plant, browse some vintage wear and play some golf. Whats not to like?
Get your lunch, pick up a plant, browse some vintage wear and play some golf. Whats not to like?

Crawford Art Gallery 

If it’s culture you’re after, look no further than the Crawford Art Gallery, which is open from Monday to Friday this week.

There are a number of exhibitions at the moment including Harry Clarke watercolours, Rembrandt in print and Georgian Ireland.

More information is available here.

There are a number of exhibitions at the moment including Harry Clarke watercolours, Rembrandt in print and Georgian Ireland.
There are a number of exhibitions at the moment including Harry Clarke watercolours, Rembrandt in print and Georgian Ireland.

Cork City Gaol 

Cork City Gaol, is a magnificent castle-like building which once housed 19th century prisoners.

Located in Sunday’s Well, the Gaol is open from Monday 27 December all through New Years, with tickets available online for entry between 10am to 4pm 

More information is available and tickets can be purchased here.

Located in Sunday’s Well, the Gaol is open from Monday 27 December all through New Years, with tickets available online for entry between 10am to 4pm
Located in Sunday’s Well, the Gaol is open from Monday 27 December all through New Years, with tickets available online for entry between 10am to 4pm

The English Market 

Open Monday to Saturday, the English Market is always a visit that excites the senses with colours, textures and smells of all descriptions on show at National treasure.

Pick up a few quality items for the dinner and have your lunch surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the market.

Pick up a few quality items for the dinner and have your lunch surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the market.
Pick up a few quality items for the dinner and have your lunch surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the market.

Doneraile village 

A quaint, colourful village in North Cork, Doneraile is a great day trip with a large vintage store, a cosy little pub, a huge park and a majestic old house and gardens to visit.

If you are popping by The Glenanaar Bar to split a mineral and a bag of Taytos, don’t forget to tell Frances and her son Liam you were sent by The Echo!

The village store Doneraile is always worth a visit and usually one that ends in an impulsive purchase of an old, or unusual item. 

The store is open this week Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, from 12pm to 5pm.

And no day out is complete with a good stretch of the legs and you are guaranteed that in Doneraile, where the Doneraile Estate allows for a 10km walk among dogs, deer, children and families, and don’t forget coffee and tea are available from the tea rooms in the middle of the courtyard. 

The park is open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.

A quaint, colourful village in North Cork, Doneraile is a great day trip with a large vintage store, a cosy little pub, a huge park and a majestic old house and gardens to visit.
A quaint, colourful village in North Cork, Doneraile is a great day trip with a large vintage store, a cosy little pub, a huge park and a majestic old house and gardens to visit.

A nice walk in the park

On a soft day, in the middle of winter, there is nothing quite as satisfying as putting on your new warm coat from Santa and heading out for a bit of a stroll.

Cork has a wide range of options for a wander among the trees, here are a few of The Echo’s favourites.

  • Ballincollig Regional Park
  • Tramore Valley Park 
  • The Glen Park 
  • Farran Woods 
  • Garryduff Woods 
  • The Marina 
  •  The Blackrock Greenway 
  • The Curraheen Greenway 
  • Fitzgerald Park

On a soft day, in the middle of winter, there is nothing quite as satisfying as putting on your new warm coat from Santa and heading out for a bit of a stroll.
On a soft day, in the middle of winter, there is nothing quite as satisfying as putting on your new warm coat from Santa and heading out for a bit of a stroll.

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