Inside: How we spent a day exploring Muckross House with kids. Fun for the whole family just outside of Killarney, Ireland.
Céad míle fáilte! (A hundred thousand welcomes!)
In the heart of the beautiful Killarney National Park, lies one of our favorite attractions that my family experienced on our trip to Ireland. Located about 3.5 miles from the center of Killarney is a magnificent estate called the Muckross. Including a working farm full of animals to pet, a Victorian mansion, gorgeous gardens to walk through, a Medieval abbey, recreations of historic traditional farms, and even a jaunting car ride, there’s something for everyone. In fact, there’s so much to do that you should plan on spending a full day at Muckross House with kids.
Related: Driving In Ireland – The Ultimate Guide For Americans
Know Before You Go: Muckross House With Kids
While this was one of the most kid-friendly attractions that we experienced in Ireland, there are a few things to note. Here is some helpful information:
Muckross House and Gardens are open daily (except for Christmas). Muckross House is open 9am – 5.30pm (9am – 7pm from July 1st – August 31st). Admission to Muckross House is by guided tour only. Last admission 1 hour before closing.
For more details and updated admission price, please check out their site: Muckross House and Garden.
Accessibility with Kids
There is a fair amount of walking in between the traditional farms, and it might be a bit hard to manage for the wee ones. Not to worry as they have a complimentary coach that will take you the whole way through, and it’s easy to hop off at each stop to explore in your own time. Please note that the Muckross Mansion is stroller free.
There are plenty of restrooms all around.
They have an onsite cafeteria with plenty of affordable options. Please note that it can be very busy during meal times. You are also welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy on the picnic tables outside with the gorgeous lake views.
We often will pack a super cute mini cooler like THIS when we travel so we can pick up some fresh cheese, strawberries, tomatoes, veggies or prepared salads from the market to nibble on as a picnic. Afterwards, we will splurge with a nice pastry or dessert in the cafeteria. This helps us eat healthy, save money, and still indulge on local treats!
What to Wear
Most of this attraction is seen outdoors and, as this is Ireland, I recommend wearing boots if you brought them or, at the very least, closed toe shoes. Even on a clear day, expect to walk through muddy patches and fields. It’s also a good idea to bring a poncho or rain coat along in case of inclement weather. I recommend something like THIS option for the cost and how lightweight and easy-to-pack it is!
Spending a Day at the Muckross House With Kids
Here are my best tips for spending the day at Muckross House with your kids.
Tip 1: Start with a guided tour of the Muckross Mansion
If at all possible, I recommend starting with the guided tour of the Muckross Mansion, ESPECIALLY if you have younger kids. This is probably the most “boring” attraction for the wee ones, so if it’s something that’s important for mom and dad to see, do it first thing while the kids are still able to preserve their focus. It’s a very long and detailed tour, not the best for the littlest ones as they do not allow you take your stroller.
The rest of the attraction will have plenty of space to run around and blow off steam, but the mansion tour does require them to be on good behavior.
Tip 2: Take advantage of the free coach ride
When we first started exploring the traditional farms, we thought walking the route would be a great way for our little one to blow off some steam and get a chance to run around. We quickly realized it was quite a hike, so we hopped on the free shuttle in between the 3 traditional farms instead. There is still plenty of space to run around once you get to the individual farms, but it’s a good idea to take breaks in between.
Tip 3: Make sure to interact and ask as many questions as you have!
Each traditional farm represents a specific historical time period. There are guides at each stop in full period wear who are all working on various tasks, like stoking a fire, churning butter, or baking bread. We found that the more questions we asked, the more we were able to interact with each scene. In fact, our little one got to help bake bread, churn butter, and even sample the baked goods!
Learning how to churn butter. She even got a chance to take the wheel!
Sampling some fresh buttermilk. She actually loved the taste!
Learning how to take the fresh butter and paddle it into little butter balls to use at the onsite cafe.
Tip 4: Plan to be here for a full day
One of the best parts of spending the day at Muckross House with kids is playing with the animals! Make sure to plan for plenty of time to feed and pet the farm animals because, I promise you, your little ones will LOVE it!
Seriously, how cute?
Cutest donkey ever
There was plenty of feed for the kids – no need to purchase it.
So adorable. We spent a lot of time with the animals.
Tip 5: Don’t miss the jaunting car ride!
We didn’t realize that the jaunting car ride was included and almost missed out! The friendly driver saw us walking and insisted on giving us a ride! We loved it so much we took a second ride!
She wasn’t totally sure what to expect but LOVED the horses!
She even got to ride up front!
Visiting this estate was one of the highlights of our trip to Ireland and, if you’re planning a visit to the Muckross House with kids, I just know they’ll love it too.
Go dté tú slán! (May you go safely)