The family way

Sat, May 12, 2012, 01:00

1. SEALS AND DOLPHINS IN DINGLE

The Dingle Skellig Hotel has a playroom and playground suitable for children from four months. Four- to 11-year-olds can cook with the chef and enjoy a Punch and Judy show. For €5 per child they can also visit the aquarium and/or seal sanctuary. A three-night BB package with two dinners in early July costs €245 per person sharing. Children under three stay free. Children aged four to 12 cost €120 each.

Tel: 066-915 0200, dingleskellig.com

2. BE ENTERTAINED IN KILLARNEY

As well as a kids’ club, the Gleneagle Hotel and Apartments offers free entertainment to residents, including entry to some of their summer cabarets. Captain Jack, an interactive pirate show, Tuesday-Friday inclusive during July and August, is a must. Two adults and two children under 12 stay from €149 per night on a BB basis. Tel: 064-663 6000, gleneaglehotel.com

3. CRAB-FISHING IN CLEW BAY

Activities for kids at the Bridgestone-listed Mulranny Park Hotel in Westport include crab fishing off the causeway when the tide goes out, cupcake-making and nail art, at an additional €5 per child. As well as movie nights and discos and family quiz nights, you can hire bikes to explore the Great Western Greenway. A two-night family package in a two-bed suite for two adults and two children under 12 costs €499.Tel: 098-36000, mulrannyparkhotel.ie

4. GLAMPING IN POWERSCOURT

Play happy campers at the Ritz Carlton in Co Wicklow where a tent pitched in the room gives young guests a taste of the outdoors with a sleeping bag, torch and treat hamper to sustain them. There’s fun for the whole family with chess on the outdoor life-size board or bikes to borrow to explore the grounds. BB costs €290 per adult. Children under 12 stay free. Book two nights and get the third free. Tel: 01-274 8888, ritzcarlton.com

5. WAVE RIDING IN DONEGAL

During July and August, children age seven and over can sign up to surf school at Jaws Watersports where three days of classes cost €60 per child. Children over four can sample 30-minute lead-outs for €15 at Dunfanaghy Stables situated near Arnolds Hotel. Two nights’ BB and one dinner costs €150 per person sharing. Under fours stay free. Children aged five to 12 cost €30 each.

Jaws Watersports, tel: 086-173 5109, jawswatersports.ie; Dunfanaghy Stables, tel: 074-910 0980; Arnolds Hotel, tel: 074-913 6208, arnoldshotel.com

6. BEACH BLISS

The 99 ice-cream machine at Kelly’s Resort Hotel in Wexford is just one of the many reasons to visit. The kids’ clubs take full advantage of the beachfront setting to build sandcastles and play volleyball. On rainy days the pool complex offers activities for all ages. A two-night weekend, full board, costs €299 per adult sharing. Children aged four and under cost €99 and aged four to 10 cost €199. Children aged 10-14 cost €215 each. Tel: 053-913 2114, kellys.ie

7. CLOWN AROUND IN WEXFORD

Giggles the Clown pays the Crazy Kids club at the Ferrycarrig Hotel a visit on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. Kids get to do arts and crafts, compete in penalty shoot-outs and explore the grounds on treasure hunts while on a four-night break for two adults and two children under 12 on a BB basis for €480. Tel: 053-912 0999, ferrycarrighotel.ie

8. DOWN ON THE FARM

The “sizzling summer special” at Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny offers families five nights’ BB and two dinners with prices from €299 per person sharing. Children aged four to 12 stay free, but pay for meals. The kids’ club includes cooking with chef Paul and visits to the farm to see alpaca, a highland cow, ducks, geese, hens, rabbits, and a Shetland pony. High tea costs €7.95 per child. The offer includes a complimentary two-night return stay at any hotel in the Flynn group. Tel: 056-776 0500, flynnhotels.com

9. WATER WORLD

Kids’ club activities at the Kenmare Bay Hotel include baking with the chef, use of an outdoor playground and aqua fun time in the pool with inflatables. Kids don’t have to be able to swim but have to to be confident in the water. In the evenings, it’s DVDs and goodie bags. Two midweek nights’ BB with one dinner for two adults and two children under 12, plus a kids club activity, costs €258. Tel: 1890-930 033, kenmarebayhotel.com

10. BOOGIE ON DOWN IN STRANDHILL

At the Galway Bay Hotel there’s a supervised playroom for children aged one to three, and a kids’ club for four- to 12-year-olds with discos and supervised high tea. In July and August, a two-night “total family” package with BB and one dinner for two adults and two kids under 12 costs €395. Tel: 091-520 520, galwaybayhotel.net

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