AN­I­MAL MAGIC

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - FAMILY FUN -

well as terra firm en­ter­tain­ment in the craft vil­lage and fun­fair. The dis­play is free, but he­li­copter rides are €50 for adults and €35 for un­der-12s. brayairdis­play.com

TREE TOPS

÷ The woods and forests of Ire­land wel­come al­most 20 mil­lion vis­i­tors ev­ery year for ev­ery­thing from a sim­ple walk to camp­ing or ori­en­teer­ing. Coillte’s web­site of­fers a clear run­down of what you can do where, with down­load­able maps, notes on lev­els of dif­fi­culty, car park­ing and lo­cal pit stops. coillte.ie

RE­TURN TO THE LI­BRARY

÷ Bring your child to the lo­cal li­brary this sum­mer for their free Sum­mer Stars Read­ing Card. They get stamps for the books they read, an in­vi­ta­tion to an awards event at sum­mer’s end and re­wards for their read­ing along the way. And just to em­pha­sise, it’s en­tirely free. li­brariesire­land.ie

GO TO THE GREEN­WAY

÷ The 46km Water­ford Green­way is now open to walk­ers and cy­clists. The old rail track is a dream sur­face for bikes, and the views from the viaducts are stunning. The Green­way it­self is free of charge, as is bring­ing your own bike, while lo­cal rentals are avail­able. deiseg­reen­way.com

FOTA FAVOURITE

÷ Fota Wildlife Park out­side Cork has a bonus Ac­tiv­i­ties Tent for the sum­mer, where chil­dren can get their faces painted or do some arts and crafts. And it’s all in­cluded in your ad­mis­sion fee to the park. fotaw­ildlife.ie

RU­RAL RAC­ING

÷ Nore Val­ley Farm in Ben­netts­bridge, Co Kilkenny has fun for fam­i­lies with conflicting ideas of what makes a good day out. On the farm, gen­tle souls can feed the sheep and goats, while speed-freaks can let rip on the go-kart track. noreval­ley­park.com

YOU CAN COME TOO

÷ Dublin Zoo is a fail-safe out­ing, but on July 5-7, fans of cold-blooded an­i­mals can join in their Rep­tile Week­end. Guided tours of fun facts about lizards, snakes and other creepy crea­tures, with in­ter­ac­tive ac­tiv­i­ties and fam­ily fun. dublin­zoo.ie

CITY FARM

÷ Ev­ery day at Air­field House there is egg-col­lect­ing, cow-milk­ing and an­i­mal-feed­ing. Over the sum­mer they also have Young Farmer and Young Chef ac­tiv­i­ties, as well as arts and crafts. Book­ing is re­quired. air­field.ie

HORSEY SET

÷ Even if your lit­tle ones have no in­ter­est in get­ting up on a horse, they will en­joy the Dublin Horse Show. Watch other kids com­pete and see Con­nemara pony and don­key events. On the band lawn, there are pup­pet and magic shows, chill-out story times and mu­sic and dance. Au­gust 9-13. dublin­horse­show.com

PET PAR­ADISE

÷ Don­keys and ducks, emus and al­pacas, there are all man­ner of an­i­mals, plus two play ar­eas with a bouncy cas­tle, mini golf and go-karts at Clon­fert Pet Farm in Maynooth. Bring a pic­nic. clon­fert­pet­farm.com

CATCH A STAR

÷ There’s an adap­ta­tion of Oliver Jef­fers’ How to Catch a Star

Water­ford Green­way

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