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Top sports activities for kids

When the sun shines, there’s no better place to be outdoors than in Ireland. There is an abundance of activity centres that are ideal for the energetic child.

The National Aquatic Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin is one of the most innovative water parks in Europe. Kids will be thrilled at the facilities, which include The Masterblaster, The Pirate Ship, The Lazy River, The Green Giant and The Dark Hole. The NAC also offers a summer swimming academy, priced at around €85 for an 8 week course.

Kids will also love a day spent playing crazy golf. Dundrum’s Rainforest Adventure Golf welcomes all ages and abilities to try out their “awesome Aztec” course and defeat the golf gods. Kids will be wowed by animatronic special effects as they try and sink puts on a course through the enchanted rainforest.

Eclipse Centre, Kenmare, County Kerry is home to an equestrian and activity centre with horses and ponies suitable for all the family. Days can be spent horse riding through the Blackwater countryside. The Centre, which also offers rock climbing, laser combat and falconry, has accommodation or the option of day camps for kids wishing to try their hand at horse riding.

Sports fanatics young and old will be enthralled by a visit to the GAA Museum at Croke Park Stadium, just north of Dublin City Centre, open daily throughout the year. The museum traces the beginning and growth of the GAA and houses a collection of memorabilia such as jerseys, trophies and programmes. The new refurbishment boasts an interactive games area and activity room – Cú Chulainn’s Den – to provide activity sheets to young visitors.

To keep energetic kids from going stir crazy on rainy days, head for somewhere like The Zone Extreme, Navan, County Meath. The Zone offers a 400-meter indoor karting track where it can accommodate of up to 100 drivers. They will also provide all race gear for you. The Zone also offers a 28,000 sq. foot indoor paintball arena and an indoor archery centre.

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