Zoos, Pet Farms, and Gardens Open From May 1

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It is good to see some lifting of restrictions on places we can visit but not every county has a zoo, so here are a few ideas for spring days out.


The Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin Dublin have managed to be open for most of the lockdown and the tortoises have had a baby.  You can see them in the lake, they are not shy and will come right up close to the edge.  I took these pictures last Sunday.


The Botanic Gardens also have an interesting arboretum in Co Wicklow just off the N11 at junction 18 near the Beehive pub.  It was fabulous last month when the 200+ year old Rhododendrons were in bloom.  Outside of Rhododendron season, the best thing here is the amazing Japonica Cryptomeria.  This tree is 150 meters across and looks like a stand of trees. Then you climb inside and it is all the one tree.  It is like a maze, the limbs and branches grow down and sideways and create and giant wooden puzzle, it is hours of fun for kids and adults.

All of the following pet farms and playgrounds open from Saturday, May 1 but you must book in advance, there will be no ticket sales at the gate.


Spring is in the air in Kilkenny, the animals are having babies. At the Nore Valley Park you can book to meet the spring babies and even hold them.  The Riverwalk will be open and the Crazy Golf.  You must book the pet farm, on, prices from €29 for two adults and two children and €8 per adult and €7.50 for children, closed on Sundays.


Rumley’s Open Farm is at Waterfall in Cork and has a range of activities to keep the children happy.  There are lots of animals include a llamas, goats, pigs, chickens, and various birds.  There is also ziplines, walking trail and playgrounds for big and small children. book four-hour slots, entry from €10 per person or €37 for two adults and two children.

Zoos and pet farms in Ireland
Baby Tortoise and Mammy in the lake at the Botanic Gardens


It’s springtime and lots of animals are being born all the time at Kennedys Pet Farm near Killarney.  It is a working farm and visitors can see what it is like to be a farmer.  They have all types of animals and birds including goats, donkeys, peacocks and pheasant, pot-bellied pigs.  There is also a playground. Tickets are €9.50 for adults and children over 2; you must book a slot in advance.


Stonehall Farm in Askeaton has a big range of animals to see including Llamas, Meerkats, Emus, Alpacas, Parrots,Ostriches, and more.  Stonehall is involved in an animal conservation project that young wild-lifers will find interesting.  Tickets cost €9 adults and children and two adults and three children for €40 for two-hour slots.


At Glendeer Pet Farm at Drum, Co. Roscommon,  visitors can feed the animals if there at the right time.  There are lots of big and small creatures only delighted to be fed including Emus, Meerkats, Parrots, Alpacas and a scary bearded Dragon Lizard. There is an interesting Fairy Trail on the old Mass path, you never know what you might find. Book slots for €9 adults and €9 children and a family of five €40.

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