Official tourism website for Cork, Ireland

Cork City's Playful Culture Trail

Cork City's Playful Culture Trail joins in celebrations of International Youth Day by inviting kids to discover, explore and play

This International Youth Day (12th August), Cork city’s museums, galleries and attractions are calling on families to introduce children to culture and heritage from an early age, as they come together to make these spaces more playful and youth friendly.

Accessing culture from an early age is beneficial to youth as the culture they inherit is an important part of their developing identity. Participation in culture helps develop thinking skills, build self-esteem, and improves resilience as well as broadening horizons and encouraging curiosity.

With these benefits in mind Cork City recently launched a 'Playful Culture Trail' featuring 30 child friendly places to explore the city’s culture, heritage, and green spaces through play. This new trail is part of an ongoing commitment by Cork City Council and other key stakeholders towards making Cork a more ‘Playful City’.

The Playful Culture Trail is illustrated on a colourful and child friendly map that can be picked up along with a unique tote bag, colouring pencils, a Pure Cork pencil, and a bookmark, from attractions and hotels in the city.

Taking a youth centred approach where fun is front and centre each attraction on the trail offers a free activity pack for kids on arrival with numerous challenges to complete from scavenger hunts, to sketching tasks, crosswords, and investigation work. Along the Trail kids are encouraged to keep a beady eye out for ‘Blaithín’ - a cute and cuddly lizard who is the play trail mascot and will be playing hide and seek in lots of attractions. 

Cork City’s Playful Culture Trail is calling on families to celebrate International Youth Day with an outing to check out the fun activities of the trail and enjoy the opportunity for kids to be kids in cultural spaces. Fun things to do include hopping on a bus into the city before exploring labyrinths at St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, designing costumes for superheroes at Crawford Art Gallery, finding out their Bog Age at the Cork Butter Museum, tracing tombstones at St Peter’s Church, making daisy chains at Nano Nagle Place, enjoying the playground at the Old Cork Waterworks, and lots more.

Ways to Celebrate International Youth Day along the Cork City Playful Culture Trail 

  1. Scoot down the marina
  2. Explore with coke zero bikes
  3. Go otter spotting along the lee
  4. Have a picnic at Bell’s Field
  5. Find Bláithín the lizard
  6. Make a daisy chain at Nano Nagle Place
  7. Find out your ‘bog’ age at The Butter Museum
  8. Get locked up at Cork City Goal
  9. See underground at Triskel Christchurch
  10. Get in the stocks at Elizabeth Fort
  11. Find the medieval bowling ball at Cork Public Museum
  12. Fire your imagination at the city library
  13. Play chase or fly a kite in the lee fields
  14. Skim a stone across the Lee
  15. Float a paper boat on the lough
  16. Star gaze at Blackrock Castle Observatory
  17. Find the centre of the labyrinth at St Finbarre’s Cathedral
  18. Discover the playground at Old Cork Waterworks
  19. Pose like a sculpture at the Crawford Art Gallery
  20. Find the right time on one of the 4 clock faces of Shandon
  21. Play pooh sticks at the Glen River park
  22. Make a wish on the witches wishing steps at Blarney castle
  23. Run over the shaky bridge
  24. Balance on a silver ball at Fitzgerald’s Park
  25. Find the little boys on the rubble of St. Peter’s
  26. Find the shiny tree in Fitzgerald’s Park
  27. Do the UCC art trail at the Glucksman
  28. Find the Cork town walls at Bishop Lucey park
  29. Hunt for medals at the military museum, Collins Barracks
  30. Treat yourself to sweets in Lenihan’s, Shandon

Get ready by picking up your free canvas goodie bag or download the virtual map at purecork.ie/playtrail, Get set by choosing where you want to visit, and go, go, go on International Youth Day and for the rest of the summer! 

This project is part of an overall mission to make Cork a playful, child friendly, active city and was developed in collaboration with all the participating museums, galleries and attractions in Cork, in partnership with Playful Paradigm, Cork City Council, Cork Local Sports Partnership, Pure Cork, and Bus Eireann. Some venues are free and others offer family rates. For updates on the Cork City Play Trail and Cork as a Playful City follow @corkcitycouncilofficial on social media or search hashtags #LetsPlayCork #ActiveCorkCity

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