Cork International Hotel logo
book now

Select Your Dates

Christmas Hotel Gift Vouchers – Buy Vouchers For The Cork International Hotel here

Cork Playful Pirate Culture Trail

20 child friendly activities to do in the city from spotting pirate ships a

Play like a Pirate and discover a treasure trove of cultural fun in Cork City

Throughout the summer, families can discover Cork’s hidden treasures and play in galleries, museums, cultural attractions and outdoor spaces throughout the city.  The trail, which includes cannon spotting, making floatable rafts, searching for golden eagles and loot is designed to encourage young people to explore culture in an imaginative and playful way!


A new Playful Pirate Culture Trail has launched in Cork City, Ireland’s maritime haven, for the summer months. Throughout July and August, the city’s vibrant museums, galleries and visitor attractions will add pirate fun to their offering so families can explore culture, heritage and the city’s green spaces in an imaginative and playful way.

It’s the perfect opportunity to get your kids to say ‘aye-aye’ to cultural adventures so gather your hearties and navigate them to great culture and green spaces in the city using the specially created Playful Pirate Culture Trail treasure map.

Museums, galleries, and historic sites are of course all keepers of treasure so there’s lots for your crew to discover and explore! The map includes a special treasure to be found at each site, along with other challenges. It also lists 20 child friendly activities to do in the city from spotting pirate ships and cannons, to digging for hidden loot and searching for golden angels!

In addition to a treasure hunt at each venue on your voyage, there will be pirate photo opportunities, fun facts, lots of pirate colouring, and suggested activities to try where X marks the spot.

Make sure you also look out for the play trail mascot Bláithin, a little green environmentalist pirate lizard, who will play hide and seek at each venue.  As a pirate who lives on the sea, she encourages everyone to learn about the environment and keep the city and planet clean and healthy!

And above all, make sure your little pirates get a stamp at every venue to fill their maps with their bounty!  The trail includes: Blackrock Castle Observatory, Blarney Castle, The Butter Museum, Cork City Gaol, Cork Public Museum, Cork Military Museum, Elizabeth Fort, Crawford Art Gallery, Nano Nagle Place, Glucksman Gallery, Old Cork Waterworks Experience, Shandon Bells and Tower, St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, St Peter’s Church, Triskel Christchurch and outdoor spaces/ picnic points including Fitzgerald Park, the Lough, and the Atlantic Pond. The aim is that families can have multiple days out, trying different locations and activities.

Embracing a fun pirate theme is just one of many ways museums, galleries and attractions have come together to make their spaces more playful, youth friendly and accessible. This year the map includes information on accessibility and work is being done with UCC Occupational Therapy Department to make our culture spaces more inclusive.


20 Activities for landlubbers, scallywags and scurvy naves to try out along the
Cork City Playful Pirate Culture Trail

  1. Make a pirate hat from paper and wear it on your adventures!
  2. Find Bláithin the pirate lizard
  3. Make a floatable raft by wrapping up leaves and float it along the River Lee!
  4. Race your floatable nature rafts on the Lough
  5. Race sticks with a friend by throwing them from a footbridge
  6. Find 5 ducks and 2 swans on the Atlantic Pond
  7. Have a nature treasure hunt – find a bird’s feather, a fern and a small grey stone
  8. Find a stick in the shape of a pirate’s sword
  9. Play on the shipwrecked boat at Fitzgerald’s Park Playground
  10. Spot the golden angel treasure at the top of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral
  11. Grab your maties and go cloud spotting for sharks and starfish
  12. Make a pirate spyglass from toilet roll tubes
  13. Find the cannon on the corner of Grand Parade and Tuckey Street
  14. Search for buried treasure in the sand at Fitzgerald’s Park playground
  15. Can you spot a Jolly Roger flag among the ships moored at the Port of Cork building?
  16. What do pirates eat for dinner? Wander through the English Market to find the ugliest fish!
  17. Set sail on a reading adventure at Cork Public Libraries!
  18. Grab a Hysterical Histories booklet from the Tourist Office on Patrick’s Street
  19. Be like an old Sea Dog and don’t go thirsty, use a reusable drinks bottle!
  20. Really get out on the water on a kayak or harbour cruise!
Heading to Cork to go on the Playful Culture Trail? Make sure to take the bus!
Click here for Cork City bus timetables
book now