Kids at Birr Castle Gardens
Did you know that over 150 years ago Birr was the silicon valley of the world? If you were a mad scientist, engineer or astronomer Birr was the place to be.
Why – before the days of computer, broadband and smart phones, you had to travel to where the big discoveries were being made, not only did Birr have the biggest telescope in the world, but also had some of the best engineering, mathematical and creative minds. Everyone from as far away as Australia and Russia, and even Charles Babbage (the inventor of the computer) came and were inspired.
We believe strongly at Birr that by using the past inventions and discoveries of the Parsons’ family, we can captivate our young, so that they can see how science can be fun and is relevant to their lives, and inspire them to continue to study this exciting subject through leaving unto a fulfilling career.
Treehouse adventure area
This adventure area inside the garden houses Ireland’s largest treehouse as well as picnic areas, a bouncy pillow, sand pits, sweet shop and hobbit hut. The playground is open daily from 10.00 until 15.30. Our bouncy pillow is now closed for the winter season. Children wishing to use the bouncy pillow must have a waiver signed by parents or guardians. This form is available from reception. Dogs are not permitted with the children’s playground area. Children under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult at all times within the gardens and treehouse area.
School Tours at Birr Castle Gardens
Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre offers the perfect school tour options for any age group. The demesne offers students the opportunity to learn in a fun filled way, with the opportunity to visit our award winning gardens, historic science centre, great telescope and treehouse adventure area. There are two tour options available for school tours.
Discover Primary Science and Maths Tour- A Journey of Pioneering, Adventure & Astronomy Suitable for 3rd Class and Above
With the significant changes being introduced through the new science curriculum, the emphasis is on taking science out of the textbooks and the classroom and into everyday experiences & practical activities of investigation, experiments and analysis. Ireland’s Historic Science Centre has taken the opportunity to play a role in working with teachers and schools in celebrating our scientific heritage and fostering, inspiring and encouraging young scientists of the future. We aim to achieve this by providing a fun, interactive tour through Ireland’s Historic Science Centre and through the gardens to end at The Great Telescope
The programme consists of:
- A guided tour of the science galleries of Irelands Historic Science Centre.
- A visit to the restored telescope in the gardens.
- An interactive workshop where the children work in groups to build and launch rockets, make observations and record results. Within the workshops children will be get a chance to work with measurements, angles and distance.
- A team game using the rockets to learn about the planets of the solar system.
- Length of tour: 3 hours. Admission €10 per student. Suitable for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Class.
- For Bookings email firstname.lastname@example.org
Guided Tour or Self Guided Tour with Trail Suitable for All Ages
The tour guide will take the children through the Science Centre, and outside to view the castle, the Great Telescope and also parts of the gardens. This tour can also include a trail for the children, where they follow a map to different locations in the gardens or science centre and answer questions related to the stop. This option costs €5.00 per child. The guided tour is €25.00 per guide required (depending on group size). This option is also available without a guided tour, the teachers can take the children around the Science Centre and the gardens with the help of our visitor’s map.
The Treehouse Adventure Area is included in all of our school tours. If your group are using the bouncy pillow in the Treehouse Area we do require a waiver to be signed by the teachers accompanying the children.