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The Kennedy Homestead: A Museum Dedicated To JKF

The Kennedy Homestead: A Museum Dedicated To JKF

A visit to the Kennedy Homestead is one of the more popular things to do in Wexford amongst visiting tourists.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Kennedy family and their connection to Ireland, The Kennedy Homestead is a must-see cultural museum in Wexford.

The original homestead was home to five generations of the Kennedy’s and showcases important Irish-American history just south of New Ross.

Some quick need-to-knows before visiting The Kennedy Homestead

JFK Homestead

Photo by Brian Morrison Photography via Ireland’s Content Pool

Although a visit to the Kennedy Homestead is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

The Kennedy Homestead is in Dunganstown, just 7km south of New Ross in County Wexford. It’s a 30-minute drive from Fethard-on-Sea and a 35-minute drive from Waterford City.

2. Opening hours

The Homestead is open every day of the week from 9.30am to 5.30pm. The last admission is permitted at 5pm.

3. Admission

Entry tickets are €8 per adult, €6 per child or student and €25 for a family with up to 2 adults and 3 children (prices may change).

About The Kennedy Homestead

The Kennedy Homestead in Dunganstown is a fascinating place to discover more about the Kennedy family and their connection to County Wexford.

The homestead was the birthplace of former President, John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather, Patrick Kennedy. The farm was home to five generations of the Kennedy family and is still managed by descendants today. 

The homestead has been turned into a unique museum dedicated to the Kennedys and their legacy in Ireland. 

The museum has a variety of exhibitions on Patrick Kennedy’s departure from Ireland and the story of the most famous Irish-American descendant, John F Kennedy.

Through a collection of memorabilia and audio-visual displays, you can learn more about this important family.

Things to discover at The Kennedy Homestead

Kennedy Homestead

Photos by Brian Morrison © Tourism Ireland

There’s a fair bit to be discovered at the Kennedy Homestead for those of you that fancy learning more about JFK and his ancestors. Here’s what to expect:

1. The Homecoming

The museum delves into the famous homecoming of John F Kennedy during his presidential visit to Ireland in 1963. The homestead reflects on his time in Ireland, including the impact of the moment on Irish history. 

In fact, John F Kennedy visited the Homestead to have tea with his cousins. After his visit, he was often referred to as an Irish idol or hero. To have the family go from famine emigrants to the US Presidency in just three generations was very inspiring for many in Ireland at the time.

2. History of the Homestead

A major part of the exhibition showcases the history of the Kennedy family from Patrick Kennedy to today’s descendants at the homestead. 

There are interpretive exhibits tracing the story of Patrick’s emigration to the US during the famine, to the future success of various family members in American politics.

Through images and audio-visuals, you can trace the story of the family from the 20th century until the present.

3. Follow the journey

But the story of the Kennedy family hasn’t ended yet. The homestead continues to keep the history of the descendants alive, with various information and photographs of the family members.

While President Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in 1963 has been considered a pivotal moment in Irish history, the homestead shines light on the impact that it has had on emigration and the broader Irish community across the world.

Things to do near The Kennedy Homestead

One of the beauties of the Kennedy Homestead is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Wexford.

Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from the Homestead!

1. The John F. Kennedy Arboretum (10-minute drive)

JFK Arboretum

Photos via Shutterstock

To continue on the trail of the Kennedy family, you can head 10 minutes away to the John F. Kennedy Arboretum, which was built in memory of the former president. 

The beautiful 250-heactres of garden are just south of New Ross, with forests, a lake, walking trails and a visitor centre to explore.

The view from the top of the hill in the garden is also worth the walk, with a stunning panorama across the surrounding area.

2. Dunbrody Abbey (10-minute drive)

Just south of the homestead and arboretum, the Dunbrody Abbey is worth stopping to wander around in Wexford. The old ruins date back to the 13th century and are one of the finest examples of a Cistercian monastery in Ireland. 

There is a modern visitor centre and lovely walk around the nearby gardens, from where you can admire the incredible abbey and learn more about its history.

3. Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience (15-minute drive)

Dunbrody Famine Ship

Photo left: Chris Hill. Right: Brian Morrison

Located in New Ross, the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience is on the banks of the River Barrow. An incredibly fun and informative experience, it’s a reproduction of an 1840s emigrant vessel.

The guided tours are conducted by costumed guides who take you back in time and offer an insight into the life of a famine emigrant. There’s also a café on site with delicious food.

4. The Hook Peninsula (20-minute drive)

hook lighthouse

Photos via Shutterstock

If you continue driving south, you can explore the Hook Peninsula. Known as the gateway to southeast Ireland, the rugged peninsula is known for Hook Lighthouse, which is considered one of the oldest in the world.

The peninsula has a long history, with plenty of stories from the time of the Vikings and Anglo-Normans. You can also find a few beaches on either side of the coast, with small villages and plenty of accommodation options.

FAQs about visiting the Kennedy Homestead

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is the tour any good?’ to ‘How much are tickets?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Is the Kennedy Homestead tour any good?

Reviews at the time of typing are: 4.5/5 on Google, 5/5 on Facebook and 4.5/5 on Tripadvisor.

How much is the Kennedy Homestead tour?

Entry tickets are €8 per adult, €6 per child or student and €25 for a family with up to 2 adults and 3 children (prices may change).

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