Myrtleville and Fountainstown are the closest beaches to Cork city although Myrtleville is better with toddlers as there’s less stones and seaweed.
Garryvoe is another great beach and is located in East Cork near to Castlemartyr. It has a playground and a shop next to it and the Garryvoe hotel is nearby where you can have lunch or change your little one. Youghal and Redbarn are other good options in East Cork and just over the Waterford border, you will find the stunning sandy beach in Ardmore town which also has a brand new playground next to it.
Kinsale is a great destination for parents with toddlers. The picturesque town, previously a fishing village has a playground and fun fare during the summer. The dock beach is a small sandy beach just across the bridge from Kinsale and if you travel a little further you will be able to visit the sandy beach at Garretstown.
If you want to head West, Coolmaine and Kilbrittain beaches are about a 40 minute drive from Cork city and are both sandy beaches. Inchydoney is a stunning, huge beach near Clonakilty in West Cork. This beach has a large hotel next to it where you can feed and change your little one and have a fantastic seafood lunch. Owenahincha Beach in Rosscarbery is a stunning blue flag beach with some shallow waters for toddlers to play in. For a list of other blue flag beaches in County Cork click here.