From epic parks to interactive museums, here are our top 10 things to do in Dublin for families.
Dublin is the capital of Ireland and steeped in history and culture. It is a popular spot for inquisitive tourists eager to catch a glimpse of traditional Irish living—not to mention a lively place for a celebratory weekend of Guinness-fuelled fun.
But Baile Atha Cliath (Gaelic for Dublin)
is not just for hens and stags! It has a huge range of family activities on
offer too. From the city centre and beyond, here are our top 10 things to do in
Dublin for families.
10. Malahide Castle and Gardens – for outdoor exploration
You will need a dry day to visit Malahide
Castle grounds, but when the sun is out, it is a fantastic spot to explore the
gardens on hired bicycles with an awesome playground in the middle.
Tickets to visit inside the castle can be bought
online and allow you to see the private rooms and art collections dating back
Guided tours can also be booked in advance,
including a Spooky Trail around the West Lawn this Halloween, a fairy trail,
and a chance to meet Santa Clause in his magical grotto in December.
Address: Malahide Castle and Gardens, Malahide Demesne, Co. Dublin K36 YP65
9. The National Leprechaun Museum – for magical indoor fun
For a true escape from the ‘real world,’ why not spend a family afternoon of folklore and Irish mythology where leprechauns and fairies come alive?
Take a guided tour and learn about a
magical Ireland while indulging the children’s imaginations. Listen to tales of
another realm and discover what it feels like to live thimble size.
Address: The National Leprechaun Museum, Jervis Street, Dublin 1
8. Phoenix Park – for the largest urban park space in Europe
A walk in the park may not suit everyone in
the family, but The Phoenix Park in the heart of Dublin is special. Not only
can parents enjoy the largest urban park space in Europe but the family can
also look out for wild fallow deer roaming free.
Dublin Zoo is located in the park and open daily
from 9.30 am until 5.30 pm. It always hosts family activities as well as being
home to lots of animals. It is certainly a park with a difference.
Address: Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, DO8 AC98
7. AquaZone – for an epic indoor waterpark
A family trip to a water park can be epic,
and AquaZone ticks all the boxes. It is indoors, so perfect for a rainy day out
in Dublin for families. It has something for everyone—a baby pool with
mini-slides for the younger children and a deeper pool with a ‘Lazy River’ for
the older ones.
There are three water slides with varying
levels of terror involved. Our advice would be to start with the ‘Green Giant’
before advancing to the ‘Master Blaster’ and building up to the ‘Dark Hole’
(which is particularly terrifying!).
‘Flow Rider’ is another adrenaline rush,
but be mindful that there are height restrictions for all the slides, so check
out the website beforehand to avoid any disappointment. You also need swimming
Address: AquaZone, Sports Ireland Campus, Snugborough Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
6. Imaginosity – Dublin Children’s Museum – for younger children
For any under-9s in the family, Imaginosity
is Dublin’s first interactive museum and let’s face it: If the babies of the
family are happy, then everyone is happy!
The Art Studio, Theatre Space and Cyber
Room run a variety of workshops for everyone to enjoy while the interactive
zones mean children are learning through play.
Address: The Plaza, Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin 8
5. EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum – for older children
For the older children in the family, as
well as the adults, EPIC is a great way to discover how Irish emigrants have
influenced the world through generations. It is located in the proudly restored
CHQ building over-looking the River Liffey.
Home to the Irish Family History Centre it
is the perfect place to research any Irish family roots you might have and
delve into the fascinating history of the people of Ireland.
Address: CHQ, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1
4. Catch a show at a Dublin theatre – for world-class entertainment
Going to the theatre never fails as one of the top things to do in Dublin for families. Dublin is a great city for the theatre, with fantastic shows available to book at several venues.
Whether you crave the dramatic atmosphere
of a musical at the Gaiety Theatre or the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, or you seek
a rich cultural vibe at the Abbey, there is something to enjoy all year round
in the capital.
Other theatres include The Gate, The
Olympia, and The Helix, among other equally charming venues. Seasonal family
shows are particularly popular, so make sure to book in advance.
3. Viking Splash Tours – for a historical afternoon
Discover Dublin with a difference via a
Viking Splash Tour. The whole family can enjoy taking to the water where you
will be guided past historical monuments and iconic landmarks of the capital.
For those interested in stepping further
back in time, you will find out all about Viking heritage, get to wear a cool
horned hat and even learn how to roar like one of our swashbuckling ancestors.
Pick-up point: Opposite the Shelbourne Hotel, 27 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
2. Hit the beach – for a day out that costs nothing
For a day out in Dublin for families that won’t break the bank, why not pack a picnic and head to the nearest beach. From Dollymount Strand on the north side of the city to Sandycove in Dunlaoghaire, there are plenty to choose from.
It may not be the Mediterranean, but a day at
the beach in Ireland can be just as much fun in the summer with warm water and
miles of clean sand for children to play on.
1. The Ark – for an interactive cultural hub
The Ark is a cultural hub for children
visiting Dublin and is bursting with things to explore with the family. Interactive
exhibitions and workshops will not only awaken young minds but also teach them
The child-sized theatre encourages young
people to embrace their creative side while family music and dance workshops
get everyone involved for a truly memorable day.
Address: 11A Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 A590
Dive in and explore the city like a local.
Read our tips on where to go, what to do and what not to miss…
In compact Dublin, you can easily cover a lot of ground on your own
From nocturnal pub crawling (for educational purposes) to high-adrenaline outdoor activities to fun family-friendly pursuits, choices abound.
You might start with the capital’s supremo tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse. Most people do.
Prefer being under the watchful eye of a knowledgeable guide?
There are tons of tours – walking, traveling by bicycle or bus, amphibious vehicle or horse-drawn cart…or even by boat or kayak.
However you choose to get about, you can also experience the true spirit of traditional Irish culture and history through architecture, dance, storytelling, music, theatre, museums and galleries.
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