Home to several colleges, prominent alcohol distilleries, and one of the most authentic pub scenes in the world, it’s no surprise that parents may be skeptical before vacationing in Dublin with their youngsters. However, while it may be widely known for its jovial nightlife, rest assured that there are plenty of wholesome family-friendly activities to be enjoyed here as well. Here are 10 of the best things to do in Dublin with kids.
Pop over to the Ballsbridge neighborhood for a special guided tour of the historic Aviva Stadium, which recounts nearly a century and a half of the most memorable moments in Ireland’s athletic history. Hard core sports fans can purchase merchandise and regalia before sticking around for an exciting game of football or Irish rugby.
Aviva Stadium Tour
Address: Lansdowne Rd, Dublin 4, Ireland
Price: from 10 USD
Duration: around 1.5 hours required.
2. Bord Gais Energy Theatre
The Bord Gais Energy Theatre, sometimes referred to as the Grand Canal Theatre, is a spectacular performing arts venue known for showcasing some of the most spell-binding concerts, ballets, plays, and other shows. Try getting lost in the mystery of an enchanting magical performance, sure to ensnare both parents and children alike. Meanwhile musical performances on ice are no less entertaining.
Bord Gais Energy Theatre
Address: Grand Canal Square Docklands, Dublin 2, Ireland
Contact: +353 16777999 or [email protected]
Website: Bord Gais Energy Theatre
Less than an hour from the city center via public transport, the northern Peninsula of Howth Head is a must-see. Pack a lunch and a water bottle and head off to witness the grandeur of these majestic seaside cliffs, home to the castle of Howth, a towering lighthouse, mysterious Viking ruins, and the poet W. B. Yeats’ childhood abode. Plus breath-taking views of Dublin Bay certainly won’t disappoint.
Day Trip to Howth
Price: from 28 USD
Duration: around 6 hours
Access: DART station
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4. National Botanic Gardens
An excellent place for a family picnic, Dublin’s National Botanic Gardens is a popular hangout spot amongst local families looking to take advantage of the city’s fresh, open air spaces. It is home to some 300 endangered plant species and regularly organizes art workshops, nature walks, and kid-suitable exhibitions. Other great perks include free entrance and wheelchair accessibility for people with disabilities.
National Botanic Gardens
Address: Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland
Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm, Mon - Fri; 10am - 6pm, Sat - Sun
Duration: around 2 hours
Contact: +353 18040300 or [email protected]
Website: National Botanic Gardens
5. Royal Dublin Society
Set on 42 acres of land, the Royal Dublin Society is a large concert, festival, and exhibition venue located in the Ballsbridge neighborhood. The RDS was founded in 1731 and is, perhaps, most famous for its annual summertime Horse Show, which features live music, tasty foods, crafting, and, of course, spectacular equestrian performances.
Royal Dublin Society
Address: Anglesea Rd, Dublin 4, Ireland
Contact: +353 16680866 or [email protected]
Website: Royal Dublin Society
6. Dundrum Shopping Centre
The Dundrum Town Centre, built in a nearby suburb of Dublin, is the largest shopping center in all of Ireland. Besides being home to countless restaurants and shopping establishments, it is also the site of an independent theater where live music, comedy performances, and visual art shows can be seen. To the delight of many youngsters there are several on-site play centers and obstacle courses plus an affordable pottery painting studio and mini-golf course. Meanwhile, the Dundrum movie theater offers morning screenings of popular titles for the parents of newborn babies.
Dundrum Town Centre
Address: Sandyford Rd, Dundrum, Dublin 16, Ireland
Opening Hours: 9am - 9pm, Mon - Fri; 9am - 7pm, Sat; 10am - 7pm, Sun
Contact: +353 12991700
Website: Dundrum Town Centre
7. Lambert Puppet Theatre
This quirky, family run puppet theatre uses creativity and imagination to serve up some silly afternoon shows. Established in 1972, it houses the oldest puppet company in the nation and does an excellent job of engaging young viewers through participation and interaction. It airs such classics as The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, and Little Red Riding Hood, among others.
Lambert Puppet Theatre
Address: Clifton Lane, Monkstown, Co. Dublin
Contact: +353 12800974
Website: Lambert Puppet Theatre
8. Viking Splash Tour
The Viking Splash Tour is as exciting and adventurous as it sounds. A family friendly tour of Dublin’s most popular land and water attractions, it provides an exciting introduction into Viking Dublin and encompasses such destinations as Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Church. The highlight of the tour is the point where the signature amphibious tour vehicle delves into the water near the Grand Canal docklands.
Viking Splash Tour
Address: St. Stephens Green North, Dublin 2, Ireland
Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm, daily
Contact: +353 17076000
Website: Viking Splash Tour
9. Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre
Open for Easter to welcome you! We are open to welcome you for tours all during the Easter weekend. Let your imagination...Posted by Dalkey Castle on Thursday, 24 March 2016
Ditch the traditional museum experience with this live-action performance attraction, whose Living History actors transport you back in time through a captivating journey of Ireland’s past. It boasts a medieval castle, Heritage Centre, Writer’s Gallery, and early Christian Church. Located on the southern end of the Dublin Bay, the castle grounds have often been the site of literary gatherings, performances, and other special events.
Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre
Address: Castle St., Dalkey, Co., Dublin, Ireland
Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm, Mon - Fri, except Tuesdays; 11am - 5pm, Sat - Sun
Duration: around 3 hours
Contact: +353 12858366 or [email protected]
Website: Visit Dalkey Castle
10. Phoenix Park
Situated on nearly 1,800 acres of land, Phoenix Park is a large outdoor recreational space that has been enclosed within a stone wall. Open 24/7, It is home to the largest family space in all of Ireland. It features comfortable picnic pavilions, flower gardens, tea rooms, and performance and sporting venues. Wild deer roam freely throughout the area and have been the subject of many picturesque photo-ops. Phoenix Park is also the site of the Dublin Zoo, which welcomes some 1 million visitors annually.
Address: Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, Ireland
Opening Hours: 9:30am - 6pm, daily
Duration: around 3 hours recommended
Contact: +353 14748900 or [email protected]
Website: Visit Dublin Zoo
Everyday is family fun day
To be honest, it’s completely understandable if a stuffy guided tour spanning centuries of Irish history don’t exactly sound appealing to the little ones in your group, and for this reason finding engaging activities for your family may seem like a daunting task. However, the truth is that there are a great number of things to do in Dublin with kids, both in and around the city, including unique children’s tours, colorful indoor performances, and exciting exploratory sites.
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