12 Things to Do with in Dublin with Kids

Best Family-Friendly Places in Dublin

    Ireland has one of the youngest populations in Europe, and its capital city is especially family-friendly. So, it’s not just the grown-ups who'll be entertained in lively Dublin – there’s plenty on offer for the kids, too. Parents with toddlers or teens can expect a warm welcome wherever they go, and enjoy a range of citywide attractions from historic sites to sandy beaches and the vast green space of Phoenix Park. Plus, with a whole host of imaginative and creative indoor spaces, it doesn’t matter what the Irish weather hurls at you because there'll always be something to do.

    1

    Viking Splash Tours

    Dublin is a compact city and most of its central attractions are within walking distance of each other. The bustling streets can be busy enough to slow you down though, so it's often easier to book your Dublin adventures and zip between the city sights in style and comfort. The big yellow Viking Splash Tour amphibious WWII vehicle is a familiar sight on the roads and along the waterways of central Dublin. Climb aboard to explore the city and learn its history while roaring like a Viking at passers-by.

    Location: St Stephens Green North, Dublin 2, Ireland

    Open: Daily from 9am to 5pm. Reservations are recommended.

    Phone: +353 (0)1 707 6000

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    photo by Andrew Parnell (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    Dublinia

    It doesn't take long to fall in love with Dublin, which offers all the modern shops and entertainments of other capital cities but also has a distinctive charm and flair that sets it apart. Certain attractions and activities, like the Dublinia living history museum, are so unique to the Irish capital that even small kids can get a sense of what makes the place so special. Stride the decks of a Viking warship, browse a medieval market, dig through ancient ruins for lost treasures – Dublinia is an immersive, interactive experience that brings the city's 1,000-year history to life.

    Location: St Michaels Hill, Christ Church, Dublin 8, Ireland

    Open: March–September: daily from 10am to 6.30pm. October–February: daily from 10am to 5.30pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 679 4611

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    photo by Marco Zanferrari (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    Gallagher’s Boxty House

    You may think of the spud as being rather humble, but Boxty does glorious things with Ireland’s staple food. The Boxty potato pancakes are a must-try, covered with whatever sauce you like. The kids’ menu doesn’t patronise, but instead offers smaller versions of traditional crowd-pleasers like Irish stew and potato dumplings.

    Location: 20-21 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

    Open: Daily from 11am to 10.30pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 677 2762

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    photo by Michael Sean Gallagher (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    4

    Skyline Tour at Croke Park

    If you're over 1.2 metres tall and not afraid of heights, you can walk around the roof of one of Europe's biggest sports stadiums. You'll get an unbeatable view over the city, Dublin Bay, and the mountains beyond.

    Location: Cusack Stand, Croke Park, St Joseph’s Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin 3, Ireland

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +353 (0)1 819 2323

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    photo by Rob Hurson (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    5

    Butler's Chocolate Experience

    You don't need a golden ticket to visit this chocolate factory and museum. You can follow your nose through the exhibits to the sweet-smelling kitchen where delicious treats are made and create your own chocolate masterpiece.

    Location: Clonshaugh Business & Technology Park, Coolock, Co. Dublin, D17 A076, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm. Reservations are recommended.

    Phone: +353 (0)1 671 0599

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    photo by Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    National Leprechaun Museum

    Visitors can learn the closely guarded secrets of Ireland's mischievous fairy-folk at this fun venue that's more a storytelling centre than a museum. Charming guides hold big and little guests spellbound with tales from Irish folklore.

    Location: Twilfit House Jervis St, North City, Dublin, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9.30am to 6.30pm, Sundays from 10.30am to 6.30pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 873 3899

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    photo by YvonneM (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    7

    Dublin Zoo

    From pastoral farmlands to the jungles of Asia, there are all kinds of animal encounters to experience in Dublin. The city’s zoo is one of the most popular attractions for visitors. One of the oldest zoos in the world, Dublin Zoo has been introducing exotic animals to Ireland for almost 200 years. Here you'll meet toddler-friendly farm animals and the fearsome beasts of the African Savanna.

    Location: Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, Ireland

    Open: Closing time varies by season, daily from 9.30am to at least 4pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 474 8900

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    photo by Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0) modified

    8

    Dublin Bus Tour

    There are several competing open-top bus tours offering hop-on, hop-off services around the city. The best-known is run by Dublin Bus, whose expert guides provide fun, informative, and sometimes hilarious commentary en route.

    Location: 59 O'Connell Street Upper, North City, Dublin, Ireland

    Open: Mondays from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Tuesday–Friday from 9am to 5.30pm, Saturdays from 9am to 2pm, Sundays from 9.30am to 2pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 844 4265

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    photo by km30192002 (CC BY 2.0) modified

    9

    Imaginosity

    Dublin helps to spark big imaginations in little people with creative play, performing arts, and hands-on learning. What does your child want to be for the day? Construction worker, chef, or monster? Anything is possible at Imaginosity, Dublin’s children’s museum. They can engage in free play in different sections of the museum, or get involved with structured performances and puppet shows.

    Location: The Plaza Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland

    Open: Mondays from 1.30pm to 5.30pm in the winter and from 9.30am to 5.30pm in the summer, Tuesday–Friday from 9.30am to 5.30pm, Saturdays from 10am to 6pm, Sundays from 10.00am to 6pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 217 6130

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    10

    The Ark

    Aimed at toddlers to pre-teens, The Ark is a unique cultural centre which promotes all kinds of art, from literature to drama. You can just go to watch a show, or get messy adding to themed art galleries. There are also music and performance workshops for families to participate in.

    Location: 11A Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 A590, Ireland

    Open: The booking office is open Tuesday–Friday from 10am to 4pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 670 7788

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    photo by Jean Housen (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    11

    Luigi Malones

    The original Luigi Malone was half-Italian and half-Irish, and the restaurant continues that transnational tradition, with a mix of local ingredients and Italian-inspired dishes. There’s a special kids' menu, and they’ll love the chance to create their own pizzas. Plus, early-bird deals are ideal for family meals.

    Location: 5 Cecilia Street, Temple Bar, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

    Open: Monday–Wednesday from 12pm to 9pm, Thursday–Saturday from 12pm till late, Sundays from 12pm to 9pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 679 2723

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    photo by William Murphy (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    12

    Jump Zone

    This is one place where kids are actively encouraged to bounce off the walls. Jump Zone is a huge indoor trampoline centre, with spaces for general jumping, as well as smaller rooms for parties and bouncy games.

    Location: 27 Airways Industrial Estate, Dublin 17, Ireland

    Open: Mondays from 11am to 7pm, Tuesday–Thursday from 3pm to 7pm, Fridays from 3pm to 8pm, Saturdays from 11.30am to 8pm, Sundays from 11.30am to 7.30pm

    Phone: +353 (0)1 862 3366

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