Here are some of the best family experiences in Dublin.
Escape to Dublin’s coast with the kids
Dublin Bay Cruises
Any Dub will tell you that the city looks great from all angles but there’s something particularly special when you look back on it from the sea.
As you take to the water with Dublin Bay Cruises you’ll have the perfect vantage point to spy famous landmarks, like the James Joyce Tower, Baily Lighthouse and Howth Head. The kids can watch out for birds as you pass Ireland’s Eye or the friendly seals on Dalkey Island.
Malahide Castle and Gardens
Hop on the DART and watch the sea whizz past as you make your way to the really pretty coastal village of Malahide. Here you’ll find Malahide Castle and Gardens, a magnificent medieval castle, site of battles and bloodshed, and home to the ghostly figures of court jester Puck and the Lady in White.
Kids love the Butterfly House and the Fairy Garden, and you can’t leave without visiting one of the best playgrounds in Ireland. It’s not just the usual swings and slides, your little ones can try out the cool roundabout, mini diggers, spring-loaded seesaws, and a zip line with button seats. Refuel in Avoca after, where the scones are truly amazing.
Saint Anne’s Park and Rose Gardens
On the way back from Malahide, it’s worth stopping at the second largest park in Dublin Saint Anne’s Park in Clontarf, a real local treasure. You’ll soon discover why it was also named as one of the top five parks in the world. Nestled beside the coast but with its own river, ornamental pond and a great playground, it's famous for its many follies including ornamental buildings like the Herculean Temple.
Wander the trails, stop for a picnic or check out the remote-controlled model car track on the Raheny side. There’s a food market on Saturdays while Olive's Room at the Red Stables is a great spot for lunch.
From farm to the city with the family
It may be hard to believe but there’s an actual farm just ten minutes’ walk from Ireland’s biggest shopping centre at Dundrum. A trip to Airfield Estate is like entering another world where the kids can help collect eggs, feed the calves and milk the Jersey cows.
It’s fair to say that this peaceful oasis is one of Dublin’s most secret spots. You’ll love it, and their café brings you the best of produce grown on the farm itself. Not to be missed.
Dublinia and St. Patrick's Cathedral
Back in the city head to Christchurch where the earliest days of medieval Dublin are brought to life in Dublinia (complete with smells and sounds). Take your seat on a Viking warship, try on Viking clothes and visit the dwelling where our Viking ancestors lived.
Just a short walk away, visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral where since 1432, the pupils of the Choir School have sung at service. Afterwards, drop into St Patrick’s Park and enjoy a picnic as the kids let off steam in the playground.
No doubt you’ll take the kids across the city’s famous Ha’penny Bridge at some point on your visit. But you can also paddle under the bridge on an exciting trip through the very heart of the Irish capital with City Kayaking.
No trip to Dublin is truly complete without stopping in the Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed park in any of Europe’s capital cities. Here you’ll find Dublin Zoo where you can spot giraffes or rhinos on the African Savanna or visit the Gorilla Rainforest. There are discounts if you book online and children under the age of 3 get to meet their furry friends for free.
Where next to visit in Dublin?
There’s lots more to do in Dublin with your kids if you’re planning a longer stay. Have a look at Visit Dublin for more family-friendly attractions and experiences to enjoy on your trip to the capital.