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 800 years.
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 hats.
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 new skills.
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