Dublin Ireland – full of fun, culture & high energy!
I had the pleasure of living just outside of Dublin for a while, and was always struck by two things. How easy it is for newcomers to get around the city using mass transit, and how family friendly it is!
There are really very few places in Dublin that you’re likely to get a strange look if you bring children. Children are an expected part of the fabric of life here, and as such there are lots of places and things to do with kids when you travel here!
Photo Credit: Stefano Mortellaro
10 Things to Do with Kids in Dublin, Ireland
1. Double Decker Dublin Bus Tour – Looking to learn something about the city, but also for something to entertain the kids? Why not hop on one of the City Double Decker Bus Sightseeing tours with commentary that is especially tailored for kids? They can learn about Dublin in a fun, entertaining way that is directed at the under 12 set. Be sure to ask for the “kid friendly” version of the tour when booking.
2. See a show, or take a Backstage Tour at The Abbey Theatre! – Get insight into the history and behind the scenes workings of Ireland's national theatre on the guided backstage tours. You will get access to areas rarely seen by the public, as a knowledgeable tour guide leads you on an engaging visit through the many aspects that come together to make Ireland's national theatre, exploring the fascinating challenges of each new production. Or enjoy a truly Irish experience, and reserve a seat to enjoy watching a production yourself!
3. Visit The Ark- Childrens Cultural Center – The Ark is a unique, purpose-built cultural centre in the heart of Dublin’s Temple Bar, where children aged 2 -12 can explore theatre, music, literature, art, film, dance and more. Our programme of world class performances, exhibitions and creative workshops changes every few weeks, so expect a different experience every visit!
4. Visit the Dublin Zoo – As one of the world's oldest, and most popular zoos, the 28 hectare park in the heart of Dublin is home to some 400 animals in safe environment where education and conservation combine for an exciting and unforgettable experience!
5. Shopping on Grafton St. and lunch on St. Stephens Green! – Probably Ireland’s best known Victorian public park, St. Stephens Green is a wonderful place to bring a blanket and a picnic lunch, feed the ducks or blow off steam on a playground. With beautiful memorial gardens commemorating past Dublin residents such as William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce – the park is also adjacent to one of Dublin’s main shopping streets, Grafton Street! Grafton street is blocked off from all auto traffic, allowing shoppers to walk along charming stone paved streets leading to everything from high end shops to street corner buskers.
6. Trinity College Dublin – Book of Kells – A must see on the itinerary of all visitors to Dublin. Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin will bring visitors back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed. Inside is housed the Book of Kells – a 9th-century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world. It also doesn’t hurt that the library it’s housed in looks straight out of Hogwarts!
7. Take a Viking “Duck” Tour of Dublin! – Ride in an authentic World War II amphibious vehicles -The DUKWs “ with an imaginative and exciting Viking-themed tour, the Viking Splash experience is a fun and educational way to see Dublin City. You will be given a Viking hat, and will roar at clueless pedestrians you pass, all while learning about how the Vikings changed Ireland’s history forever! All while traveling both on land and sea!
8. Christ Church Dublin – Christ Church Cathedral (founded c.1028) is one of the top visitor attractions in Dublin. Step inside and you can enjoy the cathedral's beautiful interior and fascinating medieval crypt! The medieval crypt, one of the largest in both Britain & Ireland, and the earliest surviving structure in the city!
9. Take a Celtic Day Tour! – There are no shortage to the fun and quirky day tours you can take right from Dublin’s City Center. One that I highly recommend is the Celtic Experience! Visit prehistoric tombs older than the pyramids! Explore the Celtic High Crosses of Ireland, ruined ancient Abbeys, and the mystical Hill of Tara! Our family has taken this particular tour over 4 times- and each time we enjoy it more. Your tour guide will feel like family by the end of the day, and the small tour sizes allow you to go on roads that bigger tour busses cant safely travel on. A great way to get out of the city without worrying about a rental car!
10. Take in Dublin’s Temple Bar! – While, Temple Bar may be known best for its pub nightlife after dark – it’s actually a great family friendly location during the day. Unlike the United States, pubs like those in Temple Bar are open to parents and children alike during the day when they often serve lunch or host impromptu jam sessions on traditional Irish instruments. The Temple Bar also plays host to a wonderful Farmers market on weekend mornings, the Irish Film Center, and some absolutely fabulous restraurants and people watching!
I hope you will find Dublin to be as hospitable, and beautiful as my family has! It’s a beautiful European City that is particularly well suited to young people, and has a lot to offer a family traveling from abroad. And…be sure to stop by a “Chip shop” and look for a “Fairy circle” before you leave!