If a family visit to Dublin is on your radar, spring is one of the most beautiful times to visit Ireland’s capital city. Renowned for its literary history, musicians, and lively pubs, the city is also quite family-friendly. The people are easygoing, the city is easy to navigate, and they speak English (with a wee bit of an accent). There are plenty of attractions for families to explore, but these are our 5 favorite places to visit if you’re in Dublin with kids.
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Where to Stay in Dublin
Hilton Garden Inn Dublin City Centre – Comfortable and clean hotel. Walking distance to all main attractions. Next to the Financial District and on the River Liffey.
The Merrion – Impeccable property with five-star service. The buildings are beautiful Georgian townhouses with every modern amenity you could want. Central location right across from St. Stephen’s Green and walking distance to Grafton Street.
Davenport Hotel – Stylish and comfortable property near Merrion Square.
Hyatt Centric The Liberties – great neighborhood location near St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Staycity Aparthotels, Mark Street – this long-stay hotel is convenient to the city centre and transit station and has some great restaurants nearby.
Dublin Attractions for Kids
1. Dublinia/Christ Church Cathedral
Centrally located and attached by a bridge to Christ Church Cathedral, this is a perfect place to introduce the kids to Dublin’s history.
There are four different areas in this interactive museum: a Viking area, a Medieval Dublin area, an archaeological area, and a medieval tower offering a medieval view of a modern city.
Kids will enjoy trying on Viking clothes, examining weaponry, and exploring different artifacts. St. Michael’s Tower offers a beautiful panoramic view of Dublin.
A combo ticket for Dublinia and Christ Church Cathedral can be purchased. The two attractions are connected by a footbridge. The cathedral has a large crypt and treasury that can be visited at your own pace or a guided tour can be arranged.
2. Trinity College Library: Book of Kells
Taking kids to tour a library might not be a typical destination, but the Book of Kells is a must-see. This 9th-century manuscript is an ornately decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus. There can be a long line, so go early, or purchase tickets online ahead of time.
The details and displays are divine and the presentation of the book will keep everyone’s attention. After walking through the exhibit, visitors enter the Long Room. This amazing library has books as far as the eye can see. Afterward, take a stroll around the campus or grab a bite to eat on nearby Grafton Street.
If you are planning on visiting several Dublin attractions consider a Dublin Pass for 50% off attractions.
3. National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology
This is one of our favorite places to visit in Dublin. Admission is free and the architecture is spectacular from the tiles on the floor to the columns surrounding the exhibit space. Kids will love learning about the bog people, the 4,500-year-old log boat from Galway, and the extensive collection of weaponry.
The museum is centrally located on Kildare Street. Afterward, head to St. Stephen’s Green for a stroll in the park or an afternoon picnic. Children will enjoy the playground in the middle of the park and see the ducks and geese in the nearby pond.
4. Phoenix Park/Dublin Zoo
At over 1700 acres, Phoenix Park is one of the largest and most beautiful urban parks in Europe. This is a great place for a walk with the kids, a bike ride, or a picnic.
Keep an eye out for the deer that roam the park or enjoy one of the many concerts or sporting events that are held throughout the year. Entrance to the park is free and there is a restaurant located at the Visitor Centre.
Dublin Zoo is located within the park, and it is compact enough that you can visit it all in just a few hours. There are play areas located throughout the zoo, which smaller children will enjoy.
Children and adults of all ages will appreciate the variety of animals and knowledgeable zookeepers. A note about food: bring your own, or eat before or after your visit, as there are better choices elsewhere.
5. Viking Splash Tour
Similar to a Duck Tour in the United States, tourists are given Viking helmets as they board the boat. The tour guides are part drivers, and part comedians providing commentary and historical insight throughout the tour.
Vehicles drive along the street before heading out on the water and then back to shore. They may even let your kid steer the boat. Now that’s a fun way to spend the day!
6. Take a tour of Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison with a big role in Irish political history. This fascinating museum provides an interesting look at the country’s past. Children and adults alike will enjoy listening to stories of the prison’s most famous inmates and learning about their struggles for independence. Tip: Be sure to book your tour in advance, as they do not allow walk-ins.
7. Get outdoors at St. Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is a beautiful park located in the heart of Dublin at the end of Grafton Street. There is open space for kids to run around, as well as a playground and a duck pond. It’s also a great spot for a family picnic on a sunny day.
8. Take a tour of Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle was built on the site of a 13th century Viking settlement and was the seat of the British government in Ireland for hundreds of years. Today it is a great place to explore with kids.
The castle grounds are beautiful, and there are guided tours available covering the State Apartments, Medieval Section, and the Chapel Royal. Kids will love exploring the castle and learning about its history.
9. Experience Dublin’s haunted history
The Dublin Ghostbus Tour is a fun and interactive way to explore the city’s darker side. The bus visits some of Dublin’s haunted sites, complete with spooky stories and live actors. While the tour might be a little scary for younger children, it’s a great choice for older kids and teenagers.
10. Learn about the impact of Irish people around the world at the EPIC Museum
The EPIC museum in Dublin is the perfect combination of education and entertainment. The museum explores the history and culture of the Irish people, from emigration to their impact around the world.
Kids will love the interactive displays that showcase the stories of Irish emigrants and their achievements. There are hands-on activities for the kids, such as a quiz trail and a family-friendly audio guide.
Overall, the EPIC museum is an ideal attraction for families who want to have a fun and educational experience while exploring the history and culture of Ireland.
Planning a trip to Ireland? Check out these books about Ireland we recommend: