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 easy going, 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.
Dublinia/Christ Church Cathedral
Centrally located and attached by bridge to Christ Church Cathedral, this is a perfect place to introduce the kids to Dublin 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.
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. Afterwards 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.
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. Afterwards 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 seeing the ducks and geese in the nearby pond.
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.
Viking Splash Tour
There is a Hop On, Hop Off bus tour of Dublin, but what about something different? Try the Viking Splash Tour in Dublin and see the city in a new light. 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, part comedians and provide 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!
Have you been to Dublin? Do you have a favorite place to visit with kids?
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