My husband and I had such a great experience during our driving tour of Ireland nine years ago that we decided to come back with the kids this summer so they could experience that Irish magic, too. Since the hubby and I already did some of the quintessential adult activities in Dublin on our last trip (a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, touring Jameson, and enjoying pub life), we decided to focus our time in Ireland’s capital during this trip on kid-friendly things to do in Dublin. We had a great time and got to experience several cool places, so today I’m sharing our recommendations for things to do with kids in Dublin. If you’re planning a trip to Dublin with kids, you’ll want to save this post for family activities in Dublin and tips for how to have the best time in Dublin, Ireland with kids.
More resources for what to do with kids in Ireland
- Ireland Road Trip Itinerary (7 day driving tour of Ireland)
- Driving the Ring of Kerry (Route, Highlights, and Tips)
Hotels in Dublin for families
Hilton Dublin. I’m a Hilton gal, so I always love an opportunity to stay at one while travelling. We can always expect consistent levels of quality, cleanliness, and service with Hilton wherever we’re staying around the world. If you’re looking for the best hotels in Dublin for families, Hilton Dublin is a great choice. We had a spacious family room that included two conjoined hotel rooms: one king bed room for the adults, and another room with two twin beds for the kids. Both were comfortable and well-appointed with beautiful views of the canal. Located in the city center, Hilton Dublin is easy walking distance to lots of restaurants and activities, as well as St. Stephen’s Green (one of our recommended family friendly Dublin spots, and where we could catch the Big Bus Dublin Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour – more on that below). We loved the on-site Charlemont Bistro for dinner and in-room dining. We also loved the breakfast buffet, which included options for a traditional Irish breakfast plus continental favorites. The kids especially enjoyed the mini pancake machine!
Tips for getting the most bang for your buck with these family activities in Dublin
The staff at our hotel recommended these to us and even helped us secure our passes. You can also book them yourself online in advance.
The Dublin Pass. This allows you entrance into virtually all of Dublin’s main attractions (including all of the family activities in Dublin we did and dozens more). See the list of attractions included here. You can choose 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 day passes (at even more of a value the more days you add) with pricing for adults and children. It pays for itself after just a few attractions, but especially when you consider the transportation savings, as it also includes Big Bus Dublin Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour tickets for each person to get you to and from most of the attractions (see more on that below). The Dublin Pass allowed us to do so many fun things in Dublin with kids while also saving us money!
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour. Save money on taxis in Dublin and get some history and entertainment while you’re at it! The Big Bus Dublin Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour was included with our Dublin Pass purchase, and we were very happy with their route and service. With 25 stops, we were able to get to or near almost any of the family activities in Dublin that we wanted to do, and only had to hail a taxi once while in town. Plus, the entertaining live tour guides shared history, stories, and even songs with that famous Irish humor, which made getting between attractions just as fun and educational as visiting them.
things to do with kids in Dublin
Dublin isn’t just for pub-goers and history buffs! There are many things to do with kids in Dublin, and you’ll find that a trip to Dublin with kids can be fun for all ages. Here are our recommendations for kid-friendly things to do in Dublin (many with complimentary entrance with The Dublin Pass).
St. Stephen’s Green. This lovely Victorian park is a serene, green oasis in Dublin’s city center. It is free to enter, including the playground, which has separate areas for smaller and older children. We recommend a picnic by the lake as a fun family activity in Dublin.
Dublin Castle. Did you even visit Dublin if you didn’t go to Dublin Castle, “the nerve centre of historical power in Ireland”? Included with The Dublin Pass, we loved our quick visit here to learn more about the history of the site, which has served as a headquarters of administration for the English, British, and Irish governments’ presence in Ireland. Our kids enjoy history and museums in general, but one of the reasons Dublin Castle is a family friendly Dublin activity is the fun worksheet they have available for kids at the entrance. It helps kids become even more engaged with the educational aspects of the castle with relevant questions to answer and spaces for drawing.
Dublinia. This was one of our favorite family activities in Dublin. Dublinia is a kid-friendly museum of Dublin’s Viking and Medieval history, with access included with The Dublin Pass or via individual tickets. Very hands-on and interactive, history is taught in an engaging way for little ones. One of the highlights for our kids was getting to wear a Viking helmet and shield. If your knees are up for it, I recommend climbing Dublinia’s 96-step original Medieval tower (St. Michael’s Tower) to take in a gorgeous view of the city. You can then cross the walkway to Christ Church Cathedral for your next stop of kid-friendly things to do in Dublin.
Christ Church Cathedral. If you’re visiting Dublinia, it’s really easy to add on a visit to Christ Church Cathedral (AKA The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity), as it’s accessible via a walkway between the two family activities in Dublin. Like with Dublinia, entrance is included with The Dublin Pass, but you can also get combined ticket offers for both Dublinia and Christ Church Cathedral. Some reasons we recommend adding this to your list of things to do with kids in Dublin: The nearly 1000-year-old cathedral (originally a Viking church) is rich with history and heritage, the space is beautiful, the acoustics are incredible if you’re lucky enough to visit while a choir is performing (like we were), and there’s a fun family dress-up area in the basement.
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. EPIC was universally recommended whenever we inquired about the best activities for kids Dublin had to offer, and after our visit, we understand why! The museum itself is incredibly interactive and engaging, making it ideal for anyone visiting Dublin with kids. Entrance was included with The Dublin Pass, and when you arrive you’re given a passport to stamp at each exhibition you visit. This became a really fun game for our family while we also learned about Irish culture, history, and the far-reaching influence Irish men and women who left the isle had on the world.
Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo. Whether you plan to visit the zoo or just want to catch the fresh air in one of the largest public parks in Europe, add a visit to Phoenix Park to your list of things to do with kids in Dublin. Fun fact: Sawyer actually picked Phoenix Park when we asked the kids to research kid friendly things to do in Dublin prior to our trip. We enjoyed strolling the grounds with its lovely flowers, waterways, and wildlife, letting the kids stretch out at one of the on-site playscapes, and exploring the historic sites and monuments. Entrance to the park is free, and entrance to the zoo is included with The Dublin Pass.
The Ark. If you’re looking for hands-on creative workshops and engaging cultural exhibitions geared for children 2-12 years old, check out The Ark’s event calendar. They have some of the most fun artistic activities for kids Dublin has to offer.
Gaiety Theatre. If your family likes to see plays, Gaiety Theatre is a great place to visit in Dublin, Ireland with kids. You’ll want to check the upcoming shows page to see what’s on stage during your visit to Dublin with kids. Riverdance 25 was running while we were there, and I noticed several family-friendly options in their upcoming schedule.
I hope this list of things to do with kids in Dublin helps you inspire your own memorable trip to Dublin with kids. Do you know of more family activities in Dublin that I might have missed? Drop them in the comments below!
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