If you’re in search of the best things to do in Dublin with kids, you’ve landed in the right spot.
Since publishing our Dublin guide a few years back, we’ve had heaps of emails from people asking about family activities in Dublin that’ll keep the kids (and the adults!) amused.
Luckily, Ireland’s capital has something to tickle most fancies, with everything from indoor attractions for those dreaded rainy days to places for great family days out in Dublin.
In the guide below, you’ll find what we think are the best things to do with kids in Dublin, from family-friendly walks to fun-filled indoor attractions.
The best things to do in Dublin with kids (if you want to get them out and active)
The first section of this guide is packed with active things to do with kids in Dublin, for those of you that want to avoid screens and indoor activities.
These are mainly leisurely walks or handy park strolls (with either a playground or a fairy trail) that won’t be too taxing.
You can head off in search of the deer (I usually see them near the Papal Cross – handy parking here, too) and then head into Dublin Zoo, after. Some other excellent parks are:
2. Fairy trails
If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin with kids that have a sense of adventure, take them on one of the many fairy trails.
3. Walks (and ice cream…)
There’s heaps of short walks in Dublin that you can tackle with the kid(s) in tow. And many have places to grab an ice cream before you set off.
The Dun Laoghaire Harbour walk is a great shout (ice cream from Teddy’s is a good motivator) as is the Howth Pier Walk (Gino’s is hard to beat for sweet treats).
If you’re wondering what to do with kids in Dublin when the weather’s fine, hit the road early and head to one of the many beaches in Dublin.
5. Dublin Zoo
Dublin Zoo is Ireland’s most popular family attraction and, interestingly enough, is the 4th oldest zoo in the world.
As you make your way around the 70-acre park, you’ll stumble upon over 600 animals, with everything from Asian lion cubs to hippos living inside.
Roam the African Savanna and catch a glimpse of giraffes, rhinos and zebras, or spend some time with the gorillas at the new Gorilla Rainforest. You can’t bate an afternoon spent wandering around Dublin Zoo.
6. Zipit Forest Adventures
Zipit is a forest adventure park where children and adults can climb high into the treetops, swing into cargo nets, and even ride a BMX across a bridge, before zipping down one of the many ziplines.
Now, if you’re looking for things to do in Dublin with kids, keep in mind that this is likely to only suit those that are a little bit older!
6. Fort Lucan Adventureland
Now, if you’re looking for things to do in Dublin with kids that are very young, this next place may not suit.
We used to visit Fort Lucan when I was a kid. To this day the thought of sitting at the top of the slide in the picture above scares the LIFE out of me. Anyway… Fort Lucan is Dublin’s biggest adventure playground, boasting:
- 3 huge waterslides
- Crazy Golf
- High Tower Walks and much more
7. Dublin Bay Cruises
Dublin Bay Cruises are one of the more unique family activities in Dublin. They leave from Howth, Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire, and they depart to a number of coastal locations.
You can polish off your afternoon in one of the many restaurants in Howth before grabbing the DART back to Dublin.
Wakedock is the first adventure company of its kind in Ireland, and it’s one of the more unique things to do with kids in Dublin.
Tear across the Grand Canal and tackle the obstacles regardless of the weather. They even do kids parties, if you’re looking to switch things up a bit!
Beginners and kids are welcome, making this the prime spot for a family-friendly outing in Dublin. Note: Wakedock is only suited for kids from the age of 8 onwards.
What to do with kids in Dublin when it’s raining
The next section of our guide looks at the various things to do with kids in Dublin on those dreaded wet days.
Below, you’ll find everything from the Dead Zoo and Dublinia to crazy golf, Explorium, The Ark and more. Dive on in.
1. Explorium (back in 2022)
Explorium is the National Sport and Science Centre, and you’ll find it in Sandyford, where it’s home to endless things to do.
Kids can put their mind to the test with over 300 interactive science experiences, battle against gravity in the incredible Gravity Rooms or climb aboard one of 20 VR machines.
There’s also the world’s longest indoor caving challenge, F1 car simulators, a VR roller-coaster and more.
If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin with toddlers, there’s a junior zone here with 50+ science and sports activities for them to get stuck into.
2. The Ark
According to their website, ‘The Ark is a dedicated cultural centre for children’, that provides a space for little ones and their families to discover art.
Thanks to their work with leading Irish artists, The Ark holds performances (in a unique child-sized theatre), exhibitions and creative workshops.
You’ll need to buy tickets to the different shows and exhibitions but, going off the reviews, it’ll be well worth it. You’ll find The Ark in Temple Bar.
3. Butler’s Chocolate Experience
The Butlers Chocolate Experience is arguably one of the best things to do in Dublin with kids when it’s raining out, as you’ll see if you hit play on the video above.
It’s here that you’ll get to see what happens inside a real-life chocolate factory and how, since long ago in 1932, the Butlers chocolate masters have been whipping up a storm.
During the tour, you’ll watch a movie about the origins of chocolate along with the history of the factory. You can also:
- Explore the interactive chocolate museum
- See the chocolate gallery
- See how chocolatiers have mastered their craft
- See how individual chocolates are made
AquaZone is Ireland’s leading waterpark and you’ll find it in the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre in Blanchardstown. It’s home to:
- 8 rides, slides and experiences
- The ‘FlowRider’
- The gravity-defying ‘Master Blaster’
- the ‘Green Giant’
Now, if you’re looking at the above and thinking ‘God, that all sounds a bit mental!’ then worry not, there’s something for all ages to enjoy.
5. Jump Zone
Jump Zone has locations in Santry, Sandyford and Liffey Valley and is the first of its kind indoor trampoline park not only in Ireland but in the whole of Europe.
It’s suitable for children over 5 years and 1 meter in height to adults of 55+ years. You can:
- Free jump
- Take part in aerobics
- Hop into the foam pit
- Take part in a bit of Dodgeball
I’m 32 years of age and I can safely say that I’m 100% having my 32nd birthday here. If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin with kids that the adults will enjoy too, Jump Zone is a good shout.
Decked out in Viking costumes and armed with some unusual items, Dublinia’s Living History guides will have no trouble in keeping young and old alike entertained.
During your visit, you’ll discover interesting facts, learn about Viking weapons, discover some quirky tales and play Viking games.
7. Rainforest Adventure Golf
If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin with kids when it’s raining, this next place should come in handy. When it lashes rain, as it often does in Dublin, finding something to keep kids occupied gets that little bit trickier.
Thankfully, there are a couple of places to play crazy golf in Dublin, like Rainforest Adventure Golf in Dundrum, to nip into for an hour or so.
There are two 18 hole courses here – an Aztec themed course and a Mayan themed course. Each course takes around 45 mins to play.
8. The ‘Dead Zoo’
The Dead Zoo is the nickname given to the Natural History Museum. Now, this is a place that’ll likely appeal to the older kids.
It’s home to four floors of exhibits, including the Irish Fauna and the Mammals of the World exhibition. There’s also exhibits on fish, birds and reptiles, and insects shells and crustaceans
In a nutshell, you’ll see loads of exotic stuffed animals and animal bones. This is one of the most popular free things to do in Dublin for good reason.
9. Awesome Walls
If you’re looking for unique and very active things to do with kids in Dublin this weekend, take a spin out to Awesome Walls Dublin. It’s here that you’ll find one of the largest indoor climbing centers in Europe.
Home to over 2,000 square meters of dedicated climbing surface, Awesome Walls has over 250 climbing routes that you can attempt.
Just don’t look down…
Things to do with toddlers in Dublin
Now that we have the best things to do in dublin with kids out of the way, it’s time to see what’s out there for those of you with toddlers.
Below, you’ll find everything from Imaginosity and Airfield Estate Farm to organised toddler mornings and more.
1. Airfield Estate Farm
Airfield Estate is a great option for those in search of family activities in Dublin. It’s the capital’s only urban working farm and gardens, and there’s something for young and old alike.
The farm at Airfield is a terrific working example of environmentally sustainable Irish agriculture, and visitors are encouraged to explore, experience farm work up close and get hands on.
Animals wise, there’s a Jersey dairy herd, Jacob sheep, Oxford Sandy black pigs, hens and donkeys too. You can also nip into the cafe and grab a pre-ramble coffee.
2. Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum
Imaginosity in Sandyford is a solid option for those looking for things to do with toddlers in Dublin. There are two baby and toddler areas here.
Each space provides, ‘an all-around museum experience for young children who cannot yet walk, and offers parents with a baby and an older child a safe, nurturing place where they can be with their baby and at the same time, view their older child’s activities’.
Both toddler areas offer a range of developmentally appropriate and stimulating activities along with special learning environments, too.
3. Leisureplex “Little Cubs” toddler mornings
While The Zoo Playland at Leisureplex (multiple locations) generally appeals more to slightly older kids, it’s also home to a separate toddler area.
The space is a soft play area and has several ball pools and slides. There are also lots of tunnels, which are perfect for exploring (just keep in mind that height restrictions apply).
FAQs about the best things to do in Dublin with kids
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what are the best spots for family days out in Dublin to what are the best kids activities in Dublin when it’s raining.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best things to do in Dublin with kids?
In our opinion, the best family activities in Dublin are the family-friendly walks, mentioned above, the various parks, Dublin Zoo and the brilliant Explorium.
Where are the best places for family days out in Dublin?
If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin with kids for a day, visit the deer in the Phoenix Park and then explore Dublin Zoo.
I was born in a quiet corner of a Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Over the years, I’ve explored Ireland far and wide, from the wilds of West Clare to the shores of Sherkin. Particularly fond of heritage, history and hikes (and words beginning with ‘H’, apparently…).