99% of guides to the best things to do in Dublin with kids contain the exact same recommendations.
Now, don’t get me wrong – the likes of Dublin Zoo and parks with decent playgrounds are the old reliables.
However, there’s plenty of other great family activities in Dublin that’ll keep the kids (and the adults!) amused.
In the guide below, you’ll discover a mix of ideas for memorable family days out in Dublin with stuff for toddlers right the way up to teens.
The best things to do in Dublin with kids (mainly outdoor and active ideas)
The first section of our guide to the best things to do with kids in Dublin is packed with outdoor activities to keep ’em away from screens.
The second section is for those of you wondering what to do in Dublin with kids when it rains and the final section contains toddler activities. Dive on in!
1. Zipit Forest Adventures
You’ll find Zipit nestled on a sloping site in the Dublin Mountains, a handy 15-minute drive from Dundrum Town Centre.
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 unique things to do in Dublin with kids, keep in mind that this is likely to only suit those that are a little bit older!
Age restrictions: Suitable for ages 7+. Minimum Height is 1m
2. 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).
There’s also the Botanic Gardens (ice cream from nearby McGoveran’s Centra) and the brilliant Newbridge House (there’s a cafe that sells ice cream near the house).
3. Fort Lucan Adventureland
If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin with kids that need to burn off some energy, Fort Lucan is worth considering.
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
Age restrictions: Only suitable for kids up to 13. Height restrictions on the slides
There’s plenty of parks in Dublin that are perfect for a family morning out. If you’re looking for a ramble with a difference, the Phoenix Park is a good shout.
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:
5. Incognito Escape Rooms
Few rainy-day kids activities in Dublin provide a setting for the whole family to work as a unit.
However, the folks at Incognito Escape Rooms on Usher’s Quay provide just that. There are several themed escaped room games on offer here (e.g. ‘Cabin in the Woods’) and each lasts for 1 hour.
Visitors need to ‘Get lost in the beauty of the cabin, but don’t get lost in the game! Escape the deadly clutches of StitchFace and flee Cabin in the Woods before time runs out’,
Age limits: Kids under 8 play free. Kids 15 or younger need a participating adult
6. Fairy trails
Some of the best things to do in Dublin with kids gently trick them into getting out in the fresh air and active.
Fairy trails have popped up in many parks in Ireland in recent years and there are several in Dublin.
Two of the best known are arguably the trail at Malahide Castle and the one at Ardgillan Castle in Balbriggan. However, there’s plenty more, like:
- The Tymon Park Fairy Trail
- The Fairy Wood at Corkagh Park
- The Marlay Park Fairy Tree
Wakedock is the first adventure company of its kind in Ireland, and it’s one of the more unique kids activities 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.
Age restrictions: Kids from 8+ can use the wakeboard cable
8. Dublin Zoo
Dublin Zoo is the most popular of the many family days out in Dublin 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.
Wild Lights: One of the more popular things to do in Dublin with kids to emerge in recent years is Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo. The next season is still TBC.
9. Viking Splash
Few things to do with kids in Dublin offer an experience like the hugely popular Viking Splash.
You climb aboard a bright yellow WW2 amphibious DUKWs, throw on a Viking hat and roar (literally) your way past many of Dublin’s top attractions.
The Viking Splash takes you by road and by water past the likes of the U2 studios and through much of Georgian Dublin.
Age restrictions: Kids aged 3+ can join the tour
If you’re wondering what to do in Dublin with kids when the weather’s fine, hit the road early and head to one of the many beaches in Dublin.
Although the likes of Dollymount Strand, Killiney Beach and Portmarnock Beach tend to be the most popular, there’s plenty of quieter beaches that are perfect for a walk and a kick-about.
Portrane Beach and Burrow Beach (Sutton) are two great options, and they tend to be quieter than some of the ‘hot spots’.
11. 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.
My favourite is the one from Dun Laoghaire to Howth, as you get to soak up the views as you move through Dublin Bay and you can then grab an ice cream in Howth Village.
You can polish off your afternoon in one of the many restaurants in Howth before grabbing the DART back to Dublin.
What to do in Dublin with kids when it’s raining
The next section of our guide looks at the various things to do with kids in Dublin when it’s raining.
Below, you’ll find everything from the Dead Zoo and Dublinia to crazy golf, Explorium and some of the more overlooked kids activities in Dublin.
GoQuest in Carrickmines has two sections – an ‘Arena’ for ages 13+ and a Junior section for ages 9-12.
Kids are given a time limit (90 mins for the Arena and 75 for the junior) and then they need to tackle physical, mental and skills-based challenges.
GoQuest Arena has 29 challenges set inside a huge arena while GoQuest Junior has 22. If you’re looking for active things to do with kids in Dublin, this is a great option!
Age limits: Different age limits apply but the minimum age is 5 on a family team
2. Zero Latency Dublin
The reviews for Zero Latency Dublin in Sandyford chuck it to the top of many guides to unique family days out in Dublin.
Zero Latency combines imagination with technology and transports players to a whole new world.
Now, it’s probably worth taking a look at the games on offer here in advance of booking. Some will be suitable for the little ones while others, like FAR CRY VR, won’t.
Age limit: Players must be 10+
3. 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.
4. Butler’s Chocolate Experience
The Butlers, The Factory Tour is arguably one of the best things to do in Dublin with kids when it’s raining out.
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 90-minute tour, you’ll see the process involved in transforming a variety of ingredients into some very tasty chocolates. There’s also a movie, a glass-panelled walkway that offers a view into the factory and complimentary chocolates.
Related read: Check out our guide to 29 of the best free things to do in Dublin in 2023
AquaZone is another handy option for those of you wondering what to do with kids in Dublin when it’s pouring down (it’s home to one of the best swimming pools in Dublin).
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.
6. 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.
Age limit: Visitors need to be 5+
Dublinia is one of the most unique museums in Dublin. Now, Dublinia isn’t just any old museum – this place tells the history of Viking Dublin.
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.
8. 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.
9. Bounce n Beyond
Bounce n Beyond in Ballyboughal is Ireland’s largest indoor trampoline and ninja park.
Visitors get 1 hour in the Ninja Bounce Park which is home to a trampoline park, a gymnast’s floor, a ninja wall and plenty more.
There’s also Europe’s Largest Virtual Arcade where you can get immersed in a whole new world courtesy of VR. There’s 1-player, 2-player and 6-player VR simulators so it’s good for small groups.
Age limits: Ninja Bounce is for kids aged 5 to 17-years-old. The soft play area is for kids under 5
10. 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. If you’re looking for educational things to do in Dublin with kids, this is a great shout!
11. The ‘old reliables’
There’s plenty of things to do in Dublin for kids that have stood the test of time.
I’m in my early 30s now, but the likes of Leisureplex and Dublin’s many cinemas are handy options if you’re stuck for ideas.
You’re generally rarely far from a Leisureplex or a cinema and they’re easy go-tos when it’s piddling down and you need to escape the house for a bit.
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 ClapHandies 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. 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).
3. Storytime at Dublin libraries
A number of Dublin City libraries run toddler mornings that are suitable for ages 1-3, but apparently all ages are welcome.
The mornings are packed with stories, music and fun and visitors can stay in the library after and get to know other parents.
This is a handy one if you’re looking for easy-going things to do with toddlers in Dublin where you’ll get to know new people in the process.
4. Swimming lessons and TurtleTots
TurtleTots lessons are focused on teaching little ones lifesaving skills from a very young age.
Their goal is to help babies learn the skills needed to keep them safe around water until they can swim on their own.
Lessons take place right across Dublin and each is led by an experienced guide.
ClapHandies takes place in a number of locations across Dublin City and beyond.
It provides babies, wobblers and toddlers with a place to play, meet other kids and develop new skills en route.
There’s weekly classes, each of which is tailored to include a mix of experiences that are designed to engage both parents and toddlers alike.
What family days out in Dublin have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant things to do in Dublin with kids from the guide above.
If you have any kids activities in Dublin that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and we’ll check it out!
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 things to do in Dublin with kids 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 Incognito Escape Rooms.
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.
Tuesday 17th of January 2023
Loved this list! It was extremely helpful and also a delight to read
Thursday 12th of January 2023
Comprehensive and diverse list! Thank you. I'd add The National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland. It's super fun for kids and adults alike, and well worth a visit!
Thursday 18th of August 2022
What a brilliant collection of fun things to donin Dublin! Great 👍🏻 thank you
Sunday 17th of July 2022
Thanks for your help
Sunday 19th of June 2022
What an excellent website, really really useful