Visiting Ireland is a dream destination for many families and almost all visits include a stay in the nation’s capital city of Dublin. While Dublin is mostly thought of for it’s literary history and it’s lively Temple Bar scene, there is a great deal of appeal here for families as well.
We have been lucky to visit the country countless times over the last 15 years to visit family and have experienced most of what Dublin has to offer – touristy and not. Over time, a few favorites have popped up that holds the attention of the littlest one in the family. These are our tried and tested favorites that our son has wanted to visit again and again each year since he was 3!
While these may not necessarily be the major tourist attractions you have on your to do list, I can guarantee they will provide fun for the entire family! Without further ado, our top 5 things to do in Dublin with kids.
Top 5 Things to Do in Dublin with Kids
For kids into Viking history, a visit to Dublinia is a must see. We passed up this popular Dublin attraction year after year but finally visited and now we are obsessed! The museum does a great job of recreating Dublin as it would have been during the Middle Ages. Three floors are packed with information and things to do, providing an immersion learning experience.
Kids can try on Viking clothes, visit a medieval kitchen and learn medieval games. Dublinia has created a place where kids (and adults) learn quite a bit about the viking history in Dublin while also having fun. This is the top of our list of things to do in Dublin with kids – regardless of their ages!
Viking Splash Tour
Kitchy city tours are normally not my thing, but when my little one asked to go on Dublin’s Viking Splash Tour we couldn’t turn him down. Turns out it actually isn’t that kitchy, rather quite hilarious and informative. This has now become a yearly tradition on our visits. My son enjoys it as much now at age 7 as he did his first time at age 3.
Even my Dublin born and bred husband and father-in-law learned quite a bit about their birth city on this tour. This is a great way to see the city, enjoy some Irish banter, learn a little history of Dublin and have fun screaming “ARGH” at passersby! Trust me, kids and adults both get a kick out of screaming at people on the streets!
St Stephen’s Green
One of my biggest pieces of advice for families who travel is to build in time during your trip for kids to be kids. Kids also need to feel like their needs are being listened to or else they will cause trouble for everyone! St Stephen’s Green, a historical park and garden located right in the center of Dublin, is the ideal place to make this a reality.
The park offers a beautiful space to explore. Our favorite is the wonderful playground. The playground is quite large with separate areas for both smaller and older children, with plenty of exciting apparati to entertain a variety of ages. Our family tradition is to grab some food from Grafton Street and head down to the grassy area near the playground for a relaxing picnic lunch.
St Stephen’s Green is is bustling on a nice day in Dublin. If the weather is grand, make sure you spend time feeding the ducks, visiting the playground and enjoying the massive grassy areas where you can play ball, take a nap or just let the kiddos run wild.
Our son loves art, culture and theater so what better place to experience it than in the middle of Temple Bar! The Ark is a cultural centre for children where kids can make art in creative workshops or enjoy performances in their child sized theater. Our family always trys to catch a show here on our visits. We have seen everything from musical performances to fairy tales acted out in real life. Tickets often sell out well in advance, so if you plan to attend a showing, book your tickets before you arrive.
The Ark is a great way to experience the great Irish tradition of storytelling and art all in one place.
Butlers Chocolates Factory & Experience
Butlers Chocolates Factory is a bit off the beaten track in Dublin, but for chocolate lovers, it is a must visit. While local kids will be well familiar with Butlers, visitors may not. However, Butlers Chocolates is one of the best chocolates offered in Ireland, so don’t give it a miss.
Tours are offered on regular basis, but require booking in advance. During your tour you will learn about the history of the company, how chocolate is made and you will even get to try your hand at decorating your own chocolate elephant! Some lucky kids might even get to help pour chocolates as well. My son particularly enjoyed learning that the owners of Butlers have an India and Irish connection just like he does! Not quite in the touristy area of Dublin, but worth the effort to visit.
If you are headed out into the country on a road trip, don’t miss exploring the Wild Atlantic Way. It is one of our top family friendly trips in the world.
Have you been to Dublin? Do you have a must visit that you think should be included? Share it with us below!
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