Bringing the children to Dublin but not sure what’s on offer? Here’s our handy guide to the city’s best daytrips and attractions positively bursting with kids appeal.
A hop-on hop-off open top bus tour is a great way to get your bearings. Grab a top deck pew and choose which of the many en route attractions you want to explore. Tickets are valid 24hrs so you can return the next day to complete the tour. Combine this with a Dublin Pass and get free entry into thirty attractions.
Make the most of your bus ticket and Dublin Pass with a trip to the magnificent expanse of Phoenix Park. Watch deer saunter leisurely by as you enjoy a picnic on the lawns, then head to Dublin Zoo for a train ride through the African Plains and the wonders of every continent.
Back in the city centre, junior warriors get to wear Viking hats and roar at passers-by as they ride through the streets – and into the water – on a Viking Splash Tour amphibious DUK. Afterwards, stay in Viking mode with a visit to Dublinia and see how locals lived in medieval times.
The ARK Cultural Centre for Children in Temple Bar is the first of its kind in Europe and a truly delightful arts experience for ages 3-14. Junior culture vultures should also head to the Lambert Puppet Theatre in Dun Laoghaire and catch a Saturday afternoon performance.
And little minds are positively encouraged to run wild at Imaginosity – Ireland’s first and only interactive museum for children. In two hours young einsteins can explore every nook and cranny of this jam-packed creative space five minute’s walk from the Stillorgan LUAS stop.
North on the DART at Malahide you'll find Tara’s Palace – a 1/12 scale doll’s house modelled on three 18h Century Irish mansions. More doll’s houses and antique toys are also on display at this unique museum beside Malahide Castle.
And, if your toy becomes ill or injured during its Dublin visit, then head to The Doll Store - the city’s only doll’s hospital and teddy bear clinic. The shop also stocks everything you’ll ever need to build your own dolls house.
Fit families up for a good day’s walking can choose from several outdoor options. Take the DART to Howth early in the morning and watch the fishermen unload their wares. Then walk up Howth Head or rent a bike and cycle around this pretty village.
Or visit Bray and climb Bray Head for stunning views over the city. Follow your expedition with an afternoon of fun at the seafront amusement arcade or National Sealife Centre.
Further afield, the 145 bus whisks you to Wicklow’s Sugar Loaf for an invigorating hike - remember to dress appropriately and bring drinks and snacks. Or, for a hassle-free alternative, take the scenic St. Kevin’s Bus Service to Glendalough where you can enjoy an abundance of lakeside walks and historical monuments.
Beach babes should grab their bucket and spades and head to the northside’s Donobate and Malahide Beaches or southside’s Sandymount Strand and, further afield, Wicklow's Blue Flag beach at Brittas Bay.
The wonderful Airfield Trust, with its farm, formal gardens, car museum, summer camps and café, is a one-stop day out for the whole family. And, if you crave some retail therapy, head to nearby Dundrum Town Centre which was voted Best Family Shopping Centre of the Year and has a drop-in crèche.
Finally, the National Aquatic Centre’s water roller coasters, flumes and wave pool make Europe’s largest leisurepark a great family day out in any weather. Splash out and kick up your heels while younger swimmers maraud on the pirate ship.
Don’t forget to check out our Parks listings for more summer suggestions. And, most of all , enjoy… and remember the sun cream especially for the little ones.