Dublin city is full to the brim of things to keep everyone in the family entertained – big and small! – so why not break free this summer and treat your deserving family to a holiday in Dublin? There’s so much to do in Ireland’s capital city and surroundings, there is no chance of anyone getting bored.
Things to do in Dublin with kids
If you have been to Dublin with your family before, you may have visited the bigger attractions like Dublin Zoo, the history museums and St. Stephen’s Green. If not, they are worth adding to your itinerary of family-friendly things to do in Dublin.
But, they are by no means all that Dublin city and its surroundings have to offer.
We want to share an itinerary of family things to do in Dublin that are a little off the beaten track. Family fun is guaranteed whether it is your first or fourth visit.
Most activities are less than an hour’s drive from any of our Dublin hotels. But, to keep you out of the car, and focused on fun, we have suggested the nearest Clayton Hotel for each day.
Day 1: South County Dublin
Venture south of the Liffey for this kid-friendly day of activities.
The perfect place for wobblers, toddlers and children up to 8 to explore and learn, start your day in Imaginosity, Ireland’s only dedicated children’s museum. Based on the principle that children learn best through play, the museum’s exhibits focus on science, maths, engineering and more in a fun, interactive way. No matter what your child gravitates towards, they are bound to learn something new in this truly immersive and educational experience.
Lunch: Gourmet Food Parlour, Dun Laoghaire
Only a short distance from Imaginosity, the Gourmet Food Parlour is the perfect place for a family lunch in Dublin. They have a whole host of tasty options for the entire family! From Cajun Chicken Quesadillas to creamy pasta dishes (and not forgetting our mouth-watering desserts), the hardest decision is choosing what to have… finishing your plate is the easy part! A varied menu of healthy, nutritious locally sourced food with fantastic service and a warm, friendly atmosphere is what makes Gourmet Food Parlour a winning café.
The Airfield Estate is the perfect place to while away an afternoon with children in Dublin. Set over 38 acres, it is a working farm where your family can meet all kinds of animals from jersey cows to Rhode Island red hens. There’s plenty to keep everyone entertained during an afternoon in Airfield from; egg collection, animal feeding, heritage tours, outdoor play areas, vintage cars, organic food, ornamental gardens and a farm to fork restaurant.
Where to stay?
If your family are most looking forward to this south county Dublin adventure, a family room in Clayton Hotel Leopardstown is the perfect option.
Day 2: Dublin City Centre
If your family are looking for the buzz of the city, this is the day for you! All these activities are within walking distance of each other and will provide children and adults of all ages with a fun day out.
The National Wax Museum Plus, Westmoreland Street.
Meet all the stars of today and yesterday in one place at the National Wax Museum Plus. You will find waxworks from Fr. Ted to Einstein and everyone in between. Children will love the Disney room where they can have photos taken with wax models of their favourite characters. Teens will love the Star Wars, Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings characters. The only question on a visit to the National Wax Museum is who is brave enough to visit the dungeon?
Lunch: The Old Music Shop, Parnell Square
A stroll up nearby O’Connell Street, past the GPO and Gardens of Remembrance will bring you to the site of the former Waltons Music Shop, now home to a family-friendly café and restaurant. Set in the stylish Georgian rooms of Dublin’s Castle Hotel, this wonderful eatery, serves a mix of Irish family favourites throughout the day with a selection of salads, classics and pizzas.
The National Leprechaun Museum, Jervis Street
Suspend reality and spend an hour in the land of the Little people at one of the most unique museums in Dublin, the National Leprechaun Museum. As you journey through each room you will discover nothing is quite as it seems. Engaging actors will regale you with the sights, sounds and stories from mythical Ireland, the land of the Leprechaun.
Afterward, why not wander across the Ha’penny bridge to the oldest part of Dublin, Temple Bar? Soak up the buzz of the cobbled streets, maybe stop for ice cream before strolling up Grafton street to the free playground in St Stephens green?
Where to stay?
If it is the rhythm and beat of the city that is drawing you to Dublin, a family room in Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane will have you at the heart of the action.
Day 3: North County Dublin
North county Dublin is full of fun activities for families. Make the most of your break in Dublin with these indoor activities that kids and parents can enjoy together.
Jump Zone, Santry
Get your day in Dublin off to an energetic start with a bounce round Jump Zone in Santry. Fun for all the family, Ireland’s largest inflatable adventure park is packed full of attractions from drop slides to wipe out. Work as a team to complete one of two obstacle courses or go head-to-head to knock each other off the battle beam. A morning in Jump Zone is sure to put a spring in your step!
Lunch: The Italian Kitchen
Enjoy a delicious family-friendly lunch at The Italian Kitchen. A local favourite, this authentic Italian restaurant offers relaxed dining and a varied menu.
Awesome Walls, Finglas
After lunch, why not try a starter session at Awesome walls? As the largest climbing wall in Ireland, there are routes to suit everyone from complete beginners to world-class rock climbers. With expert tuition from their fully qualified and experienced staff, you and your family can rest assured you are in safe hands. You do have to book a time slot at Awesome Walls, so book online if you wish to include this activity in your Dublin holiday.
Where to stay?
A family room in Clayton Hotel Dublin Airport leaves you within easy access to all of these activities.
Day 4: West Dublin
Are your family active and love nothing more than to burn off some energy? Then this day in West Dublin may be the one for you.
Fort Lucan, Lucan
Fort Lucan Adventureland has been Dublin’s biggest Adventure playground since 1993. Generations of children have come to Fort Lucan to seek adventure and excitement. Set within a huge wooden Viking Fort, the centre provides hours of outdoor fun for children aged between 2 and 12 years. Older children will love the Helter Skelter, water slides [pack a change of clothes] and go carts. There’s more than enough to keep younger children entertained too with sandpits and an adventure playground.
Lunch: The Lord Lucan, Lucan
Once everyone has worked up an appetite, the nearby Lord Lucan pub has something on its menu for everyone. A local favourite with families this charming, traditional style local bar and restaurant has a spacious relaxed lounge area where you and your family can enjoy a bite to eat.
If the slides in Fort Lucan weren’t high adrenaline enough, an afternoon in the Aquazone in Blanchardstown should do the trick. The best thing about the Aquazone? Parents can join in the fun too!
The ‘Green Giant’ and ‘Dark Hole’ are just two of the 8 diverse attractions you and your children can look forward to. Want to give bodyboarding a go? Flow rider allows you to experience the thrills and spills of this exciting sport in a controlled environment. There are no worries about being dunked on Flow Rider as the water is no deeper than 3 inches at any point. Prefer something more sedate? The lazy river allows you to float leisurely around the wave pool at a relaxed 2 miles per hour. The perfect end to the perfect family day in Dublin.
Where to stay?
If you want to stay close to the action a family break in Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley is a great option. Complete with its own pool and leisure centre it’s the perfect hotel for a fun family stay close to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Tayto Park and all that west Dublin has to offer.
Day 5: West Dublin
There’s so much to do at our final location it is a family day out in itself. Also, we know, it is not technically in Dublin, it is just across the county border in neighbouring Meath. But, it is too good to leave out of a list like this.
Tayto Park, Co Meath
Tayto Park is Ireland’s only purpose-built theme park and zoo. It is no exaggeration when we say you will find something for everyone here. The thrill-seekers in the family can ride Ireland’s only wooden roller coaster Cú Chulainn or twist and spin through the air on the stomach-churning Air Race.
If you or your children prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, there is still lots on offer. Enjoy the Tayto Park factory tour where you can see how this iconic crisp is made or take in a bird of prey exhibition. Animal lovers can meander through the diverse collection housed in the expansive zoo. Tayto park is home to a wide range of big cats and primates with a growing collection of birds of prey from around the world.
Where to stay? Tayto Park is only a 20-minute drive from the family-friendly Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley. We are delighted to be able to offer Tayto Park packages including a two or three-night stay, tickets to Tayto Park, and complimentary access to our onsite swimming pool and leisure centre.
So what are you waiting for? With so many family things to do in Dublin, book your break away today. We can’t wait to welcome you to one of our many hotels across the city and county.