Dublin in detail

Travel with Children

Kid-friendly? You bet. Dublin loves the little 'uns, and will enthusiastically 'ooh' and 'aah' at the cuteness of your progeny. But alas such admiration hasn't fully translated into child services such as widespread and accessible baby-changing facilities.

Hands-on Museums

  • Ark Children's Cultural Centre

If your kids are aged between three and 14, spend an afternoon at Ark Children's Cultural Centre, which runs activities aimed at stimulating participants' interests in science, the environment and the arts – but be sure to book well in advance.

  • Imaginosity

Only five minutes’ walk from the Stillorgan stop on the Luas is Imaginosity, the country’s only designated interactive museum for kids. Over the course of two hours they can learn, have fun and get distracted by the museum’s exhibits and activities.

  • Dublinia: Experience Viking & Medieval Dublin

There are loads of ways to discover Dublin's Viking past, but Dublinia, the city’s Viking and medieval museum, has interactive exhibits that are specifically designed to appeal to younger visitors.

Dublin Zoo

  • Dublin Zoo

A recommended mobile option is a hop-on, hop-off open-top bus tour, which helps you get your bearings and lets the kids enjoy a bit of Dublin from the top deck. You can use the bus to get to Dublin Zoo, where you can hop aboard the zoo train and visit the animals. There are roughly 400 creatures from 100 different species across eight different habitats, which range from an Asian jungle to a family farm, where kids get to meet the inhabitants up close.

Make a Splash

  • Viking Splash Tours

Kids of all ages will love Viking Splash Tours, where you board an amphibious vehicle, put on a plastic Viking hat and roar at passers-by as you do a tour of the city before landing in the water at the Grand Canal basin.

  • National Aquatic Centre

The AquaZone at the National Aquatic Centre in Blanchardstown has water roller coasters, wave and surf machines, a leisure pool and all types of flumes to keep the kids happy.

Only in Ireland

  • National Leprechaun Museum

The National Leprechaun Museum, despite its high-sounding name, is really just a romper room for kids with a little bit of Irish folklore thrown in for good measure. The optical-illusion tunnel (which makes you appear smaller to those at the other end), the room full of oversized furniture, the wishing wells and, invariably, the pot of gold are especially appealing for little ones.

Wide, Open Spaces

  • Dublin's Parks

While it's always good to have a specific activity in mind, don't forget Dublin's parks – from St Stephen's Green to Merrion Square, from Herbert Park to Phoenix Park, the city has plenty of green spaces for the kids to run wild in.

Need to Know

  • Transport Children under five travel free on all public transport.
  • Pubs Unaccompanied minors are not allowed in pubs; accompanied children can remain until 9pm (until 10pm from May to September).
  • Resources Parents with young children should check out www.everymum.ie. An excellent site about family-friendly accommodation is www.babygoes2.com.