EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is such a brilliant family friendly interactive experience that will surpass all expectations. It is located in the restored vaults of CHQ, and if you haven’t been with your family definitely add it to the list.
Their cutting-edge interactive technology brings you on a journey through the Irish emigration experience with a bit of Michael Flatley and Riverdance thrown in for good measure! Kids are given a passport which they stamp at each section. It’s great fun and makes them feel very important! EPIC is a fantastic contemporary guide of Irish history and culture and would highly recommend it as part of a family day out in Dublin.
They also run a ‘Tiny Tots Tuesday’ which are monthly sensory/play events for toddlers. Check out their website for details.
The National Concert Hall engages with families through music, to enhance kids understanding and appreciation of music and music making.
Mini Music is an action-packed music workshop experience for kids aged 3 months to 8 years old. These 30-minute workshops take place on Saturdays. Carefully designed to suit each of the age groups, the workshops are fun and accessible with foot-tapping, memorable tunes.
Family Workshop Daysare designed for families of all generations to enjoy and partake in interactive music workshops.
Family Concertsoffer a unique and fun-filled opportunity for families to spend quality time with their children and share the excitement of live music.
⌂The National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
Probably better known as 'The Dead Zoo', the Museum's 10,000 exhibits provide a glimpse of the natural world that continues to delight children of all ages.
The Discovery Zone within the Museum gives adults and children a unique chance to get to grips with a Badger and a Pilot Whale skull. This hands-on area has two mobile units with the themes: Life on Land and The Life Aquatic. A Reading Room provides an opportunity for visitors to sit and read more about the many animals which are on display and other topics related to Natural History.
David Lloyd is family centric health and fitness club, where families can spend the day going swimming, playing tennis, or have lunch in the cafe bar whilst the kids climb around the playframe or play on their free iPads. It has a busy social events calendar with social evenings or coffee mornings with lots for the whole family to enjoy.
They have a fantastic kids programme with timed sessions to match up with adult group exercise classes. This way you can enjoy the club whilst the kids play a sport, get stuck into some arts and crafts or play games.
Collins Barracks is a fascinating discovery for kids of weaponry, furniture, silver, ceramics, glassware, Asian art and the Asgard, as well as folklife and costume artefacts.
There are lots of family-friendly spaces and a whole world of history to explore, with many of their spaces especially especially designed with families in mind. Find their family spaces with the Family Trail, or use their self guided activity booklets.
The Activity Area hosts drop in seasonal family crafts and exhibitions. As part of Wish You Were Here, between July and September, you can draw, collage or embroider your own post card from the past, inspired by objects in the Museum.
Like all our galleries in Dublin, IMMA is a fantastic place to explore for kids of all ages, to fuel and inspire little imaginations though their interactive exhibitions.The grounds of the gallery alone are gorgeous and perfect for a good run around with the little ones.
A visit to IMMA is not complete without a visit to the ITSA café. It's relaxed and kid friendly atmosphere, with brilliant kids play means you can enjoy lunch and let the little ones play.
The Chocolate Warehouse is a real chocolate wonderland and was set up with one key objective: to give kids (and adults with a sweet tooth!) a wonderful chocolate experience.
They have key seasonal events throughout the year such as Santa Visits and Easter Bunny Visits. They also cater for school tours as one of their specialties, bringing the understanding of chocolate to young minds giving them the hands on experience of making something special to take away with them.
Located in Dundrum Town Centre, they have two indoor, fully air conditioned mini-golf courses, cafe and mini arcade suitable for all types of visitors. No booking is required, simply turn up (they'll provide the clubs and balls) and get playing on their Aztec and Mayan themed 18 hole courses. Each course takes 45 mins to play. The venue is suitable for all ages and skill levels and is fully wheelchair accessible.
They run a parent and toddler group each morning (Mon-Fri) from 10-2pm where you can play with adult & a toddler plastic junior club.
⌂ Unit 6, Dundrum South, Dundrum Town Centre, Dundrum, Dublin 14
Jump Zone is the first of its kind indoor trampoline park in Ireland. This indoor trampoline park offers massive walled trampoline courts, foam pits, basketball lanes and Trampoline Dodgeball Courts. Jump Zone caters for solo jumping, kids parties, corporate events, school outings and fitness programmes. You can literally bounce off the walls with almost 15,000sq.ft of trampolines in both Sandyford and Santry. Jump Zone is suitable for children over 5.
Sea Life in Bray is a really fun day out and definitely worth a visit. Get up close with over 1,000 amazing sea creatures and let your little ones discover something fascinating. Make the most of your visit by attending some of their talks and feeding demonstrations which are held throughout the day.
They have developed various educational programs that nurture and inspire children's natural curiosity with the world around them, from Pre-School and Montessori Groups to Second and Third Level Education.
The Hugh Lane gallery is absolutely brilliant for families and kids of all ages. Throughout the year The Hugh Lane provides fantastic workshops for children and families as part of their Education Programme.
The Gallery runs a free family Sunday Sketchingdrop in family workshop each Sunday from 3-4pm, which is suitable for children aged 6+. Kids are invited to explore and respond to their collection and temporary exhibitions through discussion and drawing. Bring your own sketchbook or avail of the drawing materials provided. Admission is free and no booking is required although numbers may be limited.
⌂ Charlemont House, Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1
The Ark is a fantastic creative hub and dedicated cultural centre for children, located in Temple Bar. It hosts performances of music, theatre and dance, including workshops and exhibitions for kids. Go there, and create opportunities for children, families and friends to discover and love art. Through their work with leading Irish and international artists, children can enjoy performances in unique child-sized theatre, view engaging exhibitions or participate in creative workshops.
The Science Gallery is fast becoming one of the top ten free cultural attractions in Ireland. Unlike most galleries, they don't have a permanent collection. This means that there is always something new to see, but it also means that between exhibitions (which can be a gap of up to three weeks), only the shop and café remain open. It's probably more suited to slightly older kids but my little ones still love to interact with the exhibitions and the cafe's really great with lot of space for buggies and kids.
The Science Gallery can organise a tour tailored to your school or group. The diverse range of educational programmes on offer at Science Gallery provide young people with the opportunity to pursue creative ideas that interrogate and explore the boundaries of art and science.
Sign up for updates on Science Gallery's programme of educational events for teachers and students.
The Royal Hibernian Academy, located close to Stephen's Green and Merrion Square, runs a very exciting programme of in-house kids workshops throughout the year, led by some of Ireland’s best known artists. All workshops are free of charge. You'll need to sign up to the RHA email mailing list, to receive notifications of upcoming RHA Kids workshops and other events.
RHA Art Cart
The RHA’s Art Cart is available in the gallery, from 1-5pm every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays. The cart is staffed by an art educator and includes exhibition specific, Kids’ Gallery Kit for younger visitors which is available free of charge.
The Kids’ Gallery Kit is also available at the front desk, free of charge, throughout the week.
Vaults Live is like no other experience in Dublin. With six individual tales that will thrill, excite, amaze and it will raise the hairs on the back of necks of all ages! You'll find yourself side by side with a cheeky cast of Irish actors and be part of the action in an historical adventure you'll never forget.
Vaults Live is the perfect place for the family to enjoy a bit of a thrill together. There’s something for all ages to enjoy - it’s child friendly entertainment that adults will love and adult friendly thrills where the kids will have a scream.
The recommended age to enjoy Vaults Live is 8 years and above but that’s at the discretion of the accompanying parent or guardian. Most children love the Vaults experience, but do bear in mind that there are dark and creepy areas in the experience and there are more than its fair share of loud noises!
Gravity Climbing has a special ‘Kids Area’ which is ideal for introducing young children to climbing. They also run a weekly classes for 7+ years, delivering NIBAS (National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme) levels 1-4. Parents without climbing experience may take part in a ‘supervision induction’ in order to supervise their children in the kids area only. This is suitable for children under 7 or 7-10’s who are trying out climbing for the first time. For older children, parents may supervise in the main area by becoming a Gravity member, either by attending a regular induction (see above) or by attending an induction with their child.
For over 14’s it is possible to attend an induction session to become an independent member of Gravity.
Giddy Studios is an open plan pottery studio space where babies, toddlers and kids can get creative
and paint pottery. You simply relax in the studio and let the little ones design their own masterpieces!
They have so many cute and creative gift ideas, whatever you’re celebrating, they can help you create gorgeous and personal gifts to mark the occasion. No baby is too small or too young to get involved, with pottery pieces to suit all ages and sizes – whether you want simple handprints or a personal touch with the kiddo’s painting skills.
Throughout the year Giddy Studios holds host to two Baby and Toddler Weeks. It's the perfect ‘introductory’ session to pottery painting for babies and a great way to meet other mums and dads. The Giddy Team are on hand to assist with hand and footprint pieces, while you have a seat with a cup of tea or coffee.
They also run art camps during midterm and host fantastic creative birthday parties.
⌂ Unit 2/42b Red Car Park, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14
Ski Centre combines fun with learning on Ireland’s only indoor ski slopes. Whether experienced skier or budding enthusiast, Ski Centre welcome everyone to join in the fun and develop their slope skills. Highlighting the positive benefits that come from physical activity and movement is central to what they do, and their aim is for lifelong associations to be formed. The social element is not to be underestimated either – through adventurous team challenges, you can learn to ski through play.
Dublin libraries have great kids sections and many run regular events, including art classes, story telling and toddler groups. Libraries are hives of creativity for little ones and a social outlet, particularly for new mums. I made my first mum friend in my local library in Rathmines when we first moved home. Best of all they are free to visit!
The National Library offers an exciting programme of exhibitions, events and learning opportunities for people of all ages and interests. They host children's storytelling, creative workshops, and much more. At various times throughout the year, they run family and children's workshops. Storytelling events are a regular feature in their programme where you can snuggle down on bean bags and read a story together, and follow on with a drawing session where kids can draw their own interpretation of the story. They regularly
welcome children's authors to the library for readings and book signings.
The Little Museum of Dublin, recently described as “Dublin’s best museum experience” by The Irish Times, tells the amazing story of the Irish capital and is a hidden gem. There are worksheets available for kids of all ages to help get more out of the visit and tour guides in the museum at all times who can give your family some special attention.
There are some great interactive artefacts in the museum for kids to explore. The more they get involved, the more they learn. Check out their amazing free educational programme - I Love Dublin Classeswhich offers free civics classes to Irish schools.
The National Print Museum run family guided tours and hosts an Education Areawhich runs a number of free activities for children including, storytelling for children aged 3 – 7 years. All activities are free, self-guided and encourage family learning and interaction. Activities include arts and crafts (ink stamping, light box picture tracing, stencilling, easy origami, drawing & colouring), alphabet games for the tiny tots, activity sheets and reading
from their wonderful Junior Library.
The Print Museum also runs a series of Family Fun Day and Arts and Crafts workshopsfor children of various ages during the school holidays.
The Press Cafeis perfect for lunch or treats after exploring the museum.
⌂ Garrison Chapel, Beggar's Bush Barracks,, Haddington Rd, Dublin 4
The Lighthouse Cinema run dedicated Parent and Baby screenings to let you catch one of our new releases. To make it easier for parents to catch a film, there is discounted parking in the Queen St. car park for Light House Cinema patrons. They also have a place to store your buggy, and they turn down the volume and keep low lighting for baby’s comfort. Perfect.
Parent and baby screenings are on Saturday and Wednesday mornings. Show your ticket after the screening for 10% off lunch at their café.
Meet the Vikings face to face and learn about life during the Medieval period in Dublin. Dublinia is a great learning experience for kids of all ages. They have an exciting activity sheetfor family, and especially for the young Vikings and History Hunters!
If you're planning a family trip to Dublina, follow these instructionsand make a Viking axe or shield to bring with you!
Family First Saturdays at Dublinia are a series of dedicated events and workshops on the first Saturday of every month. They are all included in the Dublinia admission price with no booking necessary. See their Events page for more information on these and other events.
Awesome Walls Dublin is one of the largest indoor climbing centres in Europe. With over 2000 square metres of dedicated climbing surface there is something fun and challenging for everybody to try.
If you’ve a keen young climber on your hands, aged between 6 and 16, then they'll take them under their wing in the Kids Club. Kids can enjoy 2 hours rock climbing with an experienced instructor and meet new friends. The emphasis of the kids clubs is on fun progression. The instructors will coach participants in all aspects of climbing from knots and equipment to technique and lead climbing.
Funky Monkeys is a great jungle themed play structure for children aged 8 and under. It includes a mini football pitch, twin wavy slide, horizontal rollers, dizzy discs, splat pads, sky glides and bash bags, to name a few! There's a separate soft play area for babies and an imaginative kitchen play area with a car track with cozy coupe cars.
There's a cafe with a kids menu and for parents to take a moment with a coffee!
Ireland’s New Family Day Out! Challenge your mind and body with over 300 interactive science and sport experiences - there's something for every age and ability. At Explorium you'll be introduced to
STEM learning through their life-altering world of science and sport. Learning in a fun and interactive
way has been shown to enhance memory retention, improve understanding and encourage further investigation.
Daredevils can try out the G-Force anti-gravity loop wheel bike (12+) , music lovers can play a laser harp of lights and budding scientists can touch half a million volts of lightning! Regular live demonstrations and explainers teach visitors the science behind all of these quirky exhibits and activities.
It's also the perfect day out for junior visitors (age 8 and under) with a dedicated space of interactive fun with over 50 amazing science and sports activities, including a climbing wall, multi-sensory room and an aquarium. Their hands-on staff are ready to explain the science and get kids involved.
Explorium has indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities so it is perfect for any weather.
Imaginosity is Ireland's only interactive children's museum for the under 9's. Imaginosity champions the 'hands-on, minds-on' philosophy that encourages all visitors to get involved and have fun while learning and creating positive and lasting memories.
Imaginosity offers a wide variety of workshops and classes in arts and crafts, computers, music and theatre everyday in the Art Studio, in the Children's Theatre Space and in the Cyber Room.
The cost is €8.00 for children, €6.00 for toddlers, €2 for those over 6 months (under 6 months free).
⌂ The Plaza, Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin 18