Best Parks + Playgrounds in Dublin

Dublin has some incredible playgrounds. I've recommended some of the best and included if they have an all important toilet and a cafe!

St Stephen’s Green Park is a historical park and garden, located right in the centre of Dublin. The playground features separate areas for smaller and older children. The swings, slides, and roundabout are very popular with younger visitors. The grass area outside the playground is great for picnics during the summer and kids can feed the ducks in the ponds all year round. 

St Stephen’s Green Park

Oscar Wildes’ short story ‘The Selfish Giant’ forms the theme for this captivating playground in the heart of our city. There is a bespoke 8 metre tall play unit with outreaching arms to welcome the children into the playground. It's suitable for kids of all ages, with swings for babies and huge climbing frame play unit a with slide for the older kids. Another standout piece is the smaller ‘Giant’, which doubles as a seating area. I usually double this up with a trip to the National Gallery across the road, for lunch in the cafe with playarea - a favourite of ours. 

Merrion Square

Toilets + Cafe

Cabinteely Park spans 45 hectares, and includes a brilliant children's playground suitable for kids of all ages. The playground has a zip line, large climbing frame with ropes, a maze, sandpit, and all the usual swings, slides and multiplay units.

The Japanese style Cafe is open all day and is the perfect spot to stop off and enjoy some food or coffee with the little ones.  
 

Cabinteely Park

Toilets + Cafe

Dún Laoghaire’s brilliant People’s Park is a beautifully landscaped oasis of calm, just a short stroll from Dún Laoghaire harbour. ​The playground isn't massive but perfectly equipped with swings, slides, a wooden play tent and multi-play units for kids of all ages. 

There's a Fallon and Byrne restaurant which is perfect for coffees, and lunch. 

Sunday Market

The two hectare park is open to visitors every day but particularly comes to life every weekend as market vendors bring their colourful collections of arts, crafts and local produce to the park. Markets take place between 11am and 4pm every Sunday and offer shoppers an array of international flavours and artifacts with goods from around the world on offer – and of course lots of delicious locally grown organic Irish produce for sale as well.

People’s Park 

Toilets + Cafe

Located on the North of the city close to Clontarf, 

the amazing St Anne's Park is definitely one of our favourites. The playground is aimed at the slightly younger kids, but there a massive Viking ship, 

wooden figures with a train etc suitable for all kids to play around in. The grounds are huge and there's a picnic area perfectly located near the playground. The Park also boasts 35 playing pitches, 18 hard-surfaced tennis courts and a golf course all open for use by the public. There is also a very impressive walled garden which is great for a potter in the warmer weather. 

The Farmers Market, located adjacent to the Red Stables, is on each Saturday from 9.00 – 5.00. You can choose from hot and cold foods from around the world or pick up some arts and crafts gifts from a variety of vendors.

Olives Room at The Red Stables is the gorgeous café in St Anne’s Park. Local whole foods, freshly baked treats and a tasty lunch menu are available. Highchairs are available. 

During the summer months, they usually have an ice cream cart outside the cafe, perfect for the little ones on a hot day...or any day!

St Anne’s Park

Toilets + Cafe

Marlay Park is the Mecca of playgrounds and definitely one of our favourites. From toddlers to teens, it has an area to suit kids of all ages. Walking around Marlay Park is an activity by itself and there's an incredible fairy tree (which has taken many of our dummies!!). There's a cute little cafe near the main house and a great food market every Sunday. This playground is highly recommended and make sure to visit the walled garden to say hi to the peacocks! 

Marlay Park

Toilets + Cafe

The imaginatively themed playground, located west of the Victorian Walled Garden at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, is bright and fun with a great variety of play units, including provision for children with disabilities. The playground is suitable for children from 4 to 12 years old. 

 

The fantastic Phoenix café is perfect for a bite after and if you want to make a day of it, head to the Zoo after.
 

Phoenix Park

This hidden secret is located next to the National Concert Hall, and is perfect for a picnic or run around with the kids. There's no playground but the park boasts a waterfall, two fountains, a beautiful rose garden and maze, perfect for the little ones to explore and let their imaginations run free. Regular festivals and public events take place here during the summer months.

Iveagh Gardens

Toilets + Cafe

Highly recommend this playground, located south of the city, and is suitable for kids of all ages, especially the slightly older ones. It has an unrivalled range of play equipment with climbing frames, slides and walkways. 

 

The grounds are fantastic and perfect for a walk or picnic in the summer months. There's a Brambles Cafe in the castle, which is perfect for coffees and lunch. 

Rathfarnham Castle

Located on Cork Street, at the heart of Dublin’s historic Liberties area, the park features a brilliant playground which is great for kids of all ages, especially those who love to climb! There's skate park, and greenspace for children, adolescents and adults. New Market Square is just around the corner for those looking for loos and a hot choloclate in the Green Door Market!

Weaver Park

Toilets + Cafe

Herbert Park has two playgrounds – one by Donnybrook which is more suitable to toddler and younger kids, and the other near Ballsbridge which is brilliant and works for kids of all ages. As well as having all the usual playground play units, swings and slides, there an elaborate climbing structure for older kids.

The best part of Herbert Park is the Lolly & Cooks cafe! It's very kid friendly and perfect for bite to eat after running around the playground. 

Herbert Park

Toilets + Cafe

There's nothing spectacular about Harolds Cross 

playground but it's listed here as we go there a lot, we love it and has a Noshington Cafe!  

The playground is perfect for kids of all ages. We love the smaller play unit which is great for toddlers, although my girls still like to play on the multiplay unit clearly designed for older kids! There's a play car, train, wooden horse and cart, swings and slides. The park is perfect for picnics on summer days. 

Harolds Cross

Toilets + Cafe

Located only a short walk from the castle, the wonderful children's playground consists of various types of swings, slides, climbing frames and imaginative contraptions to suit children of all ages. The playground is tree lined and is secured with picnic tables and benches for families and visitors.

 

The playground is split into two sections, with an area more suited to toddlers and an area containing climbing frames and slides more suited to older kids. The two area's are nicely separated by a raised grassy section with Picnic tables, a perfect vantage point for parents to keep an eye on the kids. 

Make a day trip of it and pop into Avoca Cafe 

in the Castle for lunch. 

Malahide Castle

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