The Irish love children, so don’t feel you need to leave your own at home the next time you visit Dublin.
In fact, there are many city attractions that run special kids programs that you might want to look into to make sure the little ones are looked after.
Imaginosity is Dublin’s newest children’s museum and it is run according to the principle that all exhibits should combine creative learning and play. From “The Climber” (a two storey climbing and crawling space) to the Town Centre (where young visitors can assume the role of a community member) to The Construction Company (where play hardhats and hammers are essential), parents and kids will both enjoy this hands-on museum. Imaginosity can be reached by taking the Green LUAS (tram) line to Sandyford. Family Saver tickets are available for families with at least three adults and children over the age of three.
2. The Ark
The Ark was Europe’s first “cultural centre for children” that dedicated itself to programming by, for and about kids. The Ark routinely books shows and exhibitions that incorporate all of the arts and most major types of media. Many events are age-specific, so be sure to check the recommended guidelines before booking in, and don’t forget to ask if an accompanying parent is needed (for some workshops parents will be superfluous). The Ark is situated in Temple Bar and therefore can be reached by taking any city centre bus. Ticket prices vary per program.
3. Phoenix Park
At over 1700 acres the Phoenix Park is the largest urban, enclosed park in Europe. When the kids need to stretch their legs don’t hesitate to bring them here for a quick run around. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the wild deer herd that resides in the park. Plan to visit on the weekend and you might also be able to enter Aras an Uachtaráin, the home of the Irish President. Just 1.6 mile away from the center of the city, the Park is accessible both by bus and the Heuston or Museum stops on the red LUAS (tram) line. Entrance to the park is free.
4. Dublin Zoo
Situated inside the Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo is home to more than 200 different types of animals and birds. If you’re visiting with young children you won’t want to miss the Children’s Pets Corner or the “train” ride through the African Plains. Kids of all animals will likely enjoy the City Farm which doubles as a petting zoo for animals such as goats, turkeys, sheep and donkeys. The Zoo is best reached by bus or the Heuston or Museum stops on the red LUAS (tram) line. Family tickets are available.
5. Chester Beatty Library
Though its exhibitions are not specifically designed for children, the Chester Beatty Library has a number of multimedia displays that children will likely enjoy. The Silkworms Club also offers a number of events for children aged 6 – 11 years that include arts and crafts, music and dance, and of course fun and frolics. Family days also take place around major cultural holidays such as Chinese New Year, Diwali, Christmas and Easter. The Chester Beatty Library is located behind Dublin Castle and is best reached on foot from the city centre. Entrance to the Library is free.
Photo of Dublin Imaginosity museum originally posted by Maurice Frazer