You arrive with your children in Ireland’s cosmopolitan capital with two days to see sights that will interest and excite the whole family. But what’s the best way to see the city the way a local might? The good news is that Dublin is easy to navigate, and even with the kids, you can explore like a native. Not only that, the city has something for everyone and is very family-friendly. While the Irish weather can be a bit unpredictable, these Dublin must see experiences will give you some rain or shine options for a fun weekend to remember.
You want to start with something educational and historical, so you head to the beautiful Trinity College Campus, founded in 1592, located right in Dublin’s City Centre. After walking around the picturesque campus, you take some time to see the impressive Old Library and Book of Kells exhibition and learn about the ancient manuscripts. Continue along the outskirts of the campus on the Nassau Street side and you will come to several shops selling Irish-made wares. Peruse some pottery and crystal at House of Ireland and pick out some knitwear at The Sweater Shop before stopping into KC Peaches for a savoury lunch or a something sweet to keep everyone smiling.
Make a right turn on Kildare Street and head to St. Stephen’s Green. Walking among the beautiful flower beds, stop to feed some ducks by the footbridge and take some pictures before checking out the large playground, so your kids can expend some energy. Exiting St. Stephen’s Green through Fusiliers’ Arch, you walk down Grafton Street, Dublin’s main shopping district, and stop to watch some of the most entertaining street performers Europe has to offer.
Turning left on Dame Street, you walk to Dublin Castle, originally built in the 13th century. On weekends, there are usually plenty of family-friendly events taking place, and you are free to roam part of the grounds or buy a ticket for a 50-minute tour. You continue further down Dame Street and turn left, making your way over to the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This impressive building, with its incredible stained glass windows, dates back to 1220 and was built as a tribute to St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. Wrapping up your busy afternoon, you take your hungry family for some traditional pub food and live Irish music at the Brazen Head Pub and recap the day’s adventures.
For day two or your Dublin adventure, you head to Phoenix Park, one of the largest agricultural landscapes in all of Europe. You rent bicycles for the family and spend the first couple of hours riding around the lush grounds, pausing to take pictures against the beautiful backdrops and roaming deer, before stopping for lunch at one of the Tea Rooms. Located within the park, you see the entrance to the Dublin Zoo, home to a wide variety of animal species. This impressive zoo boasts an African Safari, an Elephant House, and some of the biggest tigers you’ve ever seen. You revel at the newly opened Sea Lion Cove before stopping at the gift shop to purchase mementos.
You head back towards City Centre and walk along the River Liffey to enjoy the many beautiful bridges connecting the north with the south side, before making your way into the bustling Temple Bar District. You stop to listen to a band playing on the cobblestone street and music can be heard pouring out the doors of several pubs. Finally, you take your family to Elephant & Castle to try their renowned chicken wings and home-made burgers in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a delicious ending to an enjoyable weekend exploring the Dublin must see adventures.