The 10 Best Weekend Activities For Kids In Dublin
These'll keep the little 'uns amused
With two whole days free at the weekend, it's always nice to get out and about and do some fun things with the little ones.
As a parent of a 3-year-old, I always find myself looking for something to do as a special treat when I have more free time on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
Some of these will require a car, while others you can hop on the Dart or Luas, but the majority of them are suitable for kids up to the age of about 12, are really enjoyable and they won't break the bank either...
Billed as Dublin Children's Museum, this a child-centred space where kids and their parents can engage in creative play.
The exhibits are educationally designed to inspire learning through play, and it's a massive hit with kids up to about 10 years old. It's definitely worth booking in advance, and sessions last two hours so make sure you get your full money's worth - don't waste the time in the café!
2. Dublin Zoo
It's a bit of an obvious one, but always a solid choice.
The beauty of the zoo is you can do it all in your own time - whether you've only got three hours to spend there, or you intend on being there all day. There's so much to see, and arriving early means you can check the feeding times for certain animals and pop back when they're on.
The African Plains is a great addition to the zoo, and seeing the animals up close is really exciting for the kids.
Think mini golf, but in a rainforest.
Located in Dundrum, this novelty mini golf is a big winner with competitive streaks coming out in both little and big kids. These guys are open from 10am on the weekends.
This is like an underwater playground for kids: there's a pirate ship and wave pool as well as a few water slides, so there's plenty of things to do.
The National Aquatic Centre also has some pretty badass water slides for grown ups, if parents want to take turns on babysitting duties. Alternatively, most local pools do family hours early on weekend mornings, so definitely worth checking out if you've got any children fond of swimming.
Playgrounds have seriously improved over the past few years, and there are some top quality ones dotted across Dublin.
You might have one right on your doorstep or maybe you want to take a drive to one a little bit further away. Cabinteely Park and Fairview Park are both really great, as is the one in Ardgillan Demesne.
This play centre in Dundrum Funky Monkeys is an indoor soft play centre.
The jungle-themed play areas have climbing frames, ropes, slides and obstacles for kids up to the age of 8, and parents are allowed join in, if they feel so inclined.
Things get mental here in the afternoons, so if you've got younger kids head in a bit earlier for some tamer jungle antics.
7. Walk The Length Of Dun Laoghaire Pier
This is a great way to tire out the children, if you're hoping to get them to bed early that evening - a lengthy walk in the fresh sea air, with the reward of some chips or an ice-cream from Teddy's if they're good.
If you feel like an even longer walk, head past Teddy's down towards the 40 Foot and mess around on the exercise machines dotted along the coast. Also, if you happen to head to Dun Laoghaire on a Sunday, you can also pop into the People's Park for the delicious food market from 11am until 4pm.
Not only do they have a seriously cool playground complete with zipline and diggers, but there's also tonnes of space for the kids to run around.
You can pay in to visit the castle or just go exploring around the grounds. The added bonus here is that there's an Avoca Café serving up coffee and treats for any weary parents in need of a caffeine or sugar fix.
A little bit outside of Dublin's official boundaries, but close enough for a weekend visit, and super easy to hop on the Dart out there.
Loads of different sea life for them to see, including sea horses, black tip sharks and leopard sharks. For any kids tiring of the zoo, this will be really exciting for them as they can get involved with feeding times, and engage with the interactive rock pool.
When you're finished, there's loads of lovely restaurants around - Platform Pizza right beside the Dart station do great food and are super kid-friendly.
10. And if all else fails... the cinema
Some may argue that it's a bit of a cop out, but if there's something good to go see, the cinema always comes up trumps.
You're guaranteed two hours of entertainment, there's minimal effort required from parents, and if the film is Pixar or Disney there'll always be a second layer of jokes that fly right over the kids head,s but will have you in stitches - win win!
If you enjoyed this check out our top 10 list of child-friendly restaurants, and our community's list of their favourite child-friendly restaurants in Dublin too...