Your first stop for entertaining kids of all ages, even the adult ones. Workshops, tours, plays, events, exhibitions, music, art and performance: as they say themselves, there’s always something going on at The Ark.
Tickets are pretty reasonably priced (about €12), with discounts for groups.
Abracadabra School for Creative Kids
Staying creative, the Abracadabra School for Creative Kids do trips and days out, as well as theme-based interactive creative workshops. Most exciting, though, is their Story Bus: an actual bus that brings kids to locations across the city while telling a story.
The Chocolate Warehouse
What kid wouldn’t want to spend the day in a Museum… as long as it’s a chocolate museum. Tours and hands-on demonstrations about chocolate-making, and the kids get to decorate their own chocolates to take home.
Butlers Chocolate Experience
The wonderful Butlers Chocolate also have a fantastic Chocolate Experience: another hands-on tour and workshop, where kids get to see the factory but also make and design their own chocolate creations.
Songschool is a brilliant company that does school workshops about songwriting, from lyrics to writing and playing, even recording your finished song. Mostly they work in second-level schools, but also work with the National Concert Hall to present a whole week-long summer camp in songwriting for juniors (age 8-12) in July.
National Concert Hall
The National Concert Hall quietly runs lots of other exciting events for kids, including musical picnic lunches, interactice musical story-telling, a music and science workshop programme, family concerts. For young children (three months to eight years) they also run Mini Music, weekly music workshops, and for children with autism, special multi-sensory installations
Mill Theatre Dundrum
This Arts Centre in Dundrum has a range of events and programmes, but in particular they have a great programme for children. In July they also run performance summer camps.
Because seeing creepy celebrities made out of wax is always fun.
But also because they have a Kids' World, where they could spend hours exploring the themed wolds, mirror maze and enchanted forest, as well as watching puppet plays in the new Puppet Theatre. For older kids there’s also the Science and Discovery section, as well as the ‘Wax Factor’ video recording studio.
For your little diva. Popstar Studios was set up in 2009 especially for kids, beginner songwriters and anyone who just wants to have a go at recording a song.
The kids pick the song, the backing track is provided, and even young kids will get the full professional recording treatment. It’s not cheap, but they leave with their own CD of their favourite song – useful for future teenage blackmail material.
Get outdoors this summer, in Tibradden Wood just a few minutes outside the city centre. Here you can find a beautiful view of the city – as well as rope bridges, tightropes, cargo nets, climbing walls, zip-lines, base jumps… An outdoor activity centre for ages seven and up, Zipit has circuits for all ages and experience.
Imaginosity is Ireland’s only interactive children’s museum. Its exhibitions and events are aimed at nine years and under but family members of any age can come along. There’s art, technology, construction, threatre, science, even a roof garden.
Not all the Science Gallery exhibitions are suitable for children, but nearby there is the amazing Makeshop. For young kids (some just four-plus, some 10-plus) as well as adults, kids can design and build mini robots, clocks, radios, amps, xylophones and even electronic dice!
For what you create, these are also incredibly good value at just €15/20/workshop.