A Family Vacation in Dublin

Dublin may be known for its pubs and partying atmosphere, but it is also a great family destination. If you are looking for somewhere to take the little ones to experience some culture, history, entertainment and discovery, then Dublin is the perfect place. We’re going to walk you through a few of the highlights of Dublin city and county that make it a great destination to take the entire family for a European getaway.

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See The Animals
Dublin’s zoo is one of the largest in the world and a great way to start off your family trip. It’s located inside Phoenix Park, which is a great family attraction all on its own, even if you aren’t planning to visit the zoo. Dublin Zoo is not the only place to see some wildlife, though. The deer in Phoenix Park are friendly enough that you may be able to go up and pet some of them or feed them as they gather around you and your family. They are used to seeing people regularly, so they won’t scamper away like most deer.

Ride The Waves
You can take a tour of Dublin on the land and water in the same vehicle, thanks to the Viking Splash Tours. These tours make use of a refitted World War II amphibious vehicle that takes groups on an hour and fifteen minutes ride through Dublin. Along the way, you’ll get to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College and Christ Church. These are important historical buildings that define the Dublin aesthetic. You’ll see a lot of sights from an angle that many people don’t get to experience, making for an unforgettable tour of the city.

Taste The Chocolate
For any chocolate lovers among you, there is the Chocolate Warehouse in Walkinstown. There, you can tour the warehouse and see how chocolate is made.

A 30-minute video presentation is part of the tour, and you can even decorate some chocolate yourself. Of course, there is also plenty of chocolate to buy and enjoy when the tour is over.

Take a Trip Back in Time
Dublin is known for its history, and in no place is that more apparent than in Dublinia. This is a museum and heritage centre that focus on medieval history in the area. You can visit a spooky crypt, see knights in full armour, look at the weapons and tools of the period and even visit the oldest cathedral in the area.

The museum is a recreational one, which means that there is plenty to do there, and you could easily spend an entire day there experiencing some of the activities and seeing all the relics of the past that are showcased in this museum.

Enter the Ark
The Ark is a recreational centre built with kids in mind. It has all sorts of interactive displays, and every day brings new entertainment, including music and games. Kids can spend hours trying out each of the games and seeing all the centre has to offer. You’ll find this family treasure at Temple Bar, considered to be Dublin’s tourist hotspot.

Things to Do in Phoenix Park

ulster bank building dublinIf you are planning to visit Dublin City, then you should make some time for Phoenix Park. It’s the kind of place that’s large enough and filled with enough things to do and sights to see that you could spend your entire holiday there.

We want to show you some of the amazing experiences you can have there, but you should know that there are tons more that we don’t have time to cover here.

It’s a good idea to research the park thoroughly before you go so that you don’t get too distracted by all there is to see and do and actually manage to get to everything you planned on visiting.

Dublin Zoo
Of course, we have to mention the Dublin Zoo, which is one of the largest in the region and is home to more than 700 animals. That’s birds, mammals, reptiles and everything else all living together in one amazing place. New species and additions to the species that are already there are always being added, so even if you visited before, you are sure to find something new with each visit. It’s actually the third oldest zoo in the world, making it a historical treasure that everyone should take time to visit.

People’s Gardens
The gardens open at 8:00 am every day and feature a wide range of horticultural marvels. There are a few lakes there, some playgrounds for the children, walking paths, monuments and much more to discover. The gardens are spread out across 9 acres, and it’s not uncommon for people to spend an entire day just in the gardens, taking in nature and enjoying the various activities it has to offer.

Magazine Fort
For those who like military history and ancient structures, the Magazine Fort fits both bills. It is a structure that was erected back in the 1600s and has been used in a few military struggles during its time. Now it is preserved for future generations to enjoy, though it is currently only open for limited tours, so you may need to call ahead to get a peek inside.

Ashtown Castle
There are more historic structures in Phoenix Park, including the oldest of them all, Ashtown Castle. This is a tower that was constructed hundreds of years ago and that sits beside the park’s visitor centre. For many people, it is the first stop as they make their way through the park.

Other Things to See and Do
These are just some of the highlights, and there is tons more to talk about to give a comprehensives view of the park. Phoenix Park is home to hundreds of species of plants, for example. It also houses a few estates, some of which are open to the public throughput most of the year.

Motor races, concerts, cricket clubs and other events take place periodically in the park, and you can look up a schedule of events to see what’s coming up during your time in Dublin City.