Planning a family trip can be… “tricky” to put it mildly. Your little ones won’t be happy unless they can play at a park. Your teenagers might get all moody if they can’t check out a museum or two. Meanwhile, all you want is for everyone to have a great time. Thankfully, there are plenty of family-friendly venues in Dublin.
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Public parks, massive museums, family-friendly restaurants — Dublin has it all in spades. You could bring the spouse, the kids, the dog, grandma, grandpa, and all of your in-laws with you and still find something for everyone.
Today, we’re going to help you plan your family trip to Dublin. We’ll show you a variety of venues that your loved ones will adore. Dublin is huge, by the way, so it’s best to store your family’s extra luggage someplace safe before visiting any of the following locales.
Bay Restaurant, Clontarf
Okay, so there are actually several establishments in Dublin that share the Bay Restaurant moniker. Funnily enough, some of them aren’t even a part of the same chain. For clarity’s sake, the establishment that we’re talking about is the Bay Restaurant in Clontarf.
The whole name fiasco might be a little confusing, but you and your family will instantly recognize this restaurant as you get closer to the coast. The Bay Restaurant offers an amazing view of Dublin Bay and a wide array of succulent seafood dishes. Stop by their website to check out the full menu.
Clontarf Castle Hotel
It’s not every day that you get to sleep inside a castle. But that’s exactly what you’ll get at the Clontarf Castle Hotel. Before you ask, yes, this place is a legitimate fortress that was built in 1837. The Knights Templar even used to hang out in the first version of Clontarf Castle way back in the 1100s.
The current version of the castle has been extensively renovated over the years. Some might doubt Clontarf Castle’s legitimacy because it has comfy beds, indoor plumbing, and working electricity. Well, let’s be honest; Medieval decor isn’t exactly family-friendly. Trust us, you and your clan will have a great time at the Clontarf Castle Hotel.
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We’ve got some good news, and we’ve got some bad news. The bad news is that no one but authorized members of Ireland’s government can sleep overnight at Dublin Castle. The good news is that everyone is allowed to tour most of the castle for free! Visitors can check out the courtyard, the garden, and the Chester Beatty Library without spending a dime.
Just like Clontarf Castle, Dublin Castle has been renovated and remodeled over the centuries. Unlike Clontarf, numerous monarchs and presidents have lived in Dublin Castle. If you have any history buffs in your family, they’re going to absolutely love this place.
After visiting a few castles and restaurants, your little ones are probably starting to get a little antsy. Don’t worry, top scientists have determined that a trip to the zoo cures all cases of “Ants-in-Your-Pants” Syndrome (AYPS) every time. In this case, the Dublin Zoo will be your best bet.
Our research shows that the Dublin Zoo is extremely popular with toddlers and primary school-age children. There’s a menagerie of exotic animals that your kids are going to love. We encourage you to visit the Dublin Zoo’s website if you want to conduct your own research. Oh, and you can buy your tickets there as well.
Now that your young’uns have mellowed out, it’s time to throw a bone to your family members who are teenage and up. Dublinia won’t just toss ‘em a bone, they’ll blow their minds! You see, Dublinia is a recreation museum that’s dedicated to Ireland’s Medieval and Viking heritage.
If we had to describe this place in one word, it’d be “immersive”. The older members of your family are really going to appreciate the authenticity of Dublinia. And even if your teenagers aren’t that big on history, they won’t miss the chance to pose for a few pictures with a Viking warlord.
Imaginosity Children’s Museum
Imaginosity is another venue that’s really going to delight and inspire your small children. This museum is full of interactive attractions and exhibits that encourage your kids to get creative. This might sound a bit corny, but Imaginosity genuinely makes learning fun. Check out their website to browse their attractions and snag your tickets.
Right about now, everyone’s stomachs are probably growling. Our classified research indicates it’s time to stop by Milano. This Italian restaurant serves pizza, pasta, and pastries that the whole family can share.
Why did we pick Milano over any of the other restaurants in Dublin? Well, we can’t share all of our intel with you, but we can say this; Milano serves great food for affordable prices, and even provides coloring books and these cute little paper hats for children.
Powerscourt Townhouse Centre
You know what, you and your family are going to need some souvenirs before this trip ends. That’s not a recommendation, that’s a fact! We’re going to recommend that you guys stop by the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre before you head back home. This mall has more than 40 stores that you shop at.
We’re talking clothing stores, antique shops, and more than a few souvenir stores. The Powerscourt Townhouse Centre is also just a great place to stop and drink in the scenery with your family.
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash
We think that Trinity College should be the last stop on your family trip to Dublin. The college is easily one of Dublin’s most iconic landmarks; it’s on postage stamps, billboards, and more than just a few movies and shows. Moreover, you and your family can explore most sections of the campus for free.
Your young’uns will be blown away by how big the campus is. Your teens might even think about studying abroad here. The adults and the elders in your group might start reminiscing about their college days. And then there’s you — the mastermind who made this whole trip possible — who’ll be happy that everyone had a great time in the end.
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