10 Brilliant Things to Do with the Family in Dublin’s Southside


July 20, 2021

Like this? Share it with your network!

Like this? Share it with your network!

While Dublin city centre offers many well-known attractions, you may not be aware that Dublin South has so much to offer for families to enjoy, both outdoors and indoors. From heritage sites to tracks and trails where you can run, walk, cycle, climb, and much more besides. So whether you live in Dublin or are visiting, check out these 10 brilliant things to do with the family in Dublin’s Southside, many of which are completely free of charge!

Fun Things to Do with the Family in Dublin South of the River

We have teamed up with Dublin’s Outdoors to bring you a small flavour of what is on offer for the family to do within easy reach of the city centre. From fun in the water, to climbing and exploring mountains and tree tops, there is adventure around every corner.

These are our top 10 parent recommendations that we have enjoyed over the years.

#1. See Dublin from Above at The Hellfire Club

Enjoy breathtaking views of Dublin City and Bay from Montpelier Hill, also know as The Hellfire Club, the name given to the ruined building on top of the mountain.

Originally a hunting lodge built in 1725 by William Conolly, it is said that stones from 2 large tombs that sat on the original site were used to build the lodge. Local legend has it that spirits took revenge for the destruction of the tombs by causing a storm with blew the roof off the lodge shortly after construction. It was later used as a meeting place for The Hellfire Club.

Today you can enjoy forest walks and trails and stunning views over Dublin en-route to the ruins of The Hellfire Club.

#2. Explore the Past at The Round Tower Clondalkin

Free family days out in Dublin The round tower Clondalkin

1 Tower – 1,000 years of history sums up what you can expect from a visit to the Round Tower, Clondalkin. It is one of only four remaining towers in Co. Dublin and incorporates an interactive visitor centre, public gardens and a café.

It is also FREE to visit, including the exhibition, and you can even download the tour as an audio guide on your phone. Family groups of all ages will enjoy a visit here.

#3. Enjoy Family Walks & More in South Dublin’s Parks

There are no fewer than 11 parks to explore in Dublin South. All are traffic free and offer a fun day out for the family. Many have playgrounds and other amenities, and offer walks alongside water where you can also spot canoeists and kayakers along with ducks, swans and other wildlife. Perhaps the best known of them is Corkagh Park where you will find Ireland’s only purpose built cycle track.

Explore Dublin’s Outdoors

Plan your perfect day out or your fun family trip to Dublin.

#4. Search for Fairies

Corkagh Park Fairy Trail

There are 3 sites in Dublin south where you can search for fairies; Corkagh Park, Tymon Park and Lucan Demesne Park. The trails have been developed in conjunction with the Irish Fairy Door Company and children of all ages love them. Best of all they are free to visit.

#5. Get Back to Nature in the Dublin Mountains

For those looking for a real challenge, check out the Dublin Mountains Ways, offering approximately 40km of trails to traverse. It runs from Shankill in the east to Tallaght in the west. It is best broken into sections and attempted over several days.

For those looking for a less strenuous experience, I remember as a child climbing to the top of the Dublin mountains with my family. We called it the 3 rock mountain as there were 3 massive rocks at the top near the masts. It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon and we felt we were on top of the world when we arrived at the 3 rocks at the summit.

Nowadays you can also enjoy zip lining, bouldering and mountain biking along with rambling, hiking, running and orienteering when you take to the mountains in South county Dublin.

#6. The Grand Canal Greenway

You can enjoy many family walks in South Dublin but if you want to enjoy a stroll along the banks of The Grand Canal, there is an 8.5km route starting from the 3rd Lock at Inchicore and running to the 12th Lock at Lucan. It is entirely off road, so perfect for all family members, including those in a buggy!

For those wishing to go further afield, the Grand Canal Way runs for 117km from Lucan Bridge to Shannon Harbour, so you could venture further if the kids are feeling up to it!

#7. Have Some Rainy Day Fun Rock Climbing

From a stadium where you can watch Shamrock Rovers to a theatre and cinemas where you can catch the latest shows and films, and a play centre with a sensory area, there are plenty of indoor experiences to enjoy in South Dublin on a rainy day.

But my favourite has to be rock climbing at The Dublin Climbing Centre in Tallaght. Everyone from the novice climber to those with more experience are catered for. Safety is a priority and you and the family will have fun with a competitive edge!

#8. Rafting on the River Liffey

things to do in Dublin's southside

Rafting is something many of us do while on holidays but did you know you can also do it on the River Liffey? Children from as young as 8 can participate in a variety of water experiences with rafting.ie. All you need to bring is your swimwear for under your wetsuit and a towel, everything else will be provided.

#9. Have a Zip Through the Tree Tops

Get your adrenaline pumping and see Dublin from the treetops when you visit Zipit in Tibradden Wood. Just 15 minutes from Dundrum Town Centre, you can enjoy up to three hours of adventure and thrills swinging and gliding through the trees! All those with children over the age of 7 can take part, however, children under 18 must be supervised at all times. You are guaranteed a fun day out.

#10. Take an Interactive Stroll with the South Dublin Heritage Trail

SDCC Interactive Heritage Trail

Download the interactive heritage trail app and discover some of the history and lesser known sights in the villages of south county Dublin. With both audio and visual guides, the handy app can be downloaded directly to your mobile so you can enjoy exploring at your own pace.

I hope we have given you some ideas for some fun days out with the family in south Dublin. You can find loads more ideas on Dublinsoutdoors.ie including places to stay, eat and more fantastic things to do.

10 Brilliant Things to Do with the Family in Dublin’s Southside

Like this? Share it with your network!

Like this? Share it with your network!

You May Also Enjoy

You’ve Got Mail!

Get our best content direct to your inbox! You’ll receive quick and easy recipes, fun ideas to entertain the kids, parenting tips, competitions, as well as offers from brands we trust.