As parents we know how expensive it can be to entertain the kids, so we thought we would put together a list of things to do for free with the children, yes, that are completely free of charge. You know, when you are looking for kids things to do, things to do when bored, the things to do for free! Here’s a list of our favourite free things to do with children in Dublin
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PS Did we mention it’s free?
National Museum of Ireland – Dublin Museums
The three National Museums in Dublin are all free to visit, open 7 days a week, and have some fabulous family events throughout the year:
- National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology at Kildare Street where you can see amazing artefacts including Sun Discs and Viking Swords
- National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks, housing amongst other things a Samurai Warrior Armour and a Vampire Plane
- National Museum of Ireland – Natural History in Merrion Street, home to a polar bear and an elephant (stuffed in case you were wondering!).
Tip: They have kids activity sheets which you can pick up when you go into the Museums and check their events calendar before you go.
The Round Tower Clondalkin
The Round Tower Clondalkin is one of only four remaining round towers in County Dublin. The Visitor Centre museum brings the story of The Round Tower Clondalkin and the surrounding area to life through an exciting interactive experience. The fun and educational exhibition can be enjoyed through eight distinctive themed spaces in the refurbished 19th century Mill Cottages.
Suitable for all ages, the Round Tower Clondalkin experience incorporates public gardens, and an exhibition and gallery space.
Tip: Enjoy lunch at The Happy Pear Café which has indoor and outdoor eating.
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Phoenix Park Visitor Centre
The Phoenix Park Visitor Centre hosts an exciting, free, self guided exhibition on the history and wildlife of the park. The visitor centre is bright and lively with free art materials for the kids.
They run free Children’s workshops on nature, art and history and have an exhibition space where exhibitions and demonstrations in various media are on display for all to enjoy.
On Saturdays free tickets are issued to visit Aras an Uachtarain, home of the President. Directly beside the Visitor Centre is an excellent universal playground and the restored Ashtown Castle, well worth a visit.
The Chester Beatty Library
View one of the world’s largest private collections of manuscripts and books dating from 2700 BC to present day, at the Chester Beatty Library.
On the first Saturday and Sunday of every month from 1pm to 4pm, there are Family Activity Packs exploring the Arts of the Book and Sacred Traditions galleries.
Each pack contains hands-on activities for children aged 5 to 11, including activity sheets, puzzles, crosswords and a colouring book and are completely free. The library also holds other regular free family friendly highlights tours and lots of events.
Pets at Corkagh Park
Home to a range of farm animals, birds and beds, younger children will love seeing the animals up close.
Located near the visitor centre and rose garden, The Pet Farm is open daily from 11.00 – 12.45 and from 14.00 to 16.00.
In Dublin we are spoiled with the number of walks available to us:
- cultural walks around Georgian Dublin and Trinity College
- historical walks taking in the sites of the 1916 Easter Rising (you can still see and feel the bullet marks on the walls of the GPO)
- a stroll along Dun Laoghaire Pier to watch the boats
- a hike in the Dublin Mountains
- get closer to nature with some of our favourite Nature Walks.
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There are some great playgrounds throughout Dublin. Why not print the list and aim to visit them all over time, free and fun!
The National Gallery of Ireland
Housing an extensive collection of Irish and International art, the National Gallery is dedicated to family friendly education and fun. Admission to the Gallery is free.
Art worksheets, colouring pages and children’s audio guides are available from the Information Desk.
The Gallery holds weekly free kids workshops on Sundays and regular family guided tours.
Visit your local library. Children can join from as young as 2 and borrow books, CDs and DVDs from the junior library. All Dublin Libraries run regular free events and classes including art classes, parent and toddler groups, story time and junior book clubs. Check out your local library for more information.
Family Events in Dublin
Keep an eye on our events page (to bookmark press Ctrl + D) for updated information on regular free events taking place across Dublin. All the Dublin city and county councils, the arts council and many more public and private bodies hold regular free family friendly events such as festivals, carnivals, picnics, treasure hunts and seasonal things to do in Dublin.
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Do you have a favourite spot to take the kids in Dublin that is free? Share it in the comments below