9 Family Friendly Activities Outside Dublin City Centre

Dublin’s offerings span outside the city centre especially when it comes to fun family activities. Here’s some of the top attractions for you and your kids to enjoy while avoiding the busy city centre, in your family breaks in Dublin.

1. AquaZone at the National Aquatic Centre

Snugborough Rd, Deanestown, Dublin 15

Described as ‘Ireland’s Favourite Waterpark’, AquaZone is the place to be for some poolside family fun. There are eight exciting attractions including the three slides, a surf simulator, the Lazy River and Wave Pool. For younger children, there’s a Pirate Ship section with water guns, smaller slides and lower water levels. There’s a section for parents too, take a seat in the bubble pool for a few moments of relaxation.

Following the ongoing developments with COVID-19 the AquaZone waterpark at Sport
Ireland National Aquatic Centre is currently closed.

2. Airfield Estate

Overend Ave, Dundrum, Dublin 14

The Gardens at Airfield House Dublin

Located opposite Dundrum Shopping centre, Airfield Estate will have you feeling like you’ve left the city and entered a blissful country escape. There’s a working farm, animals, fascinating gardens, exhibits and a restaurant that uses ingredients collected from the farm to create tasty and sustainable dishes. There are daily activities such as feeding and grooming sessions with the animals and a brilliant playground on site too.

3. RainForest Adventure Golf

Unit 6, Dundrum South Dundrum Town Centre, Dundrum, Dublin 14

Also in Dundrum, RainForest Adventure Golf spans over two floors at Dundrum Shopping Centre. There are two 18-hole courses: the Mayan and the Aztec. Each course comprises of fun, whacky holes that will test your skills, and sometimes, your patience! Suitable for all ages and members of the family, Rain Forest is fully wheelchair accessible and there are mini clubs available for toddlers. Between courses you can enjoy pizza, nachos and other items from their Canopy Cafe.

4. Jam Park

South Quarter, Airside Retail Park, Swords, Co. Dublin

kids on bouncy castle

Jam Park is a multi-storey entertainment complex at Airside Retail Park in Swords. On site activities include karaoke, an arcade, crazy golf, ping pong, shuffleboard, escape rooms, board games and lots more. Their rooftop terrace is perfect for enjoying food and drinks while soaking up some sunshine. Jam Park is child friendly until 6pm daily – after that it’s over 20’s.

5. Imaginosity

The Plaza Beacon South Quarter Sandyford, Dublin 18

Imaginosity is a place no other, it’s Ireland’s only interactive children’s museum. Here children can learn about life through hands on experience as they explore the child friendly replica village and other exhibits. Suitable for children aged 9 and under, Imaginosity will inspire your children’s imagination. There’s daily arts and crafts workshops at the museum too and these are included in the €8 admission fee.

Imaginosity will remain closed until further notice due to government restrictions. Please monitor their social media pages for updates.

6. Emerald Park

Kilbrew, Ashbourne, Co. Meath

Emerald Park can be found in Ashbourne just a short drive from Dublin. Both a theme park and a zoo, Emerald Park is fast becoming one of the top attractions in Ireland. The top billed attraction is the mystifying roller coaster that will whizz you to the highest point in the park where you can soak up some amazing views before you’re whizzed back down on a thrilling drop. Older children will love it! There’s a variety of amusements in the park to suit all ages including a climbing wall, high ropes course, zip lines, trampolines, soft play area and lots more. Head to the zoo section to see tigers, monkeys, buffalo and a whole host of other amazing animals.

Emerald Park will re-open October 28th. Also be advised that some attractions may be closed due to Covid 19 restrictions. Please visit the Emerald Park website here for more information.


7. Sealife Bray

Strand Road, Bray, County Wicklow

Filled with wonderful exhibits and colourful creatures from the deep, Sealife Bray promises for a fun and educational day out. Enclosures include the Touch pool where you can meet and feel the giant starfish, the Shark Lagoon that houses three different types of sharks and Octopus University where you’ll see the baby octopus and learn about her life and abilities as she grows. Visitors can witness feeding times throughout the day at the different areas for a truly immersive experience.

8. Newbridge House and Farm

Hearse Road, Donabate, Co. Dublin

Newbridge House outside Dublin

Recognised as ‘Dublin’s best kept secret’, Newbridge House and Farm is the perfect location for a family day out in Dublin. See the 18th century style working farm, follow the interactive farm trail and enjoy some food at their Coach House Café. You can also take a tour of the house and learn of its history – it was built in 1747! Newbridge House and Gardens opens daily from 9.30am to 5pm.

Please note tours of Newbridge House are currently unavailable in line with government guidelines. The farm trail is still open and running as usual.

9. Explorium

Visit Dublin’s newest world-class sports science museum, with so much to do for both adults and children. Set on 25 acres, you’ll experience more than 300 exhibits and enjoy hours of fun. You’ll be sure to get your money’s worth with a trip to Explorium.

You can choose to visit any of the three different areas of the museum: Junior, Science and Sport. With fun and unusual activities such as Movieworld, gravity rooms, the makers’ lab and the world’s largest indoor cave, you’ll receive an experience like no other. See Ireland’s 1st robot waiters and hold real lightning in your hand!

The closest hotel to Explorium, Clayton Hotel Leopardstown is the ideal place to stay. Drive to Explorium in only 8 minutes when you stay with us. Book a family or triple room with us today and see all that Sandyford has to offer for families.

10. Dalkey Castle

Dalkey Castle is one of the seven fortified townhouses/castles of Dalkey. In Dalkey Castle, you will see a fine example of a barrel-vaulted ceiling and traces of the wickerwork that supported it. Niches have been exposed on the walls where precious goods may have been stored. The Castle is an integral entrance to both the Heritage Centre and Dalkey Town Hall.

Dalkey Castle was called the Castle of Dalkey in the Middle Ages. Later, in the mid to late 1600s, it was called Goat Castle when the Cheevers family of Monkstown Castle were the owners.

Dalkey is an urban oasis nestling on the east coast of Ireland just ten miles south of Dublin city. A warm welcoming atmosphere awaits you here. There are lots of open-air dining and picnic options and there are children’s playgrounds at Cuala GAA grounds and Killiney Hill.

Things to do in Dublin for Families

Looking for more recommendations of things do in Dublin? Use our online guide for tips on what to see in Dublin, where to go for a drink and do around the city and find out what local events are happening.

Executive Bedroom in Clayton hotel Leopardstown

Start planning your trip to Dublin and book your perfect break at Clayton Hotel Leopardstown.


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