Dublin and East
Things to do in Dublin
So maybe you have a couple of days in our fair city or maybe you’re staying a little longer. Dublin is a world famous city for lots of reasons and Ireland is home of the ‘Cead Mile Failte’ or ‘Hundred Thousand Welcomes’. With a superb traffic motorway system around Dublin city, you can get in and out of Dublin in a flash. For example, travelling from Dublin Airport, via the port tunnel, will have you on the quays in Dublin city in about 25/30 minutes.
Everyone is familiar with big names like the Guinness Storehouse and the Book of Kells etc. At DayOut.ie however, we like to get you off the beaten track and let you know about some other attractions in Dublin and East of Ireland. You may or may not have heard of these but we like them and hence they made our list…
Dublinia is a large exhibition themed venue located beside Christchurch cathedral. The venue is dedicated to the Viking and Medieval history of Dublin city. It has exhibitions, a fascinating events calendar and ticks all the boxes for an enjoyable day out with education, history and general interest for all. Children and adults will be engaged and entertained and don’t forget to check out the interactive and ‘live’ Viking Dublin or History Hunters guide, complete with friendly and real life costumed guides.
If you’re not very familiar with Dublin and want directions, you basically stand outside the front gate of Trinity College with your back facing the gate. This is College Green. (On your left is Nassau Street which will bring you to Grafton street).
The road running straight away from you is Dame street, walk up to the top of this street and you’ll be at Christchurch. You’ll pass another major attraction on your left as you walk up this street – Dublin Castle, itself a place steeped in history and heritage.
Location: Christchurch, Dublin City
Dublin Zoo is the 2nd most popular ‘paid’ visitor attraction in Ireland, welcoming over 1 million visitors annually. Behind the scenes, the Zoo works in partnership with zoos worldwide to conserve bio-diversity on earth and financially supports a variety of conservation projects supporting great apes, tigers, rhinos, golden lion tamarins, African wild dogs and eagles.
Located on 28 hectares in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, the Zoo is easily accessible by bus, LUAS, and train and is open everyday with the exception of Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day (26th December). It’s a hugely popular family day out – our tip is to get there early as numbers can be quite high during the Summer months. While there are food outlets on site, they can be busy so a packed lunch / picnic is ideal with lots of seating areas available.
Location: Phoenix Park, Dublin city
Super jungle themed soft indoor play area where your little monkeys can swing away the hours on climbing frames, ropes, slides and soft obstacles. Delicious healthy eating with on-site cafe, party rooms for birthday parties and celebrations and lots of creative activities with daily activity programmes.
Our aim is to provide a fun, active, inspiring and family friendly centre for children up to the age of eight to let their imaginations run wild! Check out Breakfast mornings, interactive Arts & Crafts activities, Cookery mornings and the hugely popular Musical movement. All this before they start their climbing!
Another favourite with kids are the 2 Funtasia locations, found on the East coast. First is Funtasia Bettystown (the dry one) which is a large amusement / arcade type establishment right on the sea front in Co Meath. It has a large play centre, ideal for kids parties and also provides food along the burger & chips / nuggets and chips variety. The centre has lots of arcade type activities from machines to dodgems and also bowling. It’s an ideal way to pass a few hours and let them burn off some energy.
Next is Funtasia Waterpark (the wet one) situated in Drogheda, Co Louth. This is a very large complex with lots of activities like bowling, crazy golf, roller skating, climbing wall and sky climb (a suspended obstacle course overhead which is really cool). There’s also the Pirates Cove Waterpark which has lots of water activities. Honestly, it’s very impressive with massive water slides and water novelties. The Superbowl and the Boomerang are superb – you gotta try them that’s all we’ll say!!
Location: Funtasia Bettystown, Co Meath | Funtasia Waterpark – Drogheda, Co Louth
As play centres go, this is one of the best we’ve seen in Dublin. A large, purpose built adventure and play zone for children which just ticks all the boxes for a great day out. Bright, clean and colourful, Go Kids Go has a great selection of activities and the availability of hot food makes it an ideal location for large groups like birthday parties, club groups and school tours.
The disco room is hugely popular, along with Indoor Soccer, Kids Go Karts and even Laser Tag for the older kids and that’s before you get to the play centre! Highly recommended and well worth checking out..
Location: Coolmine Ind Est, Dublin 15, which is Blanchardstown / Castleknock direction
Just 45 minutes out of the city and you are in the wilderness – on the edge of stunning scenery in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Kippure is a private estate set on 240 acres and separated from the National Park only by the rush of the River Liffey, which is actually Dublin’s main river but has it’s source in the Wicklow mountains.
Kippure adventure activities include the High Ropes course or simply outdoor forest walks. Probably suited better to group outings, there are however open activity days from May to October, which are specifically for individuals, couples and families (check web site for more). Catering for groups of 8 or more available, including Summer BBQs which are very popular. Accommodation available on site and small bar facility allows groups to unwind after an active day.
If you have any ‘water babies’ in your house, then Aquazone at the National Aquatic Centre is an absolute must! The NAC is not only about competitive swimming and championships etc. The Aquazone is a separate section of the centre, is one of the most innovate water parks in Europe and it’s open to the public!
It’s a huge venue with pools, wave machine, flow rider surf machine, splash novelties, tunnels, hoses and slides. We say slides, which includes baby slides but also the long, twisting and winding water slides for bigger kids and grown ups! In the interests of research for this site (ahem), I had to eh, go on them!!
Excellent changing facilities and full restaurant / cafe to grab lunch afterwards. We’ve been there several times and it’s highly recommended!
Location: Blanchardstown, Dublin. Getting to the National Aquatic Centre
A super outdoor educational experience founded by nature lover Andrew ‘Mouse’ Fleming. OWLS stands for Outdoors, Wildlife, Learning, Survival. The organisation run a series of outdoor events and workshops throughout the year that take place in parks and natural areas around Dublin. They are aimed at families with young children who want to discover more about their natural heritage whilst having fun outdoors. Keep an eye out during the school holidays for nature camps and sleep outs or why not have OWLS visit during the school term for a highly informative and engaging nature class.
Great to see highly qualified leaders like ‘Mouse’ and Turtle (aka Clare – pictured) dedicated to teaching younger generations about the environment around us. Perfect opporutnity to get them outdoors and back to basics.
Location: Dublin area, further details on web site
Situated in the heart of Dublin city, visitors can explore the history and heritage of one of the worlds finest whiskey brands. For over 200 years, the Jameson blend of Irish whiskey was made in Dublin city, before the distillery closed in 1971 transferring operations to the Jameson distillery in Middleton Cork.
The distillery process has been re-created as a tour and accompanied by informative tour guides, you’ll see how the whiskey making process happens, the steps involved and factors affecting blend and taste. Speaking of taste, there is a treat for everyone at the end of the tour with a drink and also the opportunity for some visitors to take part in whiskey tasting where they can receive their very own certificate. A great day out for anyone interested in the history if Dublin city. The gift shop and 3rd still restaurant are superb compliments to this day out visit in Dublin.
Location: Smithfield, Dublin city.
Situated a short walk (3 mins) from the Smithfield Luas / Light Rail stop.
Now as tours go, this is really great fun and a great addition to your day out in Dublin. It’s a fun and innovative tour which sees you climbing onboard WW2 style Dukws – cool amphibian type vehicles used during the Second World War that drive on land but also go in the water!. Friendly tour guides who also happen to be your driver (and just a little bit mad) take you on a quick tour of the capital city before driving you down a ramp and plonking you in the inland waterways of Dublin docks to continue your tour on water. It’s great fun, with groups of kids (and grown ups too – we saw you!!) encouraged to roar like vikings at passers by on the street – maybe it’s those viking hats they get to wear! The addition of the water tour is a great adventure for the kids and finishes off a really unique tour experience.
Location: departs regularly from St. Stephens Green in Dublin city centre.