Travelling with a family can be so expensive that you might feel like staying at home. But a restricted budget should not stop you from enjoying the delights of the Irish capital. When funds are tight, you need to find cheap and inventive ways to enjoy yourselves with the kids. Here are some budget-friendly ways to occupy the family next time you’re in Dublin:
Dublin Bus Hop On Hop Off Tour
Even adults get a buzz from trundling along in an open-top bus. Dublin Bus
offers a flexible tour that lets you join and leave as often as you like over the course of two days. It covers all the main Dublin attractions, from Dublin Zoo to Trinity College, and the entertaining local guides provide a native’s insights on the city. The best part is that each paying adult can bring two children under 14 years free, so this is not an expensive day out.
The National Museum of Ireland
Museums used to have an image as dusty places where any children misfortunate enough to be dragged along would quickly lose the will to live. Those days are long gone, however. The National Museum
on Kildare St. does a wonderful job in bringing history alive for younger folk, with entertaining exhibitions on everything from the Vikings to Ancient Egypt and prehistoric Ireland to bog bodies. Tours and events designed for families include the My Museum Programme, which encourages interaction and exploration for all the family, in addition to hands-on events featuring storytelling, drama, art or demonstrations, and guided tours.
Natural History Museum
Known locally as the Dead Zoo, the Natural History Museum
has been entertaining and educating children since it was opened by famous Scottish explorer Dr. David Livingstone in 1857. Featuring giant elk and whale skeletons, multicoloured butterfly collections, and hundreds of other animal exhibits, the Natural History Museum is a fascinating world for all the family. Watch out for special family and children’s events based on different aspects of the animal world.
Irish Museum of Modern Art – Explore for Families
Another museum that children will adore is the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Its family programme, Explorer, encourages children and adults to explore artworks and art making on Sunday afternoons from 2pm to 6pm January to May and October to December. Projects are designed for children aged 4 to 10, with numbers limited to 35 participants. The information desk firstname.lastname@example.org has more details.
You won’t believe you’re within minutes of the city centre when you visit the magnificent Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin
. On a fine day, take a picnic and admire the wonderfully restored, award-winning glasshouses, and let your younger charges make the most of their freedom in the fine grounds. Stroll around the rock garden, rose garden, pond area, and arboretum, where more than 15,000 plant species make this a genuine urban oasis. The National Botanic Gardens are open to the public each day except Christmas Day, and there are free guided tours on Sundays from 12.00 to 14.30.
Free Fun in the Park
The Phoenix Park is not just Europe’s largest urban park, it is also an enormous playground where kids can wander as freely as the resident herds of fallow deer. Discover more about the park and its wildlife at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre
. This spacious and inviting venue has free art materials and runs free workshops for children aged 5-plus on nature, art, and history every Sunday from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Visit on Saturday to avail of free tickets to see Aras an Uachtarain, home of the President of Ireland. There’s a great playground beside the Visitor Centre, and the adjacent Ashford Castle is well worth a visit.