Things to do in Dublin with a toddler

Spring usually means warm weather and weddings. Luckily for me, I was able to enjoy both last weekend. Although it was rainy and cold in London, things were looking up in Dublin, where blue sky and sun were forecast. Flying out on Friday evening and returning Monday evening, we didn’t have any other plans besides Saturday’s wedding. After a delayed flight from London City Airport which meant landing at 11:30pm, it was a quick search on things to do in Dublin. Unfortunately, Guinness and Irish Whiskey distillery tours were off the agenda, so what else was there to do?

Things to do in Dublin

We stayed in at the Iveagh Garden Hotel (nice, comfy hotel but located in the clubbing district of Harcourt Street so a slight hum during the nights). Bonus is that there’s the beautiful St. Stephen’s Green and shopping district a short walk away. Temple Bar is a 15 minute walk. It is also just a 20 minute drive from the airport. The suggestions below are within 30 minutes of the hotel either by tram, train, or car. I’m not sure if it was because the sun was out everyday we were there, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

Imaginosity: For those in London, this children’s museum is similar to KidZania. It’s ideal for toddlers to run around and role play for a couple of hours. Entry (up to €8 per person depending on age) is based on a ticketing system and timed sessions, so booking ahead is recommended. If you have to wait for the next session, there’s food on-site or plenty of restaurants outside. 

Dún Laoghaire, People’s Park: We visited a friend on Sunday who resides here and I can see why he decided to settle there. Set by the seaside south of Dublin, Dun Laoghaire offers plenty for children. There’s the main pier that you can walk along, or you can visit the People’s Park Market for some food and treats. There’s a large playground for the kids, allowing you to relax close by with a coffee and fresh brownie. 

Howth: With our flight back on Monday not until 5pm, we decided to drive up north to Howth for some more fresh air and seafood. It was within a short drive of the city and the airport. We didn’t make it to the lookout as we spent most of the time at the park and playground with Cara while waiting for lunch. But, there’s plenty to do there to make an entire day away from the city. Similar to Dun Laoghaire, there’s a pier that you can walk along and lots of seafood restaurants to choose from.

Places to eat 

Sophie’s (at The Dean): Fabulous views of the city from the top floor restaurant at The Dean Hotel. It was conveniently located across the road of our hotel and had good reviews, so we visited for brunch. The choice and quality of food and drinks matched the views. Plenty of space for families (including swings seats by the lifts), Cara enjoyed her meal and apple juice. 

Beanhive Cafe: A tiny cafe that sits about 10 people inside, and a few more outside, it’s the novelty coffee art that drew us to it. The options for breakfast were decent, but Cara enjoyed her babyccino the most. The adult coffee selection was nice as well, but get there early if you’d like a seat inside. 

The Oar House: The informative concierge at the Iveagh Garden Hotel suggested this restaurant for our visit to Howth. After some playtime in the park, we headed across to the pier for lunch. A seafood restaurant with the standard offerings like chowder, fish and chips and mussels. All dishes were fresh and nicely cooked, and Cara ate plenty of chowder and fish. The restaurant also provided Cara with crayons and paper to keep her occupied. There is dessert available, but given it was a nice sunny day, we opted for ice creams outside. I recommended that you book prior to arrival as there was a queue by the time we left. 

If you have any tips or recommendations, feel free to add it in the comments section below. 

Cara outside Imaginosity Enjoying role play Walk through St Stephen's Green Walk to lunch in Howth  Howth playground Ice cream in the sun Cara enjoying her babyccino Minion babyccino time

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