With its emphasis on pubs, literature and modern history, Dublin is very much a city for adults. However there are still plenty of things for kids if you know where to look.
As usual, when you're away, the Zoo, located in Phoenix Park, is a safe place to start, and Dublin's is one of the best in Europe, with lions and tigers and elephants as well as a petting zoo. If the sun is shining make a full day of it in the park with a picnic, watching the deer roam (almost) freely. There's a playground here too.
VIking Splash Tours is one of our favourites for all ages - what child wouldn't enjoy putting on a Viking helmet and - encouraged by the tour guide - roaring loudly at passers-by! There's a good historical element to the tour and a "surprise" too (for the kids at least) as one minute you're in a bus, the next in a boat!
For those rainy days, a visit to "the Dead Zoo" (the Natural History Museum), or the mummified bodies at the National Archaeology Museum will not only keep them busy, it won't cost you a cent either. More gimmicky are the Wax Museum Plus (only older kids should enter the Chamber of Horrors) and the Leprechaun Museum. The latter is for little ones only and while it has a charm, at the time of our visit, it was still a work in progress.
The Ark, in Temple Bar, is a lively facility, designed for local children and school groups more than for tourists, but it's always worth a look to see what's on, particularly at the weekend. If you don't mind travelling a little further afield, then the Puppet Museum will also delight young children of a certain disposition.
Finally, if you're shopping in Grafton Street with the kids and crave a sit down in the park, St Stephen's Green is the answer, complete with children's playground and duck pond - take some brown bread to feed them (the ducks, not the children!).
Phoenix Park, Co. Dublin City, Ireland
tours depart from north side of St Stephen's Green
The most fun you can have in Dublin while wearing a Viking helmet!... read more
Old fashioned museum famous for its stuffed animals... read more
Ireland's past, entertainingly illustrated, most notably in peat bog burials and in golden treasure... read more
4 Foster Place
An Interactive Visitor Attraction... read more
11a Eustace St