Are you living or staying in Dublin and looking for ideas for places to go with the kids within striking distance of the capital? Finding fun days out is one of the things we love doing at Mykidstime, so here are 10 fun family days out near Dublin for you to enjoy!
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All of us are parents at Mykidstime, so we know what it’s like to take car journeys with kids! We have picked out 10 great ideas for family days out near Dublin that we have enjoyed. Each of these day trips is within a 1.5 hour drive of Dublin city centre – they are all fabulous family-friendly places, with a few things to do so you can pack the kids in the car and make a day out of it too.
2020 update: as with all attractions, please check their website or social media before going to make sure that they are open or if tickets need to be booked.
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Great Ideas for Family Days Out Near Dublin
#1. Wexford Lavender Farm
If you’ve never ventured to Wexford Lavender Farm before, you’re in for a treat. The farm covers four acres of lavender with so much to do, including:
- A children’s play area
- Quad barrel train ride
- Woodland Warriors and Enchanted Wood (a 1km looped walk with rustic playground equipment)
- Outdoor Snakes and Ladders game
- Visitor information centre
- Café located in converted stables
- Gift shop, craft room and plant sales
Open Tuesday – Sunday 10:30am – 5pm (and bank holidays). You can pre-book parking via their website.
Driving time from Dublin: approx 75 minutes
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#2. Clonfert Pet Farm
Another favourite is Clonfert Pet Farm located in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, which offers a host of activities including:
- Visiting the animals, from familiar farm animals to some more exotic animals like wallabies and lemurs
- 3 playgrounds
- Zip wire
- Sand pit
- Go karts
- Permanent large bouncy castle
- Indoor soft play area
They also have crazy golf at a small charge of €2 per person. There is an onsite café and plenty of picnic benches dotted around the farm to enjoy too.
Driving time from Dublin: approx 35 minutes
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#3. Irish National Stud
Enjoy a great day out for all the family at the Irish National Stud & Gardens in Kildare Town, Co. Kildare. This family-friendly location offers an unforgettable experience in 800 acres of beautiful Kildare countryside with some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens to be found anywhere in the world, including the beautiful Japanese Gardens and St Fiachra’s Garden.
Enjoy a tour of the Horse Museum and explore the magical ‘fairy trail’ in the woodland area, and afterwards let the kids run off some steam at the fab playground before you stop by the café for refreshments.
Open daily 9am to 6pm.
Driving time from Dublin: approx 30 minutes
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#4. Greenan Maze
At Greenan Maze in Wicklow you’ll find 2 mazes, museums, farm animals, nature walks, treasure hunt and fairy tree trail as well as a crafts and coffee shop. They have picnic areas and under cover. The larger of the mazes is a 7 ft tall Celtic-inspired hedge maze, kids will love this tricky puzzle to solve. There’s also a smaller Solstice maze, a more gentle contemplative experience for adults and wee ones.
Enjoy the farm animals and then take a beautiful wild nature walk along The Dragonfly Walk. This is a raised wooden walkway leading through native woods and wetlands past three ponds with viewing platforms so you can try to spot the dragonflies!
Open 10am to 6pm with last admission at 5pm. Daily during summer months, seasonal opening at other times of the year.
Driving time from Dublin: approx 75 minutes
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#6. Castlecomer Discovery Park
Located 18km north of Kilkenny, Castlecomer Discovery Park has a range of exciting recreational, cultural and educational activities for families and kids of all ages. You can enjoy boating on the lakes, Ireland’s longest zip line, Tree Top Adventure Walk course nestled 10m high in the trees, a ‘Leap of Faith’ and Climbing Wall.
Younger kids will enjoy the Elf and Fairy Village, Timber Tumble Playground and the Junior Woodland Adventure Course. The park has 80 acres of natural woodland with 6km of trails throughout, an interactive coal mining museum, design craft workshops and award winning Jarrow café.
Woodland Trails open daily from 8.30am until dusk. Outdoor Activities are available to book online and have seasonal opening hours which vary throughout the year.
Driving time from Dublin: approx 90 minutes
#7. Russborough House
Russborough House & Parklands in Wicklow has plenty to keep families amused indoors and out. Starting with the House itself, for families with an interest in history and art you can take a House Tour.
Then visit the 2,000-metre beech hedge maze. A statue of Cupid stands at the centre of the maze to help you puzzle your way in, but will you find your way back out again?
There’s a fantastic playground with a picnic area alongside, and a Fairy Walk through their woodlands and out to Lady’s Island. Kids can pick up a brochure from reception and learn all about the fairies’ adventures. There is a restaurant and gift shop.
Guided family tours take place from Wed-Sat, but you need to book online. Parklands are open every day from 9am-6pm, the Walled Garden is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:30am to 3:30pm. Playground open daily.
Driving time from Dublin: approx 50 minutes
#8. Powerscourt Estate
Powerscourt Estate, just 20km south of Dublin, offers a fantastic day out for families with a choice of attractions to visit. Experience one of the best views in Ireland at Powerscourt Gardens, featuring ornate Italian and Japanese Gardens. Then enjoy:
- Woodland and river walks
- Visiting the highest waterfall in Ireland
- Having fun in the children’s playground
- Meeting Giant Redwoods which grow up to 80m high
- Climbing the Pepper Pot Tower
- Take a picnic or enjoy food and drinks at the Avoca Terrace Café
Open daily 9:30am-5:30pm. Tickets for the Gardens can be booked online, Waterfall tickets can be purchased on arrival.
Driving time from Dublin: approx 45 minutes
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#9. Causey Farm
Explore the bog at Causey Farm at Fordstown, Navan. Meet the farm animals and have fun on a traditional Irish Farm where you can learn how to make a rope, do a Bog Jump, and even milk a cow!
They have recently introduced a fun Ice Cream Adventure – follow the outdoor trail and find games to play, puzzles to solve, bubbles to blow (giant ones!) and acres and acres of green countryside freedom.
Causey Farm is just that – a working farm which is home to cattle, sheep, ponies, pigs, hens, geese, a retired turkey and his wife, and a noisy gaggle of giggling geese.
Closed on Tuesdays. Book online.
Driving time from Dublin: approx 60 minutes
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#9. Clara Lara
Located at Rathdrum, County Wicklow, Clara Lara is a 50-acre water-based adventure park provides families with activities such as Tarzan swings, rafts, boating lakes, kiddie-karts, water slides, rope bridges and an assault course.
Clara Lara Funpark is a great day out for all ages. There is a dedicated section for little explorers including a pirate ship, sandpit and woodland playground.
Shoes must be worn (even in the water) so make sure to bring some old runners, along with spare clothes and towels. If you have wetsuits bring those. And if you can get there early you can be lucky and get a changing hut. Bring a packed lunch to complete the fun day out.
Opening hours daily 10.30am-6pm.
Driving time from Dublin: approx 70 minutes
#10. Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park
Located in Ireland’s most famous peatland, the Bog of Allen in West Kildare, the award-winning Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park has lots of fun activities, including indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a pet farm, a fairy bower and more.
Enjoy over 60 acres of woodland and peatland trails, enjoy their large outdoor adventure play area, 18 hole mini golf, train trips, pet farm and a fun treasure hunt. There is a café with a sheltered picnic area beside it.
Open daily 10am to 5.30pm, online booking required for all visits.
Driving time from Dublin: approx 60 minutes
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Have your say! Have you visited any of these places? Where else do you recommend for family days out near Dublin? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!