Looking for some family time inspiration? We’ve taken care of it!
We’ve made a map of our favourite family activities, restaurants and playgrounds in North County Dublin. Take a look and decide where your next family time adventure will take you.
Malahide Castle and Gardens is a tranquil escape located just 25 minutes from Dublin City Centre. There's a playground, fairy trail, butterfly house and more to be found on the 260 acres of parkland that surround the 800-year-old castle. There's an Avoca café on site serving up delicious lunch dishes and homemade cakes. The castle and gardens open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm.
Nicknamed 'Dublin's best kept secret', Newbridge House and Farm provide the perfect setting for a family day out. Visit the working 18th century farm, follow the interactive farm trail and grab some lunch at their Coach House Café. Take a tour of the house and learn of its rich past since being built in 1747. Newbridge House and Gardens opens daily from 9.30am to 5pm.
Flour has been milled Skerries Mills since the 12th century. The fully restored complex shows the workings of a five-sail windmill, four sail windmill, water mill and an 18th century bakery. The mills are a living example of how our ancestors harnessed wind and water energy long before the term 'climate change' existed. Tours operate daily from 10am to 5.30pm at Skerries mills and there's a café on site serving freshly baked brown bread and scones.
Hidden away in North County Dublin between Balbriggan and Skerries, Ardgillan Castle is known as 'Ireland's hidden gem'. Its 25 acres of parklands provide a stunning view of the Irish sea and the Mourne Mountains. Visitors can take a guided tour of the castle, have lunch at the castle tea rooms and there's a fairy trail and playground for children. The castle is also available for events, afternoon tea and children's parties. Ardgillan castle is open daily to visitors from 9am to 5pm.
Like Crystal Maze? Well, you'll love GoQuest. GoQuest is an indoor multi challenge centre for adults, teenagers and older children. You'll be tested with mental, physical and skill challenges across their 28 fully automated rooms. The rooms are divided among four themed adventure zones and you can visit each room with a team of 3 to 5 people. You can book a visit to GoQuest through their website and you'll be given 1.5 hours to complete the most challenges you can.
Xtreme specialise in delivering unique experiences. Choose one of their many activity packages and try zip lining, 4x4 off road driving, obstacle courses and more. There are activities to suit all ages from 7 upwards.
Home to Ireland's national sports museum, Croke Park holds huge significance in Irish history. Visit to learn the story of GAA and test your football and hurling skills in the interactive skill zone. Follow in the footsteps of our national sports stars in an access all areas tour. To top it all off, walk along Croke Park's Ericsson Skyline and get an eagle-eyed view of the city from 17 storeys up.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from the bustling North Street in Swords, Gourmet Food Parlour is a favourite among family diners. And with friendly staff, a home from home atmosphere and great food it's easy to see why! There's veggie, vegan, gluten free and children's options on their extensive menus making it the perfect spot to keep everyone happy.
This husband and wife ran café opened its doors on Skerries' Main Street in 2005 serving Irish and European dishes in the form of sandwiches, salads, soups, baked goods and coffee. Olive café pride themselves on using high quality ingredients while maintaining their unpretentious, neighbourhood café vibe. Their terrace is perfect for sipping coffee on those warm summer days.
Jam Park is a brand-new entertainment complex at Airside Retail Park in Swords. There's karaoke, an arcade, crazy golf, ping pong, shuffleboard, escape rooms, board games and lots more fun stuff to do at Jam Park. On sunny days you can head to their rooftop terrace for some food and drinks and soak up the sunshine. There is a children's menu but it's worth noting that children are only permitted in Jam Park until 6pm daily - after that it's over 20's.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Garden House Café sources the best local ingredients to use in their homemade meals and baked goods. The eggs come from their own free-range chickens and everything on their menu is prepared on site. The Garden House Café opens every day and operates a brunch menu on the weekends. Drop in to taste their baked eggs and their famous big breakfast.
Known for being family friendly, Crabby Jo's serves everything from traditional fish and chips to lobster - all at a reasonable price. Most of the produce comes from their own shop on the famous Howth Pier so you know that you're eating the freshest ingredients. There's a dedicated children's menu at the restaurant that includes options such as monkfish and salmon skewers and pasta with tomato sauce.
Recently renovated, the playground at Malahide Castle and Gardens consists of swings, slides, climbing frames and other items of interest to suit kids of all ages. It is split into two sections with an area suited to toddlers and another more suited to older children. There are picnic benches for parents to relax at while keeping an eye on their children - perfect for when the kids get hungry after all that playing!
Located beside Howth Harbour, across from the yacht club, there's lots of parking near this playground. There's swings, slides, bouncers and other games for children to enjoy - but entry is limited to under 12's. The playground can get busy on sunny days but you can always get an ice cream from the nearby parlour while you wait for a turn on the swings.
Accessible by kayak and boat, the playground at Red Island in Skerries has the most unique, picturesque location of any other playground in North County Dublin. Surrounded by sandy beaches, surfers and swimmers, this large playground has attractions that are suitable for younger children and plenty of parking.
Fairview Park Playground underwent a massive overhaul in 2012 and since reopening its popularity among families has soared. The wooden playground has something for all ages - there's a wobbly boat, a wooden ship with a slide, a pendulum see-saw and lots more.
Glebe Park Playground was launched in March 2019 with a focus on natural play taking inspiration from the area's local heritage. There's a knight sculpture at the centre of the playground and attractions include a sand pit, swings and slide built into the playground's hill. If you and your family feel like stretching your legs.