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Things to do in Dublin

There are lots of fun, exciting and educational attractions in Dublin. Many of which offer free admission and may be combined with a trip to the Butlers Chocolate Experience to create a fun packed day for the entire family. See some of our suggestions below and for accommodation options please visit

Santry Demesne Regional Park

Santry, Dublin 9. Free admission

This public park close to the city centre is home to several free attractions including a children’s play area, a man-made lake and the Morton Athletics Stadium. There are loads of free activities on offer on this bustling park, where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city for a few hours.

Santry Demesne Regional Park

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 4km

Casino at Marino

Cherrymount Crescent, Marino, Dublin 3. Admission - Adult: €3, Senior/Group: €2, Child/Student: €1

A stunning 18th century neo-classical building, The Casino boasts 16 beautifully decorated rooms, etched with history and rich in detail. Located at Marino, just three miles north of the city centre, this striking Dublin sight is packed with a rich history. Although there’s is a small admission charge this unique structure is still a cheap family day out.

Casino at Marino

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 4km

St Anne’s Park

Raheny, Dublin 5. Free admission

One of Dublin’s most popular recreational areas, St Anne’s Park attracts thousands of visitors due to its fantastic range of facilities and wide, open grounds. Whether you’re visiting Dublin from afar or a local trying to find something for the kids to do, this bustling park is the perfect location.

St Anne’s Park

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 5km

National Botanic Gardens

Glasnevin, Dublin 9. Free admission

Located in Glasnevin, 5km north-west of Dublin city centre, these intriguing gardens are the perfect place to while away the day whether you’re visiting Dublin, sightseeing or spending time with the family on the school holidays. A crucial haven of conservation, the gardens are home to over 300 endangered species from around the world and six species already extinct in the wild.

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 7km

Bull Island Nature Reserve

Dollymount, Dublin 3. Free admission

This hotbed of intertidal mudflats, salt marshes, freshwater marshes and dunes is teeming with wildlife, with up to 27,000 birds flocking to the mudflats at any one time. A nature reserve and bird sanctuary of international importance, Bull Island is a unique tourist attraction and a fascinating, fun free activity for kids and grown-ups alike.

Bull Island Nature Reserve 

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 7.5km

Glasnevin Cemetery

Glasnevin, Dublin 11. Museum and Tour cost - Adult: €12, Child/Senior/Student: €8

Led by a team of experienced guides, the historical tour gives a valuable insight into this unique Victorian burial place and into the final resting place of the men and women who have helped shape Ireland’s past and present. There is also a fascinating interactive museum exhibition, which allows you to find out more about the people buried in the cemetery. This history-filled cemetery should be high on the list for anyone looking to do some Dublin sightseeing, or just looking for a Dublin tour with a difference.

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 7.5km

National Transport Museum

Heritage Depot, Howth Demesne, Howth. Admission Adult: €4, Senior/Student/Child: €3

A collection of Ireland’s public and commercial road transport with vehicles dating back to 1883, this fascinating museum chronicles the golden age of transport. With military, fire & emergency and utility vehicles on show - as well as photos, artefacts, documents and other items – it’s a Dublin attraction that’s rich and detailed look at our transport history.

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 9km

Malahide Park & Castle

Malahide, Co. Dublin. Admission to Castle - adult: €12, child: €6, student: €8 senior: €7.50

This beautiful 268 acre park sits right in the heart of seaside town Malahide and is packed with free attractions, including a large children's playground, a nine-hole par-three golf course, 18-hole pitch & putt course, sports pitches, tennis courts, a cricket pitch and exercise trail. It’s the perfect family day out. Housed on the grounds is the spectacular Malahide Castle, which you can explore on a fascinating guided tour.

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 10km

Portmarnock Martello Tower

Portmarnock, Co. Dublin

Ireland’s east coast is dotted with Martello towers but few are in as picturesque a location as Portmarnock’s excellently maintained landmark. Overlooking the Irish Sea, right on the cusp of Portmarnock’s long sandy beach, the tower has been modernised internally and is actually lived in now, but it’s still a striking Dublin sight.

Portmarnock Martello Tower

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 11km

The Howth Express

Howth, Co. Dublin. Cost - Adults €5, Children under 12 €3.50, Family pass (2 adults + 2 kids) €15

This pleasant and relaxing tour around the stunning Howth coastline is one of the most fun things to do in Dublin with the kids. The tour runs for about half an hour, taking in the fishing harbour and Howth Yacht Clubs and finishing at the old Court House.

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 12km

Newbridge House & Farm

Hearse Road, Donabate, Co. Dublin. Farm Admission: Adult €5, Senior Citizens/Students €4, Children (under 12): €4, Children 2 or under are free, Family (2 Adults + 2 Children): €14 Newbridge House Admission: Adults: €7, Senior Citizens/Students €6, Children under 12: €4, Family: (2 adults & 2 Children €20.00)

A breathtaking Georgian house on a 360-acre demesne, it appears more or less as it did 150 years ago. The farm is home to horses, ponies hens, pigs, bulls, goats, ducks, geese and all sorts of flora and fauna. With gorgeous woodland walks and a Deer Park as well, it’s a wonderland of activity for both children and adults to enjoy and a perfect family day in Dublin.

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 14km

Farmleigh House

Phoenix Park, Dublin 15. Free admission

Farmleigh House (Phoenix Park, Dublin 15. Free admission) – Farmleigh House is the official Irish State guest house. It was formerly one of the Dublin residences of the Guinness family and sits above the River Liffey to the north-west of the Phoenix Park. If you’re at a loss as to what to do in Dublin, this is the perfect family day out, with horses, donkeys and cattle on the imperious grounds. Stroll further around the park and you’ll find deer and other wildlife, making this a real treat for any visitors.

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 17km

Skerries Mills

Skerries, Co. Dublin. Admission - Adult: €6.25, Student: €4.80, Senior Citizen: €4.80, Child: €3.35, Family: (2 + 4) = €12.50

You can hark back to a bygone era in the picturesque seaside town of Skerries with a trip to these eye-catching mills. It’s an idyllic family day in north Co Dublin, where you can enjoy a guided tour of the four-storey watermill building, try your hand at grinding; observe the waterwheel at work and visit one of the windmills, a particularly good photo opportunity at one of the best attractions in Dublin.

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 26km

Ardgillan Demesne & Castle

Balbriggan, Co. Dublin. Admission to Castle - €6.50 per adult, €5 for students, groups and seniors, and €13 for a family of two adults and two children under twelve

A real hidden gem in north county Dublin, these sprawling grounds feature a walled and rose garden and magnificent castle. Overlooking the Irish Sea, Ardgillan is jam-packed with activities and family things to do including Tea Rooms, a children’s playground, cycle and walking paths and gardens. It’s a cheap family day that is bursting with attractions.

Distance from the Butlers Chocolate Experience: 28km