Keeping the kids occupied in a seaside town can sometimes be difficult if you don’t have access to the local activities. The main activity in Dún Laoghaire is sailing, with yacht clubs holding summer-long courses for all ages. These courses typically last a week and cater for all ages and levels of experience. That being said, for those just passing through, there are other sea-based activities that can thrill and delight families with kids all the same.
View of Dun Laoghaire from the National Maritime Museum — Photo courtesy of National Maritime Museum
The Shackleton Endurance Exhibition located in the Dún Laoghaire Ferry Terminal is a great story of adventure, treacherous conditions and heroic success during Irishman Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. With stunning photos taken of the crew and their efforts to escape the packed ice that crushed their main vessel and a lifesize replica of the lifeboat that they would have used, this is a great way to immerse kids in history while giving them real insight into events from the early 1900s.
If your child has an interest in sealife and maritime heritage, then the next logical stop should be the nearby National Maritime Museum, which features great exhibitions on Ireland’s coastline wildlife, Irish geography and the history of the navy in Ireland.
The waters of Dublin Bay — Photo courtesy of Moppet
If the weather is nice, then why not go on a family trip across Dublin Bay booked with Dublin Bay Cruises? Your trip from Dún Laoghaire Harbour to Howth will give you a historical tour of all of the sights around Dublin Bay, and there are family rates for the cruise available.
Each trip is only one way, however, and you can choose to either return to Dún Laoghaire via the Dublin suburban rail (DART) or by buying another return ticket to take you back across. These trips run from Dún Laoghaire twice daily at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. from March through October. Tickets for a family of two adults and two children will cost you around €50.
For those kids with a sweet tooth who just prefer to run around, treat them to Teddy’s Ice Cream, located near Dún Laoghaire Pier. Bring them along the sculpture trail that lines the seafront, as you walk towards Sandycove. The outdoor gym facilities facing out onto the ocean are also a fun thing for kids and adults alike to get involved with.
If the weather is playing ball, there are plenty of great sights to see. But when it’s overcast, the museums on offer are great to immerse kids in tales of the surf.