With the evenings continuing to stretch and the weather becoming ever milder (dare we even say – sunny?!), it’s set to be a cracking summer here in Dublin. With that in mind, we’ve selected an array of fun events set to take place over the coming months. From outdoor cinema and music exhibitions to an idyllic day at the seaside, there’s something for everyone!
Dublin’s self-reinvention continues to impress: and there are lots of fun outdoor activities planned for the summer months. First up, why not visit the Happenings crew’s temporary pop-up cinema in leafy Fitzwilliam Park? Located in the city-centre’s Georgian district and featuring DJs and an Irish Village Food Market, this fun event from renowned cultural collective Happenings – who frequently run various pop-up events in both Dublin and Limerick - gives cinema back its soul.
Not only will you find green spots in Dublin – there are animals a-plenty too! At the recently revamped 38-acre urban farm Airfield in Dundrum (served by the green Luas line), you’ll find a stunning woodlands area that’s home to over 2000 native woodland trees, 17th century hedgerows and a farmyard full of sheep, pigs, chickens and over 50 laying hens who supply the farm’s restaurant with eggs!
On the other side of the city in Donbate (served by Irish Rail trains), there’s Newbridge House & Farm; a multi-faceted Georgian mansion set on an 18th century working farm. Here, you’ll see happy animals – including ponies, piglets, goats and even baby chicks! - raised in an environment where they’re free to roam about freely. In fact, smack-bang in the city you’ll find the Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest walled gardens and home to a herd of deer who wander daily through its expansive green fields.
Alfresco Irish style
Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “There is no love sincerer than the love of food,” and Dubliners certainly seem to agree - we’ve got food that’ll make your taste buds dance! Devour Michelin-star meals for under a tenner at the annual Taste of Dublin festival, in the city-centre’s lush Iveagh Gardens. Fancy a maritime adventure? The majestic Cill Airne boat is a floating bar and restaurant on the River Liffey, offering up tasty food and cocktails. Why not climb aboard for their weekly Jazz Sunday? On the Grand Canal meanwhile, you’ll find La Peniche; a wine barge and bistro that takes punters on a relaxed journey downstream!
Discover Dublin Bay and seaside towns
The iconic Poolbeg chimneys are one of the most recognised of Dublin city's landmarks. The red and white chimneys - over 207 metres high - are best viewed on a Dublin Bay cruise, which will also showcase the jutting headlands of Howth on the northside of the city, and Bray to the south. Both these charming towns – which offer breathtaking cliff walks - are easily accessible by Dart from the city-centre; we especially recommend the stunning view from the top of Howth Head – if you’re feeling adventurous!
You can also take a boat trip from Howth to nearby Lambay Island and Ireland’s Eye. Dubliners love to take a dip in the ocean too, and have been swimming at the historic Forty Foot in the beautiful seaside town of Sandycove (also on the southbound Dart line) for 250 years. In fact, Irish writer James Joyce lived beside the baths in Martello Tower – the setting that opened the writer’s masterpiece Ulysses and now is a museum devoted to his life. Fancy a more rigorous outdoor activity?! The folks at Pure Magic cater for adventurous types, offering fun kite-surfing lessons on Dublin’s beaches, and stand-up paddle-boating sessions in the ocean. Definitely one to get the blood pumping!
Lovers of art should make their way to Merrion Square on Sundays for the OpenAirArt Gallery, which showcases some amazing local talent. Artists sit alongside their masterpieces, and are always happy to have a chat!
Elsewhere, renowned Irish artist Eva Rothschild deconstructs the history of 20th century abstract art through colourful installations at the Hugh Lane Gallery, where iconic figurative painter Francis Bacon’s famous studio is also housed. Meanwhile, over at the Irish Modern Museum of Art, Isabel Nolan showcases her quirky modern sculptures. In fact, you may have already seen an example of her work if you’ve flown in via Dublin Airport; her giant yellow ‘Turning Point’ is on display at Terminal 2.
Finding Bono and U2
Bono’s stardom started in Ireland’s capital city. Dubliners are modest folk, which means we tend to whisper about home-grown talent. But it’s all bells and whistles at the new exhibition, ‘U2: Made in Dublin’ in The Little Museum of Dublin. It captures U2’s early heydays with signed albums and photos of the band’s humble beginnings in smoky 1970 Dublin pubs, complete with flowing mullet hairstyles!
If you’re still in need of a Bono fix, have a drink in his plush hotel The Clarence, or take the southbound Dart to his beautiful seaside hometown of Dalkey. Here you can take a scenic stroll down to the harbour, visit Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre; which dates from the late 1300s, or take a guided walking tour around this historic and idyllic town.
For more idea's on what to see and do in Dublin this summer, click here