14 things to do at Easter in Dublin

Malahide Castle and Gardens, Butterfly Bench

Spring is in the air, which means the Easter holidays are just around the corner.

If you’re looking for ways to keep the kids entertained over the break, we’ve got plenty of ideas to give you some inspiration, from Easter camps and egg hunts to art workshops and trips to the farm. It’s worth bearing in mind that a lot of these activities book up quickly, which means the sooner you can make your reservations the better.

So, whether you want to say hello to the creatures in the zoo or go zip lining through the forest, here are some of the best family activities on offer during the Easter break.

See the animals at Dublin Zoo

If your kids love animals, Dublin Zoo is a great place to spend the day. The good news is it’s open throughout the school holidays (including Easter Sunday) from 9:30am-6pm and is running a series of workshops during the break, including a Junior Easter Workshop for kids aged 6-12. Keep an eye on the daily schedule of keeper talks while you’re there, so you can learn about the Asian elephants or gorillas from the experts. 

Media captionGet the kids involved in the Junior Easter Workshop in Dublin Zoo.

Explore the trails at Luggwoods Forest

Set in the Dublin Mountains just outside of Saggart, Luggwoods Forest is a place where kids can run wild and explore the great outdoors. During the Easter holidays, there’s extra entertainment laid on, with a puzzle to be solved on the trails and a chocolate egg for those who crack the code. There are fairytale characters along the way to lend a helping hand and kids will be able to see the alpacas, goats and pigs in the petting farm. It’s running from March 23 to April 1.  

Get creative at Hugh Lane Gallery

Family-friendly activities are often geared towards older kids, but the Hugh Lane Gallery is holding special Parent and Baby tours which explore different collections and displays. If your kids are older, head to the free Sunday Sketching workshop on Easter Sunday, where children aged six and up are guided around the gallery by an artist who will show them some creative tricks.  

Media captionSpend your Easter getting creative at Hugh Lane Gallery.

Enter a colouring contest at Newbridge House & Farm

Easter is a great time to visit Newbridge House & Farm – the bluebells are in bloom, the animals are spending more time outdoors and you may even see some ducklings or piglets running around. Plus, their Colour Me Farm Easter Competition will make the mid-term break even more colourful. Enter the contest by colouring in fun farm-themed pictures which will then be displayed in the Red Barn on the property for the whole of the Easter holidays. Kids aged 0-8 could win a cuddly toy while all artists aged eight and above have the chance to go home with an Easter hamper filled with delicious treats. 

Once you've finished your masterpiece, stop by the working farm to get a good look at the Shetland ponies or follow some of the nature trails through the parklands. If you get hungry, relax on the outdoor terrace and tuck into tasty pastries and desserts at Brambles Café.

Media captionFrom bluebells to foals, Newbridge House & Farm Easter camp is great for kids.

Hit the trails at Malahide Castle & Gardens

On March 30, the West Lawn of Malahide Castle and Gardens will host an Easter Family Fun Day with face painting, games, arts and crafts and more for little ones and kids up to 10. Grab lunch from one of the on-site food trucks and enjoy fun and games on the lawn all afternoon.

Prefer to stop by another day over the Easter holidays? Bring the kids on a guided tour to learn a bit about the castle, enter the Butterfly House and admire the beautiful colours of over 20 species of butterflies, or embark on the Fairy Trail and immerse yourselves in Irish folklore. If the kids are still too hyper for the trip home, check out the award-winning playground where they can swing and slide away their excess energy. 

Media captionFollow the Easter trail through Malahide Castle and Gardens.

Catch a puppet show at Farmleigh House and Estate

The Phoenix Park alone makes for a great family day out, but an added plus is Farmleigh House and Estate, right in the middle of the park close to the Castleknock Gate. Make your way down on Easter Sunday and Monday for two days of Easter fun. Kicking off at 10am, there will be puppet shows, falconry, pop-up comedy shows for the kids and live music in the bandstand. Once you're done, feel free to explore the entire park to find the wild deer that call it home - just don't get too close to them! 

Go wild at Kidspace Rathfarnham

The Easter Bunny doesn't always bring the good weather with him, so, prepare kid-friendly fun that is waterproof. To celebrate the Easter holidays, Kidspace in Rathfarnham is hosting two one-week long Easter camps in their colourful indoor playgrounds. Kicking off on March 25 from 9:30am to 2pm, the sessions are created with kids aged 4-8 in mind and offer everything from arts and crafts sessions and baking classes to Laser Quest.   

Back to nature at the Airfield Estate

Get the kids involved in the great outdoors over the holidays with a visit to the Airfield Estate in Dundrum. Alongside greeting the farm's array of animals, kids can help collect the eggs and watch the cows being milked, plus there are several gardens to explore too. To make your children's visit even more special, book them a slot in the estate's Wild Child Outdoor Workshop on March 23. Tailored for kids between 8-12 years old, they'll follow seasoned Forest School Leader Fiona Deacy through the Community Garden and learn a bit more about nature through games and hands-on activities like bird-box making and pond dipping. 

Afterwards, feed their appetites in the Overends Kitchen, a restaurant overlooking the grounds that serves up dishes made with ingredients plucked from the garden.  

Media captionThe Airfield Estate is packed with fun.

Go green at the Rediscovery Centre

Out in Ballymun, the Rediscovery Centre is part of a creative movement to encourage sustainability and they have two days of fun planned for April 3-4. Their Easter Activity Day features themed events like egg science experiments and games, as well as the chance for kids to get outside and enjoy nature in the spring. The events are running from 9am to 2pm.  

Hunt for eggs at the National Museum of Ireland

Another museum in the city centre opening its doors on Easter Sunday is the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History. For an Easter trail with a cultural twist, stop by The Big Barracks Egg Hunt to solve riddles and hunt for artefacts to win tasty prizes. If you're looking for an activity that will mellow out the kids, check out the Easter Egg Decoration Workshop, also taking place on March 31. Inspired by Annemarie Reinhold's Spoon Garden art installation, the whole family can decorate their own vegetable-inspired Easter egg decorations.

Media captionGo on an Easter egg hunt in National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History.

Fly through the trees at Zipit

If you’re a family of adventurers, the zip-lining and climbing course at Zipit in Tibradden Woods is a great day out. Set among the pine trees in the Dublin Mountains, the series of circuits range from one to 20 metres high, increasing as your skills (and confidence) build. If you have some residual adrenaline afterwards, go for a hike at the Hellfire Club which is a 10-minute drive away. It’s suitable for kids from the age of seven and is open every day of the school holidays.  

Media captionFor the adventurous family, Zipit in Tibradden wood is a great day out.

Go GAA GAA on a Teidí Tour of Croke Park

For families who love all things GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), the GAA Museum in Croke Park is hosting Teidí Tours from March 17 to 29. With the help of your tour guide, you'll have the chance to enter the teidí (teddy) workshop in Cú Chulainn's Den where you can create your very own GAA Museum teidí. Follow that up with an in-depth tour of the stadium; from the dressing rooms to the pitch, you can see it all. There's also a Junior Explorer Trail woven through all of the exhibitions, so, if the kids pay close attention they may be able to find a clue or two along the way. 

Media captionGet a sports education on a Teidí Tour of Croke Park.

Uncover tasty secrets at Butlers Factory

Go behind the scenes into the heart of all things chocolate with a tour of Butlers Chocolate Factory for their Easter Experience Tour. From March 23 to April 1, you can bring the kids on a tour of the entire factory, decorate your own Butlers souvenir made out of chocolate, meet the Easter Bunny and - if the weather is on your side - go on an outdoor Easter egg hunt. 

Learn from professional artists at the National Gallery of Ireland

On Easter Sunday, start your morning with a visit to the National Gallery of Ireland for a family-friendly workshop led by professional artist Sarah Edmondson. Inspired by some of the artwork displayed in the gallery's impressive collection, you and the kids can create colourful drawings that will hopefully take pride of place on your fridge. The two-hour long session starts at 11:30am and is drop-in only so there's no need to book in advance. 

Media captionSpend Easter Sunday getting artsy at the National Gallery of Ireland.

Family day out

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the capital with the kids, so here’s our guide to the ideal family day out in Dublin