City Center

Book of Kells, Trinity College - The Book of Kells, a 9th century illuminated manuscript of the gospels, is just boggling. Letters and pages are decorated with fantastic creatures, angels, and religious figures, outlined in brilliant colors of blue, green, red and white, yellow (looks like gold). Even protected by a layer of glass, one page from the original Book of Kells glows like magic - kids will want to come home and make their own Book of Kells.
Before you take a look at the Book of Kells, there is an excellent exhibit about illuminated manuscripts - videos about book making, how the vellum (calfskin) pages were made and sewn together and how the artists and scribes using quills wrote and decorated each page with such exquisite artistry.
The Book is Kells is stored in a darkened room - one page of text and one decorated page is displayed, plus pages from two other famous illuminated manuscripts, the Book of Armagh and the Book of Durrow.
From the Book of Kells, you walk through the Long Room of the Old Library, aisle after aisle of 200,000 hand-bound books, stored on wooden shelves in a glorious high-ceilinged room. The Long Room is a real tribute to the written word, almost a fantasy library where it's easy to imagine spirits wafting out of the books.
In another building (across from the Old Library) is the Dublin Experience, a multimedia slideshow. The show, a good overview of the long history of Dublin, from the earliest settlers to a free republic in the 20th century, will appeal to older kids.
National Wax Museum Plus - The National Wax Museum on Foster Place is a way into Irish history, mythology, sports, music and the arts. You'll find incredibly lifelike portraits of the Irish writers, historical figures and soccer legends. In Grand Hall, step into the world of Irish rock and movie stars. Fun for those rainy days.
St. Stephen's Green - Like everyone else, bring your picnic lunch and spread it out on the grass. The Victorian style park has emerald green grass, shade trees, a small artificial lake, and gazebo for informal concerts.
At the entrance to the park (St. Stephen's Green North), you'll see carriages pulled by Irish draught horses. Go for a delightful clip-clop carriage ride around town.
National Museum of Ireland - Archeology - Step into a treasure trove of ancient artifacts. The gold goodies are extraordinary - huge crescent collars, twisted gold torcs, bracelets, dress fasteners, plus a bog body and also a replica of a Neolithic passage tomb. In the Treasury, with stunning examples of Celtic metalworking, especially the Tara Brooch and Ardagh Chalice.
Upstairs are exhibits of Viking Ireland, including replica of a Viking ship, skeleton from a Viking burial, a model of Dublin and objects of everyday life.
Located on Kildare street, the museum is free.
National Museum of Ireland - Natural History -This kid-friendly museum has cabinet after cabinet filled with the animals of Ireland -extinct giant Irish deer with huge antlers (from 32,000 years ago), Irish mammals (foxes, badgers, hares, seals, otters), birds, fish, sea shells and butterflies. Museum is free.
The National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History - If weather turns bad, the decorative arts museum is fun for the fashion-minded or if you like ancient coins. Check out 18th - 20th century Irish fashions (including kid's clothes), plus period furniture and crafts, silver and 1,000 years of Irish coins.
Museum is in Collins Barracks, on Benburb Street, and is free.
Walk Merrion Square to the Grand Canal - Take a walk around Merrion Square to see the painted doors with peacock fan windows above the doors - red, blue, yellow, green, dark blue. Then walk one block east on Mount Street Upper (or Mount Street Lower) to the Grand Canal.
Grand Canal - The tree-shaded canal has stone bridges, weirs, and ducks floating on the water. Walk south along the canal for blocks and blocks. At the north end of the canal is the Waterways Visitor Centre.
Waterways Visitor Centre - Ireland has a huge systems of canals built in the 18th century for transportation and operated for 150 years. Located on the Grand Canal, the Waterways Visitor Centre has a full-size coracle made with hazel rods and leather (a traditional boat used for millenia), models of a Viking ship and "flyboats," how a lock works (real water sloshing about) and all about canals in Ireland.
follow us on facebook
follow us on twitter
follow us on instagram
vimeo travelforkids
follow us on pinterest