National Museum of Ireland – Things to Do with Kids

National Museum of Ireland – Things to Do with Kids in Dublin

Are you looking for free things to do with kids in Dublin? Think National Museum of Ireland!

The National Museum of Ireland provides a variety of kids-friendly entertainment, from enchanting exhibitions, through educational events and workshops, to online tours. The Natural History Museum, Archaeology Museum and Decorative Arts & History Museum are all located in Dublin!

The Museums provide a vast array of exhibitions to suit different interests and age groups. A trip to the Museum is the perfect occasion to engage children’s inquiring minds, show them something new, spark their creativity and answers their curious questions.

On this page you will find all the necessary information for your family visit to then National Museum of Ireland. From a taster of the exhibitions, through the activity sheets and online resources, to the changing areas and parking details. All the detail you need is right here!


Natural History Museum with Kids

Natural History Museum Building

Natural History Museum Building

The tour of the museum actually starts before you enter, this is due to the fact that the exhibitions are located in a beautiful Victorian building.

The Natural History Museum is one of children’s favourite attractions. It allows them to see up close animals they would not be able to see otherwise. Your children will be absolutely amazed by the size of the Giant Irish Deer or the colours of the King Fisher, not to mention the spotted hyena!

 

Natural History Museum Exhibitions

Irish Fauna

Natural History Museum, hyena, DublinKids

Hyena at the National History Museum in Dublin

This exhibition includes the Giant Irish Deer with antlers spanning 3.5m (11.48ft), golden eagles, rabbits, insects and many sea creatures. You will even find the spotted hyena! We learned that spotted hyenas and woolly mammoths lived in Ireland in the later stage of Ice Age!

Mammals of the World

Your children will love the Bengal tiger on display, together with monkeys, zebras and a hippo. Even a visit to the zoo won’t give you an opportunity to see the animals so close up. You most definitely won’t hear any complaints about the giraffe being on the other side of the enclosure! There are right there and the children can take all the time they need to look at every detail.

Natural History Museum Online

The Museum offers a range of Online Activities For Families as well as online activity sheets for different age groups.

You and your child can also take a 3D Virtual Visit of the museum.

Natural History Museum Tickets

The admission to the museum is FREE. However, you do need to book your free tickets in advance.

Health & Safety

Groups are restricted to one social unit or family (max 6 visitors).
Multiple hand sanitising stations are available for visitors and the museum operates a one-way system throughout the galleries.
Some galleries/areas may be temporarily closed where physical distancing cannot be implemented.
Cloakroom services are unavailable.

Natural History Museum Opening Hours

Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday and Monday 1pm – 5pm
Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

Natural History Museum Address

Merrion Street, Dublin 2, D02 F627

Natural History Museum Facilities

Accessibility

The ground floor exhibition (Irish Fauna), Discovery Zone, Museum gift shop, and one restroom are wheelchair accessible and therefore buggy accessible. There is no lift to the first floor. Pushchairs/strollers can be left at the Museum entrance at the Museum’s discretion. However, this is not always possible due to limited space.

Toilets / Changing Areas

An accessible toilet is located on the ground floor, next to the entrance. There are also toilets on the first floor. However, these are not wheelchair accessible.

Baby changing facilities are available in the downstairs toilet facility, next to the Museum entrance.

Parking

On-street parking (pay by meter) is available immediately outside the Museum (Merrion Square).

The nearest public car parks are Dawson and Setanta Place.

There are public blue badge accessible parking spaces available outside the National Gallery on Merrion Square West, on the east side of Dawson Street, and the North and West side of St. Stephen’s Green.


Archaeology Museum with Kids

Museum of Archaeology, DublinKidsThe Museum of Archaeology has a very rich collection with artefacts dating from 7000BC all the way to the 20th century. Given the variety of the exhibitions your child is sure to find something that will awaken their interest. From prehistoric gold jewellery, thought vikings weapons to ‘bog bodies’, there is something for everyone.

They will be excited to see with their own eyes the things they learn about in school, like the Egyptian mummies, hieroglyphs or artefacts which bring the story of Brian Boru and Clontarf to life.

Museum of Archaeology, DublinKidsThe museum has interactive screens and audio narrative. This provides variety and keeps children entertained. Although most of the items are behind glass for obvious reasons, there are some objects that children can touch and handle.

Archaeology Museum Exhibitions

There is a large number of exhibitions at the museum. You can find them all here.

Listed below are some of Children’s favourite museum exhibitions:

Ór – Ireland’s Gold

This prehistoric collection shows the most stunning goldworks ranging in date between 2200 BC and 500 BC.

Clontarf 1014: Brian Boru and the Battle for Dublin

This exhibition shows evidence for what actually happened at Clontarf, what led up to the battle and what resulted from it. Discover the Nine unique archaeological artefact from the exhibition.

Viking IrelandMuseum of Archaeology, Egypt

This is one of the finest collections of excavated finds from an early medieval site anywhere in Europe. Children will have an opportunity to see weapons, jewellery, everyday objects, viking town model and even a replica of a Viking fishing vessel.

Ancient Egypt

This wonderful collection includes mummies, jewellery, household equipment and more!

The Museum of Archaeology has a selection of activity sheets. These can be downloaded before and after your visit to Kildare Street. There are some onsite as well, but if you are looking for a particular one, it is best to print off before your visit.

Archaeology Museum Online

The Museum offers a range of Online Activities For Families  for different age groups.

You and your child can also watch educational videos about Vikings or see the Viking exhibition in 3D!

Archaeology Museum Café

Given the number of exhibitions on display, you and your family may like to take a break.

The Museum shop and café are open during Museum opening times, with extended opening for the café from 12pm on Sundays. When we were visiting the museum, the Café had colouring pages and crayons.

Archaeology Museum Tickets

The admission to the museum is FREE. However, you do need to book your free tickets in advance

Archaeology Museum Opening Hours

Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday and Monday 1pm – 5pm
Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

Archaeology Museum Address

Kildare St, Dublin 2, D02 FH48

Archaeology  Museum Facilities

Accessibility

The entrance and the whole of ground floor is wheelchair and buggy accessible, however, there are stairs to the first floor.

Toilets / Changing Areas

Accessible toilets are located on the ground floor, on the far side of the central rotunda. Baby changing facilities are available within all toilet facilities throughout the Museum.

Parking

The nearest public paid car parks are off Dawson Street and at Setanta Place. Alternatively, there is on-street parking (pay by meter) around Merrion Square which is a 10-minute walk away.


Decorative Arts & History Museum with Kids

Museum of Decorative Arts and History, main buildingCollins Barracks have a collection encompassing millennials of mesmerising objects, from jewellery and coins, through clothing and furniture, to weapons and vessels.

Given that there are four floors of artifacts to see and depending on your child’s age, you may like to reference the guidebooks or floor plans. This will help you to manage the tour and potentially make it more focused on specific items for younger children.

Decorative Arts & History Museum Exhibitions

The museum has a multitude of collections. Details of all of them can be found here, but we will give you a snapshot of just a few.

Soldiers and Chiefs

This is an award-winning exhibition which shows Ireland’s military history since the 16th century. Note that Collins Barracks are the oldest military barracks in Ireland!

Don’t miss the Barracks Life Room! This is an interactive space where children can try on uniforms and investigate the history of Collins Barracks.

The Way We Wore

This is a wonderful collection to show children the clothing and jewellery worn over the last 300 years. This exhibition includes children clothing and toys!

Asgard: From Gun-Running to Recent Conservation

With this exhibition your child will have an opportunity to see up close Ireland’s first national sail-training vessel. This is a yacht with a rich history going back to the the turbulent events of 1914.

Take the interactive family trail through the exhibition and check out the original workbench and tools used in the Asgard’s conservation.

Decorative Arts & History Museum Online

The Museum’s online resources and activities are designed for a range of ages and interests.

In here you can find activity ideas and short talks based on selected objects presented by the Museum guides and staff.

There is also a variety of activity sheets available on the Museum’s website.

Decorative Arts & History Museum Café and Shop

The Museum café and shop will be open during Museum opening hours.

Highchairs are available on request in the Museum café, in addition the café is a breastfeeding friendly location.

Decorative Arts & History Museum Tickets

The admission to the museum is FREE.

There is a queuing system in place for visitors to the Decorative Arts & History Museum so no booking or ticket is required to visit this site.

Decorative Arts & History Museum Opening Hours

Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday and Monday 1pm – 5pm
Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

Archaeology Museum Address

Collins Barracks, Benburb St, Dublin 7, D07 XKV4

Archaeology  Museum Facilities

Accessibility

It is possible to take pushchairs/strollers around the Museum as it is fully accessible with lifts, ramps, and wide doors.

All galleries in Collins Barracks are fully accessible. The site has four lifts, located in the main reception area, in the east corner servicing floors one to three of the decorative arts section of the museum. There are two lifts in the Soldiers and Chiefs exhibition.

Toilets / Changing Areas

Accessible toilets are located at the:

Reception desk
Brambles Café
Ground floor of the Soldiers and Chiefs exhibition.

Baby changing facilities are available within all toilet facilities throughout the museum.

Parking

Visitor parking at Collins Barracks is PAY & DISPLAY:

€2 for one hour
€5 for four hours
€10 full day (8am – 6pm)
€40 weekly

Car park opening hours:

Monday – Saturday 7.30am – 6pm (gates close 6.30pm)

Sunday 1pm – 5.30pm (gates close 6pm)


National Museum of Ireland Events for Kids

The museum offers a year-round programme of workshops, talks and tours for all ages.


In conclusion, at the National Museum of Ireland there is something for everyone! With these three wonderful Museums and dozens of exhibitions to choose from, you are bound to find something that will ignite your child’s imagination and will allow you to have a quality time with the family.

No time to waste, start planning your next family trip to explore the children-friendly Museums in Dublin!

 

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