As a father to a five-year-old I’ve become pretty much an expert on parks in Dublin. I’m constantly on the lookout for playgrounds near me and new things to do in Dublin with kids. Thankfully Dublin has a huge variety of parks and some of the best playgrounds around. Join me for a stroll through the best parks in Dublin.
College Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14
Marlay Park is one of the best parks in Dublin and is very popular for kids having a brilliant playground with lots of cool equipment. The park features not one but two playgrounds. There is a small lake, tonnes of green space and beautiful woods. Amongst the best features of the playgrounds are the wooden toys that the kids can play with as well as a cool wooden climbing frame that resembles a pirate ship.
There is a cool story telling area, an amazing rope climbing contraption like a giant spiders web, a gyroscope type swing, a round-about and even a model train that the kids can ride on for free. Of the best best things about this park is the gym equipment that is dotted around the park at intervals. There is also a fairy tree along the path leading to the woods. The playground is perfect for kids of all ages from toddlers, right through to teenagers. One of the best things about this playground is that it actually has toilets. All it is lacking is somewhere to get a coffee.
Malahide Demesne Playground
Back Road, Malahide Demesne, Malahide, Co. Dublin
Malahide Demesne Park is huge, coming in at almost 110 hectares. There is lots of things to do for kids in this park as it features an exercise trail, tennis courts, a pitch and putt course, cricket pitch, and lots of sports pitches. When it comes to kids playgrounds this is hard to beat as it is easily one of the best playgrounds in Dublin. The playground is suited to kids, young and old having a large variety of equipment such as swings, slides, a zip line, a massive climbing frame, sand digging machines, and a cool climbing tower in the shape of a rocket with a zig-zag slide.
St Stephens Green Park and Playground
St Stephens Green, Dublin 2
Located at the top of Grafton St, St Stephen’s Green is one of the prettiest parks in Dublin. By all accounts, it ranks as one of the must-see things to do in Dublin. The playground received a revamp in 2004 and has lots of fun and cool things to do for kids. Located only a short stroll from the shopping centre, the park and playground are ideal for combining shopping with family days out Dublin. The playground can get crowded however, especially when the sun comes out.
There is a section for smaller kids as well as one for bigger kids and there are lots of swings, slides, rope climbing areas and a cool Christmas tree shaped round-about swing. The ground is made of a springy, rubbery surface which keeps kids safe should there be any falls. And when they are finished playing they might like to feed the ducks in the beautiful lake nearby. Although, nowadays you are more likely to find seagulls. If that wasn’t enough, you will be sure to enjoy the stunning flowers, fountains and bandstand. Full of colour and great for a stroll.
The best thing about this playground is if you are looking for family days out Dublin you can pack your lunch and eat at the picnic tables. There are lots of beautiful green areas to walk as well as football pitches. The park can be reached by car and has a large car park or if you prefer, take the train to Malahide and the park is only a short stroll from the village.
Newbridge Demesne Adventure Playground
Newbridge Avenue, Newbridge, Co Dublin
Newbridge Demesne is a great day out for the family. Not only does it feature a state of the art playground but is also an actual working farm. This is considered one of the best playgrounds in Dublin, and it is easy to see why. There are separate areas for younger and older kids.
Both have lots of equipment such as swings, slides, springers, playhouses, tunnels, a climbing frame, zip line, a spinning barrel and a mini football pitch. If that wasn’t enough to wear out your kids then they will love to pay a visit to the petting farm which features chickens, goats, pigs, ponies and a great big Georgian Mansion. This is a great day out for the family.
Albert College Park Playground
Hampstead Avenue, Glasnevin, Dublin 9
Albert College Park playground is jam-packed with things to do with kids. I prefer to visit a playground near me, but the park itself is central located in Dublin and has a large playground. Featuring a toddler as well as older kids play area there are lots of cool things to enjoy such as springers, baby swings, and not one but two multi play units. There is also a cool climbing frame for the older kids. The park features beautiful areas to walk as well as other facilities such as tennis courts, football pitches and even a boules court.
Shanganagh Park Playground
Dublin Road, Shankill Co Dublin
Shanganagh Park is located just off the N11 at the junction for Dun Laoghaire. The playground is unique in that it is made up of several smaller playgrounds. The selection of equipment for children is great featuring slides, swings, climbing frames and see-saws made of wood which adds to the welcome. Nearby walkways lead into football pitches and wide open parkland. As it’s located just outside Dublin on the way to Wicklow it is best accessed by car and features a large car park.
monkey bars for for the little monkeys to swing out of. The park itself is small, but in it you will find one of the coolest trees ever for kids to climb. I dare you to try and find it!
Phoenix Park Playground
Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
Phoenix Park is one of the biggest parks in Europe. I was looking for a playground near me, but this playground took me ages to find as I should have used Google Maps, but I’m glad I found it. It is located near the Visitors Centre, which is beside Aras an Uachtarain. (where the President lives). The Phoenix Park playground is jam-packed with lots of cool equipment and is one of the most popular playgrounds in Dublin.
There are lots of springers, swings, zig-zag slides, a climbing apparatus and talking tubes. We have often been caught out by the weather but luckily there are a couple of small wendy-houses and outdoor furniture in which to take shelter. Nearby is Dublin Zoo, which by international standards is really good. Not to mention it’s the second oldest Zoo in the world. All in all, it is one of the best family days out Dublin.
Corkagh Demesne Park and Playground
Corkagh Demesne, St John’s Green, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Corkagh Demesne is one of the biggest parks in Dublin. Located just outside Clondalkin village the park features lots of things to do such as a small pet farm, rose gardens, fairy village, cafe and lakes which even allow fishing. You grab a cup of tea from the nearby tuckshop located in the shipping container. The park also features baseball as well as football pitches. The kids playground is large and has cool equipment such as swings, slides, bigger slides and then a really big slide! There is also a supernova roundabout which is great for children. The playground surface is small, loose stones and nearby are picnic tables.
Parks In Dublin & Playgrounds Near Me & You
St Annes Park Playground
Clontarf Road, Raheny, Dublin 5
St Annes Park is one of the best parks in Dublin. It is huge! Not surprising then that it features a golf course, eighteen tennis courts, 35 football pitches and a boules court. I was looking for a playground near me, but this playground is one of the best in Dublin and is possibly my own personal favourite. It’s got some cool equipment such as a horse, cow, train, cart, pirate ship and even a plane. All these are made of wood, except for the cow, which is a giant metal sculpture. Amazing! The list goes on though, with a zip-line, swings, multi-play units, springers, slides and a playhouse.
The playground also features a viking boat, giant spider web like climbing apparatus and springers. The park is massive and features lots of beautiful pathways and woodlands. The park also has an ornamental pond as well as stunning rose gardens, a remote controlled model car race track, cafes, a farmers market and an art centre. There are lots of quirky bridges, tunnels, and hideaways leading off the path into the woodlands. I suggest you go off the beaten track and search for squirrels.
Father Collins Playground
The Hole in the Wall Road, Clongriffin, Dublin 13
Father Collins is one of the best parks in Dublin. It is huge, coming in at more than 25 hectares. It is one of the best days out in Dublin having not one but two playgrounds, ornamental lake, fitness trails, a giant chess area and even a skate park. It’s perfect for a kids whether young or old featuring an activity area with multi-play unit, balancing equipment and climbing ropes. The playground has a supernova as well as a small boat and springers. It can be accesses by car, bus or the train.
Ardgillan Castle Playground
Darcystown Road, Balbriggan, Co Dublin
Ardgillan Castle is a stunning place to visit. We came across this place through friends of ours who recommended it, and we are so glad they did. Located near Skerries, the park is huge and from the Castle grounds you can overlook Skerries harbour and village down below. The park itself features a hugely impressive adventure playground with a sea theme running right through it. We were blown away by the number of things to do, with over 30 pieces of equipment to choose from. Suited for children of all ages, there is something to do for everybody, including the adults.
The ground is rubber to keep the kids safe from falls and on site you will find mini slides and cradle swings for toddlers and babies. For older kids there is a giant slide, huge rope climbing apparatus and my favourite, the zip-line. As it’s perched on the hill, you can gaze out to sea. Ardgillan castle itself features some stunning tea rooms as well as beautiful rose gardens and some really interesting and exotic flowers.
Fairview Park and Playground
North Strand Road, Fairview, Dublin 3
Fairview Park is a gem located just north of Croke Park. There are lots of cool things to do for kids. For younger kids there is the wooden ship, slide, springers, basket swing and the wobbly boat. For older kids there is a cool climbing unit, pendulum see-saw, slides and swings. And for even older kids there is the new addition of a BMX track and skate park. So with the toddlers, tweens and teens sorted, the elders can enjoy the floral arrangements, walkways, athletics track and pavilion. If you are into football, you can play on one of the pitches, or if you are lazy like me, just watch a game.
Sean Walsh Memorial Park
Old Bawn Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Sean Walsh Memorial Park is a cool and quirky park located just beside the Square Shopping Centre. The playground is divided into separate play areas and on either side rests two large ponds, complete with ducks. The playgrounds are separated into younger and older play areas and feature lots of cool play equipment. Nearby are beautiful walks and pathways.
Cabinteely Park Adventure Playground
Old Bray Road, Cabinteely, Dublin 18
Cabinteely Park is one of my favourite parks in Dublin and has lots of interesting and exciting features to it. It is very big and has lots of things to do for kids not just in the playground but in the park itself. The playground features springers, swings, slides, a sandpit with digging machines, zip-line, a cool multi-play climbing unit, monkey bars, and a water feature.
There are willow tunnels, a cool spider web climbing apparatus, toddler slides, climbing frames, a flying fox swing and balancing units. Coming in at almost 50 hectares the park boasts beautifully landscaped pathways, pitches, a coffee shop and lake with ducks. On a summer’s day there is no better place to be, and the locals enjoy one of the best local festivals every summer. With a car park at the top of the hill it’s ideal for packing a picnic and enjoying the wide open spaces and beautiful surroundings.
Palmerston Park Playground
Palmerston Park, Rathmines, Dublin 6
Palmerston Park is one of the best parks in Dublin. Located just outside Rathmines, the park boasts some fantastic facilities such as a band stand, stunning flower beds, beautiful walkways and paths, a cool kids playground, one of the best monkey puzzle trees I’ve ever seen and now features a newly built pond and waterfall. The playground itself is great for all ages and features swings, slides, a roundabout, climbing frame, playhouse and cool climbing net. There are also
Rathfarnham Castle Playground
Rathfarnham Castle, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14
Rathfarnham Castle playground is a real treat to visit. I had no idea of its existence till recently and was overjoyed to unlock its charms. Relatively small, the playground offers lots of modern play equipment such as swings, slides, multi-play units, climbing frames, talking tubes, spinners and balancing units.
There are benches and picnic tables nearby and also a nice little coffee shop in the nearby castle. The best part though is the pathway through the woodlands which will bring you past a stunning lake with ducks, and some really cool trees. We found one not one, but two of the coolest trees in the world. I dare you to find them!
Ballawley Park Playground
Sandyford Road, Dublin 14
Ballawley Park is located in a residential estate just off the Sandyford road as you head away from Dundrum Shopping Centre. The park itself is surprisingly large and features some beautiful walkways underneath a stunning selection of trees and woodland.
The park has two playgrounds. The smaller playground located near Sandyford road features wooden play equipment while the larger playground is set further back in the park atop the hill. There is a climbing frame, swings, see-saw and monkey bars as well as football pitches nearby. A better way to spend the day instead of spending it shopping down the road.
Killiney Hill Playground
Dalkey Avenue, Killiney, Co Dublin
Killiney Hill Playground is located up the hill from Dalkey village and features one of the best playgrounds in Dublin. The view from the hill is stunning and is a nice play to while away a Sunday afternoon with the kids. The playground features mostly wooden equipment and the atmosphere is welcoming. The playground itself is suited to young and older kids featuring equipment such as swings, slides, a zip-line, footbridge and climbing frame.
The belt footbridge is great fun for jumping on. Older kids can play on the multi-play unit that features slides and a climbing frame. The younger kids can play on the springers, baby swings, basket swing and mini slides. The surrounding walkways are beautiful and when there, you really should climb all the way to the top and take in the view. You can see as far as Wales to the East, Dublin city to the north, Wicklow mountains to the South, and Bono’s house down below. Try to guess which one it is.
Ellenfield Park Playground
Ellenfield Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9
Ellenfield Park Playground is divided into a younger and older kids section with both boasting a great range of play equipment on an artificial grass surface. For the younger kids there are swings, slides, see-saw, supernova, spinners and a multi-play unit. The latter area boasts a climbing unit, swings, slides, and a climbing net. The park features lovely walkways and nearby picnic table. A great way to spend the day.
Swords Manor Playground
Brackenstown Road, Swords, Co Dublin
Swords Manor Playground is one of the best parks in Dublin. There is plenty of things do for kids in this huge park with lots of exciting and interesting equipment to be found in the playground. Features include slides, swings, springers, roundabouts, balancing units and multi-play units, climbing frames, see-saws, climbing nets and a toddlers play area. As well as the playground, the park also features football pitches, basketball and a picnic area. The playground itself is actually part of the Ward River Valley Park.
Parks in Dublin: To Be Continued…
Can you think of any I’ve missed? Where are your favourite parks in Dublin? Please share more ideas on things to do in Dublin with kids.