Visit the Natural History Collection at the National Museum of Ireland in Merrion Street, then head for Dublin Zoo in Phoenix Park.
Take an open-topped bus tour around the city, hopping on and off at your leisure. Parents will be pleased to know that you can stop off at the Guinness Brewery at St James’ Gate for a superb tour and a pint. Alternatively, take a horse-and-cart ride around the city.
Wander round St Stephen’s Green, with ducks to feed and a decent playground. Other interesting spots are Temple Bar with its arty, fun (if sometimes rowdy) feel and the beautiful grounds of Trinity College.
Make a beeline for Airfield, a lovely city farm with Cath Kidston-esque styling, family activities and a spacious café with a large terrace overlooking the walled garden.
Have a browse at Farmleigh farmers' market, which often has good kids' events and makes for a great day out in a stunning setting. There’s another farmers' market at People's Park at Dun Laoghaire, offering a massive range of foods next to a play park and the sea.
Back in the centre, the Science Gallery at the back of Trinity has cool hands-on exhibits and another nice big café. Or get creative at the Museum of Modern Art of Ireland (IMMA) with its excellent response room packed with pencils, paper, pens, pipe-cleaners and so on for kids to get busy. There's also a great café with a huge playroom with easels, acres of open grass for picnicking and running about, and stunning formal garden with maze-like hedges.
Visit the GAA Museum, where interactive and touch-screen technology help bring to life the unique moments of hurling and gaelic football. You can also have a behind-the-scenes tour of Croke Park Stadium itself.
Spend time at Imaginosity!, Dublin Children’s Museum, a unique creative space for children up to 9 and their families, inspiring young minds through play.
Mooch around the various historical monuments and castles, especially Dublin Castle with its state apartments, medieval undercroft and Viking defence bank.
With older kids, explore the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship/Famine Museum – a fairly heart-wrenching experience.
Discover Bushy Park in Rathfarnham, with a duck pond and playground, and the less-visited but great St Anne’s Park on the northside, once owned by the Guinness family – the mansion burnt down but the grounds, rose garden and stream to the duck pond make it worth a visit, and there's a café and gallery in the old stables.
Enjoy a Liffey River Cruise – even if your children don’t take in all the facts and historical titbits, they’ll enjoy having the cobwebs blown away.
Make the most of the long summer days! Dublin has many beaches dotted along its coastline, so pack a picnic, build a sandcastle, go for a long walk, devour an ice-cream and even take a dip. The small beach at Sandycove next to Joyce's Tower (where Ulysses begins) is perfect for kids – it's a protected cove, with a van selling buckets and spades and the legendary Forty Foot bathing place for adults. Up the road in Sandycove are some great tapas/wine bars that welcome kids.
Alternatively, head for Hoath Beach and go for a walk around Hoath Head, with great views out across the bay. There's also Claremont Beach, known to locals as The Hole in the Wall.
Other beaches to check out are The Velvet Strand and Portmarnock, both gorgeous and sandy. In Portmarnock, the Artworks Café offers kids' pottery courses.
If you fancy getting out onto the water, head to Bullock Harbour, where you can hire boats and, while you’re waiting to get onboard, watch the seals that are normally cavorting by the boats.