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Playgrounds in Dublin your kids will love

by Mama Loves Ireland
Ardgillan castle Dublin

Our selection of the best playgrounds in Dublin: outdoor and indoor playgrounds in Dublin chosen by our kids!

An afternoon at the playgrounds has been our family’s go-to activity for the best part of the last 10 years.

Our playgrounds of choice usually is the one around the corner because really, going to the playgrounds is annoying enough without having to go through the hassle of packing the kids in the car to get there!

However, sometimes we actually fo go the extra mile and seek out playgrounds in different parts of Dublin, just for variety and to feed a toddler-sized sense of adventure.

Among the many, some have become first favorites. Here is my kids’ selection of the best playgrounds in Dublin.

(Sorry for the lack of photos! Getting the playground without photographing other people kids’ proved too hard, I will add them whenever I manage to get them!)

Best outdoor playgrounds in Dublin according to our kids

These are the best playgrounds in Dublin according to my opinionated kids.

Cabinteely Park

We heard about Cabinteely playgrounds from family members who live nearby and it quickly became one of our favorite.

The playground has many climbing frames suitable for toddlers and older kids and it is large enough to feel like a little park: my younger child usually stays in the half with the smaller frames while my oldest dashes to the tall climbing net in the adventure part.

The layout is great to get the kids a sense of freedom however, it can be a little stressful if you have kids of different ages and want to keep a close eye on both: the two areas are not far from each other but if you have aq toddler on the swing for instance, you won’t’ be able to keep an eye on your older kid on the balancing course.

This is not a dealbreaker but worth noting.

A couple of minutes’ walk from the playground you have a cafe with child-friendly snacks and free toilets. The car park is just outside the park entrance close to the playground.

Address: Cabinteely Park, Bray Road, Cabinteely

St Stephen’s Green Playground

The playground in St Stephen’s Green makes our list of the best playgrounds in Dublin for the sheer convenience of its location if you age in town and you have dragged your kids shopping on errands, this is one of the easiest places to go to t appease them and give them some playtime

The playground is at the back of the pond, it is enclosed and has. soft surface. While not huge, it has some nice small frames for toddler and taller, wooden ones for older kids.

The large lawn outside is a favorite for picnics: bring a snack and the families and students resting here on a sunny day!

St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

Merrion Square Playground

Another good city center playground is the one in Merrion Square. The playground is in the same green area as the statue of Oscan Wilde and this is worth noticing as there is a connection between the two: the playground theme is inspired by Wilde’s short story ‘The selfish giant’!

This is a lovely playground. It has the frames and games you expect, it is close to many city-center attractions and just in front of one of our favorite places for a rainy day in Dublin: the Dead Zoo!

The lunchtime market they often have here makes it an easy place to enjoy for parents too.

Address: Merrion Square, Dublin 2

Marley park playgrounds

Marley Park is a wonderful place for kids even if you don’t go to the playground but, id you do, chances are your kids will love it!

The Marley Park playground is huge and has several areas and games for kids big and small: toddlers, school-age kids and young teens all have dedicated areas and the choice of frames is so wide, you can spend a long day here being sure your kids will be well entertained.

The playground is enclosed and there are several spots for you to sit and relax.

Parking is just outside the playground however, we usually prefer to park near the cafe so we can get snacks and coffee before we go. Getting the kids to leave this playground is never easy and while not far, the cafe is a bit of a walk so you don’t want to have to go up and down too many times!

Address: Marley Park Playground, Marley Park, Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

Rathfarnham castle playgrounds

Another exciting playground in Dublin South is the one in the grounds of Rathfarnham Castle. Enclosed, with soft surface and well kept, it is nice for toddlers and school-age kids as it has some smaller frames and a big climbing net for more adventurous children.

As our kids got a little older, they got fond of another ‘playgrounds’ that is outside of the main area and hidden in the woods beside it. Here, you have a sort of forest adventure are with balancing games and monkey bars.

There is nothing fancy here but the more secluded woods location makes it a good place for kids who are too cool for the ‘standard’ area!

The castle has a cafe and toilet facilities.

Address: Rathfarnham castle grounds, 153 Rathfarnham Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14

Howth playground

A trip to Howth with the kids is one of our favorite summer pastimes: for the fish restaurants, the seals spotting and the Howth playground!

Located just in front of the Pier, this is a nice area with soft surface and lots of climbing and playing opportunities for toddlers and older kids.

the area is packed with restaurants and cafes so getting snacks drinks and even fish and chips is easy. Parking is abundant just beside the playgrounds but it does get busy at weekends so you may need to circle a while before you get a spot.

Address: 2 Harbour Road, Howth,

St Anne’s Playground

St Anne’s park is wonderful for kids and has a nice playground perfect especially for younger kids. The playground is big (although it is so popular it gets busy!) and has a lot of cute play structures such as a ship, train etc, more traditional climbing frames for both small and older kids and a zip-wire.

Our kids love it but not as much as the rest of the park. Between the farmers’ market, the rose gardens and the large green spaces of the park, this is one of the best places for a day out in Dublin with the kids.

Address: St Anne’s Park, Raheny Dublin 5

Malahide Castle Playground

The playground in Malahide castle is the one place we go to when we have friends visiting: the visitors from out of town get a kick out of the castle and the surrounding area and the kids play. Win-win!

The playground here is large and of the adventure type, with climbing frames, spider web and all the usual nice frames you expect. The playground is very big and divided into two areas, one for younger kids and one for older so you may need to split up for supervision.

The parking is nearby and the Avoca cafe is a minute down the road with eat-in and take-out options (there are picnic tables near the frames). Facilities are in the main building with the cafe.

Address: Malahide, Castle grounds, Malahide

Playground in Dublin Malahide

Ardgillan castle playground

Another gorgeous playground in one of the castles in the Dublin area is the one ar Ardglillan. Smaller but more scenic than the one in Malahide, the Adgilland castle playground is enclosed, has a soft surface, climbing frames AND a view over Dublin Bay!

There is ample parking, a fairy walk leading to it and the castle has a nice cafe for snacks and cake.

Address: Ardglilal castle, Strifeland, Balbriggan

I hope enjoyed this selection of cool playgrounds in Dublin. Safe travels!

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