"Are we there yet?" "Can we get ice cream?" Are these phrases familiar? Why not give your kids a vacation and bring them to some of the child-friendly locations and activities in Dublin.
From parks, to historical tours, to magical doll palaces and real life Vikings there's something in Dublin to put a grin on your little tike's face.
1. Phoenix Park
Officially the largest enclosed recreational space within any European capital city, the Phoenix Park is amazing. Established in 1662 it is 707 hectares (1,753 acres) of parkland which house the Irish presidential palace, the Zoo, the Victorian People's Flower Gardens, Ashtown Demense and a Victorian Tea Kiosk.
About 30 percent trees, the park is filled with beautiful wildlife including herds of deer.
For more information visit www.phoenixpark.ie.
2. The Zoo
Located in the Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo has recently undergone a revamp. In 2011 it was voted the most popular attraction in Ireland, with one million visitors that year, and with good reason.
One of the world's oldest zoos it takes up 28 hectares of the park and is home to 600 animals including a number of new arrivals during the last year including a baby giraffe and gorilla.
For more information visit www.dublinzoo.ie.
3. Viking Splash
Don't worry. You won't miss them. They'll be the people cheering at you, wearing Viking helmets from inside what would appear to be a large tank but is, in fact, an amphibious vehicle. That's the the Viking Splash tour.
The tours leave Stephen's Green (at the top of Grafton Street). The vehicles bring you on an hour and fifteen minute tour of Dublin. The tours promise to be "fun-filled and engaging" and what's better, they allow you to see Dublin by land and by water.
For more information visit www.vikingsplash.ie.
Dublinia is really five historical exhibitions in one but the difference is that Dublinia brings the ancient history of Dublin to life. The exhibits allow the visitor to interact with the exhibition and engage, learn and share.
The exhibitions include the Viking Dublin Exhibition where you can learn what it's like to be on a Viking warship, learn about weaponry and skills, wear their clothes, become a slave and walk down the streets of Viking Dublin.
The Medieval Dublin Exhibition allows you to see Dublin from the age of Strongbow (late 12th century) to the Reformation.
You learn about warfare, crime and punishment, death and disease and even medieval dentistry.
The other three exhibitions are the History Hunters Exhibitions, where you learn about archaeology and unlock the stories of the past, St Michael's Tower, a 17th century viewing tower with an amazing view of the city and of course Christchurch Cathedral, where you will learn about 1,000 years of worship in Ireland.
For more information visit www.dublinia.ie.
5. The ARK Cultural Centre for Children
This center in the middle of Dublin's Temple Bar district will introduce children to the joy, wonder and creativity of the arts and plays a vital role in raising the standard of culture for children. Children aged two to 12 explore everything from theater, music and literature to painting, film, dance and more.
There are always great events, shows, classes and workshops going on here. Keep on eye on their website ( www.theark.ie ) for details.
6. Lambert Puppet Theatre
The Lambert Puppet Theatre was established in 1972 and has been a constant in the lives of Dublin school children ever since.
Eugene Lambert and his wife Mai had ten children. To supplement his income as a refrigeration engineer he performed "Punch and Judy" shows. His career went from there and nearly 40 years on he is the owner of Ireland's only purpose built puppet theater. His shows have gone on tour in the US, Australia and Canada.
For more information on the show visit www.lambertpuppettheatre.ie.
This is a child-centered creative, educational and interactive space for kids under nine and their families. Spread over two and half floors the exhibits are educational and fun, designed to inspire life-long learning through play.
Through education and shared experiences, the museum aims to strengthen family bonds, enhance the developmental potential of children and help build a healthy community.
For more information visit www.imaginosity.ie.
8. Tara's Palace
Yes, a real life palace and probably one of the world's most magnificent doll's palaces.
Inspired by Sir Neville Wilkinson's celebrated Titania's Palace of 1907 the doll's house has 22 rooms which were built over two decades. The Palace encapsulates the grandeur of three great 18th century Irish mansions – Castletown House, Leinster House and Carton House.
The palace is the center piece of a collection of historical dolls houses including the earliest surviving house in Ireland and the UK, the Portabello, from circa 1700.
This place is any little girl's heaven.
For more information visit www.tarapalace.ie.
9. The Doll Store
This is known by locals, and around Ireland, as "The Dolls Hospital." These people are geniuses when it comes to any toy old or knew that incurs an injury, big or small. Kids love to visit and to have their "their porcelain and furry friend's ailments" cured.
They also stock designer dolls, dolls houses, teddy bears and a large collection of miniatures.
For more information visit www.dollstore.ie
10. Airfield Trust
Airfield is Dublin’s only working urban farm. It is situated on a 35-acre estate. The farm features season appropriate programs that respond to the natural rhythms of the seasons, with celebrations taking place during harvest, spring and summer. They also have a range of regular farm-related activities such as “Meet the animals” and the young farmers group.
The farm continues to be focused on live-stock and functions as a fully working farm raising calves and lambs as the main production animals.
The site is also home to the most beautiful and well maintained gardens.
For more information visit www.airfield.ie.