Visiting with kids

Boy wearing glasses looking at a large gilt-framed painting in a Gallery
Photographer: Jack Caffrey, The Pimlico Project, 2021.Credit

Looking for something creative to inspire and entertain kids? Look no further!

We've pulled together a list of some fun activities and creative content for kids and young people to enjoy while visiting the Gallery or at home.

A young child on a free family friendly tour in the Millennium Wing. © National Gallery of Ireland
Contents of a Family Pack including colouring pencils, crayons, ruler, eraser, sharpener, clipboard, paper and a Gallery map

For younger children

Join a guided tour!

We run a regular programme of free guided tours in the Gallery. Everyone is welcome - no booking required! Check the What's On calendar for upcoming tours.

  • Highlights Tours
  • Themed Tours
  • Family Tours
  • New Parents' Tours

Drop into the Atrium Creative Space

  • Drop by our Atrium Creative Space during your visit and use the available drawing materials to make your own artwork!

Borrow a free Family Pack!

  • Family Packs are available to borrow from the information desks anytime, free of charge.
  • Containing drawing materials, they can be used anywhere in the Gallery, and are the perfect accompaniment to one of our Through a Lens tours, or our audio tour for kids

Listen to the Audio Tour for Kids & Families!

  • Go on a Gallery adventure and learn about the art and artists in the collection.
  • Use your own mobile device and headphones to follow the audio tour on your visit to the Gallery.
  • Or, enjoy the audio tour at home, on the go, or in school. We've included pictures of all the artworks on our website.
  • Listen to the audio tour for kids now.

Follow a Through a Lens self-guided tour!

  • Use your mobile device to follow our online self-guided tours of the collection - the perfect way to encourage kids to look closely and share their thoughts and opinions on art.
  • Our Family Favourites tour includes paintings that are always popular with our younger visitors.
  • Our Babies & Toddlers tour suggests some paintings to look at and chat about with smaller children.
  • Our Family Architecture tour is the perfect way to explore the different buildings in the Gallery.
  • What is a Portrait? encourages children to think about the purpose of portraits, and shares tips for identifying symbols and clues that reveal more about the sitters.
  • We've included pictures of all the artworks on our website, so you can also enjoy these online tours at home or in school.

Watch a short video!

Make some art at home!

Creative Challenge videos

Sensory activities

Colouring in the Collection

Drawing Inspiration

  • From fairytale illustrations to giant murals, learn more about a selection of drawings in the collection.
  • We've also included some drawing activity ideas, so sharpen your pencils and get drawing!
  • Not all the drawings in this resource are currently on display in the Gallery. Drawings, and other artworks that are made on paper, can be damaged if they are exposed to light for a long time. Our paper conservators and curators protect these delicate artworks by only displaying them for short amounts of time.
  • Start exploring the Drawing Inspiration online resource now.
Collage portrait in sixteenth-century costume
Three homemade mini windshelters in a garden

Explore outdoors!

Wonder of Weeds

  • Step outside and discover the surprising plants that emerge from walls, cracks in pavements, and in Merrion Square park!
  • You could use this field guide after your visit to the Gallery to explore the plants growing in the streets or parks nearby. Or, use it at home in your garden, local park or neighbourhood.
  • Take a look at the Wonder of Weeds online resource now.
A Gallery guide speaks to a group of school students in front of a wooden sculpture
The contents of a drawing and creative writing kit including sketch pads, pencils, colouring pencils, oil pastels, eraser, sharpener, black pen and marker

For older children and teens

Join a guided tour!

We run a regular programme of free guided tours in the Gallery. Everyone is welcome - no booking required! Check the What's On calendar for upcoming tours.

Borrow a Drawing & Creative Writing Kit!

  • These free kits are for adults and young people aged 16+.
  • Available to borrow from the information desks any time, free of charge.
  • Each kit contains writing and drawing materials for when inspiration strikes during your visit.

Drop by the Atrium Creative Space

This July and August, drop by our Atrium Creative Space during your visit! Some of our friendly volunteers and Gallery guides will be based in the space, 7 days a week, to answer your questions and share information about the collection and exhibitions. They’ll also be encouraging you to get creative, using the available drawing materials, to make your own artistic response to the collection based on a different theme each week.

Listen to an audio guide

    Follow a Through a Lens self-guided tour

    • Use your mobile device to follow our online self-guided tours of the collection.
    • Interested in fashion? Our Costumes in Art tour takes a closer look at textiles and costume details in paintings in the collection.
    • Our LGBTQIA+ tour offers a different perspective of the national collection, to inspire you to look more closely at art, and to question the seemingly heteronormative histories that go with it.
    • Our Mental Health in Art tour takes a closer look at favourite works on display in the Gallery, and encourages dialogue around historical and contemporary mental health issues.
    • If you're interested in architecture, you might like our Architecture tour which explores the spaces and details of the Gallery's buildings.
    • Focus on Irish art and take our Irish Art tour or our Irish History tour.
    • For a whistle-stop tour of some popular artworks in the collection, take our Highlights tour.
    • We've included pictures of all the artworks on our website, so you can also enjoy these online tours at home or in school.

    Plan your visit