Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall
South of Dublin is a huge estate with gardens that cover 47 acres, and the highest waterfall in Ireland.
Parking is free, as is entry to the house, gift shop, and cafe. However, the Gardens and the Waterfall cost extra. Ticket prices vary depending on the season. Click here for their website with hours and prices. The Powerscourt Estate has a current Lord Powerscourt, and he narrates an electronic self-guided audio tour - with the help of two of his cousins - as you walk around the gardens. You can choose between a family-oriented tour with i-spy activities, or a more in-depth historical tour. The family-oriented guides are designated with yellow signs.
The gardens were designed to look like they extend all the way to Sugarloaf mountain. It does take about 1.5-2 hours to cover the main pathways, but the information given in the audio guides keep you entertained while walking and the scenery was beautiful.
A short drive away is Powerscourt Waterfall. It has a separate entry fee that you pay before entering the parking area. The parking lot is a very short walk away from the waterfall. Just go up the hill and you'll see it immediately. We were amazed by all the colors in the rocks behind the waterfall.
It would be nice if they offered a ticket with entry to both the gardens and waterfall at a slight discount, but I think it's still worth it to see both. If you're in the Dublin area, it's a great day trip from the city and gives you a much more relaxed morning or afternoon that what you get in the city.