Midterm break is fast approaching and many families are trying to plan their days to avoid some of the cries of “I’m boooored”. If your children try this on my first recommendation is to follow my guide here.
If you do decide to venture outside the house and engage in some seasonal pursuits there is a lot on offer.
Here are some of the highlights that I’ve seen during my research. If you want to hear me talk about these and more on the Marian Finucane Show on RTE Radio One click here.
The Dublin entry will be the longest since there are some great events in the city based museums and they’re almost all free. Museums might not get an enthusiastic welcome to begin with but these days they are very interactive.
Items with an asterisk are free entry.
NATIONWIDE: Check out your local library and even shopping centre for free events
ARMAGH: Armagh planetarium has a special Halloween themed dome show from 28th October to 1st November and a potions and science show. See website for details.
CARLOW: Scarefest Festival runs 25th to 31st October, events include a Monster Pumpkin Party at Duckett’s Grove on Sunday 27th, Night at the Museum at Carlow County Museum on Tuesday 29th, nighttime parade on Thursday 31st at 8pm after the witch trial in the courthouse.
CORK: Cork City Gaol Family Fun Activity Saturday 26th – Friday 1st November – includes treasure hunt, storytelling, balloon making, Standard admission rates apply (€10 adult, €6 child, family ticket €30)
CORK: Nano Nagle Place in Cork City has workshops from €4 per child Horrible Histories, making witchy dolls and making a haunted dolls house.
CORK: Ghoulsley’s Manor, Cobh. One hour spooky show. Tickets and more info here
DERRY: Derry Halloween Carnival 26th October to 1st November. Packed agenda, lots of free events including workshops, Monster Funfair and so much more. Details here.
DUBLIN: Croke Park’s GAA Museum is marking the ancient Irish festival of Samhain with Creepy Creator Tours this Halloween. Includes a child-friendly stadium tour, entry to the GAA Museum and Interactive Games Zone with a spooky arts & crafts session and you can take home your ceramic Halloween creation. Runs from Friday 25th to Thursday 31st. Tickets €46 for 2 adults and 3 children including the ceramic piece you make.
DUBLIN: Bram Stoker Festival- Spooky stories, MARSH’S LIBRARY, Fri 25 & Sat 26 Oct, 10.00am – 5.00pm; Free Dracula’s Disco in the Ark, Bank Holiday Monday
*DUBLIN: National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. Halloween display, Magical Plants drop in sessions more details here
*DUBLIN: National Museum Collins Barracks. Family Tour 27th October 3pm, no booking required, free entry. Art Workshop 31st 2-3.30pm, free event but booking required.
*DUBLIN: Natural History Museum, Merrion Square. Fearsome Fangs Inspectorium drop in, 29th October and 2nd November 11am to 1pm. No charge, no booking required but there may be a short waiting time
*DUBLIN: Science Gallery,Pearse St, Free admission Closed Mondays. Current exhibition is “Perfection”.
*DUBLIN: National Museum Archaeology Kildare St – Megalithic Midterm event handle replica stone tools and learn about skills of people in the past. 26th October, no fee, drop in event.
DUBLIN: National Gallery- Children’s Books Ireland Book Clinic 27 October 12.00-16.00 drop- in. Family Tours, Drop in workshops at weekends, check website. Running some 4 days workshops over midterm, €40 for 2 hours x 4 days
DUBLIN: IMMA – free to all, and paid exhibits are free to under 18s, €8 for adults. Closed on Mondays
*GALWAY: Galway Aboo Festival , lots of events, highlight is the Macnas parade on Sunday 27th at 5.30pm.
KERRY: Kenmare Halloween Howl a packed agenda from 25th October – 2nd November with workshops, events and lots of family fun.
KILDARE: Clonfert Pet Farm Halloween Festival 26th -31st October, Haunted House, Pumpkin Patch, Kids’ Disco. Tickets: €5 per person with family discounts.
*MAYO: National Museum Country Life, Turlough Park, Co. Mayo. Batty about bats session – Learn all about our favourite nighttime creatures 30 October 2019, 11.30am and 2pm
OFFALY: Birr Castle & Gardens have Halloween activities every day from Saturday 26th to Sunday 3rd November including a family quest, pumpkin train, face painting and some limited places for Arts & Crafts Workshops
TIPPERARY: Spleodar Halloween Festival, Nenagh. 26th -31st October. Highlights include Halloween Parade on 28th October and Fireworks (small cover charge) on 31st October.
WATERFORD: Spraoi Wicked Woods run by Spraoi events company who always put on a great show- €20 family ticket
WATERFORD: Imagine Arts Festival in Waterford- there’s a free yarn bombing workshop Sunday 27th
WEXFORD: Enniscorthy Halloween Festival lots of family events including workshops (booking fee)
WEXFORD: A very GOREY Halloween events include a Monster Mash Up Street Party on Saturday 26th
WEXFORD: Amber Springs Hotel Halloween Train runs from 20th October to 4th November, €10 per person
WEXFORD: Ballycross Apple Farm is our favourite autumn day out, we go every year – have a look here to see some older visits.