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5 Fun Family Events To Check Out In October

With the nights now longer than the days, it’s important to make the most of any time off you have together and get out and about as a family.

Give yourselves a treat before the long winter evenings set in, and take in one of the seasonal festivals that are going on around the country. Here are some of our favourites:

1. Ballinasloe International October Fair & Festival

Venue: Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
Date: October 1st to October 8th
Cost: Many events are free
Contact: Contact Mary (087) 2071869

Europe’s oldest horse fair is about horses and a lot more. A celebration of all things horsey, it also offers great entertainment and family fun. It takes place in the heart of Ballinasloe, where the Fairgreen is the place to be on Sunday and Monday, with beautiful horses on display, from the iconic Connemara Pony to trotting ponies. Apart from the horses, you’ll enjoy street stalls, fireworks, tug of war, a dog show, children’s art & bakery, and even a junior tractor grand prix!

2. Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival

Venue: Various Meath venues
Date: October 13th – November 6th
Cost: From free
Contact: +353 46 9097060

The entire Boyne Valley is getting into the spooky spirit this October. Every big house and museum has a something supernatural going on, with a Murder Mystery at Listoke House & Gardens, Pooka Spooka at Causey Farm, and ghost hunting at Tayto Park. You can also go pumpkin picking at Alright Pumpkin, quake in the comfort of your car at a fright-night drive-in movie, and perhaps even hunt down the odd zombie.

3. Belfast International Arts Festival

Venue: Belfast City
Dates: 6th October – 28th October
Cost: Varies
Contact: 028 9089 2707

The Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival brings artists and performers from around the world to Belfast for a spectacular programme of music, dance, visual art, theatre, and performance art. There are always opportunities for audiences to participate and become involved in the creative arts. Highlights this year include the circus-themed spectacle Celui Qui Tombe (He Who Falls) presented by Compagnie Yoann Bourgeois. See the programme for more details.

4. Open House Dublin Junior

Venue: Dublin City
Dates: 13h October – 15th October
Cost: Free
Contact: (01) 8747 203Website

Open House Dublin has a great tradition of opening up buildings of interest that are not normally accessible to the public, with more than 150 free tours and events. Now, Open House Dublin Junior aims to bring an appreciation of our capital’s city wonderful built heritage to a younger audience. You can create your own Viking house and help build the Viking town of Dublin in the National Museum on Kildare Street, construct unusual architecture in the Hugh Lane Gallery, join a teen workshop on using architectural space as a stage for art, and lots more.

5. Wexford Spiegeltent

Venue: The Quays, Wexford
Dates: 13h October – 31st October
Cost: From €23
Contact: +353 53 9199199

Wexford’s Spiegeltent Festival aims to please everybody, with an eye-watering selection of entertainment for all ages and tastes. Folk from Lisa Hannigan and traditional music from Sharon Shannon will appeal to families, as will a presentation of the fairy-tale classic Hansel and Gretel from legendary puppet Bosco.  Older members of the family can enjoy comedy from the likes of Al Porter, Reginald D. Hunter, and P.J. Gallagher, bluesy tunes from Imelda May, or rock from Aslan and Smokie.

If you head along to any of these fun family events, make sure to let us know how you get on in the comment section below!

About the Author

A separated mother of three, juggling self-employment, two teenage boys, a tween girl, a needy dog, and ever-expanding grey roots.


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