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5-Fun-Family-Events-To-Enjoy-Around-Ireland

5 Fun Family Events To Enjoy Around Ireland

It probably feels as if summer never happened, as homework piles up and the evenings draw in. By now your family could probably do with a break from the autumn routine. Give everyone a lift and energise them for the rest of the season with a day out.

Here are some ideas for what to do for the rest of September:

National Ploughing Championships

Venue: Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Date: 18th – 20th  September
Cost: Adults €20, Secondary students €15, Children under 12 free with adult
Contact: npa.ie / (0) 59 8625125

It doesn’t matter if the only wellies you’ve ever worn were for a festival; the National Ploughing Championships is great fun, whether or not you are from a farming background. Screggan in County Offaly is the place to be this September for the annual celebration of all things related to farming and countryside.

Children under 12 go free with an adult, and apart from all the impressive machinery and multitudes of animals in attendance, the event offers live music and entertainment, a playground, picnic areas, and facilities for babies. With more than 1,700 exhibitors attending, there is something for everybody.

Galway Oyster Festival

Venue: Spanish Arch, Galway City
Date: 28th – 30th September
Cost: Varies, see website
Contact: galwayoysterfestival.com / (0) 91 394637

Not only is Galway the City of the Tribes, it also seems to be the City of the Festivals, and here is one of its best: the Galway Oyster Festival. For more than 60 years, the event has been entertaining and feeding thousands of delighted visitors, and the event has even be called “one of the 12 greatest shows on earth” by the Sunday Times.

The action focuses on the Irish and World Oyster Opening or “shucking” championships, but don’t worry if molluscs leave you cold: There is plenty of entertainment on hand to keep all ages amused. Sunday is family day, so, between noon and 7pm, you can expect musical performances, live cooking demos throughout the day, and lots of kids’ activities.

Disappear Here Film Festival

Venue: Various Ballyliffin Locations, Donegal
Date: 28th – 30th September
Cost: Varies
Contact: disappearherefilmfest.com

The Disappear Here Film Festival had its first outing in 2017, and it’s back for more this year. Launched to celebrate culture night in Donegal, it is bigger and better for 2018. The films are screened in a specially built 150-seater cinema in the Ballyliffin Hotel, a 100-seat RoadHouse cinema in the hotel car park, and a third screen in The Blue Room at the Strand Hotel.

Last year’s programme featured short animated films for children, as well as longer (often scarier!) films for their parents, so expect another weekend of unique entertainment this year. Although the emphasis is on short films, there will also be feature films and documentaries.

Cashel Arts Festival

Venue: Cashel, Co. Tipperary
Date: September 20th – September 23rd
Cost: Free - €20
Contact: cashelartsfest.com / (0) 89 4036981

This year’s Cashel Arts Festival is themed “Reflections” and includes the first ever Taste of Cashel, as well as craft Demonstrations, Culture Night, music, workshops, street theatre, film, visual arts and many other events.

The focus of the festival has always been about inclusivity, so many of the events are free and none cost more than €20. Encouraging everyone to get involved in as wide a range of arts is another strong value of the festival, so whether you want to learn something new or just enjoy the entertainment, you’ll find something worthwhile.

Culture Night at Hook Lighthouse

Venue: Hook Head, Co. Wexford
Dates: 21st September
Cost: Free (Advance booking is required)
Contact: www.hookheritage.ie / culturenight.ie

Visit the oldest operational lighthouse in the world this Culture Night, Friday, September 21st, for free. The 800-year-old lighthouse will stay open for free guided tours at 6 pm, 7 pm, and 8 pm. (Don’t forget to book in advance).

Each 45-minute tour of the 800-year-old medieval tower, is a feast of exciting stories of times past, with descriptions of many of the fascinating characters associated with the tower—including the man who built it, William Marshal, the Earl of Pembroke, dubbed “the greatest knight that ever lived.” You will climb the 115 steps to the top of the lighthouse (not suitable for small children) to be met with stunning views of Ireland’s southeast coast.

Let us know what you get up to, or if you have any other recommendations!


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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