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6 Amazing Family Friendly Events Happening This September

By now the novelty of going back to school will have worn off, and your family could do with a break from the routine.

Cheer them up and get them revved up for the rest of the season with a day out. 

Here’s what we recommend for the rest of September:



1. National Ploughing Championships

Venue: Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Date: 19th – 21st September
Cost: Adults €20; children under 12 free; special rates for secondary students
Contact: Website Phone: 00 353 (0) 59 8625125 info@npa.ie

You don’t need to have a farming background to enjoy the National Ploughing Championships. This annual extravaganza returns to Screggan in Offaly for 2017, and it offers an entertaining day out for all the family, so get your wellies out! Children under 12 go free with an adult, and apart from all the state-of-the art machinery and hundreds of animals in attendance, the event offers live music and entertainment, a playground, picnic areas, and facilities for babies. FBD ‘Keeping You Safe” wristbands are distributed at all entrances for you to write a contact phone number, so nobody gets lost.

2. Culture Night

Venue: Nationwide
Date: 22nd September
Cost: Free
Contact: Visit website

Now in its thirteenth year, Culture Night returns in 2017 with its biggest programme to date. Venues and public spaces across the island of Ireland are getting ready to open their doors to host a programme of free late-night entertainment, as part of an all-island celebration of arts, heritage and culture. Every year, thousands of people across the country get involved in Culture Night, all working towards an evening of creativity and celebration to show off the vibrant arts and culture scenes of towns, villages, islands and cities across Ireland. Culture Night returns on September 22nd and organisers hope to build on last year’s exceptional turn out of over 400,000. With over 3,000 events taking place on the night there is something for all ages and tastes.

Each year some of Ireland’s most exciting minds also get behind Culture Night and Cultural Trailblazers. This year they include the brilliant intercontinental artist Solus, singer Katie Laffan, half of the comedy hip hop due Rubberbandits, Blindboy Boatclub, and renowned Irish fiddler and lead vocalist of Altan, Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh. See the website for full details.  

3. Galway Oyster Festival

Venue: Spanish Arch, Galway City
Date: 22nd – 24th September
Cost: Varies, see website
Contact: 00 353 91 394637 info@galwayoysterfestival.com Galway Oyster Festival

Which is the best known Irish festival after St. Patrick’s Day? Why, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, of course! During the past 62 years, the organisers have learned a thing or two about entertaining (not to mention feeding) crowds, and the event has won accolades from such leading publications as Time Magazine and The Lonely Planet Guide. Indeed, the Sunday Times called it “one of the 12 greatest shows on earth.” It centres on the Irish and World Oyster Opening or “shucking” championships, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Sunday is family day, with musical performances, live cooking demos throughout the day, and lots of kids’ activities.

4. Disappear Here Film Festival

Venue: Various Ballyliffin Locations, Donegal
Date: 22nd – 24th September
Cost: Varies
Contact: info@disappearhereFF.com +353 86 6071424 Website

The Disappear Here Film Festival is a new event, designed to celebrate culture night in Donegal. From short animated films for children, to scarier midnight movies for their parents, the festival promises a weekend of unique entertainment. The focus is on short films, designed to appeal to the YouTube generation, but there will also be feature films and documentaries, mainly screened in a specially constructed 100-seat cinema in the Ballyliffin Hotel, as well as a mobile cinema in the church car park, and a secret cinema in a yet-to-be-announced venue…

5.Taste of Monaghan

Venue: Monaghan
Date: September 29th – October 1st
Cost: From free
Contact: info@tasteofmonaghan.com tasteofmonaghan.com

What’s not to like about delicious food? Taste of Monaghan is a delectable celebration of Monaghan’s food culture. There will be plenty of food-themed fun for eaters of all ages, as well as live music, and a petting zoo. Sample the tasty treats from the stalls and enjoy demonstrations by TV chefs such as Gary O’Hanlon, Adrian Martin, and Joe Shannon.

6. Westport Arts Festival

Venue: Westport, Co. Mayo
Dates: 27th September – 1st October
Cost: From free
Contact: info@westportartsfestival.com westportartsfestival.com

Now in its 42nd year, the Westport Arts Festival was conceived originally as a treat for the locals after a busy tourist season. It has since grown into a five-day feast of music, poetry, dance, visual art, theatre, and more. The programme for families and children has been thoughtfully planned, with  workshops on writing, the digital arts, open-air painting, and multimedia art, as well as the Fidgit Feet aerial dance spectacular, storytelling, a choral slam, and a Lego building competition. Phew!

If you head along to any of these events, make sure to let us know in the comments section.

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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