6 Fun Family Events To Check Out This Month
It is easy to feel a bit glum at this time of year, with the evenings getting darker and stormy weather buffeting the country. It’s not all doom and gloom, however. There are bright spots across the country, where enterprising people have organised exciting events to take our mind off winter. Here are some festivals we are looking forward to:
1. Mid-Term Break at Birr Castle
Venue: Birr Castle, Co. Offaly
Date: October 28th to November 5th
Cost: €5 to €25
Contact: +353 57 9120336
There’s a full programme of Halloween fun happening at Birr Castle this mid-term break. Enjoy seasonal face painting, bun decorating, and a pumpkin trail, all in the stunning (and just slightly scary) surroundings of Birr Castle. You can stroll through the beautiful gardens, keeping an eye out for the pumpkins hidden there. (You could even win a prize!). You can also enjoy sweet treats at the Scary Mary Cupcake Decorating Workshop, or have your very own adventure in the treehouse.
2. The Dragon of Shandon
Venue: Cork City
Date: October 31st
Contact: +353 21 4553747
Running since 2006, the Dragon of Shandon is a feast of beasts, spectres, and ghouls on Samhain (Halloween) night in the heart of Cork City. Join in one of the country's most stunning festive events, and accompany the Dragon of Shandon and his posse of underworld creatures through an evening of music and performance. The focus of the parade is a 36-foot dragon constructed entirely of tape and animated by 12 puppeteers. Bring the whole family for this memorable event.
3. Dublin Book Festival
Ireland’s annual celebration of authors and publishers, the 11th Dublin Book Festival is a joy for bookworms of all ages. There is an exciting programme for readers young and old, with every genre covered. Enjoy the atmosphere, the workshops, the interviews with favourite authors, and a range of events to delight any book lover.
4. Wells House Dare to Scare Tour
Venue: Well’s House, Gorey, Co. Wexford
Dates: 26th October – 31st October
Contact: 353 51 9186737
If you fancy a family-friendly fright, creep down to the gothic and ghoulish Wells House in Gorey for the Dare to Scare tour. It starts with a chilling trawl through the dark and ghostly basement and continues through the eerie gardens. Here, you can help the resident Wells House werewolf hunter keep the hairy monsters at bay. You’re in for a scary treat!
5. Blackrock Pumpkin Festival
Venue: Main Street, Blackrock, Co. Louth
Dates: 30th October
Contact: +353 86 3844472
Halloween and pumpkins go hand in hand, so head to one of the country’s biggest pumpkin displays in the seaside village of Blackrock, Co. Louth. Centred around the sun dial on Blackrock Main Street, the Blackrock Pumpkin Festival features hundreds of exquisitely carved pumpkins as far as the eye can see. Admire the unique expressions on each pumpkin—be sure to bring your camera! It’s not just carved pumpkins either: There are activities for everybody, with a Halloween Fayre, live entertainment, and spooky face painting. As darkness fall, the Black Walk brings you into the spirit of the season, with a themed fancy dress parade making its way to the beach, where you are sure to pick up a treat (or a trick?). It’s good-natured ghoulish fun for all in Blackrock this Halloween.
6. Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo
November 3rd to january 7th. Event Times: 5pm - 9pm (last entry is 8pm)
Free to €20
Wild Lights is a magical night-time event, featuring giant colourful lanterns and illuminated animal sculptures, inspired by wildlife. Purchasing tickets for Wild Lights does not permit entry to Dublin Zoo during the day. In accordance with the terms and conditions for Wild Lights, all tickets are non-transferable and valid for the chosen date of booking only. The animals at the Zoo will not be visible during the Wild Lights experience.
If you head along to any of these fantastic events, make sure to let us know how you got on in the comments section below.