Local family event guide – Friday 20th – Thursday 26th July 2018

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There are many fun activities happening over the next week for you to enjoy.
Please check that they are still running before setting out, as sometimes even the best events have to be postponed.

Swords Summer Festival

The Swords Summer Festival is a 3 day festival with lots to do for the whole family in Swords Castle and Town Park.

Swords Summer Festival programme featuring ABBAesque on Friday 20th July Live at the Castle Marquee.

Saturday 21st July Hothouse Flowers in concert at Swords Castle.

FREE Family Fun including music/ puppet/ magic shows and a craft and food fair in Swords Town Park on Saturday and Sunday from 12-6pm.

While also on Sunday the Castle Marquee has Line & Jive dancing workshops followed by the JIVE SESSION where you can put what you learned in to practice.

To finish off the Festival and back by popular demand we have Marvin & The Grooves on stage at 4.30pm.


The Festival of Curiosity*
Dublin’s International festival of science, art, design & technology

Playful days & Curious Nights. Experience a cultural feast of unique, visual and interactive experiences in Dublin that merge cutting edge technology, design, arts and science in playful, immersive & curious ways.

With over 45,000 people descending on Dublin from across the globe every year and visiting 14 venues & spaces across the city centre you can experience Dublin come alive in an energetic fusion of interactive installations, pop-up playgrounds and curiosity carnivals to immersive experiences, performance, visual art, theatre, film, secret tours, night cycles & urban escapes.

Below are some of our favourite family friendly activities happening within the festival;

Curiosity Carnival

Step inside Smock Alley Theatre and experience an exciting carnival of hands-on workshops, adventures in electronics, interactive installations, crafty creatures and curious games for all the family.

To celebrate our 6th birthday, we’re bringing the best of the festival to the Curiosity Carnival in 2018 along with some very curious new & playful pieces. From Lego building to curious crafting, musical circuits, playable electronics, and art machines come out to play at the Curiosity Carnival and try your hands at some of the most curious and playful gadgets & gizmos of 2018.

Bring your Bear friends! Don’t forget to bring along your favorite teddy bear for a health check at the Teddy Bear Hospital using some very curious technology, virtual reality and some loving care from our Bear Doctors. Kindly supported by Elastoplast we’ll make sure your trusty friend has all the bear essentials for a healthy, happy bear life.

Smock Alley Theatre

July 19-22, 2018

Children, 4-8 Years

€4 per person

Singing Workshop

Join Sam (from The Lalala Choir) for this fun singing workshop for families and friends (aged four and up), where anyone can show up and learn to sing.

Every workshop is a new experience, as we explore the unpredictable world of improvisation; learn new songs and create our own arrangements on the spot.

No previous experience necessary!

Smock Alley Theatre

Thursday, July 19th @ 11.00

60 minutes

Anyone aged 4 and up.
No experience necessary.

€4 per person

Deep Ocean Lab

Join YouTuber & Blue Peter Science Guy Greg Foot for the story of his scientific adventure to the deep.

With experiments and stunning videos, Greg will show you the high-tech submersibles that took him down a crazy 1000ft into the Twilight Zone. He’ll explain the importance of our oceans, and – thanks to Greg’s work with the Blue Planet II team – uncover the effect we’re having on them.  You’ll also get the chance to meet a creature from the deep!

Smock Alley Theatre

Saturday, July 21 @ 11.00
Sunday, July 22 @ 11.00

Duration: 55mins

Family, Children 5-10

€4 per person

Everest Lab

Join YouTuber & Blue Peter Science Guy Greg Foot for the story of his scientific adventure to the world’s highest pop-up lab at Everest Base Camp.

With summit kit, interactive experiments, and stunning videos, Greg will uncover how a group of scientists and medics braved the thin freezing air to perform cutting-edge research that turns our ideas about medicine upside down.

Smock Alley Theatre

Saturday July 21 @ 15.30
Sunday July 22 @ 12.30

55 minutes

Family, Children 5-10

€4 per person

Dublin Maker

Featuring a host of clever hacks, intriguing innovations and maker movement magic – come along to find out how robots are made, and instruments are created and beer gets brewed. See woodturners and weavers in action and medical devices being 3D printed.

Get the chance to speak to makers who have created everything from rocket launchers to film props.

The food area and chill out zone are back this year. So take the opportunity to glimpse into the future, get hands-on in the creation process and find inspiration to become a Maker.

Find out more at www.dublinmaker.ie 

Merrion Square

Saturday, July 21st
10.00 – 18.00

Families, Children, Young Adults, Adults

Free Event – No Booking Required


Megalithic Big Draw!

Take part in our Big Draw and decorate our giant paper with megalithic and cave art at the Museum! Learn all about the different designs used by people in the Stone Age to decorate prehistoric tombs in Ireland and create your own hand-print cave art.

When Saturday 21st drop in between 2-4pm
Where National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street (Archaeology)
How much? Free, no booking required. Located in the Learning Resource Room, First Floor. Not wheelchair accessible.
Ages suitable for families


Dublin Maker takes the form of a “show and tell” experience where inventors/makers sourced through an open call, will have an opportunity to showcase their creations at individual booths in a carnival atmosphere. It is a family friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making and share what they are learning.

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors and commercial exhibitors. They are of all ages and backgrounds, coming from all over Ireland and beyond. Dublin Maker’s mission is to entertain, inform and connect the makers of Ireland, while inspiring the next generation of Ireland’s makers and inventors.

When Saturday July 21st, 10-6pm
Where Merrion Square, Dublin
How much? Free
Ages suitable for everyone

Drop-in family workshop

At our weekly drop-in workshop, children and their parents/guardians/carers are encouraged to work together on creative projects. Drop-in and stay for as long (or as little!) as you wish.

When Sunday’s drop in between 11.30-1.30
Where National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2 in the Maples and Calder Creative Space
How much? Free, no booking required
Ages suitable for children of all ages

Family Friendly Tour

Join us for a special tour designed for children and their guardians, parents and carers.

Our aim is to make the artworks fun and engaging for kids, and to welcome families and visitors of all ages and encourage them to feel comfortable in the Gallery.

When Sunday 22nd July 12.30-1.15
Where National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2. Meet at the Merrion Square information desk
How much? free, no booking necessary
Ages suitable for everyone welcome

Dumbo – the 1941 classic film 

To tie in with the exhibition Circus250: Art of the Show we are screening circus-themed films in July. Join us for a free screening of the classic Disney film Dumbo(1941).

Screenings in association with Access Cinema and the Friends of the National Gallery of Ireland.

When Sunday 22nd from 3-4.05pm
Where National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
How much? Free, tickets required through this link
Ages suitable for everyone welcome

Family Workshop: Music at the Cathedral

Music has played a pivotal role in the life and history of the Cathedral for centuries. Come and explore this musical heritage of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral through music and song with one of our talented musicians.

When Monday 23rd July 10:30 & 12:30
Where St Patricks Cathedral
How much? Free, can be pre booked here
Ages suitable for 7-12 year olds
Places on this workshop are limited so be sure to book your place today to avoid disappointment! Parents need to remain present for the duration of the workshop, but do not need to book a place for themselves.

Tuesday Kids Drop-by Activities

Kids, Join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden! Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.

When Tuesdays until August 28th at 11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm, 3.30pm. No Bookings. First Come, First Served.
Where National Botanic Gardens of Dublin, Glasnevin
How much? Free
Ages suitable for All children and their adults

Children’s workshop: Every Picture tells a story: See the picture, tell the story

This workshop is inspired by the Photo Detectives exhibition which celebrates our wonderful photographs, and the work of the online community who helped us find out more about the images.

Prompted by what they observe in the photographs, children will make their own stories.

When Wednesday 25 July, 2.30pm
Where National Photographic Archive Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
How much? Free
Ages suitable for  7+ Booking required. Book at learning@nli.ie

SUMMER FAMILY WORKSHOP – Mornings at the Museum

Have some creative family time during the summer school holidays. Children and grown- ups can enjoy visiting an exhibition and making artworks together.

When Wednesday and Thursday mornings, 10:00 ‐ 11:00am running until Wed 29 and Thu 30 Aug
Where IMMA, Royal Hospital, Military Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
How much? Free
Ages suitable for everyone

Children’s Workshop: Budding Botanists

Ever wanted to start your very own dried plant collection? Get great tips and discover how you can become a plant collector! Join our guides on an expedition through the Botanic Gardens, identifying and collecting suitable plants for pressing before constructing your very own flower press. If you like, you can also create some beautiful botanical designs with our pre-dried plants.

When Thursday 26th July and 9th and 23rd August at 11am
Where National Botanic Gardens of Dublin, Glasnevin
How much? Free, although you must book Call (01) 804 0319 / 857 0909 or email botanicgardens@opw.ie.
Ages suitable for 6 and up

Inspectorium: Looking Back

It is not easy for fossils to form. It is a little like Goldilocks; conditions have to be just right! Drop-into the Discovery Zone for this hands-on session, learn more about how fossils form and touch real ancient fossil creatures that lived over 400 million years ago!

When Thursday 26th July, drop in between 11-12
Where National Museum of Ireland, Merrion Street (Natural History)
How much? Free, No booking required but there may be short waiting time. Wheelchair accessible.
Ages suitable for families

Wood Quay Summer Sessions

The Wood Quay Summer Sessions return for a third year of free concerts from 1pm to 2pm every Thursday throughout July. Every week, music fans will have the opportunity to see new and upcoming acts, as well as established acts, from across a wide range of genres performing in the wonderful setting of the outdoor Wood Quay Amphitheatre in Dublin’s city centre.

When Every Thursday between 1-2pm
Where Wood Quay, Dublin
How much? Free
Ages suitable for everyone to enjoy

Pre book the events below for future family fun.

Family Workshop: Medieval Life

Join family workshop facilitator Katherine McCormack for a fascinating, hands on workshop exploring life in a medieval cathedral

When Tuesday 31st July at 10.30 and at 12.30
Where St Patricks Cathedral, Wood Quay Dublin 8
How much? free, book through this link here
Ages suitable for 6-12 year olds. Parents need to remain present for the duration of the workshop, but do not need to book a place for themselves.

The Deep Ocean: Puppetry Workshop

The Ocean Deep puppetry art workshop with artist Frances Coghlan.

When Thursday 2 August, 11am-Noon
Where Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane
How much? €6 – pre book your space 
Ages suitable for 3-6 year olds

Secret Garden Saturdays: Botanical Drawing

Above the hustle and bustle of Temple Bar is its best-kept secret…The Ark’s top floor workshop & garden! Join artist Jane Groves for a series of visual art workshops inspired by what you can see and hear out there.

To start the series off, these workshops for ages 5-7 will create beautiful paintings using nature’s toolbox. In this workshop you will experience the surprising tools and materials you might find in your garden and use them to make your own natural artworks. Investigate the potential of sticks, stones and feathers to make marks and explore vibrant watercolours and dusty charcoal.

When Saturday 4 Aug at 11.30am & 2pm and Sat 28 July & 18 & 25 Aug at 11.30am.
Where The Ark, 11a Eustace Street
How much? €11.50/€8.50* per child. (20% off for Members)
Ages suitable for 5-7 year olds. If you are aged between8-12 years, you can book to enjoy on Sat 28 July & 18 & 25 Aug at 2pm.

One Day Circus Skills & Performance Workshops

Roll up, roll up this summer as we join forces with Street Theatre Ireland for a mini festival of circus skills and performance for children!

2018 marks 250 years since the modern circus was born. To celebrate this we have dynamic day-long workshops for children aged 9-12 to learn from circus artists and enjoy a fun, action packed programme including juggling, balancing, hula hooping, wire walking skills and circus make up.

Suitable for children of all levels of experience – including complete beginners – the artists will guide participants through the basics of the skills in four focused sessions, before everyone gets the opportunity to share what they’ve learnt with the rest of the group at the end of the day.

Each skill is taught with step by step, easy to follow instructions which build confidence, improve coordination and reward effort with achievement. Above all else, it will be an exciting day for any budding circus star!

  • Juggling – Children will learn the basics of juggling with scarves and balls before trying to juggle with a partner. Keep your eye on the ball for this one!
  • Hula Hoop & Devil Stick Class – Hula hooping fun and introduction to devil stick manipulation. Try these two tricky skills and impress your friends.
  • Balance Class – Try your hand at balancing feathers and sticks, walking on hand held stilts, teetering on the rola-bola and braving the tight wire.
  • Circus Make-Up – Create your own clown identity as you work in pairs to do each other’s make-up ready for the show!
When Wed 8 – Sat 11 August at 10am-3pm
Where The Ark, Temple Bar
How much? €32/€29* (Members & Concessions) per child
Ages suitable for 9-15 year olds

Musical Picnic with the Summer String Quartet

Join us for a family picnic lunchtime concert where we bring the outdoors indoors with some great music and other fun activities.

Come early and meet the musicians, try out some instruments, and have some fun with musical face-painting! Then come into the John Field Room to enjoy our interactive family concert and hear some familiar tunes with a classical twist.
When  Saturday 11th August Foyer activities from 12:15pm, Concert at 1pm
Where The National Concert Hall – Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
How much? Adults €12, Child: €10, Family Ticket (family of 4): €37, Young Maestros: €8 Picnics €5 per person
Ages suitable for the whole family

Playstival with the Happy Pear

A 2-day NEW summer festival for children and their parents. Playstival celebrates play, imagination, and fun with a range of hands-on, fun and imaginative games and themed play universes.

Play is an integral and important part of children’s lives and the focus of Playstival is to ‘go back to basics’ and experience a more innocent approach to games and play – no fancy technology or screens to be found! Playstival is both interactive and active, kids don’t just sit and watch, they play.

Playstival showcases eight themed ‘play universes’ for children to immerse themselves in, use their imaginations to create ideas, roles and characters, and most importantly have lots of fun. From a construction site for kids to the wild wild west, the wonderfully themed play universes offer an unforgettable day of pure fun for families set in the heart of Dublin.

Furthermore, delicious and nourishing Happy Pear food will be on offer throughout the weekend – from healthy wraps and salads, to hot dishes, as well as Happy Pear smoothies, hand-roasted coffees, and a selection of healthier cakes and treats.

When Sat 11th, Sun 12th – Playstival with The Happy Pear runs from 9am – 6pm. Like a school day, Playstival is divided into morning and afternoon sessions. Each Playstival session lasts for 4 hours and runs between 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 6pm.
WhereAirfield Estate, Overend Avenue, Dundrum, Dublin 14
How much? Standard ticket €12.42 – Free for under 2’s
Ages suitable for The whole family

Children’s Event – Pond Dipping

Explore the weird and wonderful diversity of insects and minibeasts living in and around the pond at the National Botanic Gardens. Perfect your technique with guidance from the experts and learn how to identify the amazing creatures you have captured. Once you have discovered the hidden pond life you will never look at ponds the same way again!

Organised with the Irish Wildlife Trust.

When Saturday 11th August at 11.00am. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Where Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin
How much? Free, booking essential. For free events, bookings can be made at: 01 804 0319 or botanicgardens@opw.ie
Ages suitable for children age 8 and upwards.

Musical Picnic with the ECO Band: Familiar Tunes with a Jazz Twist

Join us for a family picnic lunchtime concert where we bring the outdoors indoors with some great music and other fun activities.
Come early and meet the musicians, try out some instruments, and have some fun with musical face-painting! Then come into the John Field Room to enjoy our interactive family concert and hear some familiar tunes with a classical twist.
When Saturday 25th August, 1.00pm. Foyer activities from 12.15.
Where The National Concert Hall – Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
How much? How much? Adults €12, Child: €10, Family Ticket (family of 4): €37, Young Maestros: €8 Picnics €5 per person
Ages suitable for
the whole family

We hope that you have a great week.

ClapHandies PlayLabs  happen around the Dublin area during term time

If you have a baby, wobbler or toddler, why don’t you book and join one of our PlayLabs?

ClapHandies also run baby massage courses and First Aid courses 

If you are looking to organise a party, we offer PlayParty for 1-2-year-olds.

For 3, 4 & 5-year-olds we offer Classic Parties and children 6+ there are 4 great themed parties that school children seem to LOVE!

Take a look at RealPartyKids .

If you have an event you would like us to promote, please email marie@claphandies.com or message us through our Facebook page.

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