Local family event guide – Friday 5th – Thursday 11th October 2018

Take a look at all the family friendly events happening in and around Dublin 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.

Seedlings Workshops: LOOK! SEE?

This month in our early years programme, artist Lucy Hill will be exploring how we see the world – and how it might see us!

Materials can help us see the world in different, new or better ways (glasses, goggles, cameras, binoculars, telescopes, blindfolds, magnifying glasses, masks?). Let’s make objects that can change how we look at the world…


…maybe the world would like to look back at us? Let’s see what different objects look like if we give them eyes! make some eyes for EVERYTHING!

Our Seedlings workshops offer opportunities to explore materials and the world around them through playful and engaging activities. Ideal for getting little ones (and their grown-up!) imagining and creating together.

When Fri 5 Oct @ 10:15am & 2pm and  Sat 6 Oct @ 10:15am & 11.45am
Where The ARK, 11a Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
How much? €11.50/€8.50 per child (20% off for members).
Ages suitable for 2-4 year olds and their adults

Fun Palace: Intergenerational Day

We are very excited to be the FIRST Fun Palace in Ireland!

Artist Fiona Harrington has been working with textile collective MAGS and Rialto Youth Project to create Ireland’s first Fun Palace.

Come and help create a giant immersive picture of textures and colours, inspired by our exhibition Roderic O’Conor & the Modern. Learn something new, share your skills and meet new people.

For all ages and generations.

Fun Palaces is an international, free campaign that places culture at the heart of community, and community at the heart of culture, with an annual weekend of events each October.

When Saturday 6th October from 11am-3pm
Where National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
How much? Free
Ages suitable  for all ages and generations.
Join us for a very special Family Day on Saturday 6th October where we mark the centenary of the RMS Leinster, the end of WWI and votes for women. We will have lots for all the family!
Thanks to all the many individuals and groups who have partnered with dlr LexIcon for this very special Family Day.
We have a great array of outdoor and indoor activities but if the weather is poor we will relocate those events indoors.
No booking required for any events but come early, as first come first served.
Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. All events are free!

Ardagh 150 Open Day

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Ardagh Chalice and hoard, the Museum of Archaeology is holding a day of free activities and displays.

Talk to our curators, take part in our art activities and meet Vikings, monks and scribes to discover life in Early Medieval Ireland. At the Expert Hot Spots view close up and under the microscope artefacts not normally displayed, and chat to Museum curators and conservators. Discover how the UCD Centre of Experimental Archaeology has worked with the Museum to research the secrets of the metal working skills. View the new items arising from the work of experimental archaeologists which will be added to the Museum’s education handling collection. Explore the Museum galleries and meet eight characters from Irish Arms, including scribes, monks and herbalists who will tell you more about the life in Early Medieval Ireland, when the hoard was made and used. Join in the art activities and help decorate the largest ‘Ardagh Chalice’ you will ever see, and take a peep at the winning entries in the display of the Ardagh Chalice Colouring Competition

When Saturday 6th from 11-4
Where National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street (Archaeology)
How much? Free, no booking required
Ages suitable for all ages
Although the forest walk isn’t until Sunday 28th October you will need to collect your wristbands for the event on Saturday 6th.

Samhain, everybody’s favourite phantasmal forest of fright will materialise before your very eyes in Marlay Park on Sunday October 28th 2018. The annual spookfest is back in all its gory glory with the sounds, shadows and creatures of the night that only appear in Marlay Park once a year on the haunted forest walk.

No one knows why they come to Marlay Park on the Sunday before Halloween each year but you have been warned that ghouls and goblins like the Wicked Woodsman, Crane the Mad, Witches of the Woods, Phantom Tailors and Banshees may all once again make an appearance.

Dress your worst, in your most freakily frightening costume and join us this for this unique fright in the forest. But remember, once you enter the haunted forest walk there is no controlling the spectral spirits so do not get too close.

We want to see you in your Halloween costumes but remember Samhain is an outdoor event so warm clothing is recommended. The walk is approx. 1.7km long on a path suitable for buggies and wheelchairs.



  • The Haunted Forest Walk will be open between 3.30pm and 8.30pm and Entry is FREE but by WRISTBAND ONLY.
  • Wristbands can be collected at the Cricket Pitch in Marlay Park on Saturday October 6th and Sunday October 21st from 2pm each day.
  • Wristbands will be available while stocks last on a strictly first come first served basis, limited to six per family.
  • Half of the available supply will be distributed each day.
  • Parking for wristband collection is in the College Road Car Park of Marlay Park only.
  • Entry times to queue for the Haunted Forest Walk are printed on your wristband.
  • Times are: 3.30pm, 4pm, 4.30pm, 5pm, 5.30pm, 6pm, 6.30pm, 7pm, 7.30pm and 8pm.


Busker Fleadh 2018

A variety of busking acts from around the country will perform in Smithfield Square as part of the Busker Fleadh! This free family event will showcase the best of independent music and performance in an electrifying atmosphere.

The line up of performers will cover a range of genres, ages and cultural backgrounds, allowing visitors to experience the diverse music offered in Ireland.

Aside from the musical talents, spectators will wander the cobbles of Smithfield and enjoy choirs and street performers and cultural backgrounds and witnesss returning acts such as the inspiring High Hopes Choir, Ireland’s first choir for homeless people, as well as new emerging artists.

Buskers and street performers will be performing live on Smithfield Square from 12 noon to 5pm

Facepainting & balloon modelling

Artisan Food Producers Market
The Busker Fleadh is being held in association with the Artisan Food Producers Market which will feature Artisan producers from Smithfield and Stoneybatter. Enjoy delicious treats from Delish Melish, Aungier Danger, Scéal Bakery and Delicious Food Co. Make sure you pop in to Fresh Shop and enjoy a variety of food and wine tastings!

When Sunday 7th October 2018
Where Smithfield Square
How much? Donations welcome
Ages suitable for family friendly

Maternity Open Day

The Rotunda Hospital, with our partners The Rotunda Foundation and Rotunda IVF, are delighted to invite you to our Maternity Open Day on Sunday 7th of October, from 10am to 4pm.

Throughout the day, visitors can get a behind the scenes look at some of our maternity services, with virtual tours of the various Departments at The Rotunda Hospital.

There will be numerous talks throughout the day and information sessions hosted by our expert staff for prospective parents, mums and mums-to-be to attend.

Come along to hear from obstetricians and midwives, fertility specialists and sonographers, dieticians and physiotherapists and see the diverse range of services that makes the Rotunda Hospital the Maternity Hospital of Choice.

We’ll have taster sessions on pregnancy yoga and hypnobirthing, and you can meet the teams that care for our most vulnerable patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We will have staff on the day to talk to you about the Hospital’s clinics and services, and team from the Rotunda Private will be on hand to provide you with information on private and semi-private antenatal care. You can ask the community midwifery team about services close to your home and find out the benefits of breastfeeding from our Lactation Team.

We’ll have refreshments and giveaways during the day and a supervised Kiddies Corner with face painting and games to keep your little ones occupied.

Car Parking is available in the Hospital grounds.

For more information contact epower@rotunda.ie


Sunday Sketching – Animals in motion

During these free sketching workshops for families we invite you to explore and respond to or collection and temporary exhibitions through discussion and drawing. Bring your own sketchbook or avail of the drawing materials provided.

When Sunday 7th between 3-4pm
Where Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane
How much? Free, no booking required although spaces may be limited
Ages suitable for children 6+ and their adults

Drop-in family workshop – Dots and Distance

Join artist Susan Farrelly for this workshop inspired by the work of Swiss artist Cuno Amiet, and optical mixing techniques.

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.

These workshops are suitable for children of all ages, and take place in the Maples and Calder Creative Space in our Atrium.

When Sunday’s from 11.30am
Where National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
How much? Free no booking required
Ages suitable for everyone welcome

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.

All welcome; no booking necessary.

When Sunday October 7th from 12.30-1.15pm
Where National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
How much? Free no booking required
Ages suitable for everyone welcome

Astro Boy

To mark Space Week you too can travel beyond the stars and join Astro Boy. A robot created to replace a scientist’s lost son embarks on a space exploration adventure in an attempt to discover his own identity

When Sunday at 2pm
Where Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin
How much? Free, no booking required.
Ages suitable for the film is a PG so an adult will need to be present

New parents’ tour

These tours are for parents, guardians, and carers of young children and will focus on a selection of highlights in the permanent collection. Our aim is to welcome families and visitors of all ages and encourage them to feel comfortable in the Gallery rooms

When Monday 8th Oct from 2-3pm
Where National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
How much? Free
Ages suitable for parents, guardians, and carers of young children

Read with Sophie the therapy dog for Children’s Book Festival

Sophie, our springer spaniel therapy dog from Peata (www.peata.ie) just loves being read to! If you know a child that requires support with their reading and enjoys the company of dogs, this programme could be for them! All welcome, especially early and struggling readers.

When Wednesdays 10, 17, 24 & 31 Oct from 3-4pm
Where dlr Lexicon
How much? Free
Ages suitable for All welcome, especially early and struggling readers.

Exploring Fantasy Creatures with Deirdre O’Reilly

Using air drying clay, driftwood and other found materials, Deirdre will help little hands mould and build a fantasy creature, while exploring the squishy, squashy nature of clay.

When Thursday 11th 10am – 11am and again at  12 – 1
Where Draíocht The Blanchardstown Centre Dublin 15
How much? €5 for 60 minutes (one session) Booking and further information from Box Office on 01-8852622
These workshops are designed for children aged 2-4 years.
Please respect age limits as each workshop has been designed especially for this age range.
All children must be accompanied by an adult and all adults must be accompanied by a child.
These sessions are only suitable for one parent/guardian and accompanying child (without siblings).


 Pre book the events below for future family fun.

Tiny Tunes – An Early Years Cabaret

Actor/singer Susannah de Wrixon faces her toughest audience yet with her new show for pre schoolers

Tiny Tunes is a musical and theatrical experience that is fun , friendly, interactive and most importantly not painful for adults to sit through!

Susannah and her co creator Derek Cremin will bring you through gorgeous songs that you can sing, clap  and dance along to to, some familiar, some brand new.

It would be a fantastic way to introduce kids to the world of theatre and performance.

Tiny tunes , an early years cabaret was created with the support of the Ark.

When Sunday 14th October,11am and 12.30pm
Where dlr Mill Theatre Dundrum Town Centre Dublin 16
How much? €12 per ticket, bookable here
Ages suitable for 2-5 year olds and their adults

Children’s Decorated Pumpkin Exhibition

Kids, take part in our decorated pumpkin competition and your pumpkin can be part of the fantastic exhibition that will run until just after Halloween.
This event is a big hit with our visitors every year. Please use the entry form below or call at the Visitor Centre desk for entry forms and details on how to take part in this spooktacular event.
Please remember that we cannot accept carved, cut or pierced pumpkins.
When Entries will only be accepted on Saturday 20th October between 10am and 4pm. Prize giving for the Decorated Pumpkin Competition will take place on Sunday 21 October at 3pm in the Teak House.
Where National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9
How much? Free to enter
Ages suitable for children of all ages!

Halloween at Glasnevin

Join us for a bumper series of events and activities to celebrate the coming of Halloween!
It’s dress-up day when all you witches and ghouls can dress to distress. View the Halloween Harvest Display and Decorated Pumpkin Exhibition and discover all about Magical Plants when you visit the witches in their garden. Try your hand at some of the maths puzzles and games that will be run by Maths Week Ireland as part of their Celebration of Mind. There will be puzzles, maze and maths tricks, magicians, mathematicians and puzzlers.
From 12pm there will be Magical Plants presentations every 20 minutes in the Witches Garden (Erasmus Education Garden). Join the coven to find our more about using garlic to ward off vampires, plants for potions and spells, poisonous plants, and even some rarely seen invisible plants! Join us and find out how spooky plants can really get.
When October 21st between 12-5pm
Where National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9
How much? Free
Ages suitable for the whole family

Family workshop days

Do you love the rhythm of trad, or the smooth sounds of jazz? Or perhaps you’d like to introduce your toddler to music, or learn a new instrument with your child. Our family workshops offer a chance to learn about music together in a fun and interactive environment.


Baby Bop and Toddler Twist

Have fun with your little one in these engaging workshops and learn a range of tunes and techniques to continue their musical journey at home. This session uses folk songs and lullabies from around the world, together with easy and accessible musical activities for you to share together.

Gamelan Introduction (age 6+)

Experience the magical sound of the Javanese Gamelan. This unique set of tuned percussion instruments was gifted to the National Concert Hall by the Sultan of Yogyakarta, and is a great way of getting to play music in an ensemble, even with little or no previous experience.

Percussion (age 6+)

Discover the world of rhythm with a group percussion workshop. Our skilled facilitators will take your group through a rhythmic journey exploring the drumming traditions of West Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean. No previous experience is required. All instruments are supplied.

Tin Whistle Workshop (age 6+)

This hands-on family music workshop introduces the tunes and techniques of the tin whistle for newcomers to the instrument. Participants are welcome to bring their own D whistle, or purchase them on the day or through our box office for €5.

Bodhrán Workshop (age 6+)

Explore rhythm in this interactive workshop with the traditional Irish drum, and learn how to accompany jigs and reels.

When Various dates throughout the year – October and December dates are showing online to book now.
Where National Concert Hall
How much? €6.50-€8
Ages suitable for families

A Winter Wish

Every winter in Whistleberry Forest, a little robin comes to visit and grants the creatures of the forest their very own wish – they can wish for whatever they want!  As Ornaith the owl, Sorley the snail, and Faoiláin the frog sing the magic words, the forest is transformed before their eyes into an enchanting wintry wonderland. 

From dripping icicles to gentle snowfall, the delight of skating on an icy river or flying high on a moonlit night, discover the mysteries of Whistleberry Forest in a mesmerising traditional music performance made for children. 

With traditional musicians Thomas Johnston and Stephen Markham, and visual artist Orla Kelly, Ceol Connected’s A Winter Wish is a wonderfully interactive adventure that is sure to have everyone singing along.

When Saturday 27th October, 12.00pm & 2.00pm
Where National Concert Hall
How much? Adult €12, Child: €10 Family ticket (family of 4 with max. 2 adults): €37
Ages suitable for families with children 3+

Family day with the Armagh Rhymers

Come and join the Armagh Rhymers at our Tradition Now Family Day, an interactive and immersive journey through the world of traditional Irish music and storytelling.  

The Armagh Rhymers are one of the most celebrated traditional music and theatre ensembles on the island of Ireland.  Founded in the 1970’s, they use music, storytelling and drama to provide an experience that is both entertaining and educational.  Colourful costumes evoke a sense of tradition and history and encapsulate the spirit of the Wren boys and the ancient house visiting traditions of Ireland, where the kitchen floor became the stage.

With family activities starting from 12pm, you can meet the musicians who will be playing later; jump into one of our music and drama workshops, designed to get you involved straight away!; have your face painted and then follow the Treasure Hunt for hidden prizes; try out some of the instruments and play musical games.  Packed lunches will be available from the Terrace Café.

Then at 1:30pm, join the Armagh Rhymers in The Studio for an interactive performance, where you will be taken on a journey through the rich and diverse sounds and traditions of Ireland.  A great day for all the family!

When Sunday 28th October, Foyer activities from 12.00pm, concert at 1:30pm
Where National Concert Hall
How much? Tickets:Adult €12, Child: €10, Family Ticket available
Ages suitable for the whole family

Blackrock Pumpkin Carnival

Bring along your pumpkins and dress up in costumes to enjoy the Blackrock Pumpkin Carnival. Starting from 6.30, bring your pumpkin to the sundial, line the promenade wall with pumpkins to make one of Irelands largest pumpkin displays! Then from 7pm join in The Black Walk, starting at the lower car park and walking to the beach for scary surprises. The fun will end at 8 when you pick up your pumpkin and take them home for Halloween!

When Tuesday 30th October from 6.30 – 8pm
Where Blackrock
How much? Free, other than a pumpkin and/or fancy dress (adults are also encouraged to take part!)
Ages suitable for the whole family


Little Demons

The National Concert Hall is haunted by eerie music and crazy costumes this Halloween. Join us for this spook-tacular interactive Halloween family concert featuring the ghoulish ECO Band.

Explore some chilling sounds and creepy tunes; learn about the instruments, and how music can be made to sound scary; play along with the band to some family favourites, and enjoy our Halloween celebration!  Feel free to bring your instrument and join in some frightfully fun Halloween games. (Scares will be suitable for all ages.)

Don’t forget to dress in your best Halloween costume!
When Wednesday 31st October, Foyer activities from 12.00pm, concert at 1:00pm
Where National Concert Hall
How much? Tickets:Adult €12, Child: €10, group discounts available
Ages suitable for the whole family

Bosco’s Garden And Cinderella – Bosco’s 40th Anniversary Tour!

Paula Lambert has been Travelling the country for the last 40 years. In the early years with her father Eugene Lambert and many be Loved characters from RTE.  Bringing Puppet Theatre to the Children of Ireland for the first time.  Eugene was founder of Ireland’s first and only Puppet theatre .Paula now Tours with third generation PuppetterJohnny Lambert

Bosco is Bosco, not a boy, not a girl, just a Bosco: a cheeky, lovely, funny, slightly-cracked, irrepressible, eternal five-year-old who lives in a box and who loves nothing more than to just be Bosco and meet all the boys and girls.

After starring on Irish TV for three decades, you’ll see why Bosco remains a firm favourite for each new generation. Enjoy the story of Cinderella through this completely interactive live experience.

When Sun 25th Nov at 2pm
Where dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 16
How much? €10
Ages suitable for family friendly

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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