Local family event guide – Friday 19th – Thursday 25th 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.


Inspectorium: Weird & Wonderful Beasts!

What creature has no teeth but a tongue as long as your arm? Drop into the Discovery Zone to learn about some weird and wonderful beasts and touch skulls from the handling collection

When Saturday 20th 11am -1pm
Where National Museum of Ireland, Merrion Street (Natural History)
How much? Free
Ages suitable for all ages, no booking required but there may be short waiting time. Wheelchair accessible.


Unwrapped 2018: Lantern Making Workshop

Unwrapped Festival marks the beginning of the winter festive season. Join in the festivities by taking part in a lantern making workshop. Throughout October/November lantern making workshops will take place every Saturday (excluding Saturday 27 October) at Rua Red. The workshops are suitable for all ages. Come along and have a go!

You, your family (and your lantern!) are invited to then take part in the Unwrapped lantern parade that will take place on Dec 1st. This year’s theme is Return to Tír na nÓg and there will be music, singing and the lighting of the Christmas tree by Mayor of South Dublin County, Cllr. Mark Ward.

There will be two daily workshops led by artists from Tallaght Community Arts.

When every Saturday (excluding Saturday 27 October) through October and November. Choose between 11-1 or 2-4
Where Rua Red, South Dublin Arts Centre, Tallaght, Dublin 24
How much? Your €5 fee covers the cost of your lantern lights. Booking is essential. Workshop places are limited and book up fast!
Ages suitable for everyone

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 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!


Pick your own pumpkin from… €5, Hay maze, Fun and games, Play with the animals, Wear Wellies / Raincoats – depending on weather

When Sat 20th, Sun 21st, Sat 27th, Sun 28th, Mon 29th, Tue 30th, Wed 31st from 11am – 3pm
Where Reynoldstown Animal Farm, Reynoldstown, Naul
How much? €15 per car + if you pre book the eventbrite booking fee. Book through this link. 
Ages suitable for the whole family

Storytime at the Gallery Shop

Join us for a special Halloween-themed Storytime in the Gallery Shop!

Grab yourself a cushion for an hour-long interactive story session with storyteller Ruth Concannon who will be reading some great stories such as Winnie’s Haunted House.

Spoooooooooky. Fancy dress encouraged!

When Saturday 20 October 11.30 – 12.30
Where National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2 in the Gallery Shop
How much? Storytime is always free and always fun. Our only rule is that children are always accompanied by a responsible adult.
Ages suitable for  3-10 year olds


Our friends at Water Babies are celebrating National Baby Swimming Week from October 15 – 21!

As well as being really good fun and potentially life-saving too, swimming from birth is excellent for your baby’s development.

To celebrate, Water Babies are giving away two free courses – just head over to their website to find out how to enter and to discover what’s so fantastic about baby swimming!


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 Sunday October 21st between 12-5pm
Where National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9
How much? Free
Ages suitable for the whole family

Sunday Sketching – Umbrellas & rain filled clouds

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 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
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 Sunday October 21st from 2pm.
  • 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.

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.

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 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

Water Babies and ClapHandies invite you to join us at our FREE coffee morning on Thursday 25th October from 10-12 at Junction 6 Castleknock, River Road, D15

You and your little one can take part in ClapHandies activities and Water Babies teachers will be on hand to chat to you and answer any questions!

Please book your tickets here and we look forward to seeing you all!


 Pre book the events below for future family fun.

Halloween Magic for Pumpkin ‘Pitch’ Kids!

A mixture of tricks and treats await your little ghosts, goblins and witches as they follow a pumpkin trail on a (slightly!) hair raising tour as darkness descends on Croke Park, stopping at all the famous spots including the dressing rooms, warm-up areas and pitch side.  Next, they will be treated to a very special Samhain-themed magic show by magician Brian Daly, who will wow all the family with his tricks and ability to make people laugh out loud in wonder. Those really looking to get into the ‘spirit’ of things should go along in fancy dress – there’s a mini Liam or Sam up for grabs for best costume on each tour!

Your family will also get to explore the GAA Museum, where you can view the original Sam Maguire and Liam Mac Carthy cups, learn all about your local GAA legends, and have lots of fun in the Interactive Games Zone!

After all the magic tricks of the day, you’ll deserve some treats, so head along to The Blackthorn Café located in the GAA Museum, where the adults will be treated to a complimentary seasonal hot Halloween drink. The café, which has extended opening hours over midterm, also has a delicious Harvest Menu that includes spiced pumpkin and cinnamon soup, slow cooked traditional corned beef, traditional Irish stew, Wexford Lamb with root vegetables, barm brack and chocolate apples.

The Samhain festival traditionally marked the end of the harvest season and was the most important of all the Celtic celebrations, so it’s fitting that the GAA Museum, which celebrates our Celtic culture, honours this tradition.

When Performances will take place at 5pm, 6pm & 7pm from Friday October 26th to Tuesday October 30th.
Where Croke Park
How much? Tickets, which cost €16 for adults, €12 for children under 16, €14 for seniors and €50 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) must be booked in advance online as there is limited availability.
Ages suitable for the whole family
The price includes a seasonal hot Halloween drink for all adult ticket holders and exclusive after-hours entry to the GAA Museum.  Lunch in the Blackthorn Café is additional. Visitors should allow approximately two hours for the experience.

Being a vampire sucks, but being Dracula’s younger brother is driving Jackula batty.

Join Jackula on a spooktacular quest to to step out of his older brother’s shadow and become the world’s first fun vampire. Laugh as Jackula makes his pet ghost dance. Gasp
as Jackula balances five glasses of water on his face. Smile as children help him perform spellbinding tricks. An inspirational Halloween magic show about staying true to yourself. The show is performed by Jeff Keough who has entertained at The White House, Leniser House, and his daughter’s Senior Infant Class. Jackula has been recommended by the Irish Times. The Irish Independent said Jackula is “Family fun guaranteed.”

When Tue 30th Oct at 7pm
Where dlr Mill Theatre Dundrum
How much? €8
Ages suitable for 3-12 year olds and their adults
When 29th October – 2nd November from 10-2
Where Harold’s Cross Community Centre, D6
How much? €150 for the week  to book please call 087 7201717
Ages suitable for 5-14 years old

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral: After Dark

Join us this All Hallow’s Eve for another candlelit recital of suitably chilling music including GhostbustersPirates of the Caribbean and some musical meddling from Master Harry Potter alongside Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice & Saint-Saens’ Danse Macabre.

Suitable for all ages – but not the faint hearted!

The concert will conclude with a retiring collection in aid of BARNARDOS.

Tickets are free, but advance booking is essential via the link above.

When Wednesday 31st October at 6.15pm
Where Saint Patricks Catherdral
How much? Free, donations taken for Barnardos
Ages suitable for everyone invited, but maybe more suitable for older children?

Halloween workshop

Create your own spooky Halloween mask in this workshop

When Saturday 27 October, 2–3pm
Where Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane
How much? €7 bookable here as numbers are limited
Ages suitable for 6–8 year olds

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

Go Fly Your Kite

Do you want to have your very own kite? Come along and design your kite, learn how to assemble it and get some tips on flying your kite and kite safety from the team at goflyyourkite.com.

When 3.00pm on Monday 12th November
Where dlrLexicon, Dun Laoghaire
How much? There is no mention of price, so call to check.
Ages suitable for Under 8s must be accompanied by an adult at open sessions. Booking essential via dlrlexiconlib@dlrcoco.ie or phoning 2801147.

Exploring Shadowy Things with Genevieve Harden

Draíocht and Early Years – Exploring More With Early Years Arts

Gen will lead you on this journey of experimentation, sticking and creating to make your own shadowy thing in our studio space. Loom large, move slow, what shadow shapes can you create!

This series of individual monthly workshops, designed for children aged 2-4 years, is intended to allow you and your child to explore different art mediums in an open and undirected way, starting with clay, then shadow play and finally music. There will be mess but there will also be fun!

When Tue 13 November, 10am -11am & 12pm-1pm
Where Draíocht, The Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15
How much? €5 Per Child (Accompanying Adult Free) Booking and further information from Box Office on 01-8852622.
Ages suitable for 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).

How to Catch a Star

Branar Téatar do Pháistí

Once There was a boy who was always looking up. He dreamt of having a star as a friend. This is the story of his adventure.

Based on the beloved book by award-winning Irish author Oliver Jeffers, Branar Teatar do Pháistí are proud to present How to Catch a Star.

This adaptation combines puppetry by Grace Kiely and Neasa Ní Chuanaigh with stunning puppets by Suse Reibish. With a magical original score by Colm Mac Con Iomaire and directed by Marc Mac Lochlainn. Branar’s signature storytelling creates a show which reminds us all to follow our dreams.

When Thursday 22 – Saturday 24 November  at 10.15 and 12.15
Where Draíocht, The Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15
How much? €7 adults / €5 children
Ages suitable for  4+ yrs


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

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 December 1st
Where National Concert Hall
How much? €6.50-€8
Ages suitable for families

Exploring Sound and Music with Mischa O Mahony

Draíocht and Early Years – Exploring More With Early Years Arts

Move, bang, play. Mischa will encourage you to use your ears, imagine sounds, stop and listen. What do you hear! See and play music in a free and open environment.

This series of individual monthly workshops, designed for children aged 2-4 years, is intended to allow you and your child to explore different art mediums in an open and undirected way, starting with clay, then shadow play and finally music. There will be mess but there will also be fun!

When Tuesday 11th December, 10 -10.50am and again at 11-11.50am
Where Draíocht, The Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15
How much? €5 Per Child (Accompanying Adult Free) Booking and further information from Box Office on 01-8852622.
Ages suitable for 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).


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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