Dublin local family event guide. Friday 24th – Thursday 30th January 2020

Take a look at 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.

Dublin Chinese New Year Festival 2020

Join the Rat Pack! Dublin Chinese New Year Festival returns Jan 24 – Feb 10 2020, welcoming the Year of the Rat.

Dublin Chinese New Year Festival marks the lunar new year with a two week programme of events. Immerse yourself in the festivities as Dublin City celebrates Chinese culture with a uniquely Irish perspective!

There are so many events happening that are family friendly – please check the website below for full listings.

This is the 13th edition of the festival, which began in 2008, so this year we begin a brand new zodiac cycle, welcoming the Year of the Rat.

The programme includes talks, visual arts, performance, film, music and many family-friendly events, inviting all ages to be part of this cultural celebration. Full details from www.dublinchinesenewyear.com.

Messy Play & Canvas Painting

When Friday 24th at 10.30am
Where Giddy Studio’s Dundrum
How much? Admission is €12 which includes all materials, with pre-booking required. Call 01-2960303 for more details and to book
Ages suitable for? Preschoolers and their adults

Come along to Giddy Studios for lots of messy canvas painting & play in a relaxed and welcoming environment.

We will spend an hour doing lots of painting and handprints on a canvas – leaving everyone with a beautiful masterpiece to take home!

We can’t wait to see lots of little beanies and their mums and dads soon for some messy fun!

When January 25, 2020 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Where Botanic Gardens Glasnevin
How much? No mention of cost – check when booking
Ages suitable for? 6-12 year olds

A fun kids’ workshop where we will be making bird feeders to help our feathered friends during the colder winter months. Be sure to wear old clothes wince we may be making a mess!

Booking is essential – call (01) 804 0319/ 857 0909 or email botanicgardens@opw.ie

Chinese New Year Community Celebration

When 2-7pm Saturday 25th
Where Hill Street, Dublin 1
How much? Free
Ages suitable for? the whole family

Join in the celebration of the Chinese New Year, taking place on Hill Street in Dublin 1 on Saturday 25th January 2020. Brought to you by the Hill Street Family Resource Centre (HSFRC) in collaboration with the North East Inner City initiative, this FREE family-friendly fun event will showcase live performances from local Chinese talent, as well as traditional interactive Chinese workshops.

Everyone is invited to share the experience as Hill Street is transformed into a Chinese wonderland. The event will host a wide range of entertainment on the afternoon, from food and drama to Tai Chi, Origami and Calligraphy. Open to all, there are delights for everyone as a variety of workshops and traditional Chinese performers, including children from Hill Street Family Resource Centre’s Cultural Dance Group, take over this central Dublin Street.

All are welcome to take part in this important festive and cultural celebration. This is an excellent opportunity to celebrate inclusion and diversity, as we say goodbye to the Year of the Pig, and hello to the Year of the Rat! Whether you’re a fan of art, culture, food, or history, there’ll be something for everyone to enjoy at the Chinese New Year Community Celebration

Free Family Day: Octopus, Clown-Fish, Crazy-Fish

Sat 25th Jan from 12-3pm Draíocht Galleries – FREE

Explore the kelp seaweed forest in the exhibition ‘Holdfast’, listen to the sounds the sea creatures make and with the help of our artists and lots of interesting recycled materials, stick, cut and create real or imagined many-eyed-many-legged crazy sea creatures of your own.

Sessions Are Free, But Space Is Limited. Max 50 per workshop.
Session 1: 12PM-12.50PM
Session 2: 1PM-1.50PM
Session 3: 2PM-2.50PM
Dress for Mess. Unless otherwise stated workshops are designed for children from 5-10 years, though younger and older siblings are welcome to take part. Please be aware that Draíocht’s Family Days are not designed for groups. All children must be accompanied by an adult and all adults must be accompanied by a child!

Booking by phone 01-8852622.

Saturday Morning Kids Science Lectures: Incredible Crocs and Amazing Alligators

When 25th Jan from 10-10.30am
Where Merrion Street (Natural History)
How much? Free, booking required. Please contact educationnh@museum.ie or Ph. 01 6486 316. Wheelchair accessible. Ages suitable for? Families with children 7+

Built-in goggles, an immune system that can kill off the deadliest of diseases, and the strongest bite force in the animal kingdom! Hear from herpetological expert, Rob Gandola, about the amazing adaptations of crocodiles and alligators that have kept them unchanged in millions of years and at the top of the food chain.

Hugh Lane

Colours, Shapes and Patterns in Paintings

When Saturday 25 January, 2-3.30pm
Where Hugh Lane Gallery
How much? €10, booking through eventbrite.ie required here.
Ages suitable for? 8-12 year olds

During this art workshop with artist Barbara O’Connell we will look at colours, shapes and patterns in paintings on display as inspiration for the creation of our own Japanese inspired artwork using origami papers.

Australia Day Fundraiser with Kids Yoga and Adults Yoga

When Sunday from 2-5pm
Where Áras Chrónáin, Watery Lane, Orchard Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
How much? Not 100% sure but assuming it’s donations towards the Red Cross in Australia,so as much as you can give!
Ages suitable for? Adults and children

On the 26th of January it is Australia Day. We are all most likely aware of the devastating fires spreading through out Australia. Feeling so far from it, it can be easy to feel helpless or just not know what we can do for them.

Together Amazing Me Yoga, JOY: Journey of Yoga and Clondalkin Yoga with Caitríona are throwing an event to help raise some funds for the Red Cross. This is a charity in Australia that have been working extremely hard.

This week alone the Red Cross teams have been:

•supporting people at evacuation and relief centres
•registering people so their loved ones can contact them
•providing psychological first aid to reduce trauma and distress
•providing food, water and relief items to people cut off by fires in Victoria
•conducting welfare checks on the phone and in-person
•providing emergency grants to people who have lost homes to bushfires

We will start with the kids session which will be at 2pm – 3.30pm (adults are free to go grab a cuppa during this time) and then the adults session at 3.45pm – 5pm. Tickets must be reserved so please contact one of the hosts and we will be sure to put you on the guest list 😀
*Currently looking into making tickets available online*

Kids Session will include Yoga through stories, games and play. It will also include some breathing practices and relaxation. No previous experience required.

Amazing Amber

When Saturday 25th Jan, drop in between 1.30-3.30pm
Where  Kildare Street (Archaeology)
How much? Free, no booking required
Ages suitable for? 6+ and their adults

Amber is amazing! People used this beautiful material in the Bronze Age, in Early Christian Ireland and even in Viking Dublin. Drop-in to the Museum to uncover the mystery of where all this amber came from, handle some real 33-million-year old amber, then make your own marbled beads from air dough to take home! 

Hugh Lane

Sunday Sketching

When Sunday’s from 3-4pm
Where Hugh Lane Gallery
How much? Free
Ages suitable for? 6 years plus and their adult

National Gallery

Family-friendly tour

When Sunday from 12.30 – 1.15
Where National Gallery of Ireland meet at the Merrion Square information desk
How much? Free
Ages suitable for? Families

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.

During these free sketching workshops for families we invite you to explore and respond to our collection and temporary exhibitions through discussion and drawing.

Bring your own sketchbook, or avail of the materials provided.

Free, no booking required, although places may be limited. Suitable for ages 6 yrs+

Grandparents Day: Inter-generational Storytelling Tour

When Wednesday, 29 January 2020 from 15:30-17:00
Where EPIC, The Irish emigration museum, Customs House Quay
How much? €15
Ages suitable for? 7-12 year olds and their grandparents

Celebrate Grandparent’s Day by joining EPIC and The Irish Family History Centre for an inter-generational tour of EPIC and a storytelling session.

Suitable for primary school children and their grandparents, discover inspiring and intriguing stories of Irish emigrants around the world – from Anne Bonny the pirate, to Spitfire Paddy the RAF Wing Commander – before taking part in a collective story time, where you get to follow in the footsteps of Irish storytellers of old and share your own tales of adventure with your grandchildren!

Pre-Booking is mandatory for this event as spaces are limited. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times during the workshop. Each ticket includes a space for one adult and one child. If you would like to purchase tickets for additional adults or children, please contact us on info@epicchq.com

Owls winter camp

When Monday 30th – Friday 3rd January 2020  (excluding Wednesday 1st). from 9.30-2.30. Children can attend for the four days or just one or two.
Where Turvey Nature Reserve.
How much? OWLS members €20 per day, non owls members €25
Ages suitable for? For ages 6 and up.

Theme:  Fire and Ice. Lots of fire making and craft activities.

As it will be run by our two new leaders (Swan and Red Squirrel) the numbers are restricted to 30 children.

Booking now open, contact Swan at swan@owls.ie.

La Petite Nuit des Idées

When Thursday 30th Jan from 6-7.30pm
Where Alliance Française, 1 Kildare Street, Dublin 2
How much? Admission free but booking required.
Ages suitable for? 5-10 year olds

Alliance Française Dublin’s third edition of La Petite Nuit des Idées invites children from 5 to 10 years old to a special concert on this year’s theme “Être Vivant” (Being Alive).

Through this concert full of French songs, we will take a closer look at different kinds of animals, from wild to domestic, lovable to loathsome! Children will be invited to fully embody our earthly companions by miming, singing and dancing along to Little French song’s lively odes.
Little French songs is a piano/voice duo featuring Eli Chourdaki and Ariane Dubois.

Pop the events below in your diary, or prebook, for future family fun!

If you have recently had a baby, congratulations. Did you know that most healthcare insurers will cover the cost of an approved Baby Massage course? So if your baby is over 6 weeks old, make the most of their generosity and book onto one of our Baby Massage courses!

The classes run over 4 weeks and as well as teaching you some fantastic tips to help with your baby, it’s a great way for you to meet other new mums that live locally to the venue.

Classes happen across Dublin and are all on our website – in February these include:

  • Clonskeagh – starting on Tuesday Feb 4th
  • Sandymount – starting on Wednesday Feb 5th
  • Glenageary – starting on Friday Feb 14th
  • Malahide – starting on Friday Feb 14th
  • Dundrum  – staring on Tuesday Feb 18th

If you’d like to book on or know more, then please visit our website.

When Saturday 15th Feb, adults in the morning, families in the afternoon
Where Jam Park Swords
How much? Family session 1-5, 2 adults, 2 children €45 early bird. Adult family session early bird €20, child family session early bird €5. All plus booking fees. Click here to book, early bird prices until Feb 15th.
Ages suitable for? Families – ClapHandies will be there!

The one day festival will be divided into two elements, kicking off in the morning with adults only workouts, talks, food and activities, while the afternoon will be dedicated to families and kids with family friendly workouts, food and activities.

Morning – Over 18s from 8-12 noon

Morning tickets will include classes such as Box Fit, HIIT, Yoga, Spin and Rowing from 8am -12 noon all set in a truly unique fitness environment. Participants will be fully immersed in Dublin’s biggest club room with live DJs, visuals and one of Ireland’s biggest sound systems.

Join trainers including Irish international Megan Williams, Daniella Moyles, Olympian Niall O’Toole, Ireland Boxer Tony Browne and Victor Rabei.

Take a break from the burpees and the rowing machine with food from EatYard, bring out your inner Tiger or Rory at crazy golf or take on one of the arcade games. While downstairs classes will exercise the body, strengthen and stretch the mind at our first floor talks.

Afternoon – KidsYard – from 1-5pm

Kids are taking over the afternoon with family friendly classes including Family Zumba and Family Pound with Carla Roberts, Post Natal Fitness with Emma Dowling of Empowered Mama and Family Yoga with Liz Contigan Fleury.

The sessions are going to be high energy and all accompanied with music by a live DJ on stage at Jam Park’s state of the art venue. KidsYard plans on making exercising together as families so much FUN promoting health and wellness through fitness, food and music.

Claphandies and The Cool Food School will run music and food workshops for the full afternoon allowing kids to drop in and out of the exercise sessions. And you can feed any hungry little ones at EatYard or take a break from activities with some crazy golf or arcade games.

Carla Roberts

Carla is a Zumba® Fitness Instructor & Zumba Kids Instructor at The Movement Project and Pound Pro at POUND Fitness with Carla. Carla is also a Play Therapist and children’s yoga instructor and recently launched a brand new, joyful, life-altering music and movement programme called SHAKE IT BABY created for kids aged 0 – 4 and their caregivers.

POUND® is the world’s first cardio jam session inspired by the infectious, energising and sweat-dripping fun of playing the drums. Our session will be designed for parents and kids alike.

Carla’s sessions include song, dance and play through engaging physical activity, imagination and FUN!

Emma Dowling

Emma is the creator and founder of the Empowered Mama, Postnatal exercise specialists whose programmes are designed to heal and strengthen simultaneously. Emma is passionate about bringing the most up to date, research backed information to post natal classes. She is one of few fully qualified Pre and Post Natal Exercise Specialists in Ireland. Her qualifications include Pre and Post Natal Exercise through NTC Ireland, Pre and Post Natal Corrective Exercise Specialist from Dr. Sarah Duvall. She aims to contiune her education bringing the latest techniques from the USA and Austrailia to Irish Mamas.

Above all else, Emma is a mother herself. She understands what it takes for a Mama to chisel 15 minutes or 1 hour out of their day to exercise. Emma session aims to be enjoyable and stress free as well as being a highly effective, safe workout that meets you and your body where it is at on your fitness journey.

Liz Costigan

Liz is a qualified Yoga Teacher, Fitness Trainer and Wellness Advocate living in Dublin. She has also recently become Mama to twin boys Zac & Jules. Liz believes in listening to and learning about your body and doing what is right for you. Making yoga, fitness and wellbeing accessible to everyone is what motivates Liz. Liz believes in embracing our imperfections, loving ourselves for who we are and by doing this living our best most authentic lives.

In our family yoga class we will move, breathe and connect which is often difficult to do in our busy daily lives. There’ll be lots of room for fun and laughter during the yoga practice. Yoga truly is a beautiful gift to share with your kiddies.


ClapHandies will offer a drop by play space aimed at toddlers and young children, where they’ll have fun floor-based baby sensory equipment and activities. They’ll also run their award winning PlayLabs with “rhyme time” and “story time” and age-appropriate play activities.

We’ll also have REALPARTIESx by ClapHandies who offer awesome activities for all kids from 4 -12 years old with Real Science which includes fun and educational experiments (shhhh don’t tell the kids!) and Real Maker activities which include jewellery making, creating fabric covered buttons, bead art using and paper crafting activities.

The Cool Food School

The Cool Food School is all about encouraging children to enjoy wholesome foods for a happier and healthier life. Deirdre has a passion for healthy eating and will share her love with kids through fun, interactive workshops.


Jam Park is family friendly adults playground where you can eat, drink, play and dance all under the one roof!


  • Babies under one year are free of charge. All other children require a child ticket.
  • Tickets are non-refundable are and not to be resold.
  • Morning ticket holders can take part in any class throughout morning. Afternoon ticket holders can take part in any afternoon classes.
  • Sessions need to be booked in advance – available from January.
  • Both ticket holders can access the arcade games or crazy golf throughout the day.
  • Parents remain responsible for children at all times. Children must remain under supervision.
  • Buggies can be kept in buggy park area and not taken onto the dance floor!
  • Food is available at Jam Park’s Diner and EatYard.
  • Baby changing is available.
  • Parking can be busy on Saturdays so please arrive early and give youself lots of time!

Early Years Spring Course

When 18th – 21st February from 11am-12
Where Hugh Lane Gallery
How much? €22, booking through eventbrite.ie required here
Ages suitable for? 1-3 year olds and their adults

Celebrate the colours, textures and sounds of spring during this four day art course.

Children’s Cyanotype Art Workshop

When Sat, 7 March 10-12
Where 1D11 Photography Studio, Studio 20, Marlay Craft Courtyard, Grange Road, Rathfarnham
How much? €30 or €25 with a sibling discount – book here
Ages suitable for? 6+ years

Give your child a digital detox and let them create in their own way at their own pace.

Learn the FUN and ENGAGING printing technique of Cyanotype.

Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that uses a combination of two safe chemicals that, when mixed together and exposed under sunlight, produce a cyan coloured print…the original ‘blueprint’.

Each child will learn about the cyanotype process and be given all the skills they need to create their own art works.

Classes are limited to ten in order for us to give creative and positive encouragement to everyone.

Big Fish Little Fish Dublin Family Rave

When Sunday 29th March 2-4pm
Where Tramline 21 D’Olier Street, Dublin 2
How much? Adult €12, Child €8, non walkers free (plus booking fee)
Ages suitable for? For families with younger children (8s and under) though all ages are welcome. Max 3 children per adult.

We have heard from one of our community leaders that the Big Fish Little Fish family raves are great fun! Tickets appear to sell out quickly, so don’t leave it too long if you fancy popping in to show the little one’s how to party!

Here is what the organisers say:

World famous, award winning, Glastonbury Festival performing, family rave sensation Big Fish Little Fish throws the ultimate family event in Dublin at the perfect basement rave cave venue TRAMLINE 29th March.

Run by local Dublin family Big Fish Little Fish Ireland is bringing the definitive rave DJing legend Slipmatt (SL2) to play! Celebrating over 30 years in the music business – he was right there at the start of the breakbeat and rave scene.

We are ecstatic to bring you one of the Godfather’s of breakbeat and rave.

He was one half of SL2, who had a 1992 UK hit with “On a Ragga Tip”, “Way In My Brain” & “DJ’s Take Control”.

Amidst the chart success, Slipmatt cemented his name on the breakbeat hardcore DJ circuit and was a regular at major Fantazia and Dreamscape events.

Slipmatt has DJed at Fantazia, Raindance, Moondance, Dreamscape, Pleasuredome, Hardcore Heaven, Dance Concept, Helter Skelter, One Nation, United Dance, Uprising, Dizstruxshon, Alderney Bunker Parties, World Dance & Slammin Vinyl raves, and we are honoured to be flying him in to spin some proper rave anthems for you all.

The multi-sensory dancefloor comes alive with glitter cannons, bubbles, giant balloons and a parachute dance finale.

Craft tables with giant mural, themed crafts and playdoh table.

Play area with tents and tunnels and baby chillout space with mats and small ball pool.

Licensed bar if you fancy 1 or 2 sociable but not so quiet scoops, free transfer tattoos and glowsticks.

Family fun for the post-rave generation of parents. Helping parents be responsibly irresponsible since 2013.

So if you were a Temple head or a Redbox head, a Club FM head or a Pulse FM head, or if you just never managed to get out of that asylum…This gig is made for you…After all Love is Energy!!!

Optional (but very much encouraged), fancy dress : ‘Old School Rave’ – Think neon, whistles, furry boots, boiler suits, gas masks…you decide!!

NB as the lift is currently broken there is no straight forward wheelchair access into the venue and there is a short flight of stairs down to the entrance. Please contact us on infoireland@bigfishlittlefishevents.com if you would like to discuss access to the venue further.

We advise that if at all possible do not bring a buggy but, if it is unavoidable, please be aware that there is a short flight of steps down to the entrance. Once inside we advise you wear younger babies in a sling on the dancefloor.

Rave on!

Terms and Conditions:

Parents remain responsible for their children at all times.

For families with younger children (8s and under) though all ages are welcome.

Adult only groups are not admitted . A max of 3 children per adult in a family. If attending as a larger group please ensure one adult to two children minimum.

If there are more than 4 adults per child in your group please email infoireland@bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk for pre-approval before buying tickets.

Tickets are non-refundable but can be transferred/sold on.

Each member of your group must have a ticket and pre-walking infants free (but ticketed). Will cost more on the door (if tickets available).

The event will be busy with hundreds of people attending. The dancefloor is for adults and children to dance together.

Club lighting rigs are used so please allow you eyes to adjust to the lower lighting levels when you enter.

Please be aware that events are standing/dancing with limited seating.

Each event is stewarded and risk assessed in advance.

Buggies must be left in buggy park and will not be allowed on the dance floor.

A licensed bar will be open during the event but no glass is permitted.

We may photograph or film small parts of the event and by entering you are giving your permission for these to be used for BFLF promotion purposes. If you do not wish your photo to be taken please speak to the door steward on entry.


Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

All ages welcome but activities are designed with 0-8 years olds in mind. Music is played at safe levels for everyone.

How Loud will it be?

BFLF sets and monitors the volume using World Health Organisation guidelines – so that is it at a safe level for everyone, even the youngest babies, over the 2 hour duration of the event. Though quieter than at adult events, it is still loud enough to feel like you are at a club. Most parents do not use ear defenders on their children but if yours are particularly sensitive to noise or if you want them to nap then you might want to consider it.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?


What’s the refund policy?

There is a no refund policy but if you are unable to attend you may sell your tickets to someone else. If well in advance of a sold out event please email infoireland@bigfishlittlefishevents.com so we can try and match you with someone on the waiting list. If within 24 hours of the event then please post them to sell on the Facebook event page – where we will validate that you have tickets.

Lego Show’s Ireland

When Saturday 2nd May 12-5pm
Saturday 2nd May(sensory only) 6-8pm
Sunday 3rd May 12-5pm
Sunday 3rd May (adults only) 6-8pm
Monday 4th May 11am-4pm
Where Red Cow Moran Hotel, Dublin.
How much? Family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) €42
Single adult ticket €15
Single child ticket (4-17) €10
Single toddler ticket (under 4) €2
Ages suitable for? Lego lovers! Tickets sold on eventbrite

We are delighted to announce our biggest show to date the DUBLIN BRICK SHOW

The show will have some amazing original models including:
– Ireland and UKs biggest Lego Death Star
– Avengers tower
– zombie attack
– Kirwan castle (1.2 x 3m, over 200,000 pieces)
– avengers mozaic (8ftx8ft)

Hard to find, UCS and exclusive Lego sets.

Kids can also enjoy
– Free Lego play area.
– Free face painting.
– Free speed build competition.
– treasure hunt.
– master builder competition.
– chill out area.
– colouring table for younger kids.
– sensory area.

And if that’s not enough we will also have some vendors selling Lego.

PLEASE NOTE our shows are aimed at kids and as having fun, as such we have allot of hands on activities so the kids can see the models, get inspired and then build, build, build!

We hope that you have a great week.

ClapHandies run regular baby massage courses suitable for babies from 6 weeks – 9 months old. As well as all the benefits it offers to your baby, it’s a really easy way for you to make some new friends that are also local to the venue you choose.

ClapHandies also run weekly PlayLabs. These happen at venue’s across Dublin during term time. If you have a baby, wobbler or toddler why not book to join us for one of our 7 week PlayLab terms?

Looking to organise a party, then maybe we can help. We offer classic parties for pre-schoolers and then once your little one is at school we offer themed parties that children seem to love!

Take a look at RealParties for more details.

Do you have an event that you would like us to promote? If so please email marie@claphandies.com giving as much notice as possible. If suitable we will ty our best to add it to our weekly event guide.

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