Dublin local family event guide. Friday 18th – Thursday 24th October 2019

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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.

Decorated Pumpkin Competition

When Saturday October 19, 2019 at 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Where National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin
How much? Free
Ages suitable for? Everyone!

Take part in our decorated pumpkin competition and your pumpkin can be part of a fantastic exhibition to be displayed in the Teak House. Every year, this unique event is a big hit with our visitors. Please carefully read and fill in this form to take part in this spooktacular event:

App Form for Pumpkins 2019

Please remember we cannot accept any carved, cut or pierced pumpkins. Entries will only be accepted on Saturday 19th of October from 10.00am – 4.00pm

Judging will take place at 6pm on Saturday 19th so no entries cannot be accepted after 4.00pm Saturday

Prize giving for the Decorated Pumpkin Competition will be on Sunday 20th at 12.00pm

You can collect wristbands to enjoy Samhain this Saturday and Sunday – scroll down to future events at the bottom of this guide to find out more.

Free Family Day: Meet The Artist, Make Some Art

When Saturday 19th October from 12-3pm
Where Draíocht Galleries, The Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15
How much? Free
Ages suitable for? Families

Families are invited to spend time in the Gallery, interact with the artworks and respond to the compositions, materials, patterns, textures and themes that they encounter through creative and interactive workshops facilitated by exhibiting artist Catherine Barron. 

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!

Halloween at Glasnevin

When October 20, 2019 between 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Where Botanic Gardens Glasnevin
How much? Free
Ages suitable for? Everyone

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. Join the coven to find out more about using garlic to ward off vampires, plants for potions and spells, poisonous plants, and even some rarely seen invisible plants. Come and see just how spooky plants can really get. You can also try your hand at some of the maths puzzles and games also that will be dotted about.

Drop in family workshop – Seeing double

When Sunday drop in between 11.30-1.30pm
Where National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
How much? Free
Ages suitable for? Children of all ages and their adult

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.Paragraph

Suitable for children of all ages, these workshops take place in the Maples Group Creative Space in our Atrium.

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Family-friendly tour

When Sunday’s 12.30-1.15pm
Where National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
How much? Free
Ages suitable for? All families welcome

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

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.

St Anthony’s Parish Hall, Clontarf, Dublin 3, Sunday 20th Oct, 2pm to 4pm
Prepaid Early Entry Tickets from 1.30pm available here> http://www.babymarket.ie/early-entry-2/

Join us at our parent to parent indoor preloved baby market. From sterilisers to strollers and everything between, find all you need at this expensive time.

20 stalls brimming with great quality nearly new baby, maternity and toddler related items for a fraction of the new price and a handful of local baby related businesses showcasing their products and services.

Pre book the events below for future family fun

Amazing Me Yoga and J.O.Y Journey of Yoga are teaming together to bring you this Spooktacular Halloween Yoga Disco! There will be fun, Yoga, dancing and games! Children will also receive a party bag at the end!

The event will be taking place in the Green Isle Hotel on the 26th October 2019 at 2pm until 4pm. Drinks will be provided. Costumes are very welcome but please make sure your child can move comfortably in them. If you have a yoga mat please bring it along but we will have a few spares available for those without.

Tickets are just €15 if you get your ticket early!*

*Tickets will be €20 on the day however due to limited space and goody bags being made up before hand it is advised to book your child’s place early as once we reach our maximum we wont be able to take anyone else in and would hate to see you left disappointed! Book early to ensure your child’s place, this is not to be missed! 

When Sat 26th Oct at 4pm and 7pm
Where dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum Town Centre, Dundrum, Dublin 16
How much? €8 – tickets can be booked here
Ages suitable for? 4-12 year olds and their adults

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, Lenister 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.” Book now as Jackula regularly sells out. This show is for children aged 4-12. Show time: 80 minutes

Trick or Treat Halloween Bag Workshop

When Saturday 26 October 2-3.30pm
Where Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane
How much? €10 – booking through eventbrite.ie required here.
Ages suitable for? 7-11 year olds

Design and print your own colourful trick or treat Halloween bag during this art workshop for 7-11 year olds with artist Jane Fogarty.

Spooky Science!

When Sat 26th – Mon 28th Oct: 11am & 2pm,
Tues 29th – Thu 31st Oct:  11am

Where Cool Planet Experience, Powerscourt Estate, Co Wicklow
How much? €20 per child
Ages suitable for? 6-12 year olds

Join us as spooky science festivities take over Cool Planet Experience this October mid-term. Kids will release their mad scientist by stepping into our spooktacular lab experience, where oozing, bubbling potions, glowing slime and fang-tastic explosions are sure to delight. 

Explore the spookier side of chemistry to discover how a 1°C change can unleash mind-boggling chain reactions.

Mid term camp

When Monday, 28th October – Friday, 1st November from 9.30-2.30
Where Turvey Nature Reserve
How much? Contact Mouse at info@owls.ie to book a place or for more information.  
Ages suitable for? 5-12 year olds


Samhain, everybody’s favourite phantasmal forest of fright will materialise before your very eyes in Marlay Park on Sunday October 27th 2019. 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.

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 3.30pm walk at Samhain will be tailored to suit people with special needs. This means that music and sound effects will be quieter, special effects and lighting will be softer and we will limit the number of visitors in comparison to other entry times in order to reduce queuing times in so far as is practicable.


The Haunted Forest Walk will be open between 3.30pm and 8.30pm and Entry is FREE but by WRISTBAND 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. There will be no fireworks display at the event.


There is no online booking or purchase system for Wristbands to go to Samhain. Wristbands can only be obtained by collection in person at the Cricket Pitch in Marlay Park on Saturday October 19th and Sunday October 20th from 2pm each day.

  • Wristbands will be available while stocks last or until 4pm on a strictly first come
    first served basis, limited to six per family. 
  • You can collect wristbands for the 3.30pm walk only, which will be tailored to suit people with special needs, by using the signposted fast track collection lane. 
  • Parking for wristband collection is in the College Road Car Park of Marlay Park only.
  • Please do not park on Grange Road, in local estates or roads surrounding Marlay Park.

Spooktacular Stroll in the Woods!

Join Mouse, Red Squirrel, and Swan on the SPOOKIEST event of the year! We will set out from Turvey car park and make our way down the perilous path to the OWLS camp. Those who survive will enjoy stories around the campfire. If any live to tell the tale, it will no doubt be one to remember!

Bookings taken on eventbrite at this address!

Email Mouse at info@owls.ie for more information.

Halloween Art Workshop: Bubble, Boil and Trouble!

When 31st October 2-3.30pm
Where Collins Barracks (Decorative Arts & History)
How much? Free, booking required – +353 1 6777444
Ages suitable for? Children 7+ and their adultsParagraph

Celebrate Halloween at Collins Barracks by unleashing your inner witch or wizard at a special art workshop! Find out about potions from the past, and how they were made, and if you feel like it, come along in your fang-tastic costumes! Admission free. Booking Required.

After Dark

When Thursday 31st October at 6.15pm
Where St Patricks Cathedral
How much? Free, but you must get a ticket click here
Ages suitable for? all ages

Join us this All Hallows’ Eve for another candlelit recital of suitably chilling music including Dukas Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Saint-Saens Danse Macabre, Grieg In the hall of the mountain King with just a little musical meddling from Harry Potter.

Join us this All Hallows’ Eve for a candlelit recital of suitably chilling music including Saint-Saens Danse Macabre, Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette, John Williams’ Hedwig’s Theme and Bach’s immortal Toccata and Fugue in D minor – all of which should send a terrifying shiver up your spines!

Suitable for all ages – but not the faint hearted!

Stuart Nicholson organ · Victoria Green guitar · Michael Lee narrator
plus a special guest appearance by the late Alfred Hitchcock!
Admission Free · Retiring Collection in aid of Jack and Jill Foundation

Free but registration required

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

Sam and the giants breakfast

When Saturday 2nd November
Where National Concert Hall, Ballsbridge
How much? €12, discounts available
Ages suitable for? aimed at 6-12 year olds and their adults

Sam is bored, so very bored. He complains about it all the time. People are bored of hearing how bored he is. 

On Halloween, a witch’s elf overhears him and decides to teach him a lesson…

Join the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra for a Halloween adventure, where the world of classical music is brought to life through storytelling and imagination.

Start with some fun foyer activities, then take part in one of our interactive workshops with members of the RTÉ NSO, and explore our musical treasure hunt.

Then make your way to the main auditorium where the orchestra will bring Sam’s adventures to life with presenter Jonathan James in an interactive family concert, featuring some of the most spectacular works in classical music.

Fancy dress is encouraged; a great time is promised!

Designed for ages 6-12 years, all are welcome.

Exploring Sound & Music with Eamon Sweeney

When Friday 8th Nov at 10.15 and again at 11.30
Where Draíocht Galleries, The Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15
How much? €5 call to book – 01 8852622
Ages suitable for? 2-4 year olds and their adults.

See and play music in a free and open environment with musician Eamon Sweeney, using gongs, chimes, bells, ocean drums, simple percussion instruments and song.

This series of individual monthly workshops is intended to allow you and your child to explore different art mediums in an open and undirected way. There will be mess but there will also be fun! Cost: €5 per child per workshop (accompanying adult is free). 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). 

Make Your Own Mini Francis Bacon Studio

When Saturday 9 November, 2-3.30pm
Where Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane
How much? Fee €10, booking through eventbrite.ie is required here.
Ages suitable for? 7-11 year olds

Animal Tracking Fitzsimon’s Wood

When Sunday, 10th November, 12:30-2pm
Where Corkagh Park.
How much? Supported by South Dublin County Council – a free event.
Ages suitable for? Families

Want to attract butterflies to your garden? Why not try making your own colourful feeder to encourage these beautiful insects! This is a fun and easy craft activity involving the whole family, especially children 4 years and up.  
Email Mouse at info@owls.ie to book a place or for more information

Shooting For the Stars with Norah Patten

When November 17, 2019 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Where National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin
How much? Free entry. Places limited, booking essential.
Ages suitable for? Children 5+ and their adult

Come and join scientist-astronaut candidate Norah Pattenauthor of Shooting for the Stars (The O’Brien Press) and explore the cosmos through space travel, learn all about astronauts and prepare for your very own space mission! With Norah on course to become Ireland’s first astronaut, she will teach you everything you need to know, from space suits to rocket launches. Join in the fun, as you design your very own mission patch and prepare everything you need for your journey to the stars.

Free Family Day: Winter Printer

When Saturday 23rd November 12-3pm
Where Draíocht Galleries, The Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15
How much? Free but space is limited
Ages suitable for? Designed for 5-10 year olds although younger/older siblings welcome

Create your reindeer and print him green, etch an elephant and add a red nose, stamp a tree with purple snow. Our artists will be on hand to show you the techniques to print a Christmas Card and you can show us just how crazy your festive imagination can be!

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!

We hope that you have a great week.

ClapHandies run regular baby massage courses suitable for babies 6 weeks – 9 months. As well as benefits for your baby, it’s a really great way to make some new friends at the same stage of parenting as you are.

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?

If you are looking to organise a party for your little one maybe we can help?

We offer classic parties for pre-schoolers, 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 you would like us to promote?

Please email marie@claphandies.com giving as much notice as possible and if suitable we will try our best to add it to our weekly event guide.

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