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School’s out for the summer and for parents this means no home work or school runs, it also means finding a list of ways to keep the kids entertained for the long two months ahead.
Whilst this might seem like a challenge, especially considering the erratic and often unpleasant weather we’re used to in Ireland, there are endless events and activities to keep the whole family busy during July and August.
To help fill your family calendar, we’ve made a list of the best summer goings-on around the country to suit kids (and adults) of all ages.
What – Beautiful Beasts
Where – The Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin
When – 1 July – 27 August
This summer The Ark in Temple Bar is hosting The Beautiful Beasts Exhibition, with impressive animal sculptures from leading Irish and international artists from bronze, wood, ceramic, steel and stone. It’s free entry and recommended for children from ages 4 and up. Find out more at ark.ie.
What – Dublinia Viking Experience
Where – Christ Church, Dublin
When – Saturdays, all summer
If you haven’t had the chance to visit Dublinia, it’s a not for profit heritage centre where you can delve into the Medieval period in Dublin and explore the world of the Vikings. On Saturdays throughout the summer, Dublinia has a range of family events which are included in the admission fee of €25 per family (two adults and two kids). Find out more at Dublinia.ie.
What – Science 4 Summer Camp
Where – Galway Antlantaquaria
When – Various dates in July and August
Now in its 12th year, Science 4 Summer is a camp that allows children to explore seal life, the shore and its surrounding habitats. They will learn about engineering at the aquarium, carry out experiments and take part in games, arts and crafts. They’ll also get the chance to design models which they can bring home. Science 4 Summer is suited to kids aged 8-12 and costs €100 per first child booked and €90 for subsequent children. Find out more at Nationalaquarium.ie.
What – Creative Wellbeing for Kids
Where – Taney Parish Church, Dundrum
When – 24 – 28 July
This five day retreat aims to help children deal with anxiety and build confidence as they make friends, move schools or face exams. It features yoga and mindfulness walks, dance, theatre games and creative self expression. The camp takes place from 9am – 1.30pm and costs €160 per child and €150 for extra siblings. It is aimed at children from 7 to 13. Find out more at Healingyoga.ie
What – Sunrise Children’s Festival
Where – Brigit’s Garden, Galway
When – 29 and 30 July
This event dedicated to children is set in the beautiful Brigit’s Garden, Roscahill and features four tented entertainment areas, a campsite and artisan food village. There will be lots of live music and events, as well as family games, face painting and an animal show. Weekend tickets are €169 for a family of 4, €49 for and adult or child. Saturday tickets are €99 for a family of 4 and €29 for an adult or child. Sunday tickets are €89 for a family for 4 and €25 for an adult or child. Under threes go free. Find out more at Brigitsgarden.ie
What – Spraoi International Street Arts Festival
Where – Waterford
When – 4, 5 and 6 August
The Spraoi festival in Waterford is an excellent family event with a wide variety of incredible street arts and performances to witness. As well as live music, the festival will come to a close with the Spraoi parade at 9.30pm on Sunday 6th August. The theme of this year’s festival will be ‘Source to Sea’, with the parade paying homage to the stories and images of the everchanging river. Find out more at Spraoi.com.
What – Kilkenny Arts Festival
Where – Kilkenny
When – 11-20 August
The Kilkenny Arts Festival is jam packed with family entertainment this year with storytelling, arts and crafts workshops. There are also twice daily secret garden pop up concerts for the family to enjoy. Find out more at Kilkennyarts.ie.
What – Groove Festival
Where – Killruddery, Co. Wicklow
When – 19 and 20 August
This festival is two days of music, wellness and fun for the family. Performing will be UB40, Primal Scream and Hudson Taylor. At the event, there will be a brand new family zone with lots of shows and activities aimed at kids. There will also be a Thrive area for yoga and mindfulness, as well as a petting zoo and sand pit for the youngest ones. Day tickets cost €59.50 for adults, €24.50 for teens and under 12s go free. Find out more at Groovefestival.ie
What – Overnight Primitive Skills Camp
Where – Irish National Heritage Park, Co. Wexford
When – 19 and 20 August
Family Primitive Skills Weekend is taking place at the beautiful National Heritage Park this August. It will feature arts and crafts such as; building a reed shelter, spoon burning, cooking over fire, forest activities and night time storytelling by the fire. It costs €400 for a family of four and €65 for every additional child. Price per adult is €150 and €75 for children. Find out more at Earthforceeducation.com
What – Cycle the Waterford Greenway
Where – Waterford
When – All summer
If the weather allows for it, get on your bikes and cycle along the newly opened Waterford Greenway which is a 46km off-road trail with exceptional views of the area. Find out more at Visitwaterfordgreenway.com
What – The Viking Voyage
Where – Tayto Park, Ashbourne, Co Meath
When – All Summer
This summer, Tayto Park has a new attraction; The Viking Voyage. This exciting ride features 1.7 million litres of water, a Viking village, 5 replica Viking Ships and 20 life size Vikings. Tayto Park used Viking Experts from Sweden to help design and build the ride. The ride is open from 12pm-5pm throughout the summer. Minimum height is 1.1 metres accompanies and 1.2 metres unaccompanied. Find out more at Taytopark.ie.
What – Pirate Day
Where – Hook Lighthouse, Wexford
When – 27 August
This summer Captain Hook and his band of pirates come to take over the oldest operational lighthouse in the world; Hook Lighthouse. Children are invited to come dressed up as pirates for the chance to win a fancy dress prize. There will be music and games on the lawn. Entry is €9 for adults, kids go free. Find out more at Hookheritage.ie
What – Bone Stories
Where – National Museums, Kildare Street, Dublin
When – 23 August, 2-4pm
Children from ages 10 and upwards are invited to take part in a special Bone Stories workshop which will help them learn how people lived in the past by studying bones. They will look at how bones are preserved in different environments and discover which bones belong to a Bronze Age burial, a bog body and a Viking skeleton. This event is free. Find out more at Museum.ie.
What – Kids Army Bootcamp
Where – Killegar Farm, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow
When – 14 August. 8.30am – 3pm
Experienced military instructors will push your kids out of their comfort zones, build their confidence and develop their team work skills in a fun outdoors environment. Kids get dropped off in the morning and will enjoy a fun filled day of military activities which will leave them suitably tired out by the afternoon. Find out more at Basecampeast.ie
What – Create An App Course
Where – Donnybrook and Blackrock, Dublin
When – Monday 7 – Friday 18 August
Tech loving teenagers will be in their element on this two week course which will teach them the fundamentals of Android App design and provide them with a step by step guide on how to build their first app. The course takes place from 10am to 2pm daily and costs €350. Find out more at Columbusclub.ie
What – GoQuest Indoor Challenge Zone
Where – North Dublin
When – All summer
GoQuest, which opened just last year, is situated just off the M50 at exit 4. It’s an indoor zone with 28 rooms, each with a challenge to solve within a set time limit. It’s a test of mental and physical skills for teams of three to five people. It costs €17.50 per person and is recommended for children over 8. Find out more at Goquest.ie
What – Galway International Arts Festival
Where – Galway
When – 17 – 30 July
The Galway International Arts Festival is always a highlight of Ireland’s summer activities calendar and this year there are more great attractions and events for the family to enjoy. As always there’s an abundance of music, theatre, comedy and visual art. For kids, from 18th – 29th July, there will be an excellent adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ How To Catch A Star with puppetry and a magical musical score. On 21st July, the Chariot of the Sea will travel through the city, transporting the audience to a magical world. Find out more at giaf.ie
What – Junior Doctors Camp
Where – Raheny and Cabinteely, Dublin
When – July and August
If your child wants to be a doctor or pursue a career in medicine, this summer camp set up by two working doctors will help guide and educate aspiring medical students, showing them what it’s really like to be a doctor. As well as a fun, educational and memorable week, students will also gain a certificate of completion to put on their CV. The camp is for secondary school kids from first to sixth year who are interested in a career in medicine. Camps are limited to 15 students and run from 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday for one week and cost €350. Find out more at Juniordoctors.ie
What – Comic Con
Where – Convention Centre, Dublin
When – 12 and 13 August
If your kid is a gaming, comic or superhero enthusiast, take them to Dublin Comic Con for an unforgettable weekend. There will be exhibitor stalls where they can purchase all kinds of merch, craft and art tables. There will be special guest panels, Q&As and guest signings. There will also be gaming and interactive areas. Find out more at Dublincomiccon.com
What – Family workshops at IMMA
Where – Irish Museum of Modern art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham
When – Thursday and Friday mornings, all summer
This summer, as well as having some spectacular modern art exhibitions, IMMA is hosting family workshops on Thursday and Friday mornings throughout the summer. Families can drop in to simply view the artwork or make pieces together. To attend, drop in to the main IMMA reception at 10am. Find out more at Imma.ie
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