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Free Family Activities for August at The National Museum of Ireland

From Sun Discs to Artefact Detectives to Donkeys there are heaps of Free family Activites for August at the 4 National Museum of Ireland museums this month. And a big happy birthday to the Museum of Archaeology which turns 125 this month!

The National Museum of Ireland has 3 Dublin Museums – Natural History in Merrion Square, Archaeology in Kildare Street and Decorative Arts and History in Collins Barracks and one in Mayo – Country LIfe in Turlough Park.

Events at the Dublin Museums in August

Merrion Street (Natural History) Busy Bees Activity Sheets are available to pick up from 1st August until 30th September during Museum Opening Hours.
Discover the Museum’s displays with a copy of ’Busy Bees’ from the Seaonal Activity Sheet Trail series. Find out which birds are arriving and leaving by air and which fish are leaving by sea as autumn arrives. Don’t forget to bring a pencil. Copies of Activity sheets are on display near the Giant Deer display.

Kildare Street (Archaeology) Drop In Activity: Summer Sun Discs! 5th August 2.30pm-4.30pm Drop-in Activity for Age 6+
In Early Bronze Age Ireland, people made beautiful gold discs to look like the sun. Drop in to find out more about these precious objects and make your own shining sun disc! Located next to the Treasury exhibition, ground floor. No booking required. Wheelchair accessible.

Hands OnCollins Barracks (Decorative Arts & History) Hands on History 9th August 3-4pm Drop-in Activity for All Ages
A chance to explore some of the artefacts from the Museum’s collection of objects for handling with Museum educators – a fascinating drop-in handling session for all ages. No booking required.

Kildare Street (Archaeology) Drop In Activity: Kingly Attire! 19th August 2.30pm-4.30pm Drop-in Activity for Ages 8+
Drop in and explore Ireland at the time of Celtic Kings. Find out more about the mysterious bog bodies and what they may have worn to special ceremonies. Located next to the Treasury exhibition, ground floor. No booking required. Wheelchair accessible.

Kildare Street (Archaeology) Drop In Activity: Artefact Detective! 22nd August 2.30pm-4.30pm Drop-in Activity for Ages 6+
Think like an archaeologist for an afternoon and try to solve the puzzle of some mystery objects during this drop-in session! Located next to the Treasury exhibition, ground floor. No booking required. Wheelchair accessible.Heritage Trail

Collins Barracks (Decorative Arts & History) Celebrate Heritage Week at Collins Barracks from 22nd-30th August
Drop in to Collins Barracks during Heritage Week, from 22nd – 30th August, to enjoy an exhibition or take part in a tour, talk or workshop. During the week, pick up the Heritage Trail, a free resource for families to explore the Museum, looking for examples of Irish heritage on the way!

Kildare Street (Archaeology) Drop In Activity: Artefact Detective! 26th August 2.30pm-4.30pm Drop-in Activity for Ages 6+
Think like an archaeologist for an afternoon and try to solve the puzzle of some mystery objects during this drop-in session! Located in the Learning Resource Room, first floor. No booking required. Not wheelchair accessible.

Big Brithday BashThe Museum of Archaeology’s Big Birthday – Celebrating 125 years of welcoming the public  Saturday 29th August

  • A day of hands-on activities, talks and demonstrations marking the 125th anniversary of the Kildare Street Museum building opening to the public and celebrating the collections of the Museum of Archaeology.
  • ‘Where do they get this stuff from?’ – 125 years of collecting Tuesday 25th toSunday 30th August During Museum Opening Hours.  The Workshop is suitable for all Ages Find the answer at a pop-up display case created by the Museum’s inventory team who are generating a digital catalogue of the collection. Learn about the unusual origins of the objects and the evolution of the methods of collecting over the past 125 years. If you can’t visit why not look at the Documentation Discoveries online on the museum website www.museum.ie. Located on the first floor.  Not wheelchair accessible.
  • Exploring the Digital Crypt 29th August 10.30am-4.30pm Workshop for all Ages
    Drop by to discover online catalogues of the collections stored in the Museum’s basement, known as the Crypt. Explore the extent of the Museum collections and digital catalogues with this special display by the inventory team and chat with them to learn which artefacts came from your local area.  Located next to the Treasury exhibition, ground floor. No booking required. Wheelchair accessible.
  • Minding the Museum’s Mosaics 29th August – Demonstration suitable for all Ages 10.30am-4.30pm
    Drop-in and meet ceramic artist Laura O’Hagan and her team and view how they are working to protect and ensure the longevity of the Museum’s stunning mosaic floors. Takes place throughout the Museum building.
  • treasury exhiitionDrop In Activity: Artefact Detective! 29th August 2.30pm-4.30pm Drop-in Activity – for Ages 6+
    Think like an archaeologist for an afternoon and try to solve the puzzle of some mystery objects during this drop-in session! Located in the Learning Resource Room, first floor. No booking required. Not wheelchair accessible.
  • Hands on Prehistory 29th August During Opening Hours Drop-in Activity – All ages
    Inspect the evidence of the past and get hands-on with a selection of replica artefacts and discuss how archaeologists deduce information about people who once lived in Ireland. This event will take place throughout the building during opening hours. No booking required. Partially wheelchair accessible.
  • Children’s Take-a-Trail 29th August During Opening Hours Junior Activity for Ages 6+
    Use one of our colourful activity sheet booklets to track down some of the most iconic objects in the Museum, chose from The Treasury Trail and The Viking Challenge. Available at Reception free of charge.

Events at the Mayo Museum in August

Turlough Park (Country Life) Kids Museum: Art From Nature 6th August 2:30pm – 3:30pm Drop-in Activity Suitable for children aged 7-12yrs
Join the education team for an outdoors workshop to create artworks inspired by nature and the woodlands of Turlough Park. Booking required.

Harvest KnotsKids Museum: Harvest Knots Workshop 20th August 2-3pm Drop-in Activity suitable for Adults & children 7yrs+
Join the education team to explore some of the harvest traditions and have a go at making your own Harvest Knot. No booking required.

Craft: Knitting Circle – Summer Knits 21st August 11am – 1pm Drop-in Activity Suitable for  Adults & children 7 yrs+
Join the Museum knitters to make your own spring time knits and crochet. Start a new project or get help finishing an old one! Exchange ideas and tips. Learn a new skill for life. Beginners welcome. No booking required.

donkey dayHeritage Week: Annual Donkey Day “We’re All Donkey!!” 22nd August 11-4:30pm Drop-in Activity for Families
The team from Sathya Sai, Sligo; Horse & Donkey Mayo Sanctuary, Kiltimagh and Irish Donkey Welfare Organisation, are all back! Come along and meet the donkeys: help groom them, see how their hooves are trimmed and watch as they are harnessed and ready for work. Join us for lots of games, demonstrations and information. No booking required.

Check out www.museum.ie for future events.

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Michelle is a Mum to 2 girls and co-founded Mykidstime.