Looking for some fun things to do around the Midlands with the family? Read on – there’s some great things to do with kids in the Midlands this month.
Things To Do in the Midlands with Kids in December
We have found 50 Magical Places to Visit Santa in Ireland this year.
Treat your children to a magical Christmas experience with Green Santa at Belvedere House. Green Santa will arrive by boat across Lough Ennell to Belvedere House at 11am on Saturday 5th December 2015. He will proceed to his magical grotto and will see children every weekend until December 20th.
The Birr Castle Christmas Winter Wonderland is on various dates from December 12th to 23rd 2015. Come and experience the most magical Christmas tingle with the exciting new Birr Christmas Trail, Christmas Market with festive lights, Christmas Trees and Carols. Enjoy the live crib and Irish traditions for Nollaig. Follow the trail through Elf Land, passing through the largest Elf Tree House in Ireland, the fairy winter woodland and Mrs Clause’s kitchen before meeting Santa. But you better watch out for surprises around every corner, including characters from a galaxy far far away and find out if you are on Santa’s naughty or nice list! Booking Essential
Santas House Express is on at Palmerstown House Estate, Johnstown from November 26th to December 23rd 2015.
Save the Date:
New listings are added daily so visit the website for a full list of What’s On in your area.
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in November
The Lambert Puppet Theatre presents Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs on November 8th at the Moat Theatre.
The 20th annual Science Week takes place from November 8th to 15th. Events take place throughout Ireland and this year, you are being asked to celebrate by hosting your own Science Week Party on November 13th. Download your free celebrations pack from the Primary Science website and share your celebrations online using #ScienceWeek Party
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in October
The RSA (Road Safety Authority) experts are running “Check It Fits” FREE Child Car Seat Checking Service Events in your area during October. Click here for dates and venues.
October has been designated Polotober by Ireland Water Polo. This month you can try out water polo for free at clubs across the country. Find your nearest participating club.
The 10th annual Maths Week Ireland takes place from October 10th to 18th 2015. Schools can get on the map by submitting their activities to the www.mathsweek.ie and pick up ideas to engage all pupils.
Belvedere House and Gardens will have a host of spooky and not so spooky Halloween events for families from October 24th to 26th 2015. This year you will have to follow & solve the clues to complete the Halloween Treasure Hunt, collect prizes along the way from some colourful characters.
Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th & Monday 26th October 2015 (every 30 minutes from 12 noon until 2pm) Booking is strongly advised – Book online here
Contestants who are young teens might well be able to complete the quest themselves – but teamwork is the name of the game and remember it won’t matter how quickly the hunt is completed! Don’t worry about the toddlers – bring them along too, because they won’t be left out and can be part of the family team and be thoroughly involved in the fun. They might even be able to solve some of the clues and will certainly get some treats as well.
In Offaly, the Hullabaloo! Children’s Arts Festival returns to Birr Theatre this October, with workshops and live performances for all the family from October 29th to November 1st 2015.
Scarfest is back at the Irish National Stud and runs from Thursday 29th – Saturday 31st October. Lots of Pony Rides, Story Telling, Scary Facepainting and much more!
Halloween Happenings is back at Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park. Nine spooky days from October 24th to November 1st 2015.
The Clanard Court Hotel are hosting a Hometown Concert on October 25th With events running over the October Bank Holiday Weekend, at the beginning of the Autumn/Halloween mid term break…do not miss this chance of seeing Louis Walsh’s latest no.1 selling boyband sensation! – Buy Tickets here!
Birr Castle Haunted Woods and Castle Tours take place from October 23rd to 31st. Visit the Ghostly Gardens in the dead of night and hear spine chilling tales. Are you brave enough?
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in September
The Irish Game and Country Fair is on at Birr Castle on August 29th & 30th 2015. The fair focuses on family fun for everyone who lives, works or plays in the the Irish Countryside.
Sensational Kids are having an Enchanted Fairy & Elf Festival at the Irish National Stud & Gardens on September 5th. The day will be full of fairy magic and family fun.
The inaugural European Week of Sport will be celebrated in 31 countries across Europe from 7-13 September 2015. It aims to promote sport and physical activity for everyone, regardless of age, background or fitness level. Inspiring Europeans to #BeActive on a regular basis and create opportunities in peoples’ everyday lives to exercise more. Find out what is on in your area.
Octopus Kidz in Longford are running a fun Mask Making Workshop on September 12th.
The Foiundation15 Arts Festival takes place in Tullamore from September 10th to 25th 2015 and has a great line up of events for young & old.
Take a Bat Walk at Belvedere House and Gardens on September 12th at 8pm. The walks are held in association with Bat Conservation Ireland.
Offaly Tourism is creating a new website and is looking for Men, Women and Young Children to take part in a photo shoot on September 16th. Please contact them on 057 93468000 or email: email@example.com if you are interested in finding out more.
On September 17th you are invited to attend St Patrick’s College, Celbridge for a free training on combating Social Networking & Cyberbullying.
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in August
August Bank Holiday Weekend
Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival runs from July 31st to August 7th 2015 with free entertainment for children including music, markets and fairs, arts and craft activities and more.
In Co. Laois, the Durrow Scarecrow Festival, (July 26th – August 3rd), is a family fun event for young and old, with over 300 scarecrows to see around the village.
In Stradbally, Co.Laois, the National Steam Rally celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, from 2nd – 3rd August, with steam and vintage engines, a carnival, trade stands, steam threshing, steam train rides for the kids and plenty of family fun events.
We have rounded up some of the fun events and activities happening in the arts and culture space during August.
If you are looking or a Summer camp in August check out:
The Irish National Stud are providing complimentary Pony Rides & Face painting to all their younger visitors (upon admission).
These take place every Wednesday and Sunday during July & August.
It’s the Kids turn to take the Adults for a Day Out! Families Go Free* on Sunday the 9th of August for the Keeneland Family Race Day at The Curragh Racecourse. The feature race is the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes, the first European two year old Group 1 race of 2015. A clash between some of the best colts and fillies around. While the adults are cheering the winner’s home, the children can enjoy the FREE Keeneland Kids Zone featuring bouncy castles, face painters, arts and craft workshops and a chance to meet famous cartoon characters. For race day information visit www.curragh.ie For more information on Keeneland visit www.keeneland.com *Adult admission is free once they are accompanied by a child 16 years or under.
This year’s IFI Family Festival will tour some of the films, with a tailor-made shorts programme, and a workshop to three regional venues for the first time! The films are Fiddlesticks (Quatsch und die Nasenbarbande) and The Legend of Longwood, a selection of short films in our Short Tales programme, and an Adventure Venture workshop. Will be at Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Kildare on August 22 & 23.
National Heritage Week 2015 has fun events for families and children nationwide from August 22nd to 30th.
As part of the Heritage Week Events at Belvedere House & Gardens, Westmeath they have a Guided Walk & Talk taking place daily at 2pm between 22nd-30th August (Tour lasts approx 1.5 hours) Hear of the rich tapestry of Upstairs Downstairs life of a Georgian estate as Belvedere’s guides bring you on a journey through the life of the Wicked Earl & Mary Molesworth (imprisoned for 31 years) with some horrible histories thrown in!
Secrets of Offaly are looking for people, in front and behind the camera, to take part in Silent Journeys on August 23rd. It is a silent film project taking place in Kinnitty Castle to celebrate Rex Ingram. Contact Ciaran.firstname.lastname@example.org to take part.
All Island Whale Watch Day is on Sunday, August 23rd. Members of the public are invited to join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) on one of 20 land-based whale watches being held at headlands around the Irish coast between 2:00-5:00 pm. Find your closest event.
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in July
Summer Camp season is almost upon us. If you have not already booked your Summer Camp ones to check out include;
- Starcamp Sing… Dance… Act… Summer Camps
- Brick Flicks Stop Motion Film Summer Camps
- Let’s Go Activity Summer Camps
- Learn-It Lego Education Summer Camps and
- Whizzkids Discover IT Summer Camps.
This year’s IFI Family Festival will tour some of the films, with a tailor-made shorts programme, and a workshop to three regional venues for the first time! The films are Fiddlesticks (Quatsch und die Nasenbarbande) and The Legend of Longwood, a selection of short films in our Short Tales programme, and an Adventure Venture workshop.
The Festival will be at Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise July 24 & 25.
Come join the fun at the hottest event of the Summer for the Spectacular Fairy Tea
Party in Bord na Móna’s Lough Boora Discovery Park, Boora, Co Offaly. Taking place on Saturday 25th July from 12 – 5pm with fun and games for the whole family and Fundraising activities for Barretstown throughout the day. Registration for FREE tickets is essential at www.loughboora.com/events/fairy-door-tea-party.
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in June
You can search all the Bike Week events by county here.
Maxi Zoo will celebrate the opening of the 17th Irish Maxi Zoo Store in Newbridge, Co Kildare, with a Family Fun Day on Sunday, June 14th from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. where families can enjoy face-painting and a visit by ‘Dave’s Jungle’.
The free fun event will give children of all ages the opportunity to learn more about and to get close to giant snakes, tarantulas, iguanas and millipedes. Maxi Zoo mascots Max the Dog and Izoo the Cat will also attend.
Support Join Our Boys on June 14th by running in the Drum 6K Run in conjunction with Ardkeenan National School. The race starts from Drum Parish Hall, Westmeath at 2pm.
On June 7th enjoy Scruffs Dog Show at Belvedere House in association with the ISPCA.
Midlands Flightfest takes place in Longford from May 30th to June 1st. With plenty of family fun and exciting aerobatic stunts join in the action at Abbeyshurle Aerodrome.
Puss In Boots is on at the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Laois on June 4th. And on June 13th they will be showing the Disney classic Pinnochio. On June 21st they present The Way Back Home and on June 28th Paddington.
Brick Flicks presents a Brick Flicks Taster Camp on June 20th at The Solstice Arts Centre Navan.
Riverbank Arts Centre in Kildare presents The Way Back Home on June 20th.
The Moat Theatre in Naas presents Goldilocks and the Three Bears on June 21st.
Fishertown Trad Fest runs from June 26th to 28th in the grounds of Fishermans Thatched Inn, Laois.
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in May
The RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival runs 30th April – 8th May in Athlone
There’s a Bat Walk with Bat Conservation Ireland on 9th May
Belevdere’s 11th Annual Dawn Chorus takes place at Belvedere House on May 17th at 4am! This event is run in association with Bird Watch Ireland. Entry is free and there will be breakfast afterwards (at a reduced rate)
Support Join Our Boys Charity, the Mykidstime Charity for 2015, by taking part in a Monster Table Quiz & Clann’s Got Talent at The Athlone Springs Hotel, Westmeath on May 31st.
Bank Holiday Events
Slieve Bloom Walking Festival takes place 1st-4th May
Riverbank Arts Centre have events running over the May Bank Holiday Weekend including Cinema, Workshops and Exhibitions.
It’s the AES Bord na Móna Family Day at Punchestown Festival on May 2nd.
The ‘Stradbally Woodland Express’ runs over the Bank Holiday Weekend
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in April
Post Easter Events
Kilkenny Medieval Week runs from April17th to 26th. Rolling back the years, children and families can take part in Medieval Craft and Food Workshops, fun Storytelling and Puppet Shows.
Celbridge Library have a Frist Aid for Parents class on April 14th.
Easter Events and Camps
Belvedere House and Gardens host their annual Easter Treasure Hunt on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, April 5th and 6th. The Easter Bunny will be on hand to help you solve clues to complete the Easter Treasure Hunt and collect your prizes! You can book your Easter Hunt ticket here.
Birr Theatre have a Brick Flicks Stop Motion Workshop on March 28th. Bring along your favourite Lego figure and watch it come to life!
The Irish National Stud have daily family activities running over the Easter Break from April 3rd to 12th including:
- Complimentary Pony Rides & Face Painting on admission. These will take place in the Kildare Yard from 11am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 3.30pm.
- Daily Nature Trail at 2pm which will take approx 40 mins to complete.
- Visit the 100+ new born foals. More arriving daily!
Hop along to Lough Boora Discovery Park this Easter Saturday for the ultimate Bord Na Móna family event. the Boora Bunny Egg Hunt.
Dunamaise Arts Centre are showing the family film Mary Poppins on April 4th
Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre have Easter activities including for all the family including The White Rabbit Egg Hunt on April 4th, 5th and 6th.
The Luan Gallery in Westmeath are running a fun creative Easter Camp for kids aged 6+. The camps run daily from April 7th to 11th.
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in March
Brick Flicks have a one day Stop Motion workshop on March 28th at Birr Theatre and Arts Center Book Online Now
St Patrick’s Day Celebrations – Belvedere
To celebrate St Patrick’s Belvedere House have a host of fun activities and events on Sunday March 15th and have half price admission for everyone. Events take place from 2pm to 4pm at the Belvedere Visitor Center an afterwards you can enjoy the gardens and house.
St Patrick’s Day Parades – Midlands
- The Clane St Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 2.45pm on March 17th
- The Maynooth St Patrick’s Day Parade is on March 17th 2015 at 11am from Straffan Road
- The 2015 Athy St Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 3pm on March 17th
- There will also be St Patrick’s Day Parades in Clara, Edenderry and Celbridge.
- Kilcormac has its annual St Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17th 2015
- The 2015 Tullamore St Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 11.30am on March 17th
- The Mullingar St Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 3pm on March 17th 2015. Events will run from 2pm to 6pm with family fun for everyone.
- The 2015 Athlone St Patrick’s Day Parade start at 2.30pm from Golden Island. There will be free children’s entertainment in Civic Square from 2pm to 4pm on March 17th
- The 2015 Portlaoise St Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 12.30pm from County Hall Before the parade Portlaoise Athletic Club will host their annual street race from 11.30pm.
- The 2015 Longford St Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 1pm on March 17th
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in February
Engineers Week takes place from February 8th to 14th. There are events in Kildare, Offaly, Laois, Westmeath and Longford for families, many of which are FREE but need to be pre-booked.
Trad on the Prom takes place at The Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone on February 14th.
The Birr Stages Rally takes place on February 22nd.
Things To Do with Kids in the Midlands in January
The first race of the season takes place at Punchestown Racecourse on January 10th.
Panto Club presents A Peter Pan Tale on Jan 29th – 31st at The Moat Theatre in Naas.
The Riverbank Arts Centre have shows and films for families and children running this January including Cinderella and the Lambert Puppet Theatre present Snow White and Bosco.
BYT are back at The Backstage Theatre Longford, with their new panto Robin Hood. It runs Jan 23rd, 25th, 25th, 29th and 30th with matinee and evening shows available.
If you didn’t make it to the cinema over the Christmas, there are some great family films showing this month at the Odeon Portloaise, IMC Tullamore, Omniplex Longford, IMC Mullingar, IMC Athlone. Odeon Nass, Odeon Newbridge, We saw Paddington (read our review) and Annie recently both great and for older children the final Hobbit movie was a big hit.
Operation Transformation are running walks around the country on January 17th. Find one near you and get the whole family off the sofa and out in the fresh air!