Pocket-Friendly Family Festivals to Check Out this Year

Kellie Kearney

February 17, 2019

Playstival The Market

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One thing is for sure, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to family festivals in Ireland and best of all, a majority of them are completely free! Not only are they pocket-friendly, but they also make the best adventure for smallies and if my house is anything to go by, they are the days out that create a lasting impact and have them begging for more. Here’s my pick of Pocket-Friendly Family Festivals To Check Out This Year:

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Seafest, Cork

Seafest 2019 kid-pirates

When: 7th – 9th June 2019

A weekend of fun and free events is just on the horizon as SeaFest 2019 takes place in Cork from 7 – 9 June.

Cork Harbour will be transformed into an ‘open air sea world’ and will be ‘awash with free family-friendly activities, entertainment and attractions both on and off the water’ for the three-day festival.

The three-day festival will cover all things marine – from seafood cookery to science, exploring the ships that transport us to discovering the creatures of the deep.

The free festival also hosts exhibits and talks on marine life and fun educational activities that bring children on a journey of discovery when it comes to the mysteries of the ocean. Foodies can get tips from seafood cookery experts and sample some tasty bites.

Dublin Kite Festival

kite flying

When: 9th June 2019

Thanks to Dublin City Council, the skies at North Bull Island in Clontarf will be lit up yet again with an array of colourful kites as the Dublin Kite Festival kicks off for another year.

Enjoy free entertainment all day long including kite making workshops, flight demonstrations by master kite flyers and buggy and land-kiting demonstrations by professional riders.

You might also enjoy reading 21 Fun Family Festivals & Events in Ireland

Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular, Dublin & Cork

When: Dublin: 12th – 14th July ; Cork: 20th – 21st July 2019

Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular is going to be even bigger, better and more spectacular than ever as it takes to Dublin’s Merrion Square & Cork’s Fitzgerald Park, Cork city this July.

Featuring some of the best street theatre performers around, and with a host of exciting events, fantastic exhibitions and absorbing interactive workshops, there will be plenty to entertain the whole family. And it is completely free to visit.

Festival of Curiosity, Dublin

festival of curiosity

When: 18th – 21st July 2019

Experience Dublin like you never have before with an energetic fusion of interactive installations, pop-up playgrounds and curiosity carnivals over four playful days.

Enjoy a cultural feast of science, art, technology and design alongside 45,000 attendees across 14 different venues in Dublin City Centre.

You might also enjoy reading 21 Free Family Things to do in Ireland This Summer

Durrow Scarecrow Festival, Co. Laois

durrow scarecrow festival

When: 28th July – 5th August 2019

Offering an electric mix of activities for kids both young and old the annual Durrow Scarecrow Festival in Co. Laois is back with a bang this summer and it is not to be missed. It’s one of our favourites!

Alongside hundreds of handmade scarecrows made by locals and those from neighbouring towns, families can enjoy a variety of entertainment including live music and street entertainment such as the scarecrow trail, puppet shows, giant board games and bouncy castles.

Bray Air Display Festival, Co. Wicklow

Bray Air Display

When: 28th July – 5th August 2019

Ireland’s biggest air festival renowned as one of Europe’s best air displays will hit Bray for another year giving families a spectacular free weekend of fun.

As you wait for the activities to start in the skies enjoy great activities and events on the ground from midday including a fun fair, live music, a static display and a food, craft & business village.

Acts for the 2019 show have yet to announced, however, previous years crowds were wowed with a display of aerobatic performances from some of Europe’s most talented pilots including the Red Arrows, Irish Air Corps and the Royal Jordanian Falcons.

Spraoi International Festival of Street Arts, Co. Waterford

spraoi festival

When: 2nd – 4th August 2019

Take to the streets of Waterford for an inspiring three days and nights of cultural creativity and inspirational outdoor arts.

Spraoi features hundreds of performers, live music, and a mesmerising parade alongside many other activities.

Playstival Fest, Dublin

When: 10th – 11th August 2019

Now in its second year, our favourite children’s festival Playstival celebrates play, fun and imagination. It takes place at Airfield Estate, Ireland’s largest urban farm. Families can enjoy a two day 100% interactive and ‘screen free’ summer festival with themed ‘play universes’ and activities for children to immerse themselves in.

Playstival offers an unforgettable day of pure fun, with wooden play universes designed to foster the imagination such as; The Market for kids and an array of recreational activities such as sports and STEM workshops, real life arcade games, drama and dance, creative writing and storytelling, a live music stage and food village.

This hands-on festival is not to be missed and will fuel the imagination as the smallies prepare to head back to school.

Puck Fair, Kerry

puck fair

When: 10th – 12th August 2019

Known as one of Ireland’s oldest and most unusual street festivals, Puck Fair offers families 12 hours daily of free family street entertainment every single year.

See the crowning of a wild mountain goat, enjoy parades, street acts, workshops, live music and activities for kids of all ages. Take to the streets for lots of fun and free face-painting, puppet shows as well as a number of child-centred workshops.

National Heritage Week, Nationwide

heritage week 2019

When: 17th – 25th August 2019

A nine-day celebration of Ireland’s heritage which takes places in venues across the country with hundreds of free events all with one aim, to build awareness and education about Irish heritage.

This year’s theme for Heritage Week 2019 is Pastimes | Past Times. You’ll be encouraged  to take a stroll through history and explore how our free time has evolved in often fascinating ways. Our pastimes today have been shaped by hundreds of years of storytelling, craft, sport and music.

In May, The National Heritage Week event guide will be posted online and distributed nationwide in tourist offices, libraries and other locations so look out for that so you can start planning which events to go to!

You might also enjoy reading 10 Free and Fabulous Events for Families During Heritage Week

Culture Night, Nationwide

culture night

When: 20th September 2019

Now in its fourteenth year, for one night only, Ireland transforms with a sea of spectacular cultural highlights and free family entertainment as part of an all-island celebration of arts, heritage and culture.

Museums open doors till late hosting tours, workshops and activities for all and some of Ireland’s most famous castles will host extravagant displays amongst many other events.

You might also enjoy reading Fantastic Free Family Events for Culture Night

Over to you now. Any other pocket-friendly family festivals I missed that your family loves? Tell us in the comments below. 

Pocket-Friendly Family Festivals To Check Out This Year

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Published On: February 17th, 2019 / Categories: Ireland / Last Updated: January 21st, 2023 / Tags: , , /

About the Author: Kellie Kearney

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Award-winning blogger Kellie Kearney is a mammy of six. Kellie spends her days bribing her kids, counting to three and making memories, whatever the weather, finding free or cheapish family-friendly days out just so they will sleep through the night! (She also hosts a series ‘Adventures of Eire’ over on her award-winning parenting blog www.mylittlebabog.com)

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