Halloween midterm is just around the corner and with the kids off school, it can be an expensive time for parents. We have teamed up with Maldron Hotels & Partners to bring you 15 Frighteningly Free Halloween Things for Families to Do this Midterm in counties around Ireland.
#1. Free Halloween Disco at The Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Get in the spooky spirit at Dracula’s Disco at The Ark on Bank Holiday Mon 31 Oct 11.30am-2pm with Dracula’s own DJ Will Softly spinning the decks and scratching vinyl. He will be spinning all the latest hits for you to enjoy while surrounded by the disco lights of The Ark’s theatre! This fun-packed and energetic DJ set will be perfect for young zombies, ghosts and all music-loving monsters. So get on your feet and have a blast!
Go along in costumes of any kind and make up your own graveyard dance moves. If you get tired from dancing you can take a break in their chill out area and you might even get to hear some mysterious Bram Stoker children’s tales! For ages 5+
#2. Free Halloween Events at the Virginia Pumpkin Festival, Cavan
The Virginia Pumpkin Festival is an annual event held in the town of Virginia taking place at the bank holiday weekend in October. A fun packed programme of events includes these free options:
- On October 24th there is an Artisan Food & Craft Fair from 10am to 5pm in the Church of Ireland grounds.
- On Sunday 26th October there is Street Entertainment, Grand Carnival Parade and a Spectacular Fireworks Display.
- On October 26th enjoy a Monster Bingo Night at the Virginia Show Centre
This Halloween Midterm families can enjoy a break at Maldron Hotels from just €139.00.
With so much to explore in so many great locations, you can enjoy it all from the doorstep of our family friendly hotels this Halloween. Maldron Hotels & Partners have some great restaurants at their hotels featuring a brand new kids menu, free Wi-Fi for the all-important kids devices, spacious family bedrooms and an all new Crafty Kids club at selected Maldron Hotels.
You can book your family break now at www.maldronhotels.com or lo-call 1850 885 885.
#3. Free Halloween Ghost Trail Knocknagoshel, Kerry
Now firmly established as Ireland’s premier outdoor Halloween festival, visitors to the Ghost Trail in Knocknagoshel on the night of Halloween can once again expect another chilling production. The one night only event will be celebrating its 21st anniversary this year and takes place on Sunday, October 26.
The Ghost Trail is organised by the Knocknagoshel Halloween Group which is a community-based non-profit organisation. All funding raised is distributed among the local participating community groups and charities. Since it began 22 years ago the Ghost Trail has raised over half a million for charities. Every year on average they collect €15,000.
The ghost trail begins at the church in Knocknagoshel. People are then taken down to meet all types ghosts, ghouls and monsters along the way until the finish up quite aptly at the funeral home.
#4. Free Halloween Events at The Bram Stoker Festival, Dublin
The Bram Stoker Festival takes place in various venues in Dublin from October 29th to 31st 2016. There are loads of events for families taking place during the day and at night including these Free Events:
- Stokerland is a pop-up Victorian fun park for families and the eternally young in St. Patrick’s Park, Dublin 8 on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th. There will be street performers, rides and attractions and admission is free for all.
- Tales from the Shadows: Gothic Tales is a shadow puppet show on October 29th in Marsh’s Library, Dublin 8. Suitable for all ages and entry is free but on a first come first served basis.
- Dracula’s Spooky Underground Sound Lab is on in The Ark, Dublin 2 on October 30th. Come along to this free session suitable for ages 5+ and make music with some of the weirdest instruments ever! And enjoy the Bram Jam 2016 on October 30th & 31st. Entry free to both events, on a first come first served basis.
- Take the Spooky Music Trail around various venues in Dublin on October 30th & 31st.
- Take part in some live painting with street artist Solus in Smithfield Square on October 31st for The Solus Art Installation: Urban Legends. This free event promises to be fun for all the family.
#5. Macnas: Sleep No More Free Halloween Parade, Dublin
Galway based theatre company Macnas, will be back on the streets of Dublin on October 31st with their spectacular giant models and a host of characters straight form your imagination!
Enjoy the spectacle of the Sleep No More Parade on Henry and Moore Street from 6pm to 7pm.
#6. Imagine Arts Festival Waterford
The Imagine Arts Festival takes place from October 20th to 30th 2016 and aims to bring exciting multi-disciplinary events showcasing the best of local, national and international arts to the streets of Waterford. Visitors can expect to see art in unusual places and on offer and suitable for all ages will be:
- Live performances
- Interactive Experiences
- Music and more
#7. The Dragon of Shandon Festival Cork
The Dragon of Shandon Festival includes a Halloween Parade on October 31st that will start at St. Anne’s Shandon and will cross the river in to the city centre. Guaranteed free halloween fun for all the family.
#8. Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food
Head to Kilkenny this Halloween midterm, October 28th to 31st, for all things food at the Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food. There are a host of events including some free events for Kids Savour.
- Junior Masterchef 2016 open to contestants aged 10+ at the Kilkenny Cookery School.
- Guido Fanzini’s Impossible Circus on October 29th at Kilkenny Castle Park.
- Professor Plunger on October 30th at Kilkenny Castle Park.
- Bake a Book Competition is open to all secondary school students in Kilkenny.
- Enjoy a free foodie themed film on October 31st in the Pop Up Cinema, Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle. (100 seats)
- Take part in a Free Film Making Workshop on October 31st at the Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle. Booking is free but essential as max 20 spaces per workshop.
- Enjoy the Young Food Produces Market on October 29th & 30th at Workhouse Square, MacDonagh Junction.
#9. The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival, Meath
The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival takes place in venues across the county this Halloween. With the tag line ‘Fun by Day….Fright by Night’ it is sure to be fun for all the family. There is a small cost to some of the activities but there are also some free events including:
- On October 30th dress up and head to The Halloween Haunted Garden at the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, Oldbridge, Drogheda for some treasure hunt fun!
- From October 8th to 30th you are invited to Alright Pumpkin in Fordstown, Co Meath to pick you own pumpkin and enjoy the Halloween Corn Maze. Entry is free and pumpkins are charged based in their weight.
- On October 31st join the 17th Samhain Festival of Fire at Tlachtga. The procession sets off rom Fairgreen, Athboy, Co Meath at 7.30pm and this free event is suitable for all the family.
#10. The Galway Aboo Festival and Macnas Parade – Savage Grace, Galway
The Galway Aboo Festival takes place from October 28th to 31st and incorporates the annual Charity Monster Dash on October 29th and the annual Macnas Halloween Parade going through the streets of Galway on October 30th from 17.30 and this year entitled Savage Grace!
If you are bats about halloween on October 30th you can enjoy a FREE Family Fun Day at Aughnanure Castle, Oughterard in association with The Galway Bat Group from 1pm to 5pm. Fancy Dress a must! And if you head into the village of Oughterard this Halloween look out for the Free Family Fright FestEvil! with games and activities for all the family.
#11. Wexford Fringe Festival 2016, Wexford
The 64th Annual Wexford Fringe Festival takes place from October 21st to November 6th. There are in excess of 300 events taking place over the 17 days and some free options include:
- Wexford Festival Opera Opening Ceremony Fireworks Display is on October 26th at Wexford Quay Front from 7pm.
- Lunchtime Concerts on October 22nd at County Hall Carricklawn and October 29th at The Friary Church.
- Festival Tours in association with The National Opera House leave the Talbot Hotel car park at 10.30 am and take place daily from October 26th to November 5th.
- From October 28th to November 2nd venture if you dare to a very Gorey Halloween, for a Halloween Treasure Hunt, Scarecrow making, Pumpkin carving and much more.
- Wexford Library have a host of free halloween events for children and families.
- Wexford Model Railway Club have a club open day on October 30th.
- Come along to the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve from October 21st to 31st for a host of goose-themed events taking place during Wild Goose Week.
#12. Sligo Live, Co Sligo
The Sligo Live Festival of Music takes place from October 26th to 31st. There is music to suit all tastes and ages with over 100 performances by more than 400 musicians over the six day festival.
And best of all – 80% of the Festival events are free of charge!
#13. Laois Heritage Trail, Laois
Download the app or check out the booklet and take the Laois Heritage Trail to discover parts of Co. Laois you may not have know about before. Using the audio trails as your guide visit castles, see wildlife, gardens and discover museums with many attractions offering free entry.
#14. Free Banks of the Foyle Halloween Festival, Derry
One of Europe’s largest Halloween festivals (this year is the 30th anniversary), the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Festival takes place in Derry between 27 – 31 October. Guildhall Square is the focus for many of the events, for kids there is face painting and balloon modelling in the square during the earlier hours.
Attractions include the Hall of Horror and a Family Funday with fortune telling, scary story telling, dance performance, face painting, arts and crafts, games, apple bobbing, gunge dipping and much more! Highlight Events of the festival include:
- Into the Square and Out of this World 29th-31st October with Live Music, International Street Theatre, Speciality Markets on the city’s Guildhall Square from morning to night.
- Awakening the Walls 29th and 30th October, when the City’s historic Walls give up their ghosts as over two evenings light, fire, sculpture, music and performance rouse the Walls awake in a supernatural animation trail on and around the City Walls.
- Street Carnival Parade and Fireworks Display 31st October
- Little Horror’s Halloween Festival 27th-31st October with a unique programme of interactive theatre, storytelling, film and music for children and young people.
- Trick or Treat! 27th – 31st October, with local chefs and food suppliers celebrating the harvest with speciality markets, food and drink trails, interactive food tasters and demonstrations celebrating local produce.
#15. Free Halloween Monster Mash in Belfast
Join in the Halloween fun at this year’s Halloween Monster Mash in Belfast on Sunday 30th October. Head along to the Titanic Slipways for Belfast’s biggest Halloween celebration with an evening of spooktacular theatre, macabre music, fascinating fireworks! Events include
- haunting street theatre
- fire jugglers
- music and
- a stunning fireworks display.
Over to you now. Do you plan to or did you visit any of these Free Halloween Events with your child? Tell us in the comments below