21 Fun Family Festivals & Events in Ireland for Summer 2018

seafest 2018 kids with fish

The weather may not always be predictable in Ireland during the summer but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, and enjoy the many great family events taking place around the country during the holidays. From swashbuckling pirates in Baltimore, to an exciting marine festival in Galway, to curiosities in Dublin, here are 21 fun family festivals and events in Ireland for Summer 2018. Who knows, maybe the sun will even shine!

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#1. Riverfest, Limerick

The award winning Riverfest Limerick festival is returning this May Bank Holiday. The 14th edition of this growing festival promises to be the best yet.

Full details are to be soon announced but expect a vibrant mix of music, family fun, great food and much much more. Highlights of the festival will include:

  • Riverfest on the Shannon
  • Fashion Friday
  • Riverfestival village in Arthur’s Quay Park
  • Bons Secours Great Limerick Run
  • A spectacular fireworks display.

The great thing about Riverfest is that most of the activities are completely free and there will be plenty of activities to keep you and your family entertained.

When: May 4th – 7th 2018

#2. Bloom in the Park, Dublin


Ireland’s largest gardening, food and family event, Bloom in the Park is back this year at Dublin’s Phoenix Park in Dublin City this June Bank Holiday weekend. Families visiting the event this year will once again be entertained by the outdoor entertainment stage and highly enjoyable and educational Kids Zone.

When: May 31st – June 4th 2018

#3. Baltimore Pirate Festival, Cork

baltimore pirate weekend

All pirates (past and present) are invited to celebrate and commemorate the demise of 108 settlers taken away as slaves by Algerian Pirates on 20 June 1631 at the Baltimore Pirate Festival this June. Highlights includes visits to the thirteenth century fully restored O’Driscoll Castle, pirate dress competition, pirate boat trips, a family treasure hunt, and pirate bouncy castles and games.

When: June 15th – 17th 2018

#4. Cork Midsummer Festival, Cork

cork midsummer festival

Cork Midsummer Festival is Cork’s largest annual multi-disciplinary arts festival for all ages along the banks of the river Lee, with many national and international theatre and music events, and the return of family favourite, Picnic in the Park.

When: June 15th – 24th 2018

More Fun for 2018: 25 Fun Things To Do with Kids in Ireland & 21 Free Family Things To Do

#5. Trim Haymaking Festival, Meath


Find your inner farmer and try your hand at some sheaf tossing at the National Hay Making Festival in Trim, Co. Meath mid June. Just a stone’s throw from Dublin, this is a fun day for all the family with working horses, vintage tractors, a pets’ corner, kids play area, and folklore and tales.

When: June 17th 2018

#6. Westport Food Festival, Mayo

Westport Food Festival

“Food” will be the word on everyone’s lips as the Westport Food Festival returns in June, catering for all from mini chefs right up to mature foodies. Events include a food village, seaweed foraging, foodie tours, kayaking, mushroom foraging, children’s pizza making, a pop up restaurant and more.

When: June 22nd – 24th 2018

#7. Wexford Maritime Festival, Wexford

wexford maritime festival

At the Wexford Maritime Festival in June, you’ll find a celebration of Wexford’s rich maritime heritage, and can enjoy maritime activities, family fun, artisan food and music. Children can enjoy dance and musical activities, arts and crafts, science workshops, circus workshops and shows at the Children’s Village. Discover Wexford’s Viking past in the Viking tent where children can try their hand at brass rubbing and sword making.

When: June 23rd – 24th 2018

#8. Seafest Galway

SeaFest 2018 Kids Exploring Marine Life

A weekend of fun and free events is just on the horizon as SeaFest 2018 takes place in Galway city from 29 June to 1 July.

Galway 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.

Ireland’s national maritime festival attracted more than 100,000 visitors to the city in 2017 and this year, the event will make an even bigger splash.

When: 29th June – 1st July 2018

#9. Promenade Festival, Waterford

promenade festival tramore

The Promenade Festival, Tramore is the biggest family fun festival in the South East with an airshow, international artists, street entertainers, live wrestling, puppet shows, and an artisan food & drink village.

When: June 30th – July 1st 2018

#10. Féile Brian Ború, Clare

Feile brian boru

Féile Brian Ború celebrates the life and legacy of Brian Ború (founder of the O’Briens) –  the most famous son of the historic twin towns of Killaloe and Ballina. Fun activities include historical guided tours on lake and land, fireworks display over the River Shannon, traditional street games, garden party, children’s art competition, street theatre and much more! There really is something for everyone in the family at this fun event.

When: July 4th – 8th 2018

#11. Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular, Dublin & Cork

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.

When: Dublin: July 6th – 8th; Cork: July 14th – 15th 2018

#12. Ennis Street Festival, Clare

Ennis Street Festival

The Ennis Street Festival is a celebration of the many cultures and artistic ways that make Ennis, Co. Clare, a special place, with a colourful mix of music, dance, visual arts, puppets shows, arts exhibitions, workshops, acrobatics and many more surprises for all the family.

When: July 2nd – 8th 2018

#13. The Festival of Curiosity, Dublin

The Festival of Curisoty

The Festival of Curiosity is back in Dublin this summer for a four-day cultural feast of science, arts, design, and technology for all the family from July 19th – 22nd.

Take your friends and your family on a play date with Dublin City this July during the Playful Days and Curious Nights festival programme. Here are just a few of the highlights.

• Meet world-famous bubble performers at The National Concert Hall.
• Don’t miss festival favourite The Curiosity Carnival for a hands on adventure in science, play, and curious technology (tickets always sell out, be quick!)
• For young explorers join a special family explorers series as we journey from the world’s highest pop-up lab at Everest Lab to the Depths of the Ocean, explore how to help the bees make honey in Beekeepers and Martians or find out how to train to become an astronaut during Explorer Training for Space.
• Join Sam (from The Lalala Choir) for a fun Singing Workshop for families and friends (aged four and up), where anyone can show up and learn to sing.
• At Litter Lab, Scientific Sue (Science2Life) will bring the family on a journey through the science of litter and what to do about it. Expect the unexpected!

See the full programme of events at www.festivalofcuriosity.ie

#14. Earagail Festival, Donegal

earagail festival

The Earagail Arts Festival which runs in July in Donegal is a unique bilingual cultural festival with events from music to outdoor events to theatre and visual arts, taking place in a mix of venues. Every year the festival includes family friendly events.

When: July 11th – 29th 2018

#15. Galway International Arts Festival, Galway

galway arts festival

See Galway City come alive for the annual Galway International Arts Festival this July. Showcasing street performers music and theatre, there are events for all ages, and surprises around every corner. This is a great time to visit Galway.

When: July 16th – 29th 2018

You might enjoy reading Top Things to Do in Galway With Kids

#16. Boyle Arts Festival, Roscommon

bloyle arts festival 2018 family friendly summer festivals

The Bolye Arts Festival is a celebration of music, arts and culture and takes place in the beautiful town of Boyle, Co. Roscommon from July 19th to 28th. Children can avail of workshops and families can enjoy music, theatre and visual arts.

When: July 19th – 28th 2018

#17. Durrow Scarecrow Festival, Laois

durrow scarecrow festival

The Durrow Scarecrow Festival is a fun family event for young and old, with over 300 scarecrows to see around the village, in many different designs and themes. There’s plenty more on offer too including live music, craft workshops, country market, adult, teen and children’s entertainment, and scarecrow treasure hunt.

When: July 29th – August 6th 2018

#18. Spraoi International Street Arts Festival, Waterford

spraoi festival

The 2018 Spraoi International Street Arts Festival has an exciting programme of street performances including theatre, parade and music planned for this year. And specially for kids, Garter Lane Arts Centre presents SprÓg Childrens Festival, during Spraoi Weekend, with workshops all week and over the Spraoi festival weekend. Many events are free, so pre-booking is essential.

When: August 3rd – 5th 2018

#19. Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival, Wexford

Enniscorthy Rockin Food Festival

At the 2018 Rockin’ Food Festival in Enniscorthy you can expect a brand-new, impressive schedule of chefs, producers and special guests in the FREE Food Marquee, an impressive Artisan Food Market with over 80 of the best local and artisan vendors, a superlative International Line-up of Rock ‘n’ Roll artists for our FREE outdoor gigs, a jam-packed program of food and drink workshops, events and classes as well as lots of FREE and exceptional value packages for our younger festival goers!

When: August 3rd – 6th 2018

#20. Little Festival at The Big House, Wexford

little festival at big house

The two day Little Festival at The Big House takes place in August at Wells House in partnership with Wexford Arts Centre. There is live music and theatrical productions – last year’s programme included Shakespeare in the Woods – as well as activities for kids like archery and face-painting, music events for kids, street performers and more.

When: August 18th – 19th 2018

#21. Loughrea Medieval Festival, Galway

Loughread_medieval_festivalThe 3 day Loughrea Medieval Festival held during National Heritage Week, comprises scenes of everyday life in Medieval Loughrea, as well as being jam-packed with fun events and performances that will entertain the whole family.

Celebrate Walled Towns Day with re-enactments, craft demonstrations, medieval music, food and craft market, boat trips, traditional ‘have-a-go’ craft workshops, children’s traditional games, grand parade and lots more.

When: August 24th – 28th 2018

Over to you! What are you planning to go to this summer 2018? Let us know in the comments below.

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