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 strawberries in Wexford, to curiosities in Dublin, here are 21 fun family festivals and events in Ireland for Summer 2017. Who knows, maybe the sun will even shine!
#1. Seafest Galway
A weekend of fun and free events is just on the horizon as SeaFest 2017 takes place in Galway city from 30 June to 2 July.
Galway Harbour will be transformed into an ‘open air sea world’ for the three-day festival with a host of family friendly entertainment and attractions on the water. PowerFly’s world champion flyboarders will perform stunning aerial acrobatics and there will be a veritable flotilla of ships, many of which are open for public tours. Another top attraction will be the return of the famous tall ship, The Phoenix, which was a huge draw at SeaFest 2016.
The free festival also hosts exhibits 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 60,000 visitors to the city in 2016 and this year, the event will make an even bigger splash.
When: 30th June – 2nd July 2017
#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: June 1st – 5th 2017
#3. Dublin Port River Fest
The Dublin Port River Fest will be fun for all the family, taking place on and around the river Liffey. Visit the large old sailing ships or pop along to the Pirate Village with arts and crafts for the kids. There’ll be a Dublin Port Tug Boat Dance with Water Canon on the river; face painters; balloon artists; port boat tours; a fun fair; food market; and live entertainment.
When: June 3rd – 5th 2017
#4. Sunrise Festival, Brigits Garden, Galway
Brigit’s Garden is hosting their ‘Sunrise Children’s Festival’, a unique weekend festival with camping, dedicated solely to children and their families. ‘Sunrise’ is a celebration of music, creativity, nature and all things magical in the beautiful Celtic gardens and surrounding woodlands. This summer festival takes place from Saturday 29th to Sunday 30th July 2017. The festival has a full two-day programme of Live Music & Theatre, Circus, Puppet shows, Story-telling, Yoga, Fire Spectacular and more, in three tented areas. There will also be lots of delicious artisan food, café and bar,
Come and enjoy a unique opportunity to dance, celebrate, sing, create, and camp with your kids and all the family!
When: 29th – 30th July 2017
#5. Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular, Dublin & Cork
Celebrating its 12th birthday this year, 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 7th – 9th; Cork: July 15th – 16th 2017
#6. Cork Midsummer Festival, Cork
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 16th – 25th 2017
#7. 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 18th 2017
#8. Westport Food Festival, Mayo
“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 23th – 25th 2017
#9. Wexford Maritime Festival, Wexford
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 30th – July 2nd 2017
#10. Féile Brian Ború, Clare
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: June 29th – 2nd July 2017
Image via Féile Brian Ború
#11. Promenade Festival, Waterford
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: July 1st – 2nd 2017
#12. Ennis Street Festival, Clare
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 3rd – 9th 2017
#13. Baltimore Pirate Festival, Cork
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 16th – 18th 2017
Image via Baltimore Pirate Festival
#14. Galway International Arts Festival, Galway
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 17th – 30th 2017
#15. Enniscrone Black Pig Festival, Sligo
Head to Enniscrone this July for the Enniscrone Black Pig Festival, where you can enjoy treasure hunts, fireworks, music, street performers, great food and a Market Day at this family friendly festival.
When: July 27th – 30th 2017
#16. Festival of Curiosity, Dublin
The Festival of Curiosity runs in various Dublin venues late July. The festival programme is packed full of arts, science and technology events and has a host of free daytime activities for families. From a giant outdoor Bubblearium, to special Lego Workshops and much more, indulge your curiosity this July.
When: July 20th – 23rd 2017
#17. Durrow Scarecrow Festival, Laois
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 30th – August 7th 2017
#18. Earagail Festival, Donegal
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 4th – 23rd 2017
#19. Spraoi International Street Arts Festival, Waterford
The 2017 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 4th – 6th 2017
#20. Kilkenny Arts Festival
In August the city of Kilkenny will come to life with the annual Kilkenny Arts Festival. There’s visual art, classical music, theatre and dance, jazz, world & traditional Irish music, literature, film, indie music, craft, children’s and street events and more – something for everyone!
When: August 11th – 20th 2017
#21. Loughrea Medieval Festival, Galway
The 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 25th – 27th 2017
Over to you! Have you any more great family suggestions to add? Let us know in the comments below.