From swashbuckling pirates in Baltimore, to an exciting marine festival in Cork, to curiosities in Dublin, here are 21 fun family festivals and events in Ireland for Summer 2020. Who knows, maybe the sun will even shine!
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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.
PLEASE NOTE: IN A BID TO STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID 19/ CORONAVIRUS, MANY LARGE SCALE EVENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED. SO PLEASE CHECK THE EVENT YOU WISH TO ATTEND IS TAKING PLACE BEFORE TRAVELLING
Family Festivals in Ireland For Summer 2020
#1. Riverfest, Limerick – postponed
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED
The award winning Riverfest Limerick is set to return for the May Bank Holiday, Friday 1st to Monday 4th May 2020, offering a dazzling array of free activities to amuse families of all ages. Highlights of the festival will include:
- Riverfest Fireworks
- Fashion Friday
- Riverfestival village in Arthur’s Quay Park
- Ireland’s largest BBQ cook-off
- Free tours of one of Ireland’s Navy Vessels
- Regeneron Great Limerick Run
Best of all most of the activities are completely free to keep you and your family entertained. There’s just so much activity for all ages it promises to be one excellent weekend to soak up Limerick City.
Events take place from 1st to 4th May 2020.
#2. Seafest, Cork – CANCELLED
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED
A weekend of fun and free events is on the horizon as SeaFest 2020 takes place in Cork from 15th-17th May 2020.
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.
When: 15th – 17th May 2020 – CANCELLED
#3. 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: 28th May – 1st June 2020
#4. Saltwater Festival, Westport
#5. Dublin Kite Festival
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 on Sunday 14th June.
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.
When: 14th June 2020
#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: 15th – 21st June 2020
#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: mid June 2020 date tbc
#8. Baltimore Pirate Festival, Cork
Ahoy me hearties! 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: 19th – 21st June 2020
#9. Kaleidoscope Festival, Wicklow
A completely inclusive family camping festival, Kaleidoscope will take place at Russborough House in Blessington, Co. Wicklow with three days of high energy, full colour, multi–stage entertainment over 15 stages, designed to entice and enthrall all, from babes in arms to those eligible for a bus pass!
When: 26h – 28th June 2020
#10. Wexford Maritime Festival, Wexford
At the Wexford Maritime Festival on the last weekend 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: last weekend of June 2020
#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. And it is completely free to visit.
When: Cork 18th & 19th July and Dublin: 24th – 26th July 2020
#12. 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: 8th – 12th July 2020
#13. Ballina Salmon Festival, Mayo
The Ballina Salmon Festival is a celebration of summer. With music, heritage, teddy bear picnic, fireworks, street parties, treasure hunts and a full line up of events for children, visitors and locals alike are sure to enjoy this fun packed 7 day festival.
When: 5th-12th July 2020
#14. Earagail Arts 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: 9th – 26th July 2020
#15. 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. Expect a fabulous programme this year as Galway is European City of Culture for 2020, so a great time to visit Galway!
When: 13th – 16th July 2020
You might enjoy reading Top Things to Do in Galway With Kids
#16. The Festival of Curiosity, Dublin
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 26th – 20th.
Take your friends and your family on a play date with Dublin City this July during the Playful Days and Curious Nights festival programme. See the full programme of events at www.festivalofcuriosity.ie
When: 16th – 20th July 2020
#17. Boyle Arts Festival, Roscommon
The Boyle Arts Festival is a celebration of music, arts and culture and takes place in the beautiful town of Boyle, Co. Roscommon in the middle of July. Children can avail of workshops and families can enjoy music, theatre and visual arts.
When: Thursday 16th to Saturday 25th July 2020
#18. 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 26th to August 3rd 2020
#19. Spraoi International Street Arts Festival, Waterford
The annual Spraoi International Street Arts Festival has an exciting programme of street performances including theatre, parade and music. 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: July 31st, August 1st and 2nd 2020
#20. Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival, Wexford
At the Rockin’ Food Festival in Enniscorthy you can expect an impressive schedule of chefs, producers and special guests in the Food Marquee, an Artisan Food Market with the best local and artisan vendors, a superlative International Line-up of Rock ‘n’ Roll artists for 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 younger festival goers.
When: 31st July – 3rd August 2020
#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: during Heritage Week 2020 dates to be confirmed
Over to you! What are you planning to go to this summer 2020? Let us know in the comments below.