We have a total of 10 Bank Holidays/Public Holidays in Ireland in 2019. They are the perfect opportunity to spend time together with family and friends. We have researched some of the Best Fun Family Events for Bank Holidays in Ireland for 2019 so you can plan days out together.
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Leisureplex, the fun family entertainment centres with bowling, quasar and more in Blanchardstown, Charlestown, Coolock, Tallaght and Stillorgan in Dublin and Leisureplex Cork, are open for family fun every bank holiday weekend. Check out what our family testers thought about Quasar at Leisureplex!
New Years – December 31st 2018 – January 1st 2019
Ringing in the New Year with family and friends is a long standing tradition.
Monday December 31st 2019 – NYF Dublin is back for 2018/2019. This special New Years Eve Festival sees the area around the Custom House come to life with music, lights and a New Year countdown. This year ring in the New Year on December 31st with Gavin James.
St Patrick’s Day – March 17th 2019
Ireland comes alive to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Many counties, towns and villages host their own St Patrick’s Day Parade and for children, and adults on the lenten journey, if offers a break in their fasting! We have a round up of family friendly events taking place over the St Patrick’s Day Weekend including:
- The St Patrick’s Festival 2019 takes place over 5 days in Dublin from March 14th to 18th with citywide events for families the highlight of which is the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade which begins at 12pm.
- glór in Ennis will host their annual St Patrick’s Day event with fun music and activity for the whole family including a Dabbledoo Music Workshop and Manny Man Does the History of Ireland fun theatre performance suitable for all ages.
- St Patricks Snake Hunt on March 16th & 18th head along to Nore Valley Park, Kilkenny to hunt for the snakes that managed to hide from St. Patrick! Free event as part of your entry ticket price.
- The National Museum of Ireland have 4 sites and have a traditional music circle event from 2 to 4pm on Saturday 16th at their Country Life Museum site in Turlough Park, Mayo, and in Dublin, enjoy a Bilingual tour (Irish & English) of the Decorative Arts & History Museum in Collins Barracks, on Monday, March 18th. And follow a special St Patrick’s Day and Saints of Ireland trail on March 15th & 16th at the Museum of Archaeology in Kildare Street.
- Belvedere House, Westmeath celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a Céilí from 2pm to 4pm.
- This St. Patrick’s weekend be sure to take a trip to Fota House & Gardens in Cork for a bilingual self-guided family St. Patrick’s Trail / Slí Phádraig.
- Kids will love the Cool Planet Experience’s GREEN Slime Labs which take place over St Patrick’s Weekend at CPE Powerscourt, Co Wicklow.
- Follow a trail of slithering snakes through the gardens, treehouse & playground at Birr Castle & Gardens 16th – 18th March 2019.
Mother’s Day – March 31st 2019
Mother’s Day is a day to get together with the family and celebrate your Mum, Granny, Mother in Law, Step Mum and yourself. For those wishing to have a break from cooking many hotels and restaurants offer Mother’s Day menus.
- How about getting your Mum a ticket to enjoy a celebration of The Legends of American Country Music at glór Ennis in Clare on March 31st 2019?
Easter – April 19th to 22nd 2019
Easter is a time for egg hunts and chocolate! We have put together a list of some of the best events taking place in Ireland over the Easter Break 2019. But here are some highlights for you
Cool Planet Experience – Hunt for Renewable Energy Easter Experience
Cool Planet Experience is an interactive Climate Change Experience for families at Powerscourt. This Easter at Cool Planet, the hunt for renewable energy is on!
Monday April 15th to Friday April 26th, 11am & 1pm – Kids will love this Easter workshop where their challenge is to design & make their very own solar-powered Bunny-Bot.
Your creative innovators will have great fun seeing how these jittery-jumpy bunnies generate electricity from light – energy transfer (younger kids) & engineering design (older kids)! And whose BOT will win the bunny-dash at the end of the workshop for an Easter treat? Book your places now to find out!
Easter Workshops last 1 hour 15 minutes and cost €20pp. They are suitable for children aged 7-14 years. (Kids bring their bunny-BOT away with them. All materials supplied.)
Add a 90 minute tour of the ground-breaking Cool Planet Experience for before, or after the workshop – Cost: €5.50 (child), €9.50 (adult), €27 (family)
Easter Events at Birr Castle, Offaly
April 13th to 28th 2019 – For anyone interested in nature, discovery and adventure, Birr Castle Gardens & Science Centre has a real treat in store this Easter break. They will have their Birr Castle Easter Family Quest which is an alternative to the traditional Easter Egg Hunt and will take young, and maybe not so young, explorers on a journey through time, from great engineering feats to wildlife discoveries, and many more highlights in between. Once the young explorers complete the quest they return to the playground kiosk for their Easter treat.
Sunday 21st April – Easter Egg Hunt with a Twist where you will meet not only the Easter Bunny but Henny Penny, Larry the Lamb, Quackers the Duck and the Mad Hatter! Pre-booking required for the Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Fun at Lough Key Forest & Activity Park, Roscommon
There will be heaps of Easter fun at Lough Key this year including:
- Friday April 19th, 11am to 12pm – Craft class for kids. €10 per child. Maximum of 16 kids.
- Saturday April 20th, 9.30am – Easter Park Run
- Saturday April 20th, 11am to 1pm – Science workshop for kids. €16 per child or 2 for €30
- Sunday April 21st – 2pm to 4pm – FREE Face painting, Egg Hunt in Boda Borg for players all day, look out for Cecil and the Lough Key Easter Bunny who will be handing out Easter Eggs in the afternoon
- Monday April 22nd – 2pm to 4pm – FREE Face painting & entertainment including a magic show, balloon modelling, music, dancing & singing. Egg Hunt in Boda Borg for players all day, look out for Cecil and the Lough Key Easter Bunny who will be handing out Easter Eggs in the afternoon.
Easter at Strokestown Park House & Gardens, Roscommon
April 17th to April 21st 2019, 11am to 4pm daily – Celebrate Easter at Strokestown Park with their Easter Egg Hunts which are self guided mega or mini trails around the Victorian walled garden and woodland walk. Families will search through the clues in the nooks and crannies of the garden and woodlands to receive the chocolate egg treasure. Be sure to visit the Spring Lambs too. Cost is €5 per child for the trails and can be paid for on the day, no advance booking required.
Irish National Stud Easter Fun, Kildare
April 19th to 22nd 2019 – The Irish National Stud & Gardens have daily family activities running over the Easter Break from April 19th to 22nd 2019. There will be Pony Rides, face painting, magic shows, craft workshops and a Petting Zoo with Farmyard in your Schoolyard. Children can visit the playground, discover fairies & folklore on the Fairy Trail and come and see the new baby foals with a guided tour of the stud and gardens included in the ticket price.
Easter at Fota House – Dorothy’s Easter Trail, Cork
April 19th & 20th, 10am to 4pm daily – Fota House & Gardens are open for the season from mid March with Bakestone Café serving treats for the whole family. This Easter be sure to come along and enjoy Dorothy’s Easter Trail on April 19th & 20th.
The magnificent Arboretum is the setting for Dorothy’s Trail, which will bring the history and beauty of Fota alive for everyone. Amongst the trees and wildlife, follow the woodland path, leading you to your very own Easter treat!
The self-guided Easter Trail follows in the footsteps of the young Dorothy Bell, Fota’s former owner, as she explores her imagination in the gardens. At the finish, claim your yummy chocolate egg, kindly sponsored by Cadbury’s. Come along for an EGG-citing day out for all the family, suitable for all ages!
Once your little ones have enjoyed their experience, why not make a day of it and enjoy the stunning gardens with a picnic, or enjoy some delicious food at Bakestone Café?! Featuring food tents and vintage swing boats and carousel from the 1950s and a fantastic 1970s ice-cream van. Tickets are €8 per child, adults go FREE!
Trail runs Friday and Saturday of Easter weekend, from 10am to 4pm daily, walk-ins welcome!
Donal Vaughan Science Magic at dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum
Saturday, April 20th, 12pm & 2pm – Enjoy the award winning Irish comedian and scientist, Donal Vaughan at the dlr Mill Theatre with his popular family show combining magic, comedy and science. Using only things you can find around the house, Donal will wow audiences with vomiting unicorns, dragons breath and even a rocket launcher!
Earth Day: Protect our Species Super Sketch at National Museum of Ireland Natural History, Merrion Square, Dublin
Saturday April 20th, 11am to 1pm – Drop into the Museum to find your favourite animal and join the super sketch at the Dead Zoo. See up close some super species from the handling collection and learn about why species are endangered and how science can help protect our species! No booking required but there may be short waiting time. Not wheelchair accessible.
Event Type: Drop-in Activity
Topic: Natural History
Meet Bees Up Close at McD’s Garden Centre Loughrea, Galway
Easter Saturday April 20th, 12pm-3pm – With Irish bee numbers in decline it is vitally important to try and help. Head along to McD’s Garden Centre Loughrea on Easter Saturday and learn more by meeting the native Irish black bees of Oakwood Farm in their travelling beehive. Meet the beekeepers and have the opportunity to learn about how the colony of bees work.
There will also be trained horticulturists on hand to tell you about what plants are great for pollination and more at this FREE event.
Easter Steam Trains at Stradbally
Stradbally Woodland Railway are running steam trains for Easter on Easter Sunday and Monday April 21st and 22nd. Trains will be operating from 12-4pm both days with tickets priced at only €3 for children, €7 for adults with under 5s going free. Tickets are sold on the day at the platform and are valid for as many trips as you like. The train is fully wheelchair accessible so passengers can enjoy the lush, green forests from the unique perspective of a steam train.
Easter Events at Belvedere House, Westmeath
Saturday April 20th to Monday April 22nd – Belvedere House in Westmeath will be hosting its annual Easter Egg Hunts Treasure Trail where families will enjoy taking a journey to meet Mr & Mrs Bunny and completing tasks, games and having fun along the way to find their Easter eggs! Book your time-slot today.
Saturday April 20th at 8pm – Enjoy a free Bat Walk with Bat Conservation Ireland at Belvedere House & Gardens. The Bat Walk begins with an illustrated talk on Bats, dispelling all of the myths and detailing just how marvellous these tiny mammals really are. The talk is followed by a guided bat walk with the use of Bat Boxes around Belvedere parkland. These allow you to hear the bats hunt and communicate with each other.
Important Note: Walk is weather permitting (bats are far too sensible to be out in the wet or cold!). Wear warm clothing sensible footwear and bring a small torch.
Admission is free with donations on the night to Bat Conservation Ireland.
Easter Egg Mania at National Museum of Ireland Country Life, Turlough Park, Mayo
Sunday April 21st, 1.30pm to 3.30pm – Lots of Easter Eggs are hidden around the grounds of Turlough Park House. Can you find the secret hiding places and take home some eggs of your own? Booking Required. Event Type: Family Event
NMI Collins Barracks Dublin, Easter Egg Hunt
Sunday April 21st, 2pm to 4pm – Take this egg-straordinary trail through the Museum’s exhibitions and test your knowledge to find the Museum’s golden egg. Complete the trail to receive an egg-cellent edible reward! Pick up your free Trail at Museum reception. No booking required. Event Type: Drop-in Activity for Families
Easter at Powerscourt House & Gardens, Wicklow
At Powerscourt on Sunday April 21st & Monday April 22nd, 2pm to 4pm – Come and meet all your favourite farmyard animals and enjoy the beautiful setting of Powerscourt Garden Pavilion over the Easter bank holiday weekend with a trip to Powerscourt.
The lovely people from Stonebrook Farm will be there with their cutest and furriest of animals this Easter Sunday and bank holiday Monday. There will be lambs, rabbits, chicks, guinea pigs, hamsters, tortoises and a little goat. Children are allowed to pet the animals, bottle feed the pet lambs, hold baby chicks and ducklings etc. This is a free event and no booking is required.
And if you are working during the holidays, we have a list of Easter Camps for Kids & Teens.
Keep checking our events listings too, as new events are added daily.
May Bank Holiday – May 6th 2019
The May Bank Holiday is the start of the summer season.
The award winning Riverfest Limerick is set to return for the May Bank Holiday, Friday 3rd to Monday 6th May 2019, offering a dazzling array of free activities to amuse families of all ages. Highlights of the festival will include:
- Riverfest Fireworks & Aerial Spectacle – A special new addition to Riverfest! Aerial circus performers, Fidget Feet, have joined forces with Classic Effects to create a spectacular aerial and fireworks display for the premiere of Sky Dance at Riverfest!
- 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 May 3rd to 6th 2019.
Slime Factory at Nore Valley Park
Nore Valley Park in Kilkenny is opening its doors to slime fans everywhere. Slime is the latest craze among kids, with endless viral videos online of kids playing with different types of slime. Well, now your kids can get off the internet and get stuck into some good wholesome fun, making their own slime right here at the farm! We will provide all you will need, and will be on hand to guide you through the process.
The Slime Factory will take place on Saturday 4th and Monday 6th May, and tickets will be made available online nearer the time. Tickets include farm entry.
Events take place May 4th & 6th 2019
Dog Show and Family Fun Day at Birr Castle & Gardens, Offaly
- 5th May – Enjoy all things canine during the annual dog show and family fun day at Birr Castle and Gardens. Castle Tours take place daily from Monday to Saturday at Birr Castle and can be booked in advance.
Mini Greenhouse Family Workshop at Cool Planet Experience
This May bank holiday, Cool Planet wants to get families learning about the carbon cycle at their Mini Greenhouse Family Workshop. Kids will be introduced to the secret life of plants through Eric Carle’s story ‘The Tiny Seed’. Using his illustrations as inspiration, they will design & decorate a ‘mini-greenhouse’ to guzzle up all the CO2 at home! The mini-greenhouse contains seeds and a ‘packed lunch’ of water + nutrients. With lots of light at home, kids will see their plant growing within a week! 50 mins | Age 3-12 | €10pp (Adults go free + Complimentary tea/coffee). Sat 4th May, Sun 5th May, Mon 6th May workshops at 11am and 1pm.
Junior Explorer Tours at Croke Park
Saturday May 4th, May 11th & May 18th from 10.30am – Cluasóg is back at the GAA Museum in Croke Park from February 22nd to May 18th to bring you on a family friendly junior explorer tour in the home of GAA.
Go behind-the-scenes and learn fun facts about the GAA and Croke Park. During the Stadium Tour, your intrepid little explorers will get to visit the team dressing rooms and warm-up area and run out pitch-side through the players’ tunnel – a highlight for any GAA fan or aspiring young star! Back at the GAA Museum, children will receive their Junior Explorer Passport so they can follow clues throughout the Museum and discover some of the museum’s most famous exhibits including the original Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy cups along the way. If the group find all the clues, all younger visitors will receive a special Junior Explorer badge and sticker pack!
Another highlight for many boys and girls (and mums and dads!) is the museum’s Interactive Games Zone, where the future (and past) All-Stars can test their own hurling and football skills. Who’s the fastest in the family? Find out by measuring the speed of your strike as you hit a sliotar down the hurling alley or test your goal scoring ability with a family and friends football challenge!
Junior Explorer Tours are recommended for all family members but will be of particular interest for children of 8 years of age and under. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tours will depart from the GAA Museum at 10.30am and will continue on Saturday mornings (subject to GAA fixtures) until May 18th.
Other Easter May Bank Holiday Events
- The Slieve Bloom Walking Festival, Co Offaly, is Ireland’s longest running walking festival, 25 years this year and runs from May 3rd to 6th 2019.
- Stradbally Woodland Railway, Ireland’s oldest established Heritage Railway will be doing steam railway rides for the May Bank Holiday on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th May.
- Coolest Projects 2019 at RDS Dublin. Sunday May 5th 2019, 9.45am to 5.45pm – A free family fun day with technology workshops, talks and entertainment for kids and parents who love technology. Young people can enter projects they have created and share them with others to inspire them to do that same.
June Bank Holiday – June 3rd 2019
The June Bank Holiday for many is the beginning of the summer holidays with secondary school students finishing up on the Friday before. We have also put together a list of Summer Camps for Kids and Summer Camps for Teens showcasing some of the best on offer around the country.
This IS Rocket Science Stomp-Rocket Workshop at Cool Planet Experience, Wicklow
Saturday June 1st, Sunday June 2nd & Monday June 3rd, 11am & 1pm – Girls & Boys will LOVE designing & making their own ‘Stomp-Rockets’ that can shoot 50m into the sky! So-much-fun!
Age 6-12 | 1hr | €10pp
bloom in the Park 2019
bloom, Ireland’s annual garden festival which takes place at the Phoenix Park is one of the top family friendly events in Ireland, with kids going free, and plenty of activities, food and garden fun for all ages. It takes place 30th May – 3rd June 2019, it’s the 13th year of the popular festival and promises to be even bigger and better.
Other June Bank Holiday Events
- Stradbally Steam Train Rides take place at Stradbally in Co. Laois on Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd June. Enjoy a trip behind an authentic Steam Engine along the 1km line around the Woodland of Stradbally Hall.
- The 22nd Innishannon Steam & Vintage Rally takes place on Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd June 2019 at Innishannon Village, Cork with Steam Engines, Cars, Tractors, Fire Engines and Vintage Farm Machinery, Rural Crafts & Lots More
- If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, Bikefest takes place in Killarney over the June Bank Holiday weekend from 31st May to 3rd June. Now in it’s 13th year it attracts national and international visitors who come to see bikes of all shapes and sizes, ride the twisting routes along the wild atlantic way and listen to some great free live music.
- Staying in Kerry, the K-Fest Arts Festival takes place from May 31st to June 2nd in Killorglin.
Father’s Day – June 16th 2019
Father’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate dads, grandfathers, step-dads and father-in-law’s. Hotels and restaurants will offer special Father’s Day menus or you could cook up a feast at home or head out to enjoy:
- The Taste of Dublin which runs annually in June and this year you can enjoy events from Thursday June 13th to Sunday June 16th at The Iveagh Gardens.
- For those in Cork the Cork Midsummer Festival runs from June 13th to 23rd 2019 and has a full program of events for families.
August Bank Holiday – August 5th 2019
There are some great family events happening over the August Bank Holiday weekend including:
- The Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival in Co. Wexford combines music and food with free family fun and runs over the August Bank Holiday weekend from August 2nd to 5th 2019.
- The annual Durrow Scarecrow Festival in Co. Laois, takes place from July 28th to August 5th 2019 and this year celebrates 10 years! The festival offers an eclectic mix of activities for young and old including the Scarecrow Building Contest with national and international participants competing for the top prize.
- Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival runs from August 2nd – 11th 2019 with free entertainment for children including music, markets and fairs, arts and craft activities and more.
- The streets of Waterford play host to the Spraoi International Street Arts Festival from August 2nd to 4th 2019. With an amazing parade, free music events and street performances.
- Stradbally Woodland Railway has an annual Steam Rally on the August Bank Holiday weekend with steam train rides, vintage cars and more fun activities at Stradbally Hall in Laois.
- Take a step back in time at the Tubbercurry Old Fair Day Festival in Co. Sligo which takes place over 5 days from August 10th to 14th 2019. You will experience crafts and techniques from days gone by along with food, music and fun for all the family.
October Bank Holiday & Halloween – October 28th 2019
Halloween Trails at Belvedere House & Gardens, Westmeath
Saturday October 26th to Monday 28th – Belvedere House and Gardens will have a host of spooky and not so spooky Halloween events for families. They include Belvedere Halloween Treasure Trails which take place on October 26th to 28th. Expect lots of fun and treats. Or, as we say to the children, expect:
“Witches and Zombies and Ghouls of all kinds
are waiting for you and your family to find
There’ll be a few frights and hard work for your treats
and laughter and fun with the Ghouls that you’ll meet
Be a little afraid and deep breaths do inhale
To prepare for the Belvedere Halloween Trail”
Booking essential. Call 044 9349060 to book your place.
Jackula dlr Mill Theatre, Dublin
Saturday 26th October, 4pm & 7pm – Being a vampire sucks, but being Dracula’s younger brother is driving Jackula batty! This inspirational Halloween magic show is performed by Jeff Keough and is suitable for kids aged 4 to 12 years. Book tickets early as they usually sell out quickly!
Spooky Science Halloween Workshops at Cool Planet Experience, Wicklow
Saturday 26th to Monday 28th October at 11am & 2pm & from Tuesday 29th to Thursday 31st October at 11am – Cool Planet Experience, Wicklow are open for tours during the Halloween mid-term break and are also hosting Spooky Science Workshops. Kids can release their mad scientist and explore the spookier side of chemistry & physics.
Workshops take place from Saturday 26th to Monday 28th October at 11am & 2pm & from Tuesday 29th to Thursday 31st October at 11am, and are suitable for ages 6 to 12 years.
Creepy Crawl – Halloween Ramble at Fota House & Gardens, Cork
This October bank holiday weekend, Saturday October 26th to Monday October 28th & 31st, 11.00am to 3pm, bring the family along to Fota House for an Creepy Crawl Halloween Trail. This is a fun self-guided, day time trail around the Arboretum and Victoria Working Gardens. Take the trail and discover the darker side of Fota – you’ll never know who or what you might bump into!! Halloween costumes encouraged.
Free Macnas Halloween Parade, Galway
Sunday October 27th, 5.30pm – The annual Macnas Halloween Parade is a sight to behold and this year it takes place on the streets of Galway from 5.30pm on October 27th. The theme for this years storytelling parade is ‘Danse Macabre’. The parade will tell the story of a boy called Conor and promises to be strange, unpredictable and utterly mesmerising!
Free Pumpkin Carving at Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, Dublin
Sunday October 27th, 3pm – Enjoy a free, family friendly Halloween event at the Phoenix Park Visiotr Centre when Dale Treadwell will give a talk on ghosts, witches & ghouls followed by pumpkin carving. You need to bring your own pumpkin and come dressed up as there will be a prize for the best dressed!
Moon and Sixpence Theatre Puppet Show, Phoenix Park Visitor Centre
Monday October 28th, 1.30pm & 3pm – Visitors can enjoy a free puppet show on October 28th at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre. Limited spaces and tickets will be on a first come basis.
There are a host of other events taking place around the country including:
- Things to Do this Halloween in Ireland
- Halloween Camps for Kids and Teens
- 25 Hauntingly Good Halloween Hangouts
- 15 Frighteningly Free Halloween Things to Do This Mid-term
- The Sligo Live 2019 Music Festival which runs in venues around Sligo from October 23rd to 28th 2019
- The 68th annual Wexford Opera Festival runs from October 22nd to November 3rd 2019 and offers music lovers the opportunity to experience some of the best opera performers from around the globe.
- Savour Kilkenny takes place over the Halloween bank holiday weekend from October 24th to 28th 2019.
- One of Europe’s largest Halloween festivals, the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Festival takes place in Derry between 25th – 29th October 2018 and Guildhall Square is the focus for many of the events.
Christmas – December 25th & 26th 2019
Christmas is a time to spend with families. We will update our 50 Magical Places to Visit Santa post shortly to ensure you know the best places to visit Santa this Christmas 2019.