We have a total of 13 Bank Holidays/Public Holidays in Ireland in 2018. 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 2018 so you can plan days out together.
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New Years – December 31st 2017 – January 1st 2018
Ringing in the New Year with family and friends is a long standing tradition.
- If you happen to be in Dublin over the New Year check out the NYF Dublin an annual 2 day festival that begins on December 31st and runs until Jan 1st with events and fun for all ages.
Mother’s Day – March 11th 2018
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.
- Have a fun day out in Clare with a trip to see some public spinning at glór on March 10th or take a trip to see Sister Act performed by Ennis Musical Society
- Mother’s Day Celebration Lunch on March 11th 1pm to 2.30pm at Brigit’s Garden, Galway . The adult ticket includes 3 courses with a glass of Elderflower Prosecco, admission to the Garden and a posy of flowers for each mother.
St Patricks Day – March 17th 2018
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 2018 takes place over 5 days in Dublin from March 15th to 19th 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 face painting and traditional music, imagination playground and puppetry workshops.
- St Patricks Snake Hunt on March 17th & 19th come 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.
Easter – March 30th to April 2nd 2018
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 2018. And if you are woking 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 7th 2018
The May Bank Holiday is the start of the summer season.
Riverfest Limerick will be back this May Bank Holiday. Now in it’s 14th year visitors can 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.
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 4th to 7th 2018.
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 5th and Monday 7th May, and tickets will be made available online nearer the time. Tickets include farm entry.
Events take place May 5th & 7th 2018
To celebrate the opening of their Secret Garden this May bank holiday Cool Planet Experience are looking for world class super heroes to save the planet! Come along for official climate hero training in the outdoor climate hero course followed by an indoor tour. Finally complete your transformation with a visit to the climate hero craft centre where you can create your cape, cuffs & shield.
Guaranteed fun come rain or shine!
The Climate Hero Outdoor Training Course & indoor Climate Hero Crafts operate all day on a drop in basis from 12 pm until 3 pm & tours of the centre operate every fifteen minutes from 10am until last tour at 4pm. The outdoor course and climate hero crafts are best suited to children aged 5 to 9 years.
Events take place May 5th, 6th & 7th 2018
Hanami Festival, Irish National Stud & Gardens, Kildare
Celebrate all things Japanese at the Hanami Festival which takes place On May 5th from 11am.
- There will be workshops and activities celebrating Japanese culture from 11am to 12.30 and again from 2pm to 3.30pm.
- At 3:30 an expert horticulturist will be giving historic guided tours of the Japanese garden.
Afterwards families can enjoy visiting the playground meeting the foals and the horses or finding fairies on the fairy trail.
Tickets are available to book in advance or pay on the day. Season ticket holders get access to the National Stud and Gardens year round and get access to exclusive members events.
Other May Bank Holiday Events
- The Slieve Bloom Walking Festival, Co Offaly, is Ireland’s longest running walking festival and runs from May 5th to 7th 2018.
- Stradbally Woodland Railway, Ireland’s oldest established Heritage Railway will be doing steam railway rides for the May Bank Holiday on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May. The Steam engine will be running between 12 and 4 pm both days. The cost of the train is €7 for adult and €3 for children with under 5’s travelling free once accompanied by an adult.
- Presented as part of Bealtaine Festival & preceded by ‘Stories from the Landscape’ by Clare County Council Heritage Office, Older Than Ireland runs on May 5th at 2.30.
- Public Spinning Demonstration FREE event on May 5th 12pm to 2.30pm
- Be nature detectives on Saturday 5th & 19th May at Castlecomer Discovery Park and enjoy Bug & Nature hunts in the forest. This is an activity that all the family can do and is suitable for 5 upwards. Bug viewers are provided and a trained guide will give you lots of interesting facts about insect life. Times are available on their website and the sessions last approximately 45 minutes. Cost per child is €5 and adult price is €2.50.
- Fishy Business! Saturday 5th May at National Museum of Ireland Archaeology 2pm-4pm
- Stradbally Woodland Railway is the oldest established Heritage Railway in Ireland with Steam Trains operating since 1969. Located within the grounds of Stradbally Hall in Co. Laois (home of the Electric Picnic Annual Music Festival) they run special season Stradbally Railway Running Days, and they have two railway days on the May Bank Holiday weekend on Sunday 6th and on the Bank Holiday Monday.
June Bank Holiday – June 4th 2018
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.
Dublinia Medieval Weaponry Displays
MEDIEVAL WEAPONRY at Dublinia. Want to know more about arms and armour in Ireland c. 1170 – 1600?
If so, a wide range of reproductions will be on display including the equipment and clothing used in both the Anglo-Irish world and in Gaelic Ireland.
Find out all about Swords, pole-arms, medieval ballistics and defensive armour and see a diverse range of domestic goods including medieval badges, Irish hammered coins and natural dyes.
Saturday and Sunday, the 2nd and 3rd of June. Suitable for all ages.
World Oceans Weekend at Cool Planet Experience, Wicklow
To celebrate World Oceans Day – the Cool Planet Experience in Wicklow are making a weekend of it this bank holiday. It’s time to stop feeding fish plastic & make fish from plastic instead!. There will be fun, sea-inspired art & crafts as well as our awesomely interactive Cool Planet tour! Come celebrate the importance of our oceans with us this June bank holiday!
What wonderful sea-creatures can you make from recyclables? 🦈 Or how about some re-purposed scuba packs? Let your imagination run wild!
The sea-inspired art & crafts will operate on a drop in basis from 12 pm until 3 pm & tours of the centre operate every fifteen minutes from 10am until last tour at 4pm. Crafts suitable for ages 5-9 (the tour is recommended for 7+). Book now
bloom in the Park
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 31st May – 4th June 2018, it’s the 12th year of the popular festival and promises to be even bigger and better.
Here’s a selection of what’s on for Families at bloom 2018:
- Physics Busking
- Budding Bloomers
- Away with the Fairies
- Book Clinic
- Scientific Sue
- Billy Bubbles
- Little Gardeners Planting Plot
- Margaret’s Fun on the Farm
- Craft Demos & Workshops
- Picnic Area
- Conservation Zone
- Birdwatch Ireland
- Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Association
- Irish Wildlife Trust
- Oxfam Ireland
- The Native Woodland Trust
- Irish Coast Guard
- Amnesty International
- GIY at Bloom in the Park
Other June Bank Holiday Events
- Stradbally Steam Train Rides take place at Stradbally in Co. Laois on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th June. Enjoy a trip behind an authentic Steam Engine, the 1949 built locomotive No.2 will haul trains around the 1km line around the Woodland of Stradbally Hall. Trains run from 12pm-4pm. Fares Adults €7, Children (over 5) €3, Family Ticket €18
- The 21st Innishannon Steam & Vintage Rally takes place on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th June 2018 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 June 1st to 4th. Now in it’s 12th 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 June 1st to 4th in Killorglin.
Father’s Day – June 17th 2018
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.
- For those in Cork the Cork Midsummer Festival runs from June 15th to 24th 2018 and has a full program of events for families.
August Bank Holiday – August 6th 2018
There are some great family events happening over the August Bank Holiday weekend including:
Fun Size Jazz! at The Ark Dublin on Bank Holiday Mon 6 August @ 2pm and 4pm, €6 per person. Suitable for Ages 4+. Give jazz a try at The Ark as accomplished musicians share short performances of new ideas for young audiences, in partnership with Improvised Music Company. In August’s show there are three great acts:
- Playing the Blues with Ben – A participative performance with an emphasis on fun. You may even get a chance to come up with some lyrics and along the way find out what the AAB 12 bar format is! With Ben Prevo (guitar, vocals, loop pedal).
- Space Voyagers – Voyage into space with this band travelling across the planets on the vibrations of sound, communicating through the metaphysical medium of music!
With Lioba Petrie (cello, loop pedal, voice), Abigail Smith (voice, viola, other instruments), Dave Redmond (double bass), Phil MacMullin (drums/percussion).
- The Smashing Red Kite’s Blues – This performance uses the children’s story ‘The Smashing Red Kite’ story by Ann Lorraine Mack to bring the blues to life. The music follows the red kite as he leaves the toy shop for a life of adventure.
With Emilie Conway (Vocals), Johnny Taylor (Piano), Damian Evans (Bass), Ann Lorraine Mack (Narration/vocals/flute). This is a great chance for music lovers of all ages to try something new together.
More events on the August Bank Holiday
- Take a step back in time at the Tubbercurry Old Fair Day Festival in Co. Sligo which takes place over 5 days from August 4th to 8th. You will experience crafts and techniques from days gone by along with food, music and fun for all the family.
- 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 3rd to 6th.
- The annual Durrow Scarecrow Festival in Co. Laois, takes place from July 31st to August 6th and 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 3rd – 10th 2018 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 3rd to 5th 2018. 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.
- Mayo Manchester Tradfest is an award-winning six day festival celebrating Irish music and dance, and features over 500 artists performing at over 100 events in six different hubs across Mayo from August 2nd to 8th 2018.
October Bank Holiday & Halloween – October 29th 2018
There are a host of 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 2018 Music Festival which runs in venues around Sligo from October 24th to 29th 2018.
- The 67th annual Wexford Opera Festival runs from October 19th to November 4th 2018 and offers music lovers the opportunity to experience some of the best opera performers from around the globe.
- Jervis Shopping Centre on Saturday 27th October for Topps Festival of Fun which runs from 10am to 4pm and come early to shop and socialise ahead of the spectacular Bram Stoker Festival Macnas Parade at 7pm on Monday 29th October.
- Savour Kilkenny takes place over the Halloween bank holiday weekend from October 25th to 29th 2018. At Castlecomer Discovery Park you can enjoy a family BBQ in the Woods and a fun Fruits of the Forest Family Foraging Event during Savour Kilkenny.
- This October bank holiday weekend, Saturday October 27th to Monday October 29th, 10.30am to 3.40pm, bring the family along to Fota House for an Autumn Squirrel Trail.
- From Saturday 27th October to Monday 29th October head to Dublinia where the Delig Inis theatre group present their annual Halloween performance.
- The Samhain Halloween Bonfire and Storytelling Festival takes place at Brigit’s Garden on October 28th & 29th 2018 from 3pm to 6pm on both days.
- Belvedere House and Gardens will have a host of spooky and not so spooky Halloween events for families. Including Halloween Treasure Hunts on October 27th, 28th & 29th 2018. Booking essential. Call 044 9349060 to book your place.
- From October 27th to November 4th 2018 from 12pm to 6pm daily it will be a spooky time to visit Slieve Aughty for their annual Family Halloween Festival Galway.
- Halloween horror is the order of the day at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park on bank holiday Monday the 29th of October from 12 to 5pm, with something for all the family.
- Head to Nore Valley Farm Park, Kilkenny this Halloween bank hoilday for day and evening entertainment suitable for all ages.
- Are you brave enough to take The Zip of Terror at Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny? Open on dates from October 26th to 31st from 7.30pm.
- Create awe-inspiring pumpkins that will enchant your neighbourhood at Powerscourt on Oct 27th & 28th 2018 from 12pm to 3pm.
- From October 27th to 31st 2018 enjoy the Poisonous Halloween Pantry in the Tea Rooms at Russborough House.
- There’s plenty of family fun to be had this Halloween at the Irish National Stud & Gardens! Spooktacular Activities run from October 27th to 29th 2018 daily at 11am-12:30pm & 2-3:30pm. You can book tickets online.
- Birr Castle in Offaly promise tricks and treats for all the family this Halloween midterm including; a family quest with a spooky twist, dress up competitions, face painting, pumpkin trails, movies, seasonal arts & crafts and cupcake decorating. Halloween events take place daily from October 27th to November 4th.
- Halloween Fest is back at Westport House for 2018 from October 27th to 31st 2018, with frightening fun for all the family! Get ready for ghastly ghouls, jumping Jack O’Lanterns and hair-raising hocus pocus.
- Lough SpooKey Halloween Fest takes place this year from October 27th to November 4th 2018 at Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle, Co Roscommon.
- Leisureplex Centres in Dublin and Cork have a Fangtastic Frights weekend from Sat 27th & Sun 28th October, 10 am – 1 pm. €5 for a game of bowling or admission to the Zoo Adventureland for any kids in fancy dress. Free face-painting for all kids (in participating centres, face-painting availability will vary depending on centre) and free treats for all kids.
- 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 & 27th 2018
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 2018.