Looking for free things for kids to do? Did you know that The National Museum of Ireland museums always have exciting events for kids in each of their three museums in Dublin and one in Mayo? Here’s what is on at their 4 free-to-visit locations:
National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology (Kildare St)
- National Drawing Day 2016: Design your own Viking Character! 21st May
Join award-winning illustrator and children’s book writer, Mark Wickham, for a workshop on how to design a character for a story, using the Viking Ireland exhibition at the National Museum as inspiration!
Running from 2pm – 2.45pm. Booking required, please phone 01 6486334 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in the Learning Resource Room, first floor. Not wheelchair accessible. Suitable for ages 5-8 years
- Medieval Model: Make your own book shrine 18th June
Join Isabelle Sweeney from 2.30pm – 3.30pm in exploring some of the most important reliquaries in medieval Ireland and what they contained. What were book shrines used for? And who used them? Get the chance to make your own book shrine borrowing some of the designs and decorations popular with the medieval people! Booking required, please phone 01 6486332 or email email@example.com. Located in the Ceramics Room, First Floor. Not wheelchair accessible. Suitable for ages 9+.
National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History (Collins Barracks)
- Darkest Hour is Before the Dawn: Exhibition – 1st – 31st May
Participants from Henrietta Adult Community Education (HACE) and the Active Retirement Association Phibsboro return to Collins Barracks to exhibit artworks as responses to 1916. Project participants are working with artist Janine Davidson with the project involving drawing, painting, print, photography, sculpture and writing as ways in which to explore the history and legacy of 1916. This project is kindly supported by Dublin City Council Community Grants, City of Dublin Education and Training Board and the National Museum of Ireland. Drop in no booking required. Suitable for all ages.
- Hands on History – 15th May
A chance to explore some of the artefacts from the Museum’s collection of objects for handling with Museum educators – a fascinating drop-in handling session for all ages. Running from 3pm – 4pm. No booking required. Drop-in Activity suitable for all ages.
- Solstice Storytelling – 18th June
Join storyteller Frances Quinn for some tales and stories to celebrate the longest day of the year. 2pm – 3pm. Drop In event no booking required. Suitable for families.
- Public Tour: Proclaiming a Republic – 26th June
Join a fascinating tour of the new ‘Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising’ exhibition, looking at some of the highlights of the Museum’s extensive Easter Week collection. No booking required, places allocated on a first come basis 15 minutes before tour starts.
National Museum of Ireland – Country Life (Turlough Park)
- Migrant Women Shared Experiences: Exhibition 1st May – 30th June
This exhibition explores the stories of 19th century young female Irish emigrants alongside those of eight women who have recently immigrated to Mayo. Every migrant journey is unique, yet there are shared experiences of isolation and loneliness but also of adaption and adventure. Suitable for all ages.
- On Sight Art Trail 1st May – 30th August
Explore the Museum grounds and view the varied and engaging art works of On Sight 2016 – an art trail around the grounds of Turlough Park. Inspired by the events of 1916, On Sight is a collaboration between the Museum of Country Life, Mayo County Council Arts Office, Mayo Arts Squad and independent artists. Runs until the end of September 2016. Suitable for all ages.
- May Altars, Queens Poles & Flowers 1st – 31st May
Do you know of any customs still being carried out on May Eve, May Day or during the month of May? To register your local customs on our national survey visit www.ouririshheritage.org and follow the link on the home page.
- Blacksod Bay Assisted Emigration. The Tuke Fund 14th May
From 1883-84 over 3,350 people left on 15 sailings from Blacksod Bay to the US and Canada. These families of Erris, Achill and Newport West, left in search of a brighter future and were assisted by the Tuke Fund. Join Rosemarie Geraghty from Ionad Deirbhile Heritage Centre Eachléim, to hear how they fared, where they travelled to and what happened to the families who were part of our local Mayo communities. Booking required. Talk is on from 2pm – 3pm and is suitable for adults and children from 14 years.
- International Museums Day. Behind the Scenes Tour 18th May
Take a tour behind the scenes with Documentation staff, to find out about some of the exciting and puzzling discoveries uncovered in the Museum’s collections. Booking required. Talk runs from 2.30pm – 3.30pm and is suitable for adults and children from 7 years.
- Knitting & Crochet Circle: A Stitch in Time – 20th May & 17th June
Whether you are an enthusiast or a beginner, come along and join the group to share skills & patterns as well as a bit of craic! Beginners welcome. 11am – 1pm. No booking required. Drop-in Activity suitable for adults and children from 7 years.
- Féile na Tuaithe 2016: Free Family Festival – 21st & 22nd May
Come along and enjoy a great family day out at Turlough Park. Kids will love the art projects, performances, puppet shows and storytelling. Visit horses, donkeys, cattle, pigs and more farm animals in our Animal Village. Our craft, food and entertainment areas showcase the best of traditional and contemporary Ireland. Visit the museum galleries and explore the arts and myths & legends trails. See www.museum.ie for Saturday and Sunday’s full listings. Open from 12pm – 5pm each day.
- Connacht Textile Crafters: Granny Squares – 28th May
Join Anne Collins of the Connacht Textile Crafters at 11.30am and again at 1.30pm as she demonstrates the basics of crochet using the ever popular Granny Square. These small squares can be later combined to create much bigger pieces. No booking required. Suitable for all ages.
- On Sight Art Trail Tour – 12th June
Join Gaynor Seville, Public Arts Co-ordinator, Mayo Co.Co. for a tour of the 1916 inspired On Sight Art Trail. Booking required. 2.30pm – 4pm. Suitable for families.
- Seminar: Immigration to Ireland – 18th June
This one day seminar from 9.30am – 3.00pm focuses on immigration to Ireland through personal experiences. It will explore the impact of immigrant policies on individuals, communities and Ireland today. It is organised as part of the Museum’s temporary exhibition ‘Migrant Women-Shared Experiences’. Booking required. Suitable for adults & children 14yrs+.
- Play Time at the Museum! – 25th June
From 2pm – 4pm join in and learn some traditional games from Ireland and other countries. Come along, play and share your memories of traditional games from your home. Booking required. Suitable for adults & children 7yrs +.
National Museum of Ireland – Natural History (Merrion St)
- International Biodiversity Day – 22nd May
Join us on International Biodiversity Day to learn more about Irish fauna and how it has changed over the ages. No booking required. Places limited to 20. Wheelchair accessible. Tour is suitable for adults & kids from 7 years.
- Teddy Bear Tour with Catherine McGuinness – 28th May & 25th June
Learn more about animals that are usually made into cuddly toys, but who are not all friendly in real life. Don’t forget to bring your own favourite Teddy Bear! Tour runs from 2pm – 3pm. No booking required. Places limited to 20. Not wheelchair accessible.
- Tails, Trunks, Spots and Skunks! – 12th June
Join award winning children’s author, musician and RTE personality Gerry Paul, from3pm – 4pm who will sing wacky songs about all the wonderful creatures in the Natural History Museum – for the young… and the young at heart! Please note that this event is at the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology on Kildare Street. Not wheelchair accessible. Booking required as places are limited: 01 6486307, firstname.lastname@example.org. Suitable for all ages.
Over to you – have you visited the museums with your kids? Tell us all about it in the comments below!