Did you know the National Museum of Ireland Museums all run fantastic free events for kids and families? Here is a round up of the free family events at National Museums of Ireland this autumn & winter.
Further details of all these events can be found on the Museum event pages.
National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks
Open House Family Workshop: Portal to the Past
Saturday 15th October 2pm – 3.30pm
Join architect-artist Blaithín Quinn for a family workshop exploring lives of the soldiers in Collins Barracks. A short tour will be followed by a fun and creative hands-on workshop. Suitable for families with children aged 7-12. NB Booking Required.
Public Tour: Proclaiming a Republic
Sunday 30th October – 3pm
Sunday 27th November – 3pm
Thursday 29th December – 3pm
Friday 30th December – 3pm
Suitable for All Ages
Join a family-friendly 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.
Tour of Conservation Studios
Thursday 17th November from 2.30pm – 4pm
Get behind the scenes at the Museum and take a tour of the conservation studios. A great opportunity to see the work behind the scenes at the Museum, and meet Museum conservators and look at some of their current conservation projects. Booking Required. Suitable for Families with children 12+
Hands on History
Sunday 20th November 3 – 4pm
Sunday 11th December 3 – 4pm
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. Drop-in Activity. All Ages. No booking required.
Picture a Folktale
Saturday 26th November 2.30pm – 4pm
Join Katherine Soutar Caddick, cover artist for the History Press Folk Tales of Ireland series, to hear about the imagery and inspiration of folktales – there will also be stories from some of the authors and storytellers from many parts of Ireland. In association with the Storytellers of Ireland. No booking required. Suitable for families which children 7yrs+.
Christmas Family Activity Trails
December 1st – 31st Drop in Activity
During the December, pick up one of our free Christmas activity trails for families to explore the Museum, seek out festive objects on display in the museum. Complete the trail by adding a decoration to our Christmas tree!
Saturday 10th December 3.30pm – 4.30pm
Join Cantóirí Choir for an hour of festive Songs and Carols. No Booking Required
National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Open House Workshop: Make Your Own Tower House
Saturday 15th October 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Tower Houses were built all around the Irish landscape in Medieval Ireland and were the homes of Lords and Ladies. Come to the National Museum of Ireland and see what objects were used in these homes from pottery to weapons and explore the architecture of these castles as you make your own Tower House. Booking required, please phone 01-6486332 or email email@example.com. Located in the Learning Resource Room, 1st Floor. Not Wheelchair accessible. Free Admission. Suitable for ages 7-12yrs.
Public Tour: The Bog Bodies
Saturday 29th October 2.30pm – 3.15pm
Find out more about life in Iron Age Ireland and discover what we can learn about that time from the Bog Bodies in this exciting tour of the Kingship and Sacrifice Exhibition. No booking required. Meet at Reception. Places allocated on a first come basis. Wheelchair accessible. Suitable for ages 8+.
Drop-In Activity: Bone Stories
Wednesday 2nd November 2-4pm
Archaeologists can discover a lot about how people lived in the past by studying bones. Drop-In and take a look at how bones are preserved in different environments and figure out which bones belong to a Bronze Age burial, a Bog Body and a Viking skeleton. No booking required. Located in the Learning Resource Room, first floor. Not wheelchair accessible. Free Admission. Suitable for 7 yrs+.
Workshop: All Wrapped Up! Making Mummified Oranges
Thursday 3rd November 11am – 12pm & 2.30pm – 3.30pm
How did the Ancient Egyptians make mummies? Come and see the mummies at the National Museum of Ireland and learn how ancient mummies of Egypt were carefully made by making your own mummy using an orange! Booking required, please phone 01-6486332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in the Learning Resource Room, 1st floor. Not wheelchair accessible. Free Admission. Suitable for 8 – 14 yrs.
Museum Time Travel Challenge Open Day with Gael agus Gall!
Saturday 5th November 11am – 4pm
Stroll through the Museum’s galleries to find Gael Agus Gall Re-enactment Group and discover the crafts, trades and lives of people in the past. Take up the challenge to find out about Viking Age and Medieval Leatherworking, manuscript Illumination, medieval clothing and medicine, and the tricks of trade and Viking and Medieval warfare. Afterwards prove you travelled through the galleries and time to claim your Museum Time Travel Challenge Certificate and prize. No Booking Required. Partially wheelchair accessible. Free Admission. Suitable for 8yrs+.
Discovering the Secrets of Surviving and Thriving in the Past: Experimental Archaeology Open Day for Science Week 2016
Sunday 20th November 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Come along to the Museum’s first Experimental Archaeology Day and meet archaeologists from the UCD School of Archaeology Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture who will demonstrate some of the skills people needed to survive and thrive in Ireland in the past. See the techniques used by people over the last 10,000 years including prehistoric flint-knapping, pottery making, wood working and cloth production to create tools, weapons, dress and day to day belongings. As well as a series of experimental archaeological demonstrations and handling sessions, there will be a series of short, 10 minute talks about some of the most ground-breaking experiments and discoveries in Irish Archaeology in the last decade. No Booking Required. Partially wheelchair accessible. Free Admission. Ages 9yrs+.
Public Tour: Treasures of the National Museum of Ireland
Saturday 26th November 2.30pm – 3.15pm
Join us for a fascinating look at some of Ireland’s greatest archaeological treasures including the Broighter Hoard, the Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice. No booking required. Meet at Reception. Places allocated on a first come basis. Wheelchair accessible. Free Admission
Take a Trail: Winter Trail Activity Booklet
December 1st – 31st During Opening Hours
Drop-In to the Museum and challenge yourself to our winter trail to see how people from the Stone Age up to the Medieval Period had fun and celebrated different feasts in winters gone by when days were cold and nights were long. Copies of this activity sheets are available at reception. Don’t forget to bring your pencil! Suitable for families.
Drop- In: Oh Christmas Tree!
Saturday 3rd December 2pm – 4pm
Drop-In to our Learning Resource Room and help decorate our Christmas Tree by making your own Christmas Decoration inspired by the Ardagh Chalice! No booking required. Located in the Learning Resource Room, first floor. Not Wheelchair accessible. Free Admission. Suitable for families.
Public Tour: Winter Solstice Tour
Saturday 17th December 2pm & 3.30pm
Join archaeologist Siobhan Rheinisch for a tour of the Prehistoric Ireland exhibition to find out how ancient people marked the mid-winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. View grave goods from the Neolithic passage tombs at Newgrange and Knowth Co. Meath and discover the skills used to create some of our most famous monuments and artefacts. No booking required. Meet at Reception. Places allocated on a first come basis. Wheelchair accessible. Free Admission. Suitable for 8 yrs+
Drop-In: Written in Stone: Awesome Ogham!
Friday 30th December 2pm – 4pm
Ogham, the earliest form of writing in Ireland, was often carved onto standing stones. Discover more about this ancient writing and make your own Ogham bookmark to take home! No booking required. Located in the Learning Resource Room, first floor. Not wheelchair accessible. Free Admission. Suitable for 8 yrs+
National Museum of Ireland: Natural History, Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Drop-in Activity: Autumn Activity Sheet – Busy Bees
October 1st – 31st – During Opening Hours
Autumn is a busy season – nature is getting ready for the approaching winter. Drop into the museum and follow the busy bees with our Autumn Activity Trail. Copies of this activity sheet trail are available at the stand in the Irish Room. Don’t forget your pencil! Suitable for families.
Inspectorium: The Meteorites have Landed!
Saturday 15th October 11am – 1pm
Examine some pieces of outer space from the Natural History handling collection including pieces from our solar system that our over 4 billion years old during this drop-in session. No booking required. Wheelchair accessible. Suitable for All Ages.
Halloween Inspectorium: Snakes and Spiders!
Saturday 29th October 11am – 1pm
Deadly, dangerous and drastic! Three words that describe snakes, spiders and their hunting techniques. Discover more during this spooky Halloween drop-in activity and get to touch a real python skin and other specimens from the handling collection. No booking required. Wheelchair accessible
Winter Activity Sheet- Do Not Disturb!
November 1st – 30th
It’s getting chilly outside! Drop into the Museum and try our Winter Activity Trail. Copies of this activity sheet trail are available at the stand in the Irish Room. Don’t forget your pencil! Suitable for families.
Wednesday 2nd November 11am – 1pm
Tigers, anacondas and wolves are all ultimate predators but with very different hunting strategies. Drop upstairs to the Reading Area to find out more! No booking required but places are limited. This drop-in session will be held on the first floor and is not wheelchair accessible. Suitable for families.
Science Week 2016: Horrible Zoology
Sunday 13th November 2.15pm & 3.30pm
Nature doesn’t always smell of roses. Join this tour and discover the nastier side of the animal world including which species likes to dine on its own poo! Not for the faint-hearted! No booking required but places are limited. Not wheelchair accessible. Ages 8+
Christmas on Merrion Square
Saturday 26th November 10am – 1pm
Pop in for a pencil and complete our Winter Activity Trail – ‘Do Not Disturb’ to celebrate Christmas on Merrion Square at the Dead Zoo. No booking required. Wheelchair accessible
Winter Activity Sheet- Do Not Disturb!
December 1st – 31st During Opening Hours
Drop into the Museum over the holidays and try our Winter Activity Trail. Copies of this activity sheet trail are available at the stand in the Irish Room. Don’t forget your pencil!
Wednesday 28th December 2.15pm & 3.30pm
How do animals survive the cold winter and who can sleep the longest? Find out more about Ireland’s unique wildlife on display in the Irish Room during this tour. No booking required but places are limited. Wheelchair accessible.
National Museum of Ireland: Country Life, Mayo
Temporary Exhibition: The Hoard & The Sword: Echoes of the Vikings in Mayo
October 1st – November 30th During Opening Hours
This exhibition explores the discovery of a hoard of silver bracelets from Cushalogurt, Kilmeena, and a Viking sword found in the River Moy at Coolcronaun. This is the largest hoard of silver arm rings found in Ireland and the sword is a fine example of late 10th century craftsmanship. These objects give evidence of Mayo’s Viking Heritage. Exhibition continues until June 2017. Suitable for All Ages
RDS Craft Awards
2nd October – 13th October During Opening Hours
Each year, the winning and commended entries are showcased at the RDS Craft Awards Exhibition during the Dublin Horse Show. This year the Craft Awards exhibition will also travel to the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Turlough Park, Co Mayo. Suitable for All Ages
Midwives of a Nation Beyond Sackville St. & the Somme
Sunday 2nd October 3pm – 4pm
This play celebrates the oft forgotten contribution of women to the events of 1916. The big and the not so big characters of which there are so many. Join Carnation Theatre as we celebrate the women who were there at the birth of our nation. Booking required. Adults & Children 14+
The Hoard & The Sword: Viking Invasion!
Wednesday 19th October 2pm – 3pm
Take this opportunity to try out Viking weaponry, costumes and armour. Learn about the lives of the Vikings in Ireland, how they lived, traded and died with Dave Swift from Claíomh. In association with the ‘Hoard and the Sword’ exhibition. Booking required. Suitable for families.
Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising Beyond Sackville St. & the Somme
Saturday 22nd October 3pm – 4pm
Sandra Heise, Curator of this acclaimed exhibition at Collins Barracks, will take you behind the scenes to explore the wealth and significance of this collection of objects associated with Easter Week 1916. Booking required.
A Very Viking Hallowe’en
Wednesday 2nd November 2pm – 2.30pm
Hear about Samhain traditions and explore the Hoard and the Sword temporary exhibition, then join artist Carmel Balfe to make shadow puppets to tell a Viking inspired Hallowe’en tale. Booking required. Suitable for families
A Very Viking Helmet
Thursday 3rd November 2pm – 3pm
Join artist Tommy Casby to explore a little history of the Vikings and have a go at making your own Viking helmet. Booking required.
Knitting & Crochet Circle: A Stitch in time & Winter Woollies
Friday 7th October from 11am – 1pm
Friday 21st October from 11am – 1pm
Friday 4th November from 11am – 1pm
Friday 18th November from 11am – 1pm
Friday 2nd December from 11am – 1pm
Friday 16th December from 11am – 1pm
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. No booking required. Suitable for Adults & Children 7+
After ’16: Film Screenings Beyond Sackville St. & the Somme.
Part 1. Fiction – Saturday 5th November 3pm – 4pm
Part 2. Non-Fiction – Sunday 6th November 3pm – 4pm
After ’16 is a creative response by Irish filmmakers to the events of Easter 1916. This collection of nine short films is a mixture of live action, animation and documentary, telling stories from the eve of the Rising all the way to the Troubles in 1970s Northern Ireland and beyond. Booking required.
Connacht Textile Crafters Knitting for the Christmas Shoebox Appeal.
Saturday 26th November 11.30am & 1.30pm
Join Attracta Gavney of the Connacht Textile Crafters to get some tips for knitting and crocheting items for the Christmas Shoebox Appeal. No booking required.
Hidden Treasures: The Hoard and the Sword
Friday 2nd December 2pm – 3pm
In conjunction with the exhibition the ‘Hoard and the Sword’ join conservator Carol Smith for and in depth look at the conservation of the Viking sword and what it can tell us about the sword’s manufacture and original appearance. Booking required. Suitable for Adults & Children 7yrs+
Our Untold Stories of 1916 & WW1 Beyond Sackville St. & the Somme
Saturday 3rd December 2pm – 4.30pm
Join members of the Irish Community Archive Network (iCAN) to discover some facinating accounts of people, places, events and artefacts connected with 1916 and World War 1. These stories have been uncovered and commemorated by communities carrying out local history research. Visit www.museum.ie for more information. iCAN is a Community Engagement project of the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life. Find out more at www.ouririshheritage.org. Booking required. 7yrs+
Film: The Battle of the Somme Beyond Sackville St. & the Somme.
Saturday 10th December 3pm – 4.30pm
Released in 1916, this film was seen by more than 20 million people in Britain and Ireland and was used to rally civilian support for the First World War. View this restored film with a short introduction by historian Dr. Jennifer Wellington. Presented in association with the Imperial War Museum, UK. Booking required. 14yrs+
Christmas Programme: Carol Singing
Friday 16th December 2pm – 3pm
Get in the Christmas spirit, put on that Santa hat and join the Foxford National School Band for our annual christmas carols sing-along with all the favourites, Frosty the Snowman, Silent Night and many more. No booking required.
Christmas Programme: “Deck the Halls”
Saturday 17th December 2pm – 3pm
Join the members of our Education Team to hear more about Irish Christmas traditions and learn to make some simple Christmas decorations for the festive season. No booking required.