What’s On for families in Ireland? Are you searching for things to do near you? Do you want to do something special at the weekend? Or have a midweek treat with the kids? We take the hard work out of entertaining the family with our pick of what’s on and things to do with kids in Ireland for the coming months, from family fun days, to festivals, to days out.
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We have listings below for an amazing mix of family and kid friendly events taking place around Ireland. They include plenty of free options, and ideas to introduce the whole family to a variety of cultural events, music events and festivals, open days, classes and much more.
What’s On Around Ireland in January 2020
Kids Craft Class at Lough Key Forest Park, Roscommon
Date & Time: Monday, December 30th, 12pm to 1pm
Children aged 5 to 12 years are invited to attend a Craft Class where they will create their own 2020 calendar.
How to Book: Pre-booking essential by calling 071 9673122 or emailing: [email protected]
Free Budding Scribes Family Calligraphy Workshop at NMI Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin
Date & Time: Tuesday, December 31st 2019, 11am & 2.30pm
Learn the skill of the scribe in Medieval Ireland at this free family workshops for children ages 8+.
How to Book: Online Booking Required
Life in the Freezer Inspectorium at NMI Natural History, Merrion Square, Dublin
Date & Time: Tuesday December 31st & Friday January 3rd, 11am to 1pm
Learn how wolves avoid frostbite, what colour a polar bear’s skin is and much more at a free Life in the Freezer session at NMI Natural History.
How to Book: Free event for all ages, no booking required.
New Years Festival Dublin
Join in the fun at NYF festival Dublin which takes place around Custom House Quay on December 31st & January 1st. There will be a family friendly FREE Liffey Lights Midnight Moment Matinee from 6pm to 7pm where you can enjoy a spectacular laser and lights show and countdown to the new year.
How to Book: You will need to register for tickets in advance.
Planet Science Kidz Workshop at Lough Key Forest Park, Roscommon
Date & Time: Thursday, 2nd & Friday 3rd January, 11.30am to 1pm
Planet Science Kidz invite 5 to 12 year olds to come along and enjoy a fun science workshop.
How to Book: Pre-booking essential by calling 071 9673122 or emailing: [email protected]
South Dublin On Ice
Dates & Times: Runs until Sunday January 26th 2020.
South Dublin On Ice at Tallaght Stadium offers ice skating fun for all the family. The spectacular real ice rink at Tallaght Stadium will be the centrepiece of the South County Dublin Christmas Festival this year and is sure to attract thousands of skaters young and old to the town.
How to Book: Book your tickets here
The ‘Enchanted Garden-Winter Light Festival’, Waterford
Date & Time: Running daily until Sunday, January 5th.
Adults and children will be mesmerized by the fantastic light displays at The Enchanted Garden – Winter Light Festival” at the Japanese Gardens, Tramore, Waterford until Sunday 5th January which culminate in a visit to the ‘Winter Fairy’ in the glowing dome on the pond.
The event caters for people of all ages from small toddlers to grandparents and is an enchanting experience for families and individuals, inspiring the imagination and well being, taking all who visit on a magical journey whatever your age.
How to Book: Entry costs just €5 per adult and €3 for Children under 12 (children under 2 are Free). (Pay on Gate – Tickets not required in advance)
Viking Artefact Detective, NMI Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin
Date & Time: Friday, January 3rd 2020, 1.30pm to 3.30pm
Learn how to think like an archaeologist at the National Museum of Ireland Archaeology. There will be replica Viking artefacts to handle so you can try and figure out exactly what they are and how they were used.
How to Book: This is a fully accessible, free event for families with children aged 8+ and no booking is required.
The Teddy Bear Tour, NMI Natural History, Merrion Street, Dublin
Date & Time: Saturday, January 4th 2020, 12pm & 2pm
Learn more about animals that are usually made into cuddly toys but who are very different in real life! Bring along your own favourite teddy bear to this free event.
How to Book: Places to this free event are limited and will be given on a first come first served basis.
National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and Symphonic Waves, Bailey Allen Hall, NUI, Galway
Date & Time: Saturday, 4th January at 6.30pm
NYOI will be joined by Symphonic Waves and conducted by Gearóid Grant and Professor James Cavanagh, with a full symphonic programme including works by Schubert, Beethoven, Berlioz and Elgar. NYOI works with the next generation of musicians (aged 12-18) and are delighted to begin their 50th anniversary year with a return to Galway, and to be playing alongside Symphonic Waves as part of Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture.
How to Book: Tickets €20 adults, €13 concession and €10 for U18s available on the door and online.
Under 16 Waterford Walls Art Trails
Date & Time: Saturday, January 4th, 10:30am-12:30pm
Waterford Walls guided art trails take you on a walking tour of Ireland’s oldest (and most colourful!) street art city. The tours give you a unique view of the city, taking you off the beaten track to experience the real Waterford and what it has to offer.
How to Book: Tickets €10 per adult and €6 for OAP’s and under 16’s. Advanced booking is required.
Sunday Fundays at Crawford Art Gallery in Cork
Date & Time: Sunday, January 5th, 12pm
The Crawford Art Gallery in Cork have free tours each Sunday, as well as Music at Midday on the first Sunday of each month. On Sunday 5th January 2020 singer-songwriter Sarah-Beth O’Mullane will be performing. You can enjoy the free performance at 12 noon in the Gibson Gallery on Floor 1.
How to Book: Free event, first come first served.
Family Events at National Gallery Dublin
Date & Time: Sunday 5th January 11.30am to 1.30pm & 12.30pm
First up is a drop-in family workshop: Turner in the Frame on the 5th of January 11.30-1.30, that is a free creative workshop for children and their families, inspired by Turner’s watercolours.
You can also go on a family tour of portraiture at 12.30pm, it’s a special tour designed for children and their guardians, parents and carers looking at portraits in the collection.
How To Book: Free, no booking necessary for either event.
The Armagh Rhymers at NMI Collins Barracks
Date & Time: Sunday 5th January, 2pm to 3pm
Join the Armagh Rhymers, one of Ireland’s most celebrated folk theatre ensembles, for their traditional seasonal performance at Collins Barracks. Take part in this annual tradition and see them sing, act, make music, dance, tell stories and act the clown, dressed in costume and beautifully crafted masks of flax, willow and straw. This January they will once again give voice to a tradition that dates back to 2,500 years.
How to Book: Suitable for all ages. Free, no booking required, places allocated on a first come basis.
56th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2020, RDS, Dublin
Dates & Times: Wednesday 8th to Saturday 11th January 2020 (open to the public from 9th to 11th 9.30am to 5.30pm)
The 56th annual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is back at the RDS Dublin for 2020. This year The Primary Science Fair @BTYSE will be held from Thursday 9th to Saturday 11th alongside the main exhibition.
How to Book: You can book a class, individual or family ticket to visit the exhibition.
Free Board Game Evening at Alliance Française, Dublin
Date & Time: Thursday 16th January 2020, 6.30pm
Bring friends and family along to the French Library at Alliance Française and challenge them to a board game with a twist! All levels of French welcome and you can even bring along your own board game to enjoy.
How to Book: Admission is free, register for tickets
Knitting & Crochet Circle at NMI Country Life, Mayo
Date & Time: Friday 17th January, 11am to 1pm
Get tips and ideas on knitting and crochet from the knitting circle at the National Museum of Ireland, Country Life in Mayo.
How to Book: This is a free event with no booking required. Beginners welcome.
Free Family Jungle Show Event at Citywest Shopping Centre, Dublin
Date & Time: Saturday, January 18th, shows at 1pm, 2pm & 3pm
An educational & exciting jungle show with spiders, snakes, giant tortoises, a python and much more. Come if you dare!
How to Book: This is a free event and no booking is required
Hands on History – Childhood at NMI Collins Barracks, Dublin
Date & Time: Sunday 19th January, 3pm to 4pm
Drop in to discover and handle objects from the museum collection relating to childhood play. Ask questions about the objects from the Museum educators.
How to Book: This is a FREE event for all ages and no booking is required.
Dublin Chinese New Year Festival, Dublin & Kildare Village
Date & Time: The festival runs from Thursday, January 23rd to Monday, February 10th 2020
To celebrate Chinese New Year there will be a host of activities taking place in both Dublin & Kildare Village including a Family day, opening ceremony, Spring festival fair, food tastings & tours, cinema, workshops and much more.
How To Book: Check out the full festival listings here
TradFest Children’s Hub 2020, The Ark, Dublin
Date & Time: Friday 24th to Sunday 26th January 2020
The Ark are hosting musical and craft workshops, music sessions and concerts as part of their TradFest weekend. On Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th from 11am to 1pm children ages 6+ can come along and give trad a try for free and on Sunday 26th from 12.30pm to 2pm they can bring along their instruments for a free trad session.
How to Book: Bookings can be made on ark.ie
Free Family Tour of NMI Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin
Date & Time: Saturday 25th January, 3pm to 4pm
Take a FREE guided family tour around Collins Barracks and discover some of the highlights of the museums collections.
How to Book: This is FREE event and no booking is required.
Amazing Amber at NMI Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin
Date & Time: Saturday 25th January 1.30pm to 3.30pm
Handle amber that is 33 million years old and then make your own marbled beads to take home!
How to Book: This is a FREE event for ages 6+. No booking required.
Incredible Crocs & Amazing Alligators Kids Science Lecture at NMI Natural History, Dublin
Date & Time: Saturday 25th January, 10am to 10.30am
With built in goggles, the strongest bite force in the animal kingdom learn how crocodiles and alligators have remained at the top of the food chain!
How to Book: Suitable for families with kids aged 7+ FREE event but must be booked in advance.
STEAM Week at dlr Mill Theatre, Dublin
Date & Time: Monday, 27th to Wednesday 29th January 2020
STEAM Week celebrates science, technology, engineering, arts & maths and has a jam-packed programmed of events to bring these subjects to life for kids.
How to Book: Full STEAM Week event listings here. Contact the dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum to book your class into any of the festival events.
Spring Term French Classes at Alliance Française, Dublin
Dates & Times: From Monday 27th January 2020
The Spring Term French classes start from January 27th and are suitable for children and teens from 12 months up to 18 years. There are also adult classes which will begin on Tuesday, February 4th.
How to Book: Full details of all classes here.
Save The Date – What’s On in Ireland
Don’t miss out on these upcoming shows and events taking place for families and kids.
Imbolc Story & Textile Workshop, NMI Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Dublin
Date & Time: Saturday February 1st, 10am to 1.30pm
Join award winning Irish textile artist & designer, Alison Conneely to participate in Imbolc, a story and textile workshop.
How to Book: Admission is FREE and the workshop is suitable for all ages. Booking required.
FREE Teddy Bear Hospital, St Michael’s House, Stephens Green, Dublin
Dates & Times: Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd February, Saturday 9.30am to 12pm & 1.30pm to 4pm, Sunday 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm
Bring you teddy along to an exciting day to see what happens in the hospital, meet the people who work there and see how they can help teddy. This is a free event. Sessions on Saturday are suitable for children aged 4 to 10 years and the Sunday session are going to be smaller and will be suitable for children with disabilities or who have chronic illness.
Make a St Brigid’s Cross, NMI Country Life, Mayo
Date & Time: Sunday February 2nd, 2pm to 4pm
Learn more about St Brigid and make a St Brigid’s Cross to take home.
How To Book: Free event for adults and children aged 7+. No booking required.
Magical Oceans Lab, Cool Planet Experience, Wicklow
Dates & Times: Wednesday 19th to Sunday 23rd February, 11.30am & 2.30pm daily
Ideally suited for kids who love to experiment and explore kids will explore how nature based solutions can help protect and restore our ocean’s delicate ecosystem with experiments, chemical reactions and some real, messy fun!
How to Book: The Magical Oceans Labs can be booked online and are suitable for children aged 6 to 12 years.
Mid-Term Science Lab at King John’s Castle, Limerick
Date & Time: Friday, February 21st, 10am to 12pm
These Planet Science Kidz labs are suitable for kids aged 5 to 12 years. The hands on labs cover everything from chemistry to biology, geology to physics and should not be missed by curious, budding young scientists!
How to Book: Advance booking is essential as spaces are limited.
Captain Cauliflower and Marvin the Mischievous Moose, Garter Lane Arts Centre, Wexford
Date & Times: Friday 21st February 12pm & 2pm
Join Captain Cauliflower and Marvin the Mischievous Moose for a show about superheroes with a difference.
How to Book: Suitable for ages 3+. Book tickets here.
THRIVE Festival, Convention Centre, Dublin
Dates & Times: Saturday February 29th & Sunday March 1st, 9.30am to 6pm daily
THRIVE Festival is Ireland’s most dynamic fitness, lifestyle & wellness event. The festival has a full line up of health, fitness and wellness experts for you to enjoy fitness workouts & classes, listen to inspirational speakers and watch cookery demonstrations. In the Marketplace you can also taste delicious food and drink and find natural beauty and wellness products to suit your lifestyle and make you thrive.
How to Book: Tickets must be booked in advance and are available for 1 day only or for weekend entry.
Performing Arts Festival – PERFORM at the RDS, Dublin
Dates & Times: Saturday 29th February & Sunday 1st March, 10am to 5pm daily.
PERFORM Performing Arts Festival is back at the RDS with over 170 workshops, masterclasses and seminars from stars of screen, stage, internet and music and performers from around Ireland will entertain and take part in competitions throughout the weekend. PERFORM is a non-profit organisation and all profits will be used for scholarships and bursaries.
How to Book: Get your tickets here.
Engineers Week- Bridge The Gap Family Workshop, Birr Castle, Offaly
Date & Times: Saturday March 7th 2020, 12pm to 2pm
Birr Castle are offering a family STEM week event to celebrate Engineers Week. Bridge the Gap is a hands on event where you will learn about different types of bridges and how they work!
How To Book: Spaces are limited so early booking advised.
Fairy Treasure Hunt, Wells House, Wexford
Date & Time: Sunday March 15th, 1pm to 4pm
Help fairy Lola on a magical Spring treasure hunt and enjoy face-painting and a disco at Wells House in Wexford!
How to Book: Advance booking required.
I AM BABA, glór Ennis
Date & Time: Friday, April 24th, shows at 10am, 11am & 12.30pm
I AM BABA is a theatre adventure of songs, lights and textures created by Anna Newell for babies ages 0 to 12 months.
How to Book: 20 Minute show with 20 minutes of free play afterwards.
Cirque du Soleil Corteo, Dublin
Dates & Times: Wednesday July 8th to Sunday July 12th 2020
CORTEO, one of the best-loved Cirque du Soleil productions is coming to Ireland in July 2020. The show will visit Dublin at the 3Arena from Wednesday 8th July for a limited run of seven performances.
Over to you now. If you are running a family event, you can list your event for free by registering here.