Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# weekend guide
The weekend's set to be a scorcher - here are seven interesting things to do
Stuck for ideas for the long weekend? Check out our event guide here.

THE BANK HOLIDAY weekend is here and (if the forecast is to be believed) we’re in for some fine weather.

No plans? Check out what’s happening around Ireland…


Bloom, Ireland’s largest gardening festival, continues until Monday at the Phoenix Park. There’ll be floral and garden exhibitions, experts on-hand to give tips and children’s activities. It starts at 9am every day and finishes at 6. Find all the information you need on the Bloom website here.

Two day tickets are priced at €32 (€26 for students and seniors). Tickets are available on Ticketmaster.

13166090_10154103926107512_6857600473531846621_n / BloomInthePark / BloomInthePark / BloomInthePark

Also in Dublin, the Dublin Port Riverfest is on between today and Monday from 11am to 6pm each day.

Visitors can check out sailing ships, a fun fair, food market and live entertainment – and for kids, there’s a Pirate Village, face painters and balloon artists. Entry is free.


Vantastival is back… The family-friendly music festival is moving from its usual location in Bellurgan House to Beaulieu House & Gardens in Drogheda.

The festival attracts hundreds of Volkswagen campervans each year – but all campers are welcome. King Kong Company and Badly Drawn Boy will headline, but there are plenty of other acts to look forward to (full line-up available here).

Saturday tickets cost €40 and weekend tickets including camping are €75 (there are discounts for children under 17). A full list of ticket prices can be found here.



The Cork Harbour Festival runs until next weekend.

The main event of the festival, Ocean to City – An Rás Mór, is taking place today from 8.30am to 6pm. Hundreds of participants from around the world will race against each other in every kind of vessel, from currachs to Chinese dragon boats.

The festival has something for everyone, including a family fun day on Aghada Pier, a harbour cruise, street performances and live entertainment.

Most events are free but some must be paid for and booked in advance. Detailed information on location and prices can be found here.

CMK11052016 Cork Harbour Festival 2 Clare Keogh Caroline Gordillo, Joya Kuin and Eimear Fitzgerald celebrate the launch of Cork Harbour Festival. Clare Keogh


Ireland’s first ever comedy festival, the Cat Laughs, returns to Kilkenny. Over 40 comedians including the likes of Neil Delamere, PJ Gallagher, David O’Doherty and Maeve Higgins will be performing.

Ticket prices vary from €12 to €30. For more information and a full list of shows, visit the website here.

Capture Alina Kisina / Cat Laughs Comedy Festival Al Porter performing at the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival Alina Kisina / Cat Laughs Comedy Festival / Cat Laughs Comedy Festival


Ireland BikeFest Killarney will celebrate its 10th anniversary over the weekend. Events on offer include bike shows and parades, Harley-Davidson demo rides, live music and a kids-zone.

Gigs in the Outdoor Stage, Main Stage and the Harley Bar are all free to attend.

bikefest-kerry011 Don MacMonagle / Don MacMonagle / /


The Doonbeg Jazz Festival promises non-stop music all weekend throughout the West Clare village of Doonbeg.

There will be bands from Germany, the US, Scotland and all over Ireland performing in various pubs and venues around Doonbeg – and all the gigs are free.

There’ll be free music workshops for children from 12.30pm to 2pm later today. Check out the full programme and times here.

DOONBEG-JAZZ-SLIDE-4 Doonbeg Jazz Festival Doonbeg Jazz Festival

Have you any other events to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

Read: 8 of the best things to do in Dublin in summer time

Read: Nine of the weirdest and most brilliant pictures sent in by our readers

Your Voice
Readers Comments