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Dublin: 15 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020
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6 totally free events for little readers at the Dublin Book Festival

The festival starts on Friday, with pop-up poetry, giant colouring sessions and more.

Image: Shutterstock/Daria Chichkareva

IRELAND IS THE birthplace of Yeats, Joyce and Patrick Kavanagh, but don’t forget young readers’ heroes too: Eoin Colfer, Claire Hennessy, Dave Rudden, Marita Conlon McKenna and more.

The Dublin Book Festival is an annual celebration of Ireland’s writers and publishers, with the 2018 programme running this Friday November 15 to Sunday November 18.

Most events take place at the Smock Alley Theatre in Temple Bar, but there are a few offsite events planned too.

There’s plenty on for readers young and old this year, from storytelling to drawing workshops to poetry pop-ups. Find our picks below, all of which are free to attend…

Story Writing Workshop: Join Fighting Words in a workshop where children will work together, creating characters and writing a brand new story. Each child will write their own ending, illustrate their story and take it home to show off to the family!

Suits: 8-10. When: Saturday November 17, 10.30am – 12.30pm. Where: Behan Square, 12-16 Russell Street. Book: Places are limited and will be allocated via a lottery. Bookings will close at 5.00pm on Thursday November 15. 

43877979_1940909322611108_6468521245162864640_n Budding writers at a recent Fighting Words session. Source: Facebook/Fighting Words

The Winter Garden: Open all weekend long, the indoor Winter Garden is a beanbag filled haven, where you’ll find regular storytelling sessions and workshops – or just a place to sip a hot chocolate and chill.

Suits: The whole family. When: All weekend from 11am-4pm. Where: Smock Alley Theatre. Book: No need to book, just drop in.

Family Treasure Hunt: Join lots of would-be pirates as they navigate clues and riddles to uncover hidden treasure (a prize for each participant!) at the end of the hunt. A Best Costume prize will be awarded at the end of the day, so come as your best Pop Eye or Captain Hook.

Suits: The whole family. When: Saturday November 17, 12pm-4pm. Where: Children’s Area, Smock Alley Theatre. Book: No need to book, this is a drop in event.

Rain, hail or sunshine – how it all works: Sit down with meteorologist Joanna Donnelly and illustrator Fuchsia MacAree for a session uncovering all the wonderful mysteries of weather. Inspired by Joanna and Fuchsia’s recent collaboration for The Great Irish Weather Book, this event will be packed with facts and experiments that will blow the minds of weather-obsessed children.

Suits: Age 5 +. When: Saturday November 17, 12.30pm – 1.15pm. Where: Boys’ School, Smock Alley Theatre. Book: There are only a few tickets remaining, so book now.

Pop-Up Poetry with Laureate na nÓg: Find your rhyme and rap skills at the #WeAreThePoets Pop-up Stand, where families can try their hands at blackout poems, magnetic poetry and lots more!

Suits: The whole family. When: Sunday November 18, 12pm-4pm. Where: Smock Alley Theatre. Book: No need to book, just drop by.

The Big Draw with Alan Nolan: Help draw and colour Fungie the Dolphin in Dingle, a warrior in Newgrange, a surfer at Rosses Point or a camogie player in Semple Stadium, in a giant colouring session with Alan Nolan, author of Let’s Colour Ireland.

Suits: The whole family. When: Sunday November 18 1.00pm – 1.45pm. Where: Smock Alley Theatre. Book: No need to book, this is a drop in event.

Want to win a hamper of brain-boosting goodies for your little one? Enter our Cognikids competition here – and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly Family Newsletter below this article!

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