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6 creative and colourful days out to get your little ones interested in art

From a sculpture playground in Cork to jewellery making in Kilkenny.

An interactive sculpture at the Elemental exhibition, West Cork Arts Centre.
An interactive sculpture at the Elemental exhibition, West Cork Arts Centre.
Image: Elemental/Kevin O'Farrell

IRELAND HAS AN impressive selection of art galleries and creative spaces around the country, many of which are free to visit and have facilities targeted at young kids.

If you’re hoping to encourage your kids to let their inner Van Gogh loose, there’s plenty happening all over the country, like an interactive sculpture exhibition in West Cork, baby-friendly art workshops in Carlow, and crafting in Kilkenny.

CORK

Elemental at West Cork Arts Centre: Elemental is an exhibition of contemporary sculpture that invites children to explore the work through walking through some of the sculptures and playing with some of the objects on display. With artworks resembling an imagined forest and a tree house, as well as a creation made of hundreds of metres of Indian silk, visitors of all ages won’t want to leave. 

Suits: 4-12 years. When: until March 2. Where: Skibbereen, Co Cork. Costs: free. Find out more information here.

Crawford Art Gallery: Every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, there are free family-friendly tours of the gallery and free art workshops for children. On the first Sunday of every month, there’s a free music show, while there’s also free storytelling sessions once a month. 

Suits: various ages. When: throughout each month. Where: Emmet Place, Co Cork. Costs: free. Find out more information here.

50544992_2308713562472488_714510922571317248_n Adults and children alike can explore their creative side at Crawford Art Gallery. Source: Crawford Art Gallery/Facebook

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Glór: Located in the heart of Ennis, Glór hosts music, theatre, dance, film, comedy and visual art events throughout the year – with plenty of options for adults and children alike. Ennis Book Club Festival kicks off on March 1, with multiple events taking place over three days, including a school-friendly interactive theatre experience “where the audience becomes the hero”. 

Suits: 3rd to 6th classes. When: 1 March Where: Causeway Link, Ennis Costs: free. Find out more information here. 

CARLOW 

Visual Carlow: With parent and toddler art classes every Tuesday, once-a-month family art workshops on Sundays and a drop-in table where little ones can draw and create to their heart’s content, Visual Carlow is a mecca for aspiring young artists. In the theatre, there is a selection of family-friendly shows, including Bosco’s Garden and Snow White.

Suits: events for all ages. When: throughout the month. Where: Old Dublin Road, Co Carlow. Costs: free entry to the gallery. Find out more information here. 

27545351_10159936754710048_299658642432084952_n The National Gallery of Ireland has an extensive family-friendly event calendar. Source: National Gallery of Ireland/Facebook

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KILKENNY

Children’s Craft Club at the National Design and Craft Gallery: On the second Saturday of each month throughout the year, the National Design and Craft Gallery hosts a different Craft Club workshop for children, from making paper jewelry to learning how to re-purpose recycled materials. 

Suits: 5 years+ When: monthly. Where: Castle Yard, Co Kilkenny. Costs: free. Find out more information here.

DUBLIN

National Gallery of Ireland: Located in Dublin city centre, the National Gallery of Ireland has an abundance of family-friendly events each week, including drop-in family workshops, family-friendly tours, baby-friendly workshops and sensory-friendly workshops

Suits: various ages. When: throughout the month. Where: Merrion Square West, Dublin 2. Costs: varies. Find out more information here.

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