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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 26 October 2021

9 great events to bring the kids to this weekend - from sea safaris to rocket launches

Summer holidays dragging on? Here’s what’s on around the country for little ones this weekend.

James Tierney from Celbridge at a previous Festival Of Curiosity event.
James Tierney from Celbridge at a previous Festival Of Curiosity event.
Image: Barry Cronin/Photocall Ireland


The Festival Of Curiosity: With interactive experiences spread across fourteen different venues in Dublin, this festival truly lives up to the theme of Playful Days and Curious Nights. From sea safaris to nighttime cycles and shadow puppetry, this one’s the perfect ticket for parents of mini-culture vultures – and there’s a nighttime programme for adults too.

Suits: Children aged 3+. Time: All weekend. Tickets: Prices vary – many events are free, but booking required. Programme and info.

Swords Summer Festival: Saturday is peak family day at the Swords Summer Festival, with The Big Day Out taking over Main Street for family activities galore. Expect face painting and fairground magic as well as lots of gorgeous food and live music.

Suits: Children aged 3+. Time: 12pm ‘til late. Tickets: Free. More updates.


Bord Na Móna’s Fairy Festival: Not only is The Fairy Festival returning to Lough Boora National Park this weekend, but on Saturday there’ll be a world record for the biggest gathering of fairies in one place. Don your most fabulous fairy outfit and head to Offaly. Oh, and you’ll be raising funds for Barretstown while you’re at it.

Suits: All ages – fairies do not discriminate when it comes to age. Time: 12.30pm – 3.30pm. Tickets: €7 (single), €20 (family) available here.

Fairy Source: Marc O'Sullivan


Bray Air Display: The country’s largest air display returns this year with a bang. This is a full-throttle day out for the whole family, from the incredible air show shooting across the sky to the funfair, food market, craft village and live music stage spreads across ground level.

Suits: All ages. Time: 12pm both days. Tickets: Free. More info.


The People Build: Head to Galway’s Eyre Square to help French artist Olivier Grossetête transform thousands of cardboard boxes into a life-size building. If you and your family want to be one of the 150+ volunteers, email Kady Perry at kperry@giaf.ie. You’ll find more info here.

Suits: Children aged 10 and up. Time: Construction on Saturday, 11am – 4pm. Demolition on Sunday at 4pm. Tickets: Free

Oliver Olivier's construction at Stockholm's Kulturfestival last year. Source: Institut français de Suède/YouTube


Boyle Arts Festival: The Custard Pie Puppets are headlining the children’s programme at the Boyle Arts Festival on Saturday with a double bill of shows at St Joseph’s Hall – Badger’s Birthday Party and a Dublin-esque adaptation of Punch & Hudy. Good craic, with lots for the adults afterwards.

Suits: Up to 7 years old. Times: 12.30pm and 3pm. Tickets: €3. Event details here.


Foynes Air Show: For the first time ever, the Foynes Air Show is taking place on the same day as the Bray Air Display, under the Aviation Ireland banner. Watch displays from 16 participants in the air, with plenty of entertainment and food at ground level too.

Suits: All ages. Time: 12pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets: Free. More info here.


Townlands Carnival Festival: Townlands hits Macroom again this year and it’s bigger than ever. As well as a stellar line-up of music for the grownups, there is a dedicated area for kids with a full programme of pint-sized activities like crafts, beatboxing workshops and storytelling. The best part? Kids under 12 go free.

Suits: All ages. Time: All weekend. Tickets: Kids under 12 go free with parents. Sunday-only ticket €50, three-day camping ticket €140. Event info here.

Watch A Rocket Launch: The Summer Of Space continues at UCC this Sunday where we’re invited to watch as teams from the International Space University attempt to send their rockets into space. Who will win? Who will crash? It’s all to play for.

Suits: Space explorers aged 6+. Time: 2pm. Tickets: Free but register here.

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Read more: Parents Panel: What one ‘must-have’ purchase turned out to be a waste of money?

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