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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 23 June 2021

7 fearsome family events for Halloween weekend

Free fun for everyone.

LOOKING FOR A bit of (mostly free) fun for your family on this final bank holiday weekend of the year?

This is a selection of events happening around the country – we’d love to hear if there is something happening near you that you think we should know about so post suggestions in the comments.

Stokerland, Dublin

Saturday and Sunday are taken care of in St Patrick’s Park in the city with a pop-up Victorian park entertaining the masses from 11am to 4.30pm each day. Nearby, in St Patrick’s Close, is the Marsh’s Library Spooky Family Open Day, from 10am to 5pm.

It’s part of the Bram Stoker Festival, which also features the ever-popular Macnas parade spectacular on Monday evening, beginning at 6pm from Moore Street. There are plenty of opportunities to view it en route – check the map here.

Macnas Parade The Macnas parade through Dublin last Halloween. Source: Allen Kiely via Macnas

The Jazz Parade, Cork

Paddy Casey and Brian Deady get in early by kickstarting the weekend at 6pm tonight with a free open-air gig outside Cork Opera House. Another family-friendly event to watch out for over the weekend in the capital is the Guinness Jazz Fest‘s Jazz Parade tomorrow. This will have over 350 musicians and street performers on the march, starting on Washington Street at 1pm.

Halloween in the Forest, Limerick

There are a few nice events happening around the Curraghchase Forest Park this weekend but the woods themselves are host to a sweet children’s nature workshop which includes gathering materials to make a spooky skeleton or pirate hat, broomstick and potion-making classes and a spot of GIY. Free to enter between 11am and 3pm, on Saturday and again on Monday.

ligin Scary witches living in Curraghchase. Source: Living Limerick via Facebook

Galway Aboo

The Macnas parade that will run in Dublin on Monday will get its first rollout in its native Galway on Sunday at 5.30pm. Beware also of zombies on the loose on the Salthill Prom tomorrow. “Their mission: to capture every human (big or small) who dares to take on the challenge of ‘The Village Salthill Zombie Chase’” In aid of ACT for Meningitis and begins at 2pm at the Galway Business School.

Dead of Night, Longford

A parade begins at Market Square, Longford at 7pm on Tuesday night (not the weekend, technically, but still mid-term for many students) – there is a free children’s fancy dress party (up to age 14) with face painting, balloon-modelling and more at Connolly Barracks too. See more here.

sligo Last year's parade in Longford. Source: Dead of Night via Facebook

Fireworks in Derry

The Halloween tradition has been strong for years – they havefour days  of free events again this year including a carnival parade and fireworks finale on Tuesday evening (parade starts at 7pm, fireworks at 8.15pm) and family fun all weekend. Check it out.

Samhain and ‘ghost turnips’, Mayo

The Museum of Country Life at Turlough Park is part of the National Museum of Ireland network and worth a visit. This Halloween they have a Samhain exhibition – dedicated to Irish customs and traditions around the season. It includes a “small but significant” artefact – an old carved turnip or ‘ghost turnip’, a representative of the practice of carving turnips into scary lanterns which inspired the later US-based phenomenon of carving pumpkins.

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