Events - Child Friendly EventsSt. Patrick's Festival Days and Nights of Culture, Music and Entertainmant! The principal aim of St. Patrick’s Festival, since its inauguration, is to develop a major annual international festival around the national holiday over which the ‘owners’ of the festival, the Irish people, would stand proud. It sets out to reflect the talents and achievements of Irish people on many national and world stages, and it acts as an exciting showcase for the manifold skills of the people of Ireland, of every age and social background. As the one national holiday that is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other, St. Patrick’s Day is the day when everyone wants to be Irish. We set out to seize that opportunity, and completely transform the national and international perception of St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. This country is bursting with the kind of creative energy, ideas and enthusiasm required to do the job. Our job has been to harness them, and make our national holiday an unforgettable experience for all. Why was it started? To offer a national festival that ranks amongst all of the greatest celebration in the world. To create energy and excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity, grassroots involvement, and marketing activity. To provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations. To project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal. The first St. Patrick’s Festival was held over one day, and night, on March 17th 1996, it has since grown to a 4-5 day celebration. Click here for a full list of associated events   Three NYE Dublin Festival NYE Dublin, the ultimate gathering boasts an exhilarating four day schedule kicking off on the 29th December, running right through to January 1st. Four days of festivities in Dublin….the Countdown is on!Gather together in the heart of Dublin for the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration the city has ever seen. The NYE Countdown Concert will feature top live music to ring in the New Year. Throughout the evening sample the delicious taste of Dublin’s food and drink at the festival village.  Programme of events to be confirmed   The Christmas Concert Special Guest Meav and live shadow puppet animation by Matthew Robbins. A magical concert designed for all the family, Raymond Briggs’s captivating film has established itself as part of the Christmas festivities for young and old, accompanied by Howard Blake’s score played live by the Orchestra of the National Concert Hall. For 2014, alongside the Walking in the Air and the festive classics, we are pleased to add magical live puppet animation by Matthew Robins and traditional Christmas songs with special guest, the beautiful singer, Meav for a magical and musical Christmas Celebration. Suitable for young children, this is an opportunity for the whole family to share in the music and the magic of Christmas. Experience the magic of the remarkable friendship between James and his snowman and delight in this holiday tradition. A special guest narrator will tell the story of James and the flying snowman as you watch the film on a big screen. A phenomenally popular festive concert, early booking is recommended. Click here for bookings   Elf the Musical months Irish theatre enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating what big show will be unveiled as this year’s Christmas show, at the theatre. We have been tight lipped until now as we have been working on something really special! We are so excited and delighted to reveal that The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre will host ‘ELF THE MUSICAL’ this December. The show will open on December 16th 2014 for a strictly limited season. Join the festive fun as this magical Christmas extravagance comes to Dublin – but don't be on the naughty list by missing out, make sure you book your tickets! Live Animal Crib Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn hosts the Live Animal Crib outside the historic Dublin Mansion House, his home, on Dawson Street. This year they will launch the crib on the 11th of December at 10.30 (To Be Confirmed). The launch will have performances from local choirs, street entertainers and even some face painting for the children. The Live crib is constructed so it is the actual size of the nativity stable so it will give everyone an idea of what they had to live in back when Jesus was born. The animals don’t stay in the stable but are brought in every morning and returned to the farm in the evening. Although admission is free the public may give a contribution   Christmas Wonderland Wonderland aims to capture the magic of Christmas.  ISkate:  Ice Skating has become part of an Irish Christmas. iSkate On Ice - Ireland’s largest Christmas ice rink – was introduced to the RDS in 2012 with huge success. iSkate now becomes part of GloHealth Christmas Wonderland. Covering an area in excess of 1,000 Sq. metres, iSkate offers an unrivalled skating experience. For Junior skaters, iSkate provides the Magic Vacations rink for children from age 3 upwards with its penguin balancing aids and double-bladed skates. With special off-peak, group and family rates, iSkate at GloHealth Christmas Wonderland will provide the ultimate fun experience at Christmas Funderland: 2013 sees Funderland celebrate its 40th anniversary at the RDS. A part of Christmas in Dublin, it has been said that Funderland is an annual appointment for thousands of families. This year Funderland becomes part of GloHealth Christmas Wonderland, and will once again present the best thrill rides and family attractions in the European fairground. From Bounceworld and the Fun Factory to the Take Off and Inversion XXL “white-knuckle” rides,  Funderland will present an array of attractions to suit all ages and tastes. For those who prefer to remain on “terra firma” lots of games of skill and chance will offer hours of pure fun and the opportunity to win one of Funderland’s famous soft toys. Besides being able to Pay-As-You-Go Funderland offers a wristband option that may be used for any 3 consecutive hours of your choice for unlimited rides - subject to the usual height and safety restrictions. If you buy wristbands online you save money and get an additional bonus hour so your wristband can be used an unlimited number of times for any 4 consecutive hours! Santa’s Christmas Circus: This Christmas give your family and friends a very special gift......the gift of Circus Magic!! We invite you to sit back, relax and come with us into our Magical World of Circus where the impossible can (and does) happen! Marvel at the dexterity of our jugglers, the skills of our acrobats and the sheer bravery of our aerial daredevils. Stare in wonder at our contortionist and be amazed by our Circus Illusionist! Cry with laughter as Clown Otto tries to help Santa make his way back to the North Pole in time for that very special night. Join with Marion Fossett as she leads the circus artists and audience in a seasonal sing-a-long. Presented by the world famous Fossett family, Santa's Christmas Circus will thrill, amaze and entertain you and your family. Click here for more information Suitable for children....of all ages! Peter Pan Christmas Pantomine Gaiety Theatre presents Peter Pan, its 2014 Christmas Panto! Associated with The Gaiety Theatre almost since the theatre first opened, the licence granted to The Gaiety’s original owners, John and Michael Gunn included permission to stage pantomime which they presented for the first time in December 1873. Both the Theatre Royal and the Queen’s have long since been demolished but The Gaiety and her annual pantomime continue to deliver fun and excitement to new generations. While an outside company used to be responsible for presenting the panto, it has been produced by The Gaiety since 1996. Dublin Docklands Christmas Market's favourite Christmas Festival is back again for the 10th consecutive year, bringing Christmas cheer and magical festive treats to the heart of Dublin from the IFSC at Georges Dock This year promises to be bigger and better than ever with a few surprises added to the regular line of events including an entertainment area taking place on the event platform in George's Dock. The Victorian Carnival, the fantastic artisan food and craft market and of course Santa's grotto will all be back to help make your festival experience a magical one. Opening hours: - Monday to Wednesday from 12 noon to 8pm  - Thursday and Friday from 12 noon to 10pm  - Saturday 10am to 10p  - Sunday 10am to 8pm Click here for more information   Food and Wine Magazine Christmas Show three-day food and drink extravaganza, that will show you how to recreate world class dishes in the comfort of your own home! The RDS Main Hall in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the weekend. Santa will be there all weekend as our guest of honour with gifts for all! (ALL FOR FREE!!) The Chef’s Kitchen which will be the heart of the show featuring Ireland’s top chefs.  Learn from the masters and recreate some of their favourite Christmas dishes at home with fabulous produce available in our Artisan Village.  The Drinks Zone is also ideal for wine enthusiasts and experts who want to learn more about wine matches, tasting, grape varietals and even how to pull a cork with flair! Between demos on the chef’s stage, there are a host of fantastic free masterclasses to enjoy.  Inspired by Ireland’s top FOOD&WINE Magazine experts in our FREE Master classes, which will cover topics such as Wine & Champagne tasting, Cocktail-making, Cheeses and Chocolates and much more! Click here for bookings and information   St Stephen's Green Christmas Market more than 60 trade concessions located in traditional wooden chalets along the exterior of St Stephen’s Green Park between Grafton Street and Merrion Row, the Market will offer a unique selection of quality Irish made handcrafted gift items, including accessories, woodcrafts, jams and preserves and prints as well as seasonal food and drinks to include charcoal grills, crepes, bratwurst, chocolate fountain, Gluhwein as well as other seasonal non-alcoholic drinks.  Traditional Christmas Markets originate from the centre of Europe, and are extremely popular in countries including Austria, Germany, Northern Italy and France. While Christmas is a peak time for retailers, Christmas Markets have proven to be extremely successful in attracting additional people into town centres and encouraging consumers to spend their money locally as opposed to shopping online.  Entertainment from local choirs and carollers will also help get visitors into the festive spirit. The Market will be organised in conjunction with the official Dublin at Christmas celebrations, which is a partnership between Dublin City BID and Dublin City Council. It will be launched on the same day that the Grafton Street lights are turned on, transforming the city centre into a winter wonderland.   The Market will be free to the public and will open daily from 12 noon to 8pm.    Bram Stoker Festival October Bank Holiday weekend Dublin City will celebrate all things ghoulish for the Bram Stoker Festival, running Friday 24th – Monday 27th October, 2014 Taking the legacy of Dublin horror novelist Bram Stoker and his gothic novel 'Dracula’ as inspiration, the festival, spread across Dublin city centre, will celebrate all things macabre, strange, supernatural mixed with some good-old fashioned Halloween fun. The streets will come alive with free pop-up performances of spine-chilling street theatre and sinister sounds, a city-wide Vampire Hunt for families and friends, spooky movies in the open-air, blood curdling literary happenings, terrifying theatre, walks & talks, and a very special event will take place in the spectacular surrounds of Dublin Castle. Working alongside both the leading institutions and the talented local independent artists and innovators of the city the festival also presents ‘Culture Bites’ - the Festival’s programme of cultural events ranging from the iconic to the bizarre to the spectacular! With events taking place in churches, castles, libraries, galleries, streets, cinemas, and squares and a strong mix of film & literature, music, installations, feasts, theatre, pop-up events, animation, history, talks & walks, there’s something for everyone to get their teeth into at this year’s Bram Stoker Festival.   Angelina Ballerina The Mousical’s favourite little star, Angelina Ballerina, pirouettes onto the stage in her brand new musical – a magical show packed full of singing and dancing. Angelina and her friends think their dreams have come true when Camembert Academy wins the opportunity to appear in their favourite television programme ‘Dancing With Mice!’. But when the girls and boys have very different ideas for the show and just can’t seem to agree on anything, it’s up to Angelina as Dance Captain to ensure that the show goes ahead. So put on your ballet shoes and join Angelina, Alice, Gracie, Viki, AJ and Marco for the most stupendous Mousical of the year! Price: €16.00 Booking: Ukulele Hooley by the Sea Laoghaire will host the Ukulele Hooley by the Sea. It brings together some of the world's best ukulele talent and entertainers to celebrate their love and passion for the tiny instrument that is currently the world's biggest selling instrument. There will be ukulele master classes, a "Grand ukulele public busk" and open air ukulele open mic concert for players who want to show their skills. But the show piece event of the weekend is a FREE day long ukulele concert on Sunday at the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire featuring the some of the best ukulele performers from round the World. For more details check out our website Its a fantastic day out for the whole family and you might win yourself a ukulele in a raffle! National Heritage Week’s lots of fun in store for you during National Heritage Week. Check out our video for a snapshot of what’s on offer! From medieval fairs, night time bat walks, classical music, poetry, theatre, traditional music, storytelling, historical re-enactments, local history walks and talks, maritime and coastal events, food fairs, traditional skills workshops and archaeological digs. There’s something for everyone and most events are free! Click here for Dublin events WonderFest some family time with a difference at WonderFest, Malahide Castle. A music and entertainment festival created especially for families, its exciting activities promise to cater for all of your busy brood.  With a particular emphasis on learning and culture through laughter and fun, the program boasts live music, children’s theatre, magic, science displays, circus workshops, interactive animal displays, dance classes, falconry demonstrations, sailing, watersports and much more. Conveniently located in the grounds of historic Malahide Castle, families can indulge in deluxe camping and even glamping (glamorous camping), for one, two or three days. A non-alcoholic festival, families can experience the ideal child-friendly atmosphere and have some good, clean fun (well, clean enough - bring the wellies just in case...). With fancy-dress encouraged and prizes for the best dressed families, it’s sure to be a wonderful weekend to remember. Tickets - Children under three years go free all weekend - Kids’ weekend tickets €12.50 - Adult weekend ticket €50 - Adult day tickets €30 - Campsite pitch (valid three nights) €10 (excludes festival entry) - Weekend camping with tent supplied €65 (excludes festival entry) - Weekend glamping with bell tent supplied - sleeps up to two adults, three children, €199 (excludes festival entry) - Weekend glamping with bell tent supplied - sleeps up to six adults, €299 (excludes festival entry) Opera in the Open in a dose of culture every Thursday lunchtime this August with Opera in the Open. Now in its 15th season, audiences can enjoy performances with a difference in the impressive Amphitheatre of Dublin City Council’s Civic Offices. Enjoy the works of Rossini, Puccini, Mozart and Gluck performed by acclaimed casts, and experience artistic and musical director David Wray’s memorable interpretations in this unique, outdoor setting. Performances Thursday 7th August - 1.00pm Orphée et Euridice - Gluck (this performance celebrates the tercentenary of the composer’s birth) Cast includes Fearghal Curtis, Edel Shannon, Kelli Ann Masterson Director: Eoin Cannon   Thursday 14th August - 1.00pm The Magic Flute - Mozart (sung in English) Cast: Sandra Oman, Donna Gallagher, Deirdre Masterson, Lawrence Thackeray, Simon Morgan, Stephen Fennelly, Kelli Ann Masterson Director: Morgan Crowley   Thursday 21st August - 1.00pm La Rondine - Puccini Cast includes Sandra Oman, Alison Langer, Lawrence Thackeray, Fearghal Curtis Director: Eoin Cannon   Thursday 28th August - 1.00pm Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Rossini Cast includes Deirdre Masterson, Simon Morgan, Lawrence Thackeray, Stephen Fennelly Director: Morgan Crowley Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show's something for everyone at the 141st Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, taking place from the Wednesday 6th – Sunday 10th of August 2014.  From Live Music and Entertainment, award winning Crafts and Art Exhibitions, Children’s Entertainment, Fashion, Shopping Village with 300 stands, Restaurants, Bars and Snacks to the best in National and International  show jumping, you won’t want to miss it. The Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show is one of Ireland's biggest annual sporting and social events which attracts 100,000 visitors both domestic and foreign!  The ever popular Kids' Zone will be packed full of entertainment including pony rides, fun inflatables, face painting, Billy Bubbles and magic shows.  The Blossom Hill Ladies’ Day on Thursday, August 7, promises lots of glamour with fantastic prizes for the ‘Best-dressed Lady’, ‘Most Colourful Outfit’, ‘Most Creative Hat’ and ‘Elegance is an Attitude’, and for fashion conscious males there’s also a prize for ‘Best-dressed Man’. With over €940,000 in prize money to be won, visitors can enjoy top class national and international show jumping competitions including the Longines International Grand Prix, the Land Rover Puissance and the Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup™ presented by Longines.   Visit for further information tickets on sale now! An Urban Fleadh in a jig and reel, or get your toes tapping to some infectious traditional Irish music at An Urban Fleadh, Wolfe Tone Square, Dublin 1, this August Bank Holiday weekend (2nd - 3rd). A free two-day festival celebrating traditional Irish music with a varied world mix, An Urban Fleadh is part of the North Side Music Festival. Known for offering the best of Irish trad-fusion, the event, now in it’s third year, has carved out its own special niche among the city’s festivals and boasts a vibrant, unique atmosphere This year visitors can enjoy the popular "Call to Dance" where a traditional Irish caller announces the steps and invites the festival-goers to join in, as well as the fast-paced Bodhrán Blitz, where just about anyone can learn to play the bodhrán in under ten minutes. Enjoy an impressive program of Irish sean-nós dancing and singing, a live céilí band, intriguing and experimental mixes of classical, funk, folk and jazz music, as well as some very special overseas guests. Fight for Freedom: The Warsaw Uprising of 1944 the valiant and tragic 63-day struggle of the Polish army, Polish resistance movement and civilians to liberate Warsaw during World War II, Fight for Freedom: The Warsaw Uprising of 1944 exhibition is a fascinating insight into their dedication and patriotism. Curated by the Polish community, discover the story of the uprising, the vital role that churches and chaplains played in it, as well as the involvement of a number of Irish individuals. Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke officially opens the exhibition on 1st August at 7.00pm and the inaugural lecture, ‘The Warsaw Uprising in Comparative Perspective’ will be given by Dr. Gabriel Doherty of University College Cork. Visitors can explore two combined exhibitions on display – ‘The Fight for Freedom: The Warsaw Uprising’ and ‘The Church and Religion in the Warsaw Uprising’, as well as view a feature presentation of the film ‘City of Ruin’. A wholly immersive exhibit, experience the atmosphere and culture of the time period by tasting dishes eaten during the conflict, examining the reconstructed barricade and enjoying some live music. A Polish audio guide will also be available to download. The exhibition is open from 2nd - 4th, and 9th - 10th August. DB Sports Summer Cup DB Sports Summer Cup is a small sided games blitz for football teams from across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Europe for U8's to U12's.  The tournament will run over the August Bank Holiday weekend and there will be a fun zone on site, BBQ, First Aid, changing facilities, entertainment, coffee shop and many other activities for the whole family. All proceeds raised will go towards the Friends of Saint Lukes. For more information click here FunnyFest Funnyfest at The Ark you can take part in workshops that'll tickle your funny bone! Learn the art of slapstick, how to draw funny pictures, perfect the unusual dance of the Kumpo and teach the very serious Queen Fionnuala to laugh. For three weekends across FunnyFest our theatre in the heart of Temple Bar becomes our very own exclusive comedy club for families and children! Come and watch some of the finest Irish and international comics as they deliver family friendly laughs for ages 6+ Performance Ticket prices: Adult/Child- €12 Concession- €9 Ark Family Membes- €8 Family Ticket for 4 people- €40 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition the raw beauty of the natural world at the 49th Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at The chq Building, IFSC, in the heart of Dublin's Docklands. Organised by the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London and BBC Worldwide, and attracting entries from professionals and amateurs, this is the first time the annual exhibition has been held in Ireland. Capturing all manner of wildlife at its most magnetic, in its natural habitat, the 100 award-winning photographs on display will enthrall animal lovers, nature and wildlife enthusiasts, and budding photographers alike. Judged by a panel of acclaimed professionals, the winning images were chosen from an enormous 43,000 entries and were carefully selected based on their exceptional creativity, artistry and technical complexity. With a fun kids' quiz younger visitors won't fail to be engaged and intrigued by the images and stories on display, making the exhibition an ideal family day out. Price Adults €6.50 Children (4 to 16 years) €3.50 Group and family tickets and concessions are also available. Time Monday to Friday from 10.00am - 6.30pm Saturday from 10.00am - 6.00pm Sunday from 12.00 noon - 6.00pm. Summer of Musicals don’t make ‘em like they used to, so sit back, relax and let them show you how it’s done at the Lighthouse Cinema’s Summer of Musicals season. It’s not often you get to see these musical gems on the big screen, so the chance to sing along with the best of the belters is not to be missed. From the cult classics to the Oscar winners, throughout June, July and August enjoy the cream of this all singing, all dancing genre. Screenings 20th June - Jersey Boys 25th and 29th June - Singin’ in the Rain 28th June - Blues Brothers 30th June - Cabaret   5th July - Cabaret 2nd and 6th July - An American In Paris 9th and 13th July - The Sound of Music 12th July - Hedwig and the Angry Inch 16th and 20th July - South Pacific 19th July - Hairspray 23rd and 27th July - Oliver! 26th July - The Rocky Horror Picture Show   30th July and 3rd August - Grease 2nd August - Grease (singalong) 6th and 10th August - Annie 9th August - Little Shop of Horrors (Director’s Cut) 13th and 17th August - West Side Story Children's Events at the National Museum visit to Decorative Arts & History is not just for adults - there's plenty for the kids too! From Soldiers to Scientific Instruments, and from Eileen Gray to Albert Bender, inspire and delight children with the objects and people waiting to be discovered in the National Museum. The Barracks Life Room gives children of all ages the opportunity to explore what  life was like as a solider in the 19th & 20th centuries. Try on costumes, handle objects and explore history using computer interactives. We also provide tailored tours and events for families, as well as an activity area in the Museum. The My Museum programme of events is designed to encourage families to work together, in an alternative and fun way, to learn more about the National Museum of Ireland’s collections. Every two to three weeks, a different part of the Museum’s collections is explored either through an art, drama or storytelling workshop; or through a demonstration or special guided tour. To find out more about the times and costs of tours and workshops, check out the Calendar of Events. For more tips and suggestions on Family Fun in Dublin click here