August Bank Holiday weekend: 12 great things to do
Stuck for something to do? We’ve got some clever ideas to keep you entertained. From music festivals to magic shows to historical walks, we’ve got it covered. Aoife Kelly rounds up a dozen super events
The long weekend is here, and the forecast is good. So how are you going to make the best of it? Fear not - we've rounded up some of the best ideas around the country for keeping you and all the family entertained.
Mitchelstown, Co Cork, Aug 2-5
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Headliners include Bastille, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and Biffy Clyro as well as Gavin James, Something Happens and The Frank and Walters.
All weekend tickets are sold out but limited Saturday (€59 including booking fee) and Sunday (also €59 including booking fee) tickets remain.
Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Aug 3-4
Let's hope the sun shines in Dún Laoghaire for this two-day festival which boasts Groove Armada headlining tomorrow and Chvrches on Sunday. Other acts performing across the two days include Grandmaster Flash, Norwegian DJ, songwriter and producer Todd Terje as well as Irish acts Soule and Jafaris on Saturday and David Kitt and Erica Cody on Sunday. The food offerings are top notch with everything from gourmet burgers to pizza to cupcakes and pies.
Weekend tickets are €99, Saturday or Sunday (€59 each), kids Saturday/Sunday (€5 each). Kids 12 and under must be accompanied by a ticket-holding adult over 18.
3. Rockin' Food Festival 2019
Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, Aug 2-5
The Food Marquee will be jam-packed with chefs, producers and special guests with over 80 of the best local and artisan vendors and there will be free outdoor gigs as well as food and drink workshops, classes and events for the kids.
For those travelling from Dublin on Sunday, you can hop on the Steam Special Dublin to Enniscorthy which will take you the scenic route by steam train down for a fun day at the festival before taking you back again. It leaves Connolly at 10.30am and you'll be brought back to Connolly again for 7.37pm that evening.
The special will be operated by steam locomotive No.85 "Merlin". Adults €35, children €20 and seats must be booked in advance from eventbrite.ie
4. Wells' Magic Academy
Wells House and Gardens, Gorey, Co Wexford, until tomorrow
Children (aged 5 and up) with an interest in witches and wizards will love this magic tour. Just turn up on the day and entry is €10 per car and tickets at €19.82 each for adults and children can be bought via eventbrite.ie.
On Monday, August 5 there's a BBQ and live music kicking off at 1pm. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 053 9186737.
5. Lughnasa Walking Tour of Tara
Hill of Tara, Navan, Co Meath, Aug 4
This is a two-hour guided walking tour of Tara, including history and archaeology and focusing on myths and legends and connecting with the land through nature, the elements and the archetypal energies of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Strictly for the over-8s, it starts at 2pm and finishes at 4pm.
The tour is limited to 30 people and costs €15 per person (plus booking fee) from eventbrite.ie
6. Summerland Music Festival
Abbey Grounds, Wicklow Town, Aug 4
This intimate celebration of music, art, food and wellness is a family-friendly festival with a line-up featuring The 4 of Us, Hawke, The Receipts, Jexit, The Rituals, and more as well as wellness workshops, a kids' zone, and food, all from 2.30pm to 10.30pm.
Tickets: From €15, eventbrite.ie
7. Medieval Family Fun Day
Duckett's Grove, Carlow Town, Aug 4
Another family-friendly event, it's a day packed with activities including living history tents, craft displays, fully trained warriors for combat displays and re-enactments. Children can try their hand at archery and visit the mini petting farm. There will also be the requisite bouncy castles, face painting and a kids' entertainer with plenty of food and market stalls to keep you ticking over.
Open from 2pm to 6pm with prices ranging from €5.85-€32.88 from eventbrite.ie
8. Border Crossings #2, Three Poets From Belfast
The Old Kitchen, Farmleigh House, White's Road, Phoenix Park, Aug 3
Northern Irish poets Stephen Connolly, Manuela Moser and Stephen Sexton will bring their works south for an afternoon recital at the Old Kitchen at Farmleigh House.
Takes place from 3pm-4pm, tickets €10 or €30 family ticket (4), eventbrite.ie
9. Smartphone Filmmaking Workshop
The Lab Gallery, Foley Street, Dublin 1, Aug 3
A workshop run by the Dublin Smartphone Film Festival which is geared towards both beginners and professionals who want to learn how to shoot and edit a film on a phone with the help of apps including Dreamgrip and Alight Creative.
The workshop will begin at 10am and you'll need to download Filmic Pro V6 or Open camera for filming and Kinemaster app and FilmoraGo for Android or Luma Fusion for Apple phones for editing.
Admission €60 from eventbrite.ie
10. Lough Ramor Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon
Lough Ramor, Virginia College, Virginia, Co Cavan, Aug 4
Virginia Triathlon and Cycling Club's annual sprint triathlon and duathlon returns with competitors tackling a 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run or 3k run, 20k bike, and a 5k run, in and around Lough Ramor.
Sprint Triathlon €40 individual and €75 relay, duathlon €25 individual and €40 relay. The first 150 registrations receive a t-shirt. All competitors will be awarded medals. From 10am.
11. Viking Whiskey Cruise
The Quay, Athlone, Aug 4
Learn about the Vikings, high kings, battles, and scholars on this Athlone Whiskey Tours cruise as you sample a selection of Irish whiskey from the Midlands. There's a whiskey cocktail on arrival before sailing north to Lough Ree for more whiskey tasking and food pairings. From 7pm.
€39.50 from eventbrite.ie
12. Cool Planet Experience
Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow
The aim of the Cool Planet Experience is to motivate the people of Ireland to take climate action and anyone over the age of seven can learn about climate change through this interactive one-hour tour. Tickets: Adult €10.50, child €7, family ticket €31. Open seven days, 10am to 5pm, with last tour at 4pm. Booking is essential.
There are also summer labs every Thursday to Saturday in July and August. It's a two-hour lab that includes one hour of stomp-rocket creation and one hour of sustainable slime-making. €20 for kids aged 6-12.
Read more:50 ways to spend your summer: Things to do in Ireland before autumn arrives!