Sunday 18 August 2019

August Bank Holiday weekend 2019: 21 things to do across the country for adults and kids

Music, food, kids, arts, and more...

Medieval fun day at Duckett's Grove in Carlow
Medieval fun day at Duckett's Grove in Carlow
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

It's the last summertime bank holiday weekend of the year so make the most of it with some of our recommendations for adults, kids and families taking place across the country...

All Together Now

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US singer-songwriter Patti Smith performs in Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht on January 27, 2019. (Photo by Paul Bergen / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read PAUL BERGEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Curraghmore Estate, Co Waterford

August 2-4

It's only in its second year yet boasts a cracking line-up including Patti Smith, John Grant, The National, Father John Misty, Hot Chip and The Good, the Bad & The Queen, as well as Dublin rockers Fontaine DC who have just been shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. There's so much more going on, but too much to mention here - check out the details at

Tickets: It's sold out but you might be lucky on the resale market or you could consider Indiependence (see next).



Bastille (Matt Crossick/PA)

Mitchelstown, Co Cork

Aug 2-5

Headliners include Bastille, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and Biffy Clyro as well as Gavin James, Something Happens and The Frank and Walters.

Tickets: All weekend tickets are sold out but limited Saturday (€59 including booking fee) and Sunday (also €59 including booking fee) tickets remain.

Read more: Seaside Secrets: 50 best things to do along the coast of Ireland


Groove Armada

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin

August 3-4

Let's hope the sun shines in Dún Laoghaire for this two-day festival which boasts Groove Armada headlining on Saturday and Chvrches on Sunday. Other acts performign 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.

Tickets: Weekend (Sat and Sun) €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.

Art in the Open

In its 12th year, it has grown to become a 10-day internationally recognised event featuring some of the best outdoor painters from across the world. This year landscapes including Dunmore East, Wells House, Tintern Abbey and the village of Graiguenamanagh feature with the festival starting and finishing in Wexford Town.

Artist Kevin Macpherson will present masterclasses and give a presentation 'Chasing Rainbows, My Plein Air Life' outlining his work and style. It's open to the public and takes place at the Wexford Arts Centre on Wednesday July 31 at 8pm. Thomas Jefferson Kitts will a give a presentation based on the upcoming major exhibition at the National Gallery, 'Joaquin Sorolla, Painting Techniques Of A Spanish Master' at 11am on Sunday 4 August, also at the Wexford Arts Centre.

There's also the annual BBQ and Irish music session in T. Morris Pub and the Gala Dinner at the Riverbank House Hotel.

Selected works by up to 220 artists, this year from 15 countries, taking part in the festival go on show in Greenacres Gallery, on Sunday 4th & Monday 5th August.

This year the public are invited to become a Patron of Art in the Open for just €50 which includes a private preview of the exhibition with wine reception at Greenacres Gallery and can get their €50 refunded on any purchase of the art on show.

Rockin' Food Festival 2019

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Summer has finally arrived as Enniscorthy welcomes back the Rockin’ Food Festival for a weekend full of everything we love most about Summer; Outdoor Music, delicious Food and Fun for all your family and friends. Photo By Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD -

Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

August 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, events, and 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'l 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

For more details on the festival itself check out:

Wells' Magic Academy

Wells House and Gardens, Gorey, Wexford

July 31 - August 3

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

On Monday August 5 there's a BBQ and live music kicking off at 1pm. For more info contact or 053 9186737

Lughnasa Walking Tour of Tara

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Lughnasa walking tour of Tara

Hill of Tara, Navan.

Sunday August 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

Summerland Music Festival

Abbey Grounds, Abbey Street, Wicklow Town

Sunday August 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

Medieval Family Fun Day

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Medieval fun day at Duckett's Grove in Carlow

Duckett's Grove, Carlow Town

Sunday August 4

Another family-friendly event, it's a day packed with activities including lving history tents, craft displays, fully trained warriors for combat displays and reenactments. 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

Border Crossings #2, Three Poets from Belfast

The Old Kitchen, Farmleigh House, White's Road, Pheonix Park

Saturday 3rd August 2019

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)

Smartphone Filmmaking Workshop

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The Lab Galley, Foley Street, Dublin 1

August 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 includuing 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

Lough Ramor Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon

Lough Ramor, Virginia College, Virginia

August 4

Virginia Triathlon and Cycling Club's annual sprint triathlon and duathlon returns with competitors tackling a 750 meter swim, 20k bike, 5k run or 3k run, 20k bike, 5k run in and around Lough Ramor.

Sprint Triathlon €40 euro individual and €75 euro relay, duathlon €25 euro individual and €40 euro relay and the first 150 registrations receive a t-shirt. All competitors will be awarded medals. From 10am.

Mini Masters (6-10 years) Summer Art

Millennium Court Art Centre, William Street, Portadown

Monday August 5 - Friday August 9.

A four-part painting workshop for young artists where they will learn about colour mxing and experiment with amrk making to create abstract art, self portraits, anda final piece. Run by Alana Barton, Young Artist of the Year 2019. From 2pm-3.30pm each day.

Tickets: £30

Viking Whiskey Cruise

The Quay, Athlone

Sunday August 4

Learn about the Viking hoards, 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 cockatil on arrival before sailing north to Lough Ree for more whiskey tasking and food pairings. From 7pm.


Tayto Park

Going downhill: The Cú Chulainn roller coaster in Tayto Park

Kilbrew, Ashbourne, Co Meath

Tayto Park offers a great family day out thanks to a theme park choc full of an array of rides and playgrounds to suit children of all ages. Bear in mind there are minimum and maximum height restrictions on some of the bigger rides and some attractions are seasonal.

There is also quite a large zoo with mammals ranging from tigers to monkeys and birds and a farmyard section. There's also a special Big Bug Bonanza event on Monday August 5.

Booking online you can buy an entry only ticket for €18 or entry and unlimited attractions for €33.50.

Fort Lucan Adventureland

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Fort Lucan

Westmanstown, Lucan, Co Dublin. Open 12 noon to 6pm weekends, including bank holidays.

Operating for the past 26 years, this haven of adventure and excitement will keep kids aged 2 to 12 occupied for at least a day. There are four huge towers, 40 foot slides, sky-high walkways, ariel runways, crazy golf, Go Kart tracks, a waterfall, raging river, helter skelter, and a maze as well as an army style assault course. They’ll be knackered.

Tickets: €12.50 per child (includes one free turn on any of the large slides), €9.50 for an unlimited rides wristband and €5 for adults (includes tea or filter coffee).

Wicklow Gaol Daytime Tour

Crews spent months carrying out work at Wicklow Gaol ahead of its opening in1998

Wicklow’s Historic Gaol, Kilmantin Hill, Wicklow Town

Friday August 2 - Monday August 5

Step into the past with a tour of Wicklow’s Historic Gaol where you'll meet Mary Morris the Matron and her ill-mannered hubby, Gaoler. From 10.30am to 4.30pm daily.

Tickets: €5.20 - €9.50 from


Members of the 'Riverdance' cast perform outside Dublin's Gaiety Theatre

Gaiety Theatre, Dublin

Until September 15

If you haven't seen it already (in which case, where have you been?) and even if you have, it's worth checking out the enduring phenomenon that is Riverdance.

Tickets from €21

For more info check out

Read more: Seven Wonders of Ireland: The ultimate Irish bucket list revealed

Copper Face Jacks: the Musical

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‘Copper Face Jacks: The Musical’ where ‘zillions of culchie-jackeen gags go down a storm’. Picture:Arthur Carron/Julien Behal Photography

Olympia Theatre, Dublin

Until August 10

Back for a second run following phenomenal success last year, Paul Howard's hilarious musical about the love ignited at Coppers between a Kerry girl and the captain of the Dublin football team on the eve of a Dublin v Kerry All Ireland Final boasts a cast including Johnny Ward, Roseanna Purcell, Michele McGrath, Stephen O'Leary and Tom Moran.

Tickets from €26

Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition

A section of The Game of Thrones touring exhibition at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

Ongoing until September 1 at TEC, Belfast

Now that the hit HBO series has wrapped its eighth and final season, take a trip down memory lane with costumes, authentic props, and settings from all seven seasons. Much of the series was filmed in the adjacent Titanic Studios.

Tickets: Adult £15-£17.50, child £10-$12.50 from Visit Belfast Welcome Centre or online:

Cool Planet Experience

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Slime lab at Cool Planet Experience

Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

The aim of Cool Planet Experience (CPE) is 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 7 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 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!

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