Entertainment Festivals

Saturday 21 September 2019

Culture Night 2019: The best events for children from fairy workshops to puppet shows

The annual celebration of art and entertainment isn't only for adults - there are plenty of pre-bedtime events for children too, writes Ed Power

Puppets, street performers and “real life piglets” are promised at the Pigtown Parade as part of Culture Night in Limerick
Puppets, street performers and “real life piglets” are promised at the Pigtown Parade as part of Culture Night in Limerick

Ed Power

Culture Night 2019 is almost upon us, with theatres, museums, libraries, galleries and more across the country throwing open their doors to the public on Friday, September 20. But Culture Night isn't just for adults. From the first very such event in 2006, when it was Dublin-only, it has gone out of its way to appeal to families. Here are some child and teen-friendly events to keep an eye out for this year.

Treasure Hunt in Georgian Dublin

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The Georgian period was Dublin's architectural high-point. A "detective trail" promises "different perspectives" on some of the capital's most storied neighbourhoods.

Time: 4.30pm-7pm

Venue: Instituto Cervantes, Lincoln Place, D2

Baby Culture Night (Sligo)

Families can visit the Croke Park Museum
Families can visit the Croke Park Museum

The Model contemporary arts centre and Hawk's Well Theatre come together with events for infants from six months and above. Older children are catered for too. The organisers promise "an afternoon of light and colour on the theme of climate change" at The Model. At Hawk's Well, there will be performances of A Box - "physical theatre… for the very young".

Time: 4pm-7pm

Venue: The Mall, Sligo.

Around the World in Eighty Games (Cork)

It starts with a tour of the 100th anniversary exhibition of the International Astronomical Union and a talk by Paul Callanan of the UCC Department of Physics. City's Hall's performance space will meanwhile house a celebration of gaming, including physical play, street games, board games and card games, all curated by interactive event group ThinkSpeakDo.

Time: 4.30pm-9.30pm

Venue: City Hall, Cork

Woodland Fairy Workshop (Louth)

Fairy fun with artist Rozzi Kennedy, who opens her workshop as kids design their own bespoke Tinker Bell with leaves, handmade stickers, card, washi tape and feathers.

Time: 7pm-7.45pm (ages 4-7)

Time: 8pm-8.45pm (8-12)

Venue: An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk

Postcard to a Whale (Kildare)

This Irish language event will feature stories about the sea and the opportunity to craft a postcard - "a suitable size to send to a whale".

Time: 6pm-8pm

Venue: Rathangan Community Library, Kildare

Easy Treesie at Patagonia (Dublin)

The Crann Climate Action project plans to plant one million trees in Ireland. On Culture Night, there will be songs, movies, art and a short talk about the environment.

Time: 5pm-9pm

Venue: Patagonia, 24/26 Exchequer Street, Dublin

Siamsa Tíre Gallery (Kerry)

Zoë Uí Fhaoláin Green's year-long art residency will culminate with a talk about how the Kerry coastline is likely to change in the years ahead and how humans must adapt.

Time: 6pm-8pm

Venue: Tralee Town Park

Faerie Dances at Claregalway Castle (Galway)

More fairy - sorry, "faerie" fun - this time with the dancers of Youth Ballet West. The performers take inspiration from WB Yeats and his observation that: "Faeries come, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame."

Time: 6pm-8pm

Venue: Claregalway Castle, Galway

Discover Fota Tour (Cork)

With Downton Abbey in cinemas, what better moment to discover Cork City's very own 'Big House'. A tour of Fota House will include a meeting with Patty Butler, Fota's final staff member, tales of the butler, Mr Russell, and the story of the "magnificent" John Smith Barry.

Time: 4pm, 5pm, 6pm

Venue: Fota House, Cork

Homemade Paint Workshop (Leitrim)

Artist Kate Murtagh Sheridan will show kids - and parents - how to make and use their own toxin-free paints.

Time: 4pm-5.30pm

Venue: Leitrim Design House, Carrick On Shannon, Leitrim

Showcase Abbeyleix by McCormick Puppets (Laois)

Award-winning puppeteer Julie-Rose McCormick has been performing for the past 30 years and has worked with the Abbey, the Project and The Ark. She will showcase some of her best-known characters at this unique performance.

Time: 6pm-7.30pm

Venue: Heritage House, Abbeyleix

Sisters, Sisters, Sisters (Sligo)

Storyteller Imelda Ryan Jones will "talk and tell all things sisterly". That's followed by an introduction to the artist sisters of WB Yeats by artist Rebecca Massey and a "fun watercolour class".

Time: 6pm-8pm

Venue: Yeats Building, Hyde Bridge, Sligo

Trad@5 (Sligo)

An evening of folk music performed by some of the county's outstanding young musicians.

Time: 5pm-5.45pm

Venue: Hawk's Well Foyer, Sligo

Science Tour, Birr Castle (Offaly)

All seven galleries of Birr Castle Science Centre throw open their doors. Buckle up for a "journey through an extraordinary time of great discovery and innovation".

Time: 6pm-7.30pm

Venue: Birr Castle

Tada! Theatre School Kilkenny

Kids are encouraged to bring along their old smelly socks so they can be transformed into walking, talking puppets. Time: 5pm-6.15pm; 6.30pm-7.45pm

Venue: Tada! Theatre School, Good Shepherd Centre, Kilkenny

Everyman Theatre Behind the Scenes Tour (Cork)

Storytelling, singing and performances from the Jack And The Beanstalk panto are all on the programme, along with face painters "and balloons".

Time: 4pm-6pm

Venue: Everyman, Cork

Pigtown Parade (Limerick)

The city's butchers and brass bands team up. Puppets, street performers and "real life piglets" are promised. Kids can make their own masks or have their faces painted.

Time: 7pm-8pm

Venue: Limerick city centre, starting at Bedford Row

Miniature Fairy House workshop (Kildare)

Maura Fidgeon from Abbeybridge Studio will help children design their own fairy houses. "Each person will have their own fairy house to take home".

Time: 4pm-5.30pm

Venue: Abbeybridge Studio, Naas

GAA Museum and Croke Park Stadium (Dublin)

The beating heart of football and hurling. Tour the dressing rooms, the famous pitch and everything in between while learning of the importance of Gaelic games to Irish identity.

Time: 5pm-10pm

Venue: Croke Park

Read more: Culture Night 2019: 35 highlights taking place across Ireland

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