7 Spooky things to do with your kids this Halloween around Ireland
If the thoughts of being stuck at home with the kids over Halloween scares you more than any amount of ghosts would, fear not. There are plenty of themed events out there to keep them busy.
The Station House Hotel in Kilmessan, County Meath will play host to the ‘Funny Witch’ on Saturday, October 26 at 4.30pm. Ideal for children between the ages of four and 12, the fun-packed afternoon will feature spooky stories in the grounds of the old railway station in Kilmessan. Get those costumes out too, as there will be a prize for the best and scariest outfit. There is a charge of €5 per person to include ‘spooky biscuits’ and ‘poison punch’.
Westport House in County Mayo will hold its annual Halloween Fest from October 25 to 31 inclusive, 11am to 5pm each day.
The 18th-century house will be transformed into a haunted house for the week, and there is a huge range of fun and spooky events planned. These include the eerie train ride, story time with the White Witch, and a ‘Spooky Spoons’ workshop where you can learn some gruesome new recipes and decorating tricks. A fireworks extravaganza will take place at 7pm on October 26. Entry prices are the same as usual.
Hunt or be hunted
Belvedere House Gardens & Park, Mullingar, County Westmeath is planning a new, super-exciting Halloween Treasure Hunt on October 26 and 27. A treasure map and rhyming clues will be provided, and ghoulish characters will be on hand around the grounds to greet and treat all contestants. Prebooking is advised, and normal admission rates will apply. Meanwhile, the ‘Belvedere Spook’, which will take place from 7pm on Friday October 24, 25, 26 and 27, will ensure the over-eights have a frightfully good Halloween.
Things that go bump
Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park, Rathangan, County Kildare is all set for its Halloween Happenings Festival, which will run for a full week from October 25. Terrifying treats in store include Haunted Holograms, Terror Train Trips (watch out for zombie attacks), Terror Treasure Hunts and freaky fun in the Funky Forest.
There will be prizes for the best costumes, and it will be open daily from 10am to 6pm, with Halloween prizes starting at 2pm. Normal admission costs apply (each includes one Terror Train trip per family.
See www.lullymoreheritagepark.com for more.
Boo to you
If you fancy a spot of spookiness in the city of tribes, the Galway Aboo Halloween Festival will have something for all ages. The country’s largest Halloween Festival, it will take place in the medieval streets of Galway’s Latin Quarter on October 25, 26 and 31. Even better, there will be plenty of completely free events and activities, not least a parade by the ever-popular street theatre experts Macnas. See www.galwaytourism.ie.
Wooly Ward’s Farm, Oldtown, County Dublin will be getting into the spirit of Halloween again this year with its fun-packed Halloween Experience for ages two to eight. Starting on October 25 and running for six days, the event is bigger and better than ever. Children will get to design and carve their very own pumpkin masterpiece, and cover their eyes as they enjoy the Halloween Show. They can also nominate the ‘family prisoner’ (watch out, dads…), and visit the House of Horrors. To complete the experience, there will be chocolate apple decorating, an owl display, bouncy castles and more. Admission is €12 per child, €6 per adult. Under-twos are free; a family pass (two adults, three children) is €40. For more and to book, see www.woolywardsfarm.com.
The Night Train
If you’re anywhere near Waterford, and if you (and the kids) are brave enough, hop aboard the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway’s ‘Spooky Express’ on October 25. With departures at 5.40pm, 6.20pm, 7pm, 7.40pm, 8.20pm and 9pm, one is bound to suit. The 30-minute trip through a haunted area in the dark might be a tad scary for the very young, but the rest should love it. Prices are €12 for adults, €10 for children under 16.