Epic Easter egg trails or a boogie with Bowie – 15 events for families to enjoy this weekend
Chocolate lovers, culture vultures, music fans and families are all catered for as Dublin gets set to enjoy its first ‘normal’ Easter Bank Holiday Weekend in three years.
With the prospect of some half-decent weather in the days ahead, we’ve picked a selection of events happening across the city for you to enjoy.
Easter at Farmleigh
The popular Phoenix Park attraction will run its Easter programme on Sunday and Monday, 11am-4pm. You can mingle with 20 alpacas or enjoy Newgrange Falconry’s birds of prey show, featuring a selection of hawks, falcons and owls.
There will also be old-fashioned games, including snakes and ladders, an egg and spoon race and croquet on the lawn, in addition to brass bands, an art exhibition and market on both days.
Malahide Castle’s popular Fairy Trail has been transformed into an Easter Trail. Children will be given a special sheet where Easterella, the Easter fairy, will help them find and match pieces on the puzzle egg.
Entries can then be popped into the special Easter Bunny post box for a chance to win a giant chocolate egg.
Arrivals on the day will be subject to availability, so booking in advance is recommended. Admission is €5.50 for children over five, with family tickets (two adults, two children) €24. Entry to the Walled Garden and Butterfly House is included.
Casino Model Railway Museum
Just across the road from Malahide Castle, the Casino Model Railway Museum will also be getting into the spirit of things for Easter.
Visitors to the attraction, home to Ireland’s largest collection of handmade model trains, will be able to pick up a ‘Count Your Chickens’ Easter activity sheet when browsing the extensive collection.
Newbridge House and Farm in Donabate, north Dublin, will be running Easter-themed events between now and April 24. Guests are invited to find all the hidden golden eggs in the animals’ enclosures throughout the farm, with chances to win a prize every day.
Tickets can be booked online at www.newbridgehouseandfarm.com or at the admissions desk on arrival, subject to availability. Visitors are asked to allow time for parking and queuing.
National Botanic Gardens
The National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin will see return of children’s activities over the Easter holidays.
Each week, there will be a different activity in the Children’s Erasmus Education Garden, from sowing your own vegetables and flower seeds to reusing everyday items to create pieces of eco-art.
All events are free and suitable for children over the age of four, who must be accompanied by an adult.
Activity times on Easter Sunday are 11am, 11.30am, 3.30pm and 4pm. Admission will be on a first come, first served basis, but groups of more than six children must book a separate workshop.
Greenhills Easter egg hunt
Clarice’s Foundation, a charity that supports orphanages in Ghana, is holding a fundraising Easter egg hunt at Tallaght Athletics Club, Bancroft Park, Greenhills, on Saturday. There will be three separate starting times at 10.30am, 11.15am and 12.30pm.
Advance booking to www.eventbrite.ie
Airfield Estate, Dundrum
Easter holiday activities for children will be held at Airfield Estate, Dundrum, home to Dublin’s only working urban farm.
There are junior natural treasure trails, felt workshops and guided walks based on the themes of birds, nesting and chicks.
Throughout the Easter break, children can pick up a free collectable activity trail sheet created to introduce junior visitors to all aspects of birdlife at Airfield.
Sweet treats will also be available from the Easter Bunny on Sunday.
Peter Rabbit Treasure Hunt
The Peter Rabbitt Treasure Hunt, organised by South Dublin Libraries, takes place at Rathfarnham Castle on Thursday, April 14, from 2pm to 4pm.
Children will also be able to sign up for instant library membership and take books home with them on the day. The event is free but children must be registered in advance on www.eventbrite.ie
Bohernabreena Easter Bunny Trail
Families are invited to follow a fun Easter trail at the foot of the Dublin Mountains in Bohernabreena, running daily from Thursday, April 14 until Bank Holiday Monday.
Children taking part will receive a goodie bag and Easter egg as part of the event, which also includes indoor/outdoor games, arts and crafts, music and dancing.
There will be three events each day (12am-2pm, 2pm-4pm and 4pm-6pm), with advance booking on www.eventbrite.ie
Easter fun with Esker scouts
The 142nd Esker scouting group will host a day of outdoor fun and Easter egg hunt in Griffeen Park, Lucan, on Easter Monday, between 12 noon and 4pm. There will be a chocolate surprise for all children taking part, in addition to face painting and craft activities.
All funds raised will support the activities of the scout group, which has over 100 members from the Lucan and Adamstown areas.
Dublin Bowie Festival
While this year’s David Bowie Festival is running until early May, there are a number of events celebrating the life of the Thin White Duke over the Easter Weekend.
Highlights include a cartoon retrospective at Rathfarnham Castle (10.30am to 5pm daily); a screening of Martin Scorsese’s controversial The Last Temptation of Christ in the Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield, on Easter Sunday (Bowie starred as Pontius Pilate); and live music from The Bewley Brothers, performing Bowie’s most popular tracks, in the Church Bar and Restaurant, Jervis Street/Mary Street, between 3pm and 5pm on Easter Monday.
‘Let All the Children Boogie’, a family-friendly Bowie day featuring a children’s disco and vinyl market, runs at the same venue between 12 noon and 5pm that day. Admission is free.
Full details from www.dublinbowiefestival.ie
EPIC – the Irish Emigration Museum
Located at the CHQ Building on Custom House Quay, EPIC - the Irish Emigration Museum is playing host to a mischievous character named Púca, who has hidden a special Irish message in the vaults.
Children attending the museum are invited to help find the message by deciphering the clues and following the colourful eggs in the galleries. The Easter trail is suitable for children under the age of 12.
Artists Against Homelessness
The Sunday Independent’s Artists Against Homelessness, in aid of Focus Ireland, will take place on Easter Sunday at 3Olympia Theatre.
Headlined and curated by Dublin rapper Kojaque, the concert also features Damien Dempsey, EFÉ, Curtesy, Ahmed, With Love and Negro Impacto. Tickets from €25 on www.ticketmaster.ie
Although traditionally associated with Christmas, Handel’s Messiah was first heard in Dublin on Good Friday in 1742.
To mark the 280th anniversary of the Fishamble Street performance, renowned conductor Nicolas McGegan will lead the National Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Chorus at the National Concert Hall on Friday, April 15, starting at 3.30pm. Tickets from €28.50.
Battle Of Clontarf 10-Mile
Raheny Shamrock Athletic Club will hold the Battle of Clontarf 10-Mile on Easter Monday in St Anne’s Park. The race, now in its seventh year, will start at 11am on the park’s main avenue.
All runners entered into the postponed 2020 race will automatically qualify for this weekend’s event. Registration is €25 through www.rahenyshamrock.ie