Family Fun Event Guide Summer 2016

Family Fun Events Guide Dublin Rainbow-Disco-at-Laya-Healthcares-City-Spectacular

WOW! I mean….just…..WOW!  What a list of Family Friendly Events there is this Summer! Dublin just gets better and better when it comes to things to do. As a father of a four year old boy I’m always looking for new things to do. The following list should be a handy guide to Fun for all the Family.

What: Dublin Port River Fest

When: 4th to 6th June

Where: Dublin Docklands

Family Fun Event Guide Dublin Tall_Ships_Races_2012_(7866880002)

Now in its sixth year this event goes from strength to strength. Taking place on the June bank holiday weekend the event has grown from last year and now includes the recently redeveloped Campshires on North Wall Quay.You can expect to see a Festival of Sail along the Liffey, races, tug-boat ballet, tours of the tall-ships, water canons, a food market, acrobats, live entertainment, pirate village with art and crafts for the kids and a fun-fair.

What: Bloom in the Park

When: June 2nd – 6th

Where: The Phoenix Park

Not just a gardening expo but a food and family oriented event. The June bank holiday hosts the annual event where you can expect an outdoor entertainment stage, food stalls, workshops, art installations, live music and educational kids zone. Oh yes, and some gardens.

A photo posted by Ann C. (@gardeningireland) on


What: Bloom Fringe

When: June 2nd – 6th

Where: Various Locations

The sign of success for a festival is when there is a spin-off festival. And Bloom Fringe will offer an edgier version set in the heart of Dublin city. Encouraging all ages to get involved, you can expect talks, trails, workshops, street art installations and foodie pop-ups. In an effort to reintroduce nature to the city, this volunteer led not-for-profit venture is on a mission to bring biodiversity to some of Dublin’s urban streetscape with a spotlight on garden communities.

A photo posted by BloomFringe (@bloomfringe) on

What: Laya City Spectacular

When: July 8th – 10th

Where: Merrion Square

Now in it’s 11th year this event just gets bigger and better and dare I say, is spectacular. Featuring some of the best street performers from around the world it’s a great day out for the kids. Why didn’t we have stuff like this when we were kids!  Amazing!

Family Fun Events Guide Dublin Rainbow-Disco-at-Laya-Healthcares-City-Spectacular

What: Festival of Curiousity

When: July 21st – 24th

Where: Various locations

Run across various locations throughout Dublin the festival is a science, technology and arts event with a list of daytime events for families. By day, the city hosts a list of free carnival-like events. By night, Dublin lights up with film and art installations. Expect to see special Lego workshops and a giant Bubblearium….Not sure what that is but it sounds cool!

Oh yeah..and there’s even some Science Explosions. Yessss!

A photo posted by @clairebyrnerd on

What: National Drawing Day

When: May 21st

Where: National Gallery of Ireland

In association with galleries from across Ireland expect sessions to take place from 10:30 am to 4pm with an adult drawing session followed by family drawing sessions in the afternoon. Admission is free.

What: Pets in the City

When: May 29th

Where: Smithfield Square

Family Event Guide Dublin night-animal-dog-pet

Supported by the DSPCA, Pets in the City is an annual event in conjunction with Dublin City Council. Promoting responsible pet ownership there will be a host of stalls offering accessories for your pets including information stands and advice from the DSPCA. You can expect to see a reptile corner, aquarium and a petting zoo. Scrufts Dog Show (think Cruffs, but set in Smithfield) will test the agility of both humans and their furry friends.

What: My Art

When: Sunday June 5th

Where: Exchange St Lower, Temple Bar

Promoting dance and visual arts, this is an educational workshop extolling the benefits of art for both young and old alike. You can learn to dance, paint and find comfort in developing new skills for you and your little ‘uns.

What: Saturday Family Workshop

When: Saturday June 11th, 3-4pm

Where: National Gallery of Ireland

An opportunity for families to spend time together creating and learning new skills in a fun environment. Set in the Millenium Wing Studio you will experience music, art, poetry and storytelling crafted for children between the ages of four and ten.

What: Dublin Kite Festival

When: Sunday June 12th, 11am to 5pm

Where: Bull Island

Now in it’s third year you can expect to see kite flying competitions and kite making workshops.
There is advice on hand from kite experts (it’s not as easy as you think you know), lively music, food stalls and fresh air..lots and lots of fresh air.

Family Fun Event Guide Dublin Sky_full_of_kites,_Cervia_2007

What: Why the Sky is Green

When: Saturday September 24th, 2pm to 4pm

Where: RHA

This event encourages children to explore art in a different and fun way. Using unrelated objects and ideas you will get to create a collage, print with a potato and of course the kids favourite, finger painting, so expect a messy child. Let your kids run riot and create little masterpieces.
Free ticketed event.

What: International Literature Festival

When: May 21st – 29th

Where: Various locations

The finest writers in the world gather in Dublin to debate, inspire and teach. Literary fans can expect readings, workshops, discussions, screenings and performances. The list is endless with a host of poets, fiction, non-fiction, playwrights and screenwriters on the bill.
Did you know that Ireland has won more Nobel prizes for literature than any other country? Maybe your child will be inspired enough to grow that list one day.

What: Waterways Ireland Docklands Festival

When: May 21st – 22nd

Where: Grand Canal Dock

Wet n’ wild, this spectacular never fails to entertain. Set in the Grand Canal basin, the events are both water and land based with a wakeboarding competition, charity rubber duck race, street performers, fun fair and food market amongst others.

What: Dublin City Soul Festival

When: May 28th – 29th

Where: Merrion Square

This event holds a special place in my heart as it’s the first sounds my newborn heard as I cradled him from Holles Street hospital. I wanted to pop in with him but my wife suggested the pumping music may be too loud for him. She was probably right. She usually is 😉
Anyway, it’s a wonderful, laid-back summer vibe against a backdrop of picnics, happy families, good food and good tunes.

What: Battle for the Bay

When: May 28-29th

Where: Dollymount Strand


If you go down to the beach today you’re in for a big surprise…dum..dum.
Now in it’s tenth year, you will get to see just how good some of Ireland’s kite-surfers are. And why wouldn’t they be when they’ve got this resource on their doorstep. Wind, waves and ….well, how about wakeboarders, land-yachts, volleyball and good tunes. Gnaarrly dude!

What: Taste of Dublin

When: June 16th-19th

Where: Iveagh Gardens

Dublin’s best restaurants gather together to offer their dishes and delights in an idyllic surrounding. With a taste for every palette and live entertainment it’s a pleasant way to spend the “day”. I say “day”, as you can expect to be kicked out of the park as soon as you’ve had your lunch.

Last year, while lazing on the grass with a bellyful of grub, the entire daytime crowd was kicked out by security to make way for the next batch of “foodies” about to be fleeced for their evening meal. Only in Dublin.

Tickets: From €15 – And then you still have to pay for your grub!!! Just sayin’ is all!