A selection of things to do in Ireland over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
Castlecomer Discovery Park is home to Ireland’s longest zip line - 300 metres long and 35 metres over the ground at its highest point. Visitors zip over the stunning woodland, two lakes and a 17th-century hand-restored bridge.
They have a special spring deal offering 20% off the Zipline and Octagon on Saturday and Sunday morning - for those brave enough to try them!
Woolapalooza | Airfield Estate
On Sunday 6th and Bank Holiday Monday 7th May, Dublin’s most unique suburban farming festival takes place at Airfield Estate.
The 38-acre food and farm destination will host an array of events for all the family including sheepdog trials, demonstrations, food and crafts, family fun and lots more.
Ballyhoura International Walking Festival
The 23rd annual festival provides an opportunity to explore some of Ballyhoura Country’s stunning countryside in the company of guides.
The Festival features a packed programme of walks for all abilities, from the enthusiastic well-equipped walker, to the gentle ramblers and families who are out to enjoy pleasant guided walks in the company of local experts in the fields of heritage, archaeology, history, flora and fauna.
Alliance Francaise Dublin lComic Book Festival
The 4th Alliance Française Dublin's Comic Book Festival in partnership with Illustrators Ireland and the Comics Lab welcomes this year the legendary French illustrator, Tomi Ungerer. From the 1st to 5th May, the French Library (1 Kildare Street) will host a series of events on the art of illustration and comics: live reading performances, a round-table discussion with a panel of illustrators and authors, an exhibition of illustration students, a children’s workshop and a pop-up book fair!
Admission free for all events but booking is essential
Limerick's biggest festival over the Bank Holiday weekend will feature waterfront events, Ireland's largest BBQ, water activities and spectacular performances by world champion wakeboarders and jet ski riders, along with a very spectacular fireworks display.
The Ark launch their new monthly early-years programme Seedlings with a special workshop on Saturday morning designed to allow children aged 2-4 to get creative with their older relatives. Led by The Ark's Early Years Artist in Residence, Lucy Hill, it will be an experience that will stimulate imaginations of all ages!
Smithwicks Kilkenny Roots Festival
Since 1998 the festival has attracted some of the finest names in the Americana/Roots and this year is no different.
From Friday 4th until Monday 7th, audiences wind their way through the medieval streets sampling the huge range of music in the 30 plus venues, hosting over 30 acts from Ireland, USA, Canada, UK and Sweden, with over 80 ticketed and free shows.
This year’s festival will feature fourteen walks of varying difficulty from May 4th - May 11th. The walk range from relaxed strolls to more challenging walks, and walks have been organised from Kingscourt in the east of the county to Blacklion in the west.
Festival of Fools is a four day international street theatre festival, right across the centre of Belfast taking place over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Top street artists, from Canada, Japan, Finland, Italy, Argentina, France and Irealndo, give more than 120 performances, with the emphasis on comedy - the more physical and surreal, the better.
National Archaeology Museum | Fishy Business
On Saturday afternoon from 2pm-4pm, discover the Stone Age replica objects in the Museum's handling collection. Examine the replica fish trap and flint stone tools to learn about how people in Stone Age Ireland caught their dinner. Then make your own paper fish to take home.
Why not join Ireland's longest running walking festival - the Slieve Bloom Walking Festival, with a great choice of walks over three days on the May Bank Holiday Weekend, with fun gatherings in a local pub afterwards.
Choose from pleasant and easy woodland walks to more challenging hikes through wilderness areas in the beautiful Slieve Bloom Mountains.
Originally established to promote the excellence of the mussels of Killary Harbour, Connemara Mussel Festival has grown to become a celebration of local people, food, culture and heritage, and is recognised as the premier food event for Connemara attracting visitors from near and far.
Events include cooking demonstrations, storytelling, exhibitions, talks, walks, runs, treasure hunts and dancing.
The 14th Drogheda Arts Festival takes place in 2018 during May Bank Holiday weekend with an eclectic mix of theatre, music, tours, literature and spoken word, visual art, family and outdoor activities for all ages.
The festival is a mixture of adult and children's theatre alongside some fantastic free family events. There will be a free street spectacle on the winding medieval streets of the town, special theatre performances for younger audiences, and a fun family day at Beaulieu House.
The Teddy Bear's Picnic did not go as planned! See them gaily gad about, they love to play and shout but the Wax Musuem needs your child's help to restore order this weekend. Open daily from 10am - 10pm.
City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival
Enjoy Northern Ireland’s Biggest and Best Jazz Festival over the May Bank Holiday Weekend in Derry.
The annual celebration of jazz and big bands will feature artists from all over the world performing to over 60,000 revellers people. Among the popular acts performing at the festival this year are Dinosaur, Heavy Beat Brass Band, The Revolutionaires!, Kaz Hawkins & Sam York, and Basork.
The Kerry Camino is an annual guided walk on the May Bank Holiday weekend starting on the Friday 4th of May. This a supported walk so there will be guides and support cars if needed.
The Kerry Camino is a Tralee initiative to promote walking in the area, specifically the walk known also as The Dingle Way between Tralee and Dingle. On the Kerry camino a walker uses a Passport and stamping stations on the route - popularity known as The Dingle Way between Tralee and Dingle - to mark their progress. Booking in advance.
To launch their brand new Clonfert Fairy Trail, the farm is hosting a Coffee Morning on Friday at 10.30am. All proceeds from the morning will be donated to St. Joseph’s National School OsKaRs fundraiser. The farm is also open every day and admission includes entry to the farm and animals as well as access to outdoor play activities including Bouncy Castle, Go-Karts, the new Fairy Trail and entry into the indoor soft play area.
Join people all over Ireland, taking part in events involving music, art, dance, cinema, writing, theatre, heritage and more during May in the Bealtaine Festival that celebrates the arts and creativity as we age.
This weekend also sees the first Bealtaine @ Temple Bar with a series of arts and cultural events running across Temple Bar’s cultural quarter from the 3rd to the 7th of May. There will be street performances, pop-up choirs and operas, art exhibitions, jazz events, walking tours, talks, movies, Irish language events and workshops
Slieve Aughty Centre | Traditional Skills Family Day
As part of the Weekend in the Hills festival you can visit the traditional skills workshop as participants craft, carve, weave and sew. Get inspired and make a rustic face or paint a fairy door to bring home. Admission includes a visit to the Enchanted Forest, playground access, and face painting for the kids. Save some room for their famous pancakes from The Three Towers.
Inishbofin Island hosts the annual Arts Festival over the May Bank Holiday Weekend, May 4th to 6th 2018. with an art exhibition, workshops, walks and live performances from local, natipnal and international artists including Grammy-nominated, Irish-American super group Cherish The Ladies.
The first ever Courtmacsherry Seafood Feast takes place in the seaside town this Sunday from 12pm - 6pm. The festival will celebrate the rich fishing heritage of the Cork village and showcase the finest local culinary talents.
Get high in Louth and the family-friendly SkyPark with four different level aerial course featuring zip lines, rock climbing towers, suspension bridges, Tarzan swings, tightropes, rope bridges, cargo nets, base jumps and tree houses. They also have other activities including Quazer, Mini Golf, Footgolf, Archery and more.
The Bray Jazz Festival returns for it's 19th year this weekend with more than 40 shows featuring artists of over 20 different nationalities. European jazz, American jazz, contemporary jazz, Norwegian jazz and much more. The Mermaid Arts Centre will host over ten shows including US-born singer China Moses, Irish duo Cora Venus Lunny and Conor O'Hara and the Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas Quintet.
A community-based arts festival to make artistic and cultural events accessible to all who live and visit the Dingle Peninsula. The fun programme includes music, dance, theatre, literature, lectures and much more.
Donkey Sanctuary | Belfast Spring Fair
On Saturday, the Donkey Sanctuary host free Spring Fair where you can interact with the donkeys, browse the indoor craft market and enjoy a variety of activities for all ages including a raffle, tombola, bouncy slide, face painting and more! Admission and parking are free but need to be booked in advance.
Mayo Day is a day dedicated to the celebration of the arts and culture, communities and spirit of County Mayo.
Now in its 4th year, 2018 sees the arrival of a new flagship event Made of Mayo, a free, family event in Ballinrobe Racecouse on Saturday afternoon. The racecourse will be transformed into a hive of Mayo Day celebration with something for all the family including live music, art and literature inspired by Mayo, demonstrations, activities and lots more.
Tayto Park Theme Park and Zoo are now officialy open for summer - daily until the end of August. Visit this weekend and try the new Nissan Driving School as well as the popular Viking Voyage and the the Cú Chulainn Coaster.
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
As part the of 'May The Fourth Go With You' Festival, EPIC will host a fun, family workshop on Saturday morning in CHQ, Dublin where you can invent a fantastic space ship.
Will you make an even better Millennium Falcon or come up with your very own design? The morning will be full of art, face-painting and invention – and you can even show off your favourite Star Wars character by coming along in costume! Tickets must be booked in advance and each child ticket include admission to the musuem.
Bird's EuroShow Funfair Castlebar
Open daily over the Bank Holiday weekend from 2pm, Bird's EuroShow Funfair at the Military Barracks in Castlebar runs until Sunday, May 13th, offering a fun atmosphere with fantastic rides and attractions for all of the family. They also have a fair in Connolly's Field, Dundalk beside Tesco Extra and Lidl until May 13th.
The Wild West Country Music and Social Dancing Festival weekend in Kilconly, Tuam, features the best line-up to appear together along the Wild Atlantic Way with some of Ireland's top country acts and winners from the inaugural RTÉ Irish Country Music Awards.
Heading to Ed Sheeran in Cork this weekend? Why not travel in style. Cork Harbour Boat Hire will pick up you and your friends in in Cobh or Monkstown in one of their High Speed Ribs and drop you off right beside Pairc Ui Chaoimh!
Long weekend are great for short family breaks around Ireland and lots of hotels are geared towards family visitors
The Hodson Bay Hotel has a new Medieval Triangle deal where guest can jump on board the Viking boat at Hodson Bay’s and visit Athlone Castle to discover tales of medieval battles, territories won and lost and enjoy a pint at Sean’s Bar, Ireland’s oldest pub.
The May Bank Holiday weekend is also the first real camping weekend of the year and, as always, there is plenty of choice. You could try Nore Valley Park in Kilkenny, which has a pet farm, playground and lots of family activies on-site or Hidden Valley Holiday Park in Wicklow, which has activities such as kayaking, fishing, swimming, rowing boats.
Go behind-the-scenes and learn fun facts about the GAA and Croke Park.
During the Stadium Tour, visit the team dressing rooms, warm-up area and run out pitchside through the players’ tunnel, while in the GAA Museum, use the special Junior Explorer Passport to follow clues and discover some of the museum’s most famous exhibits, including the original Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cups.
Dinosaurs Around the World will transport you into the era of the dinosaur for a tour of an Earth very different from today. With advanced animatronics, a multi-layered narrative, fossils, authentic casts, cutting-edge research and immersive design elements you’ll experience the Age of Reptiles as it comes to life!
Family Fun Day | Carrowmena Activity Centre
On Sunday from 11am - 4pm you have a chance to try new outdoor activities for the whole family (young and old) at a reduced price. Activities include Zipline / Leap of Faith / Archery / High Rope Course Elements / Orienteering / Inflatables, and more.
Wells House in Wexford hosts a fun Teddy Bears Picnic and barbeque on Sunday afternoon. The fun, family event, with their friends Electric Zoo, is included with daily car admission.
The Westgrove Hotel in Clane, Co. Kildare is hosting a FREE Family Fun Day & Craft Fair on Bank Holiday Monday May 7th from 12pm until 4pm. There will be bouncy castles, face painters, magicians, craft & food stands and much more. The event is supporting The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation. All donations are much appreciated. Every €16 = one hour of home nursing care for one Jack & Jill child.