The family-friendly mischief of the Púca Festival digs down into Halloween’s native roots, with eerie events across the towns of Trim and Athboy from October 27 to 31. Bring the kids on a foraging tour, explore the origins of Halloween on the Hill of Ward Tour and marvel in the aerialist performances and all-ages fun at Sorcas na Samhna. There's a mixture of free and and ticketed events on to explore across all five days.
See the gateway to the Boyne Valley awash in dazzling light displays throughout Lú, the Festival of Light. From October 27 to 31 and November 2 to 4, stunning illuminations will light up the Old Abbey, St Peters Church and Laurence’s Gate in Drogheda, each telling the stories of five of Ireland’s mythological heroes and heroines. Bring the kids for family-friendly street performances, live music and displays that will light up their imaginations.
Enjoy a day of interactive games and play for all ages in Ashbourne, County Meath. Emerald Park sends you down their Tricky Trail, a treasure hunt with storytelling and magical performances to spark little imaginations. Event entry is included in all Emerald Park ticket prices, and under threes go free.
Come nightfall for the Emerald Park After Dark experience and enjoy the twists and turns of the mighty Cú Chulainn Coaster (Europe’s largest wooden roller coaster), or soar through the twilight on the Endeavour at dizzying speed. Tickets allow unlimited access to these white-knuckle favourites and more, though pre-booking is essential.
During warmer months, the Bee Wise Nature Trail blooms with bee-loving trees, shrubs and flowers across its five acres of woodland outside Trim. In October, the trail transforms into the spooky Bee Tricked & Bee Treated walk, where littles ones dressed in costume can meet friendly witches, ghosts and skeletons and get a treat from their cauldrons. Older kids can come back in the evening (accompanied by an adult) for the Forest of Doom night tour. Pre-booking is essential for these Halloween walks.
With fanciful Halloween activities for families with 2 to 12 year olds, there’s something creepy afoot at Causey Farm near Navan. Pooka Spooka has a hayride that delights, alongside a fun Broomstick Ride. You can test your mettle in the Mirror Maze and end the day with a spot of Severed Limb Throwing. Get a leg up by booking in advance (kids under two get in for free).
Join Boyne Boats on their Halloween Mythology Tour and float back in time on Ireland’s oldest canal. Board in Oldbridge for a 90-minute Púca Paddle with tales of history and mystery as you wind along. Learn of Boann, Goddess of the Boyne and find out how the Salmon of Knowledge got so clever as the Boyne Canal’s legends unfold. Suitable for all ages and best to book in advance.
Just two minutes from Newgrange and neighbour to the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre is the Red Mountain Open Farm. Visitors can choose from a range of indoor and outdoor experiences at the farm, from playing in the Halloween Barn and Witches’ Den to cuddling fluffy bunnies. Junior farmers can test drive a toy tractor, or take a family spin on the Ghost Carriage. Booking in advance is recommended.
Take in autumn in the Boyne Valley by walking or cycling the Carlingford Lough Greenway with the gang. The route passes old railway lines, and the panoramic views across the mountains of Mourne make for a stunning backdrop. With a mostly flat, gravel trail that takes about an hour and a half to complete by foot, it's not too tiring for little legs.
If it’s adventure you’re after, set a course for Carlingford and kick off an action-packed day. Drop into the Carlingford Adventure Centre and choose from over 20 activities, including kayaking, water trampolining and rock climbing. There are three unique zones spread across Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Mountains, so no matter which activity you choose, you'll be surrounded by pretty autumnal landscapes.
When the kids have finished their day's aquatic adventure at Carlingford Adventure Centre, head on over to Skypark After Dark for even more Halloween fun. Throw yourselves into spooky festivities like a ride on the Halloween Train, a round of Monster Croquet, a jig at the Monster Disco or even a delicious s'more by the campfire.
The Loughcrew Historic Gardens in picturesque Oldcastle are as spellbinding for kids as they are for adults, with a medieval moat and Alice in Wonderland-inspired sculptures throughout the grounds. Little ones take particular interest in the Enchanted Garden, which transforms into a fantastic lightscape spectacle, dotted with fairies and figures from Irish mythology, starting in November.