Family friendly mischief harks back to Halloween’s native roots in The Boyne Valley. Walk through the darkened woods at Slane Castle as it transforms into a captivating spirit playground. View an out of this world display that sets the October night alight at Trim Castle. Or take a haunting tour of Tlachtga (The Hill of Ward), where folklore suggests Halloween began.
The Halloween Spooktacular has a brilliant bunch of online and onsite events for the mid term break. At the in person Samhain Family Festival, storytellers weave their spell. While at the virtual Trick or Treat Around the World workshop you can craft creepy creations. From Mexican Sugar Skulls to the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival, it’s a grand tour of ghoulishness.
The Nightmare Realm
For those craving something decidedly more gruesome, The Nightmare Realm is in search of willing fresh victims. Scare yourself silly as you survive a run in with the Red Woman in a remote rundown village, or shriek your way through the Panic Attack horror house. Enter if you dare, with some proper shocks in store this is not suitable for children under 13.
Crisp, clear days make for memorable family outings in the great outdoors. At the Halloween Happenings event, the natural history of the Irish peatlands unfolds in the breathtaking Bog of Allen. Go flora and fauna spotting on the Biodiversity Boardwalk before setting out on a Terror Treasure Hunt.
Get acquainted with animal friends like ponies and goats at the Halloween Festival. Pop into the pumpkin patch or call into the Haunted House. You can top off your afternoon doing the Monster Mash at the Kids Disco.
A bit eerie any time of year, a Halloween visit to one of the most haunted places in Ireland ticks all the spooky boxes. Be transported into the past, and witness the harsh realities of life for an 18th century inmate. Over 10s can try the virtual reality tour of the Victorian era prison. Step into the shackles of an unfortunate inmate and feel a shiver.
Be introduced to your very own donkey pal and trot happily off to the pumpkin patch together. Your furry new friend even has a rucksack to help with the carrying. Or collect a wheelbarrow and set off on funky farm trails, rolling past Witches’ Wagons through the Fairy Forest.
The Aquarium turns into an Ascarium this October. Go in search of the Sea Witch and meet monsters of the deep along the way. Check out the venomous Red Lionfish and Dragon Moray Eel. Having faced down these Toxic Terrors, behold the Bay of Rays and go to the Tropical Shark Lagoon where you’ll come face to fin with some of the ocean’s most iconic wildlife.
Watch a modern spin on a classic fairy tale. All aboard the Rathwood Express for a jaunt through a forest full of surprises. Arrive at the Big Top where the Hansel and Gretel Halloween Pantomime stages an all singing, all dancing musical spectacle. The show will leave the whole family screaming (with laughter).
At the hour long Spooky Science Workshop, kids take part in a slime making session with Geopark staff. While they’re creatively occupied, you can unwind by walking the wide open prehistoric landscape. Pass through areas with geological features that remain much as they were aeons ago. Breathe in the stunning views to the soundtrack of birdsong.
See the sights while you get a good scare on this paranormal journey of discovery. Walk the cobbled lanes of Kilkenny City from St Mary’s Church to Kilkenny Castle. Follow in the notorious footsteps of Dame Alice Kyteler, the Kilkenny Witch. Tales of torture will have you looking over your shoulder as you meander through Ireland’s oldest medieval city.
Have an animal adventure this Halloween as you roam the Spooky Farm. Kids can hold fluffy bunnies and cuddle squeaky guinea pigs, or eye up exotics like emus. Operate real diggers or take a spin on a genuine fire engine in the company of ghosts and ghouls.
Find farmyard favourites like Daisy the Cow and a gaggle of friendly geese. Naturally, petting time is an unmissable highlight. The outdoor Boo! Experience’s haunted hayride winds through a witchy wood, children cast spells and create their own spooky lollipops.
At the Halloween Hoedown, enjoy fright free family fare with interactive stories, singing and dancing. Little goblins and their Mummies (and Daddies) can also visit with the rare breed sheep, alpacas, cows and pygmy goats and explore the play area and sensory garden.
Learn of Limerick City’s ghastly past. Begin at the Bishops' Palace, if you’re brave enough. Find out about the legend of the Bishop’s Lady and hear of the strange goings on in the graveyard after sundown. Due to the tour’s scary nature (and chance of supernatural encounters), fearless participants are asked to sign a waiver.
Explore the mysterious wood and follow the fairy trail at Wildlands Spooky Orienteering sessions. Keep your eyes peeled for the Moycullen Mummy and Wicked Witch of Wildlands, you never know who might be lurking around the next corner. There’s also outstanding options like orienteering and a zip-line outdoors, plus brilliant indoor play areas to explore.
Step into another world where a shape shifting witch lifts the veil between realms. Pass from light into darkness on All Hallows Eve on a Witches Tour in the Walled Gardens. Be surrounded by exotic plants gathered from around the globe, and explore the children’s garden trail.
Celebrate the ancient festival of Samhain with a special trip down into the bowels of the earth. The Origins of Samhain tour guides you into the cave of Oweynagat (the Cave of the Cats). Visit the home of Halloween as you enter through ‘Ireland’s Gate to Hell’.
Have a weird and wonderful time with scary skeletons, ghosts, ghouls and (slightly) frightening fun. Make a magic potion or design a Halloween lantern, and be sure to bring along your own homemade entry for the Scarecrow Competition. There are some tricks (but not many), and plenty of treats.
Check out the northwest’s newest autumn happening. This special carnival of culture features music concerts, comedy shows, spoken word and storytelling performances to amuse, entertain, and capture the imagination.
Looking for further inspiration? Check out What’s On to see even more things to do this Halloween.