As the birthplace of Halloween, it’s no surprise that the October festival is celebrated extensively throughout Ireland, and this year, there’s really something for everyone. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite events for home-owners in our Wicklow, Dublin/Meath and Kildare developments to enjoy over the coming weeks.
Marianella & Donnybrook Gardens
The close proximity of the city centre means that our Rathgar and Donnybrook residents can have their pick of Halloween activities – so why not visit the biggest of them all, the Bram Stoker Festival, which was visited by over 80,000 people in 2018. Events take place from Friday 25th October to Monday 28th October, and include a séance held in complete darkness, daring new theatre, a spectacle on water, dress-up film screenings, a food trail, and a Victorian pop-up fun park for families. See www.bramstokerfestival.com for more details.
Want something spookier? Book in for drinks, dinner or afternoon tea at the Shelbourne Hotel, and see if you can spot the resident ghost. Legend has it that the hotel is haunted by Mary Masters, a seven-year-old girl who died of cholera in 1791. In 2015, actress Lily Collins said that she was woken in the night by the sound of a giggling young girl – could that have been Mary?
Gandon Park & Shackleton Park
Our Lucan residents in Gandon Park and Shackleton Park can pick up lots of Halloween treats and take part in family-friendly activities at the Halloween Urban Market in St Catherine’s Park, which takes place from 11am on 27th October to 5pm on 28th October.
See https://www.facebook.com/events/507039990029646/ for updates and more details.
Residents in Parkside can choose between two nearby Halloween spectaculars. Malahide Castle is hosting a “slightly spooky” trail around the West Lawn for children with lots of puzzles to solve and crazy Halloween characters to meet. See www.malahidecastleandgardens.ie for more.
For adults, visit Newbridge House & Farm in Donabate for the NeWitch experience, which recreates the infamous Blair Witch Project – warning, not for those easily spooked! See www.newbridgehouseandfarm.com for tickets.
Ideal for Churchfields residents is Tayto Park, which this year is hosting a Wicked Adventures event. Suitable for the whole family, the spooktacular adventure trail begins in the Wicked Witches Lair for spooky stories and spell casting. Fun interactive games and a pumpkin walkway lead to the Wacky Wizard’s mansion where a Halloween disco, a magician and a dance troupe leads the party.
See www.taytopark.ie for dates and details.
Edenbrook families can enjoy Halloween at Luggwoods, which is celebrating the season with pumpkin picking and decorating and lots of fun Halloween games in the ideal setting of the Luggwoods Enchanted Forest. Book through www.luggwoods.ie
Killruddery House in Bray, Co Wicklow, is the ideal spot for a day out this autumn. This year for Halloween, the estate is hosting a pick and carve pumpkin extravaganza, along with some seasonal workshops activity partners including Me And The Moon and The Cool Food School. There’s also a DIY Scarecrow Competition on Sunday 27th October – can your family create the winning Scarecrow?
See www.killruddery.com for more details and tickets.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for some midterm fun for the kids, a special Halloween-themed Brick Flicks (Lego Stop Motion) workshop is taking place at the Whale Theatre. The four-day camp is suitable for those aged nine-plus, and participants will learn how to make a spooky set, create a zombie invasion and then have their favourite Lego character save the day.
See www.whaletheatre.ie for more.
Possibly one of the spookiest places in Ireland is Wicklow’s Historic Gaol, just a short trip down the road for our Glenheron residents. This Halloween, the Gaol is hosting a virtual reality experience featuring some of the most notorious prisoners. If that’s a bit much for the younger members of the family, on the afternoons of Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st, the Gaol is hosting a Spooky Ghost Tour for Little Monsters. See www.wicklowshistoricgaol.com for more.
Our Albany families don’t have to travel far for some Halloween fun. For 20 years in a row, Killiney resident Ken Carraher has built a Halloween crypt in his garden, raising over €40,000 for charity. This year, Ken’s Halloween House of Horrors is once again open at his house in Bayview Court, this time accepting donations for Debra Ireland.
Oakpark & Elsmore
Kick off the Halloween weekend in style with the Spooks Parade and family fun day at Globe Retail Park, Naas, on Friday 28th October. Led by Count Dracula, local children will go from store to store on a spooky adventure, trick or treating staff and customers alike. Along the way, children will be entertained by magicians, jugglers and face painters with a Halloween DJ providing spooky tunes. The event starts at 4.30pm; get there before the parade starts at 5pm to get your face painted and meet the characters. See www.naasretailpark.ie for more details.
Residents in our Oak Park and Elsmore developments can head to the Moat Theatre for the 10th anniversary performance of Jackula on 26th October. Jackula has performed at the White House, toured America and Canada, appeared on RTÉ, NBC and CBS television – and is once again back in the Moat for more magic, fun and treats for all the family.
See www.moattheatre.com for tickets.
Head down the road to the Irish National Stud and Gardens for their Halloween spectacular, where from 26th to the 31st October, the resident ponies Prince, Bertie and Dipper will be offering pony rides to all the little visitors. There’s face painting while you wait, magic shows and a spooky monster slime workshop to enjoy.
Looking for some real-life spooks? The corridors of Clongowes Wood College in Clane, Co Kildare, is said to be haunted by a phantom hound with glowing eyes, the manifestation of a hanged murderer. Several motorists also reported having to brake hard on the road outside the college to avoid hitting a child – who then disappears. A phantom coach is also said to stop at the front gates at midnight. Creepy!
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