Things to do with the kids in the final week of Easter holidays

The final school term is in sight and the sun is almost shining. Shake off the harried routine of school runs and use the final week of the Easter hols to schedule some fun activities that memories are made of, says Ciara McDonnell.

Things to do with the kids in the final week of Easter holidays

Life’s A Stage

From Sunday to Wednesday, Cork Opera House will be home to The Magical Adventure of James ‘n’ Matilda, the 12th annual Easter pantomime from the Wolfe Stage School. This all-singing, all-dancing production is the ultimate feel-good afternoon out and tickets start from €19.


Cruinniú na Cásca

2017 marks the first year of Cruinniú na Cásca, a Creative Ireland initiative presented by RTÉ. The free public event will take place in towns and cities across the country on Easter Monday, culminating in a large-scale event in Dublin.

Between 11am and 6pm four zones in Dublin’s city centre will celebrate contemporary Irish culture and creativity through a rich variety of live music and dance, coding, art and music workshops, talks and tastings, readings and screenings.

As part of the all-of-Government Creative Ireland Programme, local authorities around the country will host their own free family-friendly Cruinniú na Cásca initiatives in their own counties. Our highlight from the celebrations in Cork is the screening of Sound of the Sea at Triskel Arts Centre at 2pm.


Lego of Control

If the success of Lego Batman and his hold on seemingly every child countrywide is to be believed, the power of Lego is back. Lifetime Lab in Cork has cottoned onto its popularity with a series of Lego camps.

Junior Engineers aged between six and eight will focus on structural engineering with topics such as bridges, skyscrapers, pyramids and furniture covered and because of its popularity only limited space remains.

Senior engineers between the ages of nine and 12 will build more complex mechanisms and use them to make accurate observations, measurements and records; and even design their own solutions.

Easter camps run from April 18-21, from 10am-2pm, and cost from €85 per child.


Baby Bookworms

Cork City Libraries and Triskel Arts Centre will stage the 13th Cork World Book Festival from Tuesday to Sunday. The festival features a huge amount of readings, workshops, events for teens and children as well as a Saturday Market and art installation on Grand Parade. One of the festival’s main aims is to get people of all ages involved in books.

The annual dedicated teen day is on Wednesday, April 19, a jam-packed line up of events co-ordinated in conjunction with the Cork City Libraries’ Teen Committee.

Róisín Ó Tuathaigh gets ready for World Book Fest at Cork City Library.]zzzEasterHolsFeatPopUpBook_large.jpg

The tiniest members of the family are certainly not forgotten with Small Children Events on Saturday, April 22, in the Children’s Library and Parent and Child Workshops 18-19 April at Triskel in collaboration with Graffiti Theatre Company.


Witness History

If you and the family are in Dublin for Easter then be sure to drop into the GPO Witness History Centre. Located in one of the most historic buildings in Dublin, the centre is a high-tech tribute to Easter week 1916 and promises to bring visitors back in time via a range of touch screens and videos. From eyewitness accounts to stories of those who led the Rising, this is the perfect time of year to immerse yourself in an event, which changed Ireland forever.

Te 1916 Centenary Exhibition in The GPO.
Te 1916 Centenary Exhibition in The GPO.

King Of Crisps

Tayto Park has re-opened for its new season just in time for Easter and is throwing a huge crime scene investigator-themed event on Easter Sunday for all visitors. Mr Tayto will be on hand to help all mini investigators solve the mystery of Who Stole The Egg.

Both kid-size and adult-size investigators will be encouraged to explore the crime scene and collect the clues to unlock the mystery and the best thing is that all children will receive a chocolate egg to thank them for their efforts.

Of course, all the usual thrill-seeking events like the terrifying Cú Chúlainn Coaster Power Surge, Endeavour and Windstar will be in operation as well as the many attractions for those of us who are not exactly adrenalin junkies…


Daytrip To Cobh

As well as being one of the most scenic towns in Cork, Cobh offers a huge amount for a family day trip. Drop into the Titanic Experience, where you will be treated to a hugely immersive trip into what life was like on board the Titanic.

Once fully versed on the Titanic, head to the Cobh Heritage Centre where you will learn all about Cork’s links to the Lusitania and be sure to grab an excellent cup of tea from their on site café.


Finally, hop aboard the boat to Spike Island and show the kids around the Irish version of Alcatraz. Spike Island Tours are running an Easter Family Saver ticket of €30 on Tuesday 18 and Thursday April 20.


Master Builders

The Construction Quarry Machinery Show is coming to Tullamore, Co Offaly on April 21-22 and with it, a site full of child-size attractions. Covering 100,000 sq m, the show features the world-famous JCB Dancing Diggers, who use their hydraulics to flip their machines into sculptures and turn their buckets and shovels into acrobatic arms, lifting the JCBs clear off the ground and performing hand-stands.

Zane Blount Ronan and Sophie Bracken at the launch of CQMS’17, April 21-22, at Molloy’s Quarry, Tinnycross, Tullamore.
Zane Blount Ronan and Sophie Bracken at the launch of CQMS’17, April 21-22, at Molloy’s Quarry, Tinnycross, Tullamore.

There will be a live demonstration zone where over the two days 16,000 tonnes of stone will be excavated, crushed, screened, washed, loaded, dug, loaded, moved and tipped by a large range of different machines. If you are a parent to a digger-mad small person, then mark this in your diary.

On Saturday, April 22, children under 12 have free admission, and adult tickets cost from €20.


Get Away From It All

There are some great family packages on offer in hotels across the country this Easter. The Blarney Hotel Golf & Resort has a holiday offer of two nights B&B and one dinner with accommodation in a family room starting from €239 based on two adults and two children.


Inchydoney Lodge & Spa.
Inchydoney Lodge & Spa.

Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa has a two night package available from €460 for a family of two adults and two children sharing a family room. The package includes breakfast on both mornings, access to the facilities and Cooking with Chef on one afternoon for the kids.


Egg-stra Important

Of course, Easter is not Easter without a good old fashioned egg hunt, and have we got some crackers for you. The 11th annual Easter Trail is taking place today and tomorrow at Fota House and Garden. Tickets are €7 per child, and adults go free. Each ticket provides access to one child to the Easter egg trail and includes one chocolate Easter egg.


On Sunday and Monday, Leahys Open Farm will be hiding eggs all over their farm for visitors to find. Each child will receive a map upon arrival and even adults will be kept occupied with egg and spoon races. There’s also an egg-throwing competition, where teams of two attempt to throw a raw egg as far as they can between them.


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