National Heritage Week takes place across Ireland from 14th-24th August 2021 with lots of free events in every county. There are plenty of family-friendly events and activities to enjoy, from a seashore safari to medieval combat training – we’ve picked out a selection that look really fun!
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National Heritage Week 2021 may be a time for individuals or families to uncover their personal histories for the first time. Is there a tradition such as a song or craft that has been passed down through your family or community that you are curious about? Have you become more aware of nature in your locality? Heritage exploration opportunities are endless, no matter your interest.
On Wild Child Day, The Heritage Council encourages kids and families to drop the devices, jump off the couch and get outdoors to explore the heritage in their locality. This year’s Wild Child Day will take place on Wednesday, 18th August.
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Family Events at Heritage Week 2021
Become a Donegal Museum Detective
Become a ‘Donegal Museum Detective’ during your visit to the Donegal County Museum. This fun and educational family backpack is available to borrow, free of charge on your visit. It contains a variety of activities which have been designed to engage children and families with the exhibitions.
After completing the activities, you will have your Donegal Museum Detectives Passport stamped and there will be something for you to take home.
For more information, click here.
Children’s Workshop at Kilkenny School of Forestry
Date: August 15th at 10am and 12.30pm
Kilkenny Forest School will visit the castle park to celebrate National Heritage Week for a series of forest school workshops for 8 to 12 year olds.
Learn, play and create with nature through games and story as you learn how our ancestors made tools and foraged and learn how to process plants for wild food and medicines. Rediscover our wild selves and our connection to nature as you discover and learn about the biodiversity of the park and learn new skills.
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Native Animals in the Wild Art Competition
Embrace National Heritage Week Wild Child day and encourage children to get creative, go outdoors and explore your local forest and nature trails to get inspired!
And, if you can, visit the scenic Pollagh trail in Birdhill, Co. Tipperary to view the ‘At One with Nature’ open-air art exhibition with original works along a 2.5km creative trail, fun for all ages.
Children aged 5-12 years can join in by submitting their artworks to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag them online @birdhillarthub. The winner will be announced Thursday the 19th of August.
Seashore Safari with Sea Synergy, Kerry
Date: August 16th and 17th at 4pm
Explore the local seashore with marine biologists who will help you uncover some of the secrets of the creatures living in one of the most extreme environments. You will explore the rock pools and animals that live there, learn cool facts and find crabs, prawns, starfish and much more! Fun and interesting for all ages.
The Seashore Safaris will explore Inny strand beach, Waterville. Start with some mindfulness on the beach, then a tour of the rock pools, identifying the species and let the children explore them too, ocean literacy on the beach, beach-themed games, and a few minutes of a beach clean going through what type of litter is found and what it’s source might be.
Lasting approximately 90 minutes, all activities are flexible and depend on the weather and the interest/age of the group. For more information, click here.
Meet the Wolfhounds at Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Clare
Date: August 16-20th at 11.15am and 3.15pm
Come and meet the beautiful Irish Wolfhounds, Saoirse and Meabh, as they enjoy their daily stroll around Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. Meet the farmers who take care of these regal creatures and learn how they are cared for on a daily basis.
Irish wolfhounds are known for being gentle, friendly and very intelligent, and they inhabited Ireland long before the arrival of Christianity and the written word. Known in Irish as ‘Cu Faoil’ denoting bravery, the Irish wolfhound is the stuff of legends.
Medieval Combat Training at King John’s Castle, Limerick
Date: August 16-20th at 3pm
Experience a talk and demonstration on the history of medieval weaponry and armoury at King John’s Castle.
Join the castle characters and learn all about the history and skill involved in Medieval Combat Training. Learn about the history of medieval archery and sword fighting, the armoury required and the skills involved by brave soldiers as they faced into battle during medieval times. Test your skill and accuracy and enjoy the opportunity to partake in these medieval activities.
Live Online Workshop for Teens: Pop Art meets Ottoman Turkey
Date: August 17th at 12pm
Meet artist Murat Palta to discover his artworks which are commentaries on popular culture, historical events and current affairs. Using art materials and a sense of humour, why not create your own response to contemporary culture in the style of 17th century Turkish painting?
For more information and to register for a place, visit www.chesterbeatty.ie
Tree Trail and Moss Hunt at Glengarriff Woods, Cork
Date: August 18th from 10am-2pm
Join the Conservation Rangers in the woods on Wild Child Day to find some of the biggest and smallest plants in Glengarriff Nature Reserve.
The Rangers will help you see how many different types of tree you can find and looking at the tiny plants that grow on them. There will be some fun mossy activities and hand lenses available so you can see the smallest details of the tiniest plants!
For more information and to register for this free event, click here.
Children’s Nature Art in Bantry House Stableyard, Cork
Date: August 18th from 2-4pm
Use plant materials in two contrasting craft activities and come away with something you can keep.
In Creative Adventures with Leaves and Paint, join nature artist and experienced teacher, Sue van Coppenhagen, for fun activities that combine art and science. Explore the shape, colour, texture and details of leaves and the properties of paint, wax and water.
In Flower and Leaf Pounding and Tree ID Disks with Etaoin Melville, flowers and leaves are gathered, selected and arranged onto pieces of cloth, covered, and then bashed with a stone. Noisy, satisfying, requiring some skill and care, and usually providing surprisingly colourful and detailed results. The Tree ID disks use observational and drawing skills and produce a game to take home.
For more information and to book, click here.
Creative Family Day at the Devenish Lands at Dowth, Meath
Date: August 18th from 10am-2pm
Bring your family on a creative adventure, travelling back in time around the magical landscape of the Devenish Lands at Dowth, a research farm focused on sustainable agriculture, with Helen Stanton, Public Engagement Manager.
Discover what lies beneath your feet and the monumental structures created by our ancestors during the Neolithic period on this farm, situated within the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site. Picnic on the lawn while Archaeologist Dr Clíodhna Ni Lionain describes the archaeology, including the ceramic fragments discovered here.
Then it’s time to get creative with local artist Penelope Lacey, using the inspirational stories to shape your own, very special clay offerings to take home.
Dress for adventure and a little mess. Suitable for 3+. Please bring a picnic lunch/beverages.
Tickets cost €10 per person. More information can be found here.
Water Babies, Leitrim
Date: August 22nd at 10am and 2pm
Water Babies Workshop at the Organic Centre is facilitated by art therapist Anna Mulvihill.
This family-friendly workshop is suitable for children of all ages. Enjoy lots of ways to play together with your child using water-based and sensory materials. Sensory play involves exploration through the senses and encourages creativity, curiosity and healthy brain development. It’s also a lot of fun!
Children Go Free at Kerry County Museum
Date: Daily from 10am-5pm
Kerry County Museum is a family-friendly museum offering free entry to children and plenty of fun activities throughout their visit. On arrival, each child receives a free discovery trail and pencil and is sent on a journey of discovery. There are plenty of fun things to do, from object spotting in the 1916 exhibition, writing your name in ancient Ogham, finding out all about Tom Crean word to our colourful Knights & Fairy trail in the Medieval Experience.
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