The big read
Spend this midterm getting your spook on, with Ciara McDonnell’s pick of the best events taking place on Halloween week
Every day from 2pm-6pm the chefs at Cork Airport Hotel welcome the mini masterchefs of the future in pizza making classes. Kids will don a child-size set of chef whites as they help to make their pizza from start to finish — specifying the toppings of course. The class costs €5.50 per child and can you can add a starter, dessert and drink for €8.95.
Pick A Pumpkin
The Farm at Grenagh transforms into a magical pumpkin patch at Halloween every year.
The good witch Esmeralda will be on hand to help small people cast a spell to find the right pumpkin for their family and her helpers will be on hand to help make your very own witches hat, before a special class in pumpkin carving.
For parents who are feeling a little competitive on the day, there’s a daily broom race for grown-ups. Entry to the pumpkin patch is €14 per child and €5 per adult. visitthefarm.ie/pumpkinpatch-2018/
Fota Island Resort is transforming into a ghoulish wonderland for Halloween week. Families are advised to stay close together as they travel through the streets of Spooky Town, pass graveyards and pumpkin patches to meet the local Mayor, Count Derekula. Designed like a Crystal Maze, families will have to solve clues and puzzles along the way, collecting codes and stamps; at the very end, there will be a treat station where children can exchange their stamps for treats.
The tour takes between 45 minutes to one hour and costs between €10-16.50 per person, depending on the day. www.spookytown.ie
Over the last three years, Ghoulsley’s Manor has built up quite a reputation for its frightful Halloween festivities. Children from the ages of four to 14 years get to immerse themselves in a truly spellbinding theatrical performances by a creative and fun-loving acting crew from east Cork.
In the setting of an historic manor house, the Halloween extravanganza has proven popular for parties, group visits, school outings and family days out. This imaginative family experience allows kids — young and old — to get lost amidst the candlelight and cobwebs of Cork’s original spooky haunted manor.
For more information and booking, please visit: www.ghoulsleysmanor.com/ Monsters Misfits and Mayhem Bunratty Folk Park is transforming into a world of ghouls and monstrous gremlins on Bank Holiday Monday to ensure that our small people are as hyped as possible for trick or treating the following day.
The Halloween Ghost Ride is returning where ghosts and goblins jump out when you’re lest expecting it, and kids will love the opportunity to get up close and personal with a grisly collection of tarantulas, snakes, scorpions and lizards.
Tickets cost €7 per child (under 3’s go free) and adults cost €13. www.shannonheritage.com/
Ballymaloe Grainstore is transforming itself into a fearsome Halloween experience for the whole school holidays. Set like a treasure hunt, families will follow the clues to free a princess from a giant’s castle before retiring to the Boo café for some much needed Ballymaloe hospitality and plenty of games and activities for the children. Tickets are €15 per person and the experience runs from 10am-6pm every day. www.ballymaloefestivals.ie
Dragon of Shandon Festival
The Dragon of Shandon is celebrating her thirteenth birthday this year as she parades through Cork city. The Dragon of Shandon Parade takes place on Halloween night, when more than 500 ghosts, ghouls and misfits will take to the street to celebrate Samhain. Supported by Cork Community Art Link, this parade is a wonderful celebration of the arts in Cork and is a brilliantly spooky way to kick off Halloween. The parade leaves from Shandon at 7pm travelling across the river to North Main Street and finishing in Cornmarket Street. www.dragonofshandon.com
King John’s Castle in Limerick is running science workshops for children from Tuesday, October 30, to Friday, November 2, with spooky experiments designed to introduce children to the fun of chemistry. Kids will make three
types of slime, geysers made from Coca-Cola and fizz inflators, as well as exploding lunch bags. Ideal for children aged between six and 13, the workshops take place each day at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm. Tickets cost €12 per child.
A Gaol Of A Time
Cork City Gaol is going full on scary this Halloween week, with a programme of family-friendly events taking place for the whole of midterm.
Each day, the Gaol will be running a special treasure hunt, as well as storytelling, face-painting and balloon making, all in the heart of one of Cork’s scariest venues.
Tickets cost €5 per child, €8 per adult and families of two adults and two children can buy a family ticket for €25. corkcitygaol.com/
Make Your Own Halloween
The Toy Soldier Factory in Kilnamartyra, County Cork, is running Hallowthe een-themed workshops for big and little kids throughout the midterm.
Choose from a pumpkin or a scary witch or even a Halloween skeleton pirate and cast your very own metal figure before spending an hour painting your model to perfection.
The workshops take between an hour and ninety minutes and are suitable for children aged seven and up.
Tickets cost €10.80 per hour session and can be booked via the website. toysoldierfactory.ie
AliceBarry,artistic director, plays Winne the Witch at the first Ballymaboo Halloween Experience, which will take place in the Ballymaloe Grainstore until November 4.
Orlaith Kelly age 9 and David Smith age 9 from Corbally at the Launch of Spook-tacular Science at King John’s Castle, Limerick.
Ben and Matthew O’Donoghue from Glanmire at the children’s pizza making classes at Cork Airport Hotel.
The Maid Anett Kurucsai dares to tread the staircase at the haunted Ghoulsleys Manor in Cuskinny, Cobh, where the 200 year-old mansion is under the Curse of the Purple Pumpkin for Halloween midterm. The spooky theatrical experience and its ghoulish goings on run every afternoon and evening.