There is an abundance of festival, events and great family days out taking place all around the country this April.
From great music celebrations to refreshing outdoor races and walks to delicious food festivals there is something for everyone to enjoy.
So plan your April with www.discoverireland.ie.
Have an eggstraordinary time in Carlingford!
Get into a flap in Carlingford, Co. Louth, for the wackiest event of the year, the Easter National Poultry Races (April 1st). The sane and insane are invited to watch anything that lays an egg - chickens, roosters, ducks and geese - race to the finish line on the Village Green!
Step it out in Carlow!
Celebrate the Celtic cultures of Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man through music, song , dance and language at the International Pan Celtic Festival in Carlow (April 2nd – 7th). The town will come alive with parades and Celtic street entertainment.
A festival for children!
Round up the kids for and games “as Gaeilge” at Féile na bPáistí in Áras Inis Gluaire in Belmullet, Co. Mayo, (April 2nd – 4th). This fun-filled festival is targeted at 5 to 12 year olds, and will encourage them to learn and speak Irish whilst having lots of craic!
Join the craic in Connemara!
Kick your heels up at the Clifden Traditional Music Festival (April 4th - 7th), which will play host to top musicians, singers and dancers. Highlights include pub seisuins, music workshops and masterclasses, with an emphasis on sean nos dancing!
Join the ceili in Kenmare!
Co. Kerry will play host to Ireland’s finest traditional musicians for the Kenmare Traditional Music Festival, (April 5th - 7th). See the rolling stones of Irish trad, the legendary De Danann. And step it out with the Kilfenora Ceili Band
Loop the Loop!
Dust off the walking boots and join the Loop Head Walking Festival (April 5th - 7th) in Co. Clare. Enjoy stunning wild Atlantic scenery with experienced guides and see two beautiful lighthouses along the way!
Hip-Hop to Kerry!
Traditional, hip-hop, and salsa dancing is on the menu at the Tocht Festival of Dance (April 5th – 6th) which takes place in Siamsa Tíre in Tralee. You have a chance to watch – and learn! - some fantastic footwork on the Siamsa stage. www.siamsatire.com
Be a trailblazer!
Challenge yourself along stunning coastal cliff paths on the Bray Trail Blazer 10k run (April 6th). Be warned this is no ordinary run! The route will bring you over sandy beaches, along rough tracks, with the prize of spectacular views overlooking Dublin Bay.
Look for a Leprechaun!
Bring the entire family out to hunt for leprechauns at the Leprechaun Hunt (April 7th) on beautiful Sliabh Foy Mountain near Carlingford, Co. Louth. 100 Ceramic Leprechauns will be hidden with “crocks of gold” under each one to the total value of €2000.
Enjoy fabulous polo!
Help Polo Wicklow celebrate its 20th anniversary by turning out for a special challenge match between the USA and Ireland, (April 6th). Bring the family and enjoy craft and food villages, live music, cheerleaders, Irish dancing, and even leprechauns!
Enjoy a family flutter in Limerick!
Hedge your bets and bring the family to Limerick Races for its special Family Fun Day (April 7th). Study the form while the kids enjoy pony rides, face-painting, bouncy castles, and the cinema club. Don’t miss the Teddy Bear Dash before the actual horse racing starts! www.limerickraces.ie
Raise the roof!
World famous tenor, Joseph Calleja, and soprano Claudia Boyle, will join with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra at the National Concert Hall in Dublin (April 6th) as part of the Great Artists Series. They will be conducted by Proinnsias Ó Duinn. www.nch.ie
Make it a marathon!
Head west for the Elvery’s Sports Connemara International Marathon (April 7th) taking place in the stunning wilderness of the West of Ireland. While places for the Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Ultra Marathon are full, you can still sign up for the charity entry! www.connemarathon.com
Have a taste of West Waterford!
Put the tasty West Waterford Festival of Food on the menu (April 11th – 14th)! Centred in the beautiful coastal town of Dungarvan, this festival is a mecca for food lovers with tastings, a buzzing food market, and celebrity chefs showing you how its done!
Tango in Cork!
Learn cool new moves at the Cork Tango Festival (April 11th -14th). Hosted by the Cork Argentinian Tango Society you can see brilliant tango dancing from Ireland and all over the world. You can sign up to classes too. www.corktangofestival.com
Run, run, run!
Young and old are invited to the Phoenix Park for the Great Ireland Run (April 14th), a 10k race which is a highlight in Dublins sporting calendar. Thousands of runners of all abilities, and enthusiastic children, will join with leading world athletes for this great event.
Be a tractor nut!
Put on your wellies! More than 150 vintage tractors will follow a scenic route through the rural countryside of south Carlow for the Rosdillig Tractor Run (April 15th) which starts in the beautiful village of Borris.
Go wild in Cork!
Get back to nature at the Discover Wildlife Weekend (April 12th – 14th) in Roscarbery, Co. Cork. See busy birds and mammals get ready for the breeding season, and the countryside a hive of activity. You might spot Basking Sharks often seen off the coast at this time of year.
See Messiah on the street!
You are in for a treat with a joyous outdoor performance of Messiah on the Street (April 13th) in Temple Bar. Performed by our Lady's Choral Society with guest soloist Ross Scanlon, and conducted by Proinnsías Ó Duinn, this unique choral performance will take place on the very site where Messiah received its world premiere in 1742.
Music at the museum!
Head to Waterford for the first in an exciting new series of monthly Sunday lunchtime concerts, Music at the Museum, (April 14th), at the Medieval Museum in Waterford. Performers include The Muggins, Joe Harney aka Deaf Joe, Eric Sweeney, Mark Roper, Voci and Concordia.
Enjoy electronic music!
Celebrate a different side of music at the new Phase One Electronic Music and Arts Festival in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, (April 19th - 20th) featuring electronic musicians, DJ’s, producers, art installations, workshops and more!
The beautiful Barrow in Co. Carlow is the backdrop for the River Barrow Arts Festival (April 19th – 21st), an international multidisciplinary festival featuring world renowned musicians, poets, writers and artists. It takes place in two stunning venues - Borris House and Duiske Abbey. www.barrowriverartsfedstival.com
Lovers of literature will adore the Franco-Irish Literary Festival in Dublin (April 19th – 21st). Celebrating the cultural links uniting the nations of europe, this year’s festival has the theme Love & Hurt
Be a legend in Louth!
Savour the breath-taking views around Carlingford Lough and join in the Cooley Legends Half Marathon & 10K run, (April 20th). The course takes in the best views of what the Cooley’s has to offer, weaving through the stunning Goylin Pass.
WAR in Wicklow!
Go to WAR and join the Wicklow Adventure Race in Glendalough, (April 20th). It takes you running over the Sally Gap, and kayaking on the magical Lough Dan. There are three levels of course to choose from. Sign up now!
Celebrate our grandmothers!
Grandmothers will be centre stage for International Grandmothers Day at Sandbrook House in Ballon, Co. Carlow (April 21st). This event promotes "forgotten skills" with fun events for all ages featuring slow food, a farmers market, cookery demonstrations and workshops. www.sandbrook.ie
Run in the sunny south east!
The good news is that if you don’t want to run you can walk the course of the Wexford Half Marathon & 10km, (April 21st). The course is scenic, flat, and fast and goes through the gardens of Johnstown Castle. www.wexfordhalfmarathon.com
On your bike to Nenagh!
See at first hand high speed cycling at the Visit Nenagh Classic, (April 21st), a one day cycling festival in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Two teams from Holland will take part in the event which will also include a family fun cycle.
Checkmate in Cork!
Fancy some chess? Head south for the Cork Chess Congress (April 19th – 21st) and try your hand yourself – or see the masters in action! The tournament consists of one game on Friday, three on Saturday and two on Sunday. www.corkchess.com
Book a date in Cork!
Bookworms will be in heaven at the Cork World Book Fest (April 23rd – 27th). There will be readings by world class writers in a variety of settings, including Paul Durcan, Claire Keegan, John Banville, Dermot Healy, and Derek Mahon. www.constantreader.ie
Giddy up to Kildare!
A safe bet is a visit to Kildare for the Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival, (April 23rd – 27th). It combines thrilling sporting action, brilliant live entertainment, delicious food and drink, family fun, and dazzling glamour! www.punchestown.com
Cuirt in Galway!
Head west for Irelands premier writer’s event, the Cúirt International Festival of Literature (April 23rd – 28th). This is a friendly festival where world renowned writers – including poet Seamus Heaney – and the public meet in a convivial atmosphere to talk and interact. www.cuirt.ie
The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, (April 25th – 28th) in Howth is filled to the brim with fishy fun and food delights. Try your hand at the prawn shelling competition and whet the appetite with tastings of top quality seafood, walks, talks and seaside antics.
Have an art attack in Limerick!
Enjoy a three-day feast of words, music and dance at the Eigse Michael Hartnett Poetry and Literary Festival 2013, (April 25th – 27th), in Newcastle, Co. Limerick. The vibrant festival programme features artist Robert Ballagh who delivers the Michael Hartnett Memorial Lecture. www.eigsemichaelhartnett.ie
Join the Monster Mac!
Join an adrenalin-pumping adventure challenge over a unique and unexplored course including running, biking, and Kayaking at the MonsterMac on the Boggeragh Mountains in Millstreet Co Cork. (April 27th). Those not super fit can opt for the BabyMac course!
Slow art in Limerick!
The Hunt Museum in Limerick invites you to join t hem in celebrating Slow Art Day (April 27th), a global grassroots arts celebration designed to inspire new ways of seeing art - slowly. View a number of pre-selected works for 5 to 10 minutes each, and meet to talk about the experience. www.huntmuseum.com