A lot of people will be nervous this weekend as the Irish rugby team try and avoid a quarter-final against New Zealand while, closer to home, the scary Halloween events kick-off around the country.

But, there are also lots of gentler pastimes for families with an interest in theatre, books, food, music, animals and even Harry Potter!

Have fun!

1) Bualadh Bos Children's Festival
Limerick's only arts festival dedicated to children continues throughout the weekend with performances at the Belltable and Lime Tree Theatre including Baba Yaga, Stick With Me and Kyle Riley.

2) Hodson Bay Family Food Fair
As part of Taste the Island this Saturday, activities include interactive cookery demonstrations where children can assist with the chopping, mixing and stirring and also have the opportunity to create their own dishes, arts and crafts and family entertainment.

3) Dublin Theatre Festival
Concluding this weekend with Physics and Phantasma in Project Arts Center, Burgerz in Smock Alley and Us/Them in the Pavillion while The Haircut! a cautionary tale for children is performed in The Ark.

4) The Connemara Green Festival
The fifth annual festival in Letterfrack takes place this weekend to raise awareness of the unique ecology of Connemara and raise funds for biodiversity projects and conservation of our local environment.

Events include children’s weaving willow workshops, walks with local ecologists and historians, nature and craft workshops, a visit to the community garden, learning about local fauna and flora, outdoor activities, farm, tree and archaeology walks in the Connemara National Park, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and boat trips in Letterfrack Bay.

5) Bookville
The festival celebrates books, writing, illustration, comedy, art and more in partnership with visits from authors, illustrators, comedians, a meteorologist, a zoologist and an aeronautical engineer!

6) Eugene O'Neill Festival of Theatre
Celebrating the life and work of the award-winning Irish-American playwright, Eugene O’Neill in New Ross from 10th-14th October with Glencairn Cycle of Plays, a series of three one-act plays, performed twice daily aboard the beautiful Dunbrody Famine Ship as well as performances of Long Day’s Journey Into Night and The Diary of Maynard Perdu

7) Animal Care | St. Anne's City Farm
Each week, there is a workshop for 5 to 12-year-olds on how to care for all the animals at St. Anne's City Farm. You will learn how to make chickens, pigs, goats, pony, rabbits breakfast, mucking out the stables and putting the animals to bed.

8) Ballina Fringe Festival
The second Ballina Fringe Festival runs until 20th October, providing an artistic exploration of life lived on the edge of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way served up in a festival of words, art and music in Co. Mayo. Camille O'Sullivan headlines this weekend.

Camille O'Sullivan

9) Taste of the Lakelands
The 4th annual food festival takes place on Sunday - as part of the Taste the Island campaign - and will feature live cookery demonstrations, local food producers and family fun

10) Talking Walls Festival | Achill Island
Starting this weekend until the 20th October, the festival will celebrate the creativity of the area. Events on the opening weekend include Inishgalloon Painters & Guests exhibition, Slí Grainne Mhaol Walk and Haiku Workshop with Micheál Gallagher & Roberta Beeary.

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11) Wainfest
Concluding this weekend with Bricks4Kidz Lego® workshop in Buncrana, Scannán Beochana 'Rún Cheanannais Mhóir' i nGaoth Dobhair and another special Harry Potter weekend at Oakfield Park.

Three things to do next week:

1) Baboró | International Arts Festival for Children
Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, Ireland's flagship festival for children and families each October in Galway City and County, devoted exclusively to children and families.

2) Great Pink Run
Last year over 8,000 men women and children raised over €500,000 for Breast Cancer Ireland and this year's events are on next Saturday in Dublin and Sunday in Kilkenny. 

3) Harry Potter Day | Castlecomer Discovery Park
Castlecomer Discovery Park will host a Harry Potter day next Saturday. You have read the books, seen the movies, now grab your wand and broom for a day of fun and magic.

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