23-31 October: Celebrating the Celtic New Year and Halloween spirits, Púca returns with this year’s locations being Slane Castle, Drogheda, Trim and Athboy. With the Hill of Ward in Athboy being one of the earliest sites to celebrate Halloween, storytellers will guide visitors through this historic place. Slane Castle will be host of a 1km spooky walk through its woodlands in which spirits await to scare you. Music, comedy and storytelling will make Drogehda a worthwhile destination this Halloween, while Trim boasts Samhain installations on Trim Castle, as well as Cabaret and music shows in the evening. There are many more events at all locations and more information can be found at www.pucafestival.com

Derry Halloween

29-31 October: To get into the spirit of Halloween, the Awakening the Walled City programme will be sure to awaken all kinds of spirits you wish would stay asleep. Locations include Derry, Donegal and Strabane. There will be Samhain illustrations and illuminations at all locations. Chilling stories will be told by Cailleach, while Walter the skeleton and his ancestors aim to turn Derry into a ‘City of Bones’ and appearances by shape-shifting goddess Morrígan and others are guaranteed. Other less-scary activities include food trails, a fun fair, live music and a fireworks display over the River Foyle. For the full programme see www.derryhalloween.com

Galway Aboo Halloween Festival

24-31 October: The famous festival from the west is back with plenty of Halloween activities. The Burren Nature Sanctuary in Kinvara is part of this year’s festival, offering a haunted barn, face painting and a Halloween quiz. There will be a Spooky Treasure Hunt at Brigit’s Garden with mummies and ghosts being only a few of the obstacles along the way. Another highlight is the Slieve Aughty Halloween Festival with Halloween games and a walk or pony ride to the Enchanted Forest and many more spootacular activities. Find more at www.galwaytourism.ie

Spooky Nights in the Museum

28-30 October: If you are looking for a kid-friendly activity this Halloween, a visit to the Irish Military War Museum in Co Meath at night will be worth your while. The museum has a top-rated exhibition that comes to life in all its spookiness at night. All kids are given a ghostbuster flash lamp which will make their mission to frighten away all the spirits in the exhibition much easier. After lots of scares, children can enjoy the rest of the evening in the play area, which has an inflatable paddock, a maze and pumpkin carving. Refreshments will be available for both adults and children. Find out more at www.irishmilitarywarmuseum.com

Tayto Park

23-31 October: Tayto Park has two Halloween events lined up this year. The Tricky Trail will take visitors on a scary treasure hunt as well as offering Halloween-themed interactive games. There will also be story-telling, magical performances and potion mixing to feed all the spooky imaginations. Tayto Park is encouraging brave visitors to experience the premises after dark on 23, 29 and 30 October for extended opening hours. Although this is a “no scare” event, it promises to be a lot of fun, especially if you go the extra mile and dress up in a scary costume to go on all the rides. For more information see www.taytopark.ie

Last-minute pumpkin patches to go to

Fermanagh Fun Farm, Co Fermanagh

Until 31 October: Get to the pumpkin patch via the ghost train to choose your pumpkin. Back at the carving marquee, help is available to design and carve your unique pumpkin. Fermanagh Fun Farm has also organised a treasure hunt to find all the ghosts lurking around on the farm. There will be prizes available for successful treasure hunters. Other activities include feeding the animals on the farm, visiting the pet corner and enjoying the indoor and outdoor play areas. Tickets need to be pre-booked at www.fermanaghfunfarm.com

Ballycross Apple Farm, Co Wexford

Dates in October: If you are deciding on a last-minute pumpkin patch adventure, Ballycross Apple Farm is the place to visit. No booking is required, so come early to avoid queues. They have a Witch’s Village that you can visit to meet the Ballycross Witch for a chat and a scare. You can then choose your pumpkin and take a tractor ride back to the farm. Food stalls can be found at the farm, as well as the newly opened Ballycross Café. More info on opening times can be found at www.ballycross.com

Pumpkin Patches - the fun returns!

Joe’s Farm, Co Cork

Dates in October: Dress up for every type of weather and head to Joe’s Farm for some pumpkin picking. This is a purely outdoor event, which is only cancelled in the event of a red weather warning, so you can rest assured that you will get a pumpkin this year. Visitors can take a stroll around the gardens and pick some vegetables and of course, most importantly, a pumpkin. While doing so, kids and adults get to learn a little bit about farming as well. Pre-booking is essential and can be done through their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/joesfarmcrispscork

Nore Valley Park, Co Kilkenny

Dates in October: Why not combine this year’s pumpkin picking with a visit to the pet farm? Nore Valley Farm is great place to learn about the Irish heritage of farming, get to pet and feed animals or play giant chess and crazy golf. Of course, pumpkin picking cannot be missed and the patch is ready to be stormed by eager pumpkin pickers. Visitor can either decide to take their pumpkin home or carve it on the farm. Booking for a visit to the farm is essential and payment for the pumpkin is then made at reception. Find out more at www.norevalleypark.com

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