Things to Do at Easter 2018

Every spring, the long Easter weekend beckons like a promise of good times to come. Casting scatterings of sunshine across Ireland’s Ancient East, it’s the perfect time to discover the region in one of its most vibrant seasons, and truly experience the stories that bring the land to life.

We’ve selected eight unique Easter treats explore these events with family and friends to uncover the historical twists and turns of Ireland, from medieval pilgrimages to maritime adventures by the sea.

Easter at Huntington Castle, March 31 - 2 April 2018

This year Huntington Castle hosts their annual treasure hunt around the garden – each child will be given a basket and a set of clues, then it's off to find the golden nuggets and win a chocolate surprise at the end! There will also be an opportunity to meet new little lambs and explore the woodland adventure playground. Stroll through the stunning gardens – laid out in the 1680's they feature formal designs, lakes, champion trees and more recent additions such as new plantings and the rose garden. 

Easter Pilgrim Paths Walk, March 31 - 7 April 2018

This Easter, retrace the footsteps of Saint Declan across the scenic Knockmealdown Mountains on the border of Tipperary and Waterford. Join Knockmealdown Active as they mark Pilgrim Paths Week, and set out from Waterford’s Mount Melleray Abbey on a 3.5-hour trek through this magical part of Ireland’s Ancient East. 

Ardmore Cliff Walk, Waterford
National Heritage Park
Trekking the Knockmealdown Mountains
Left: On the Pilgrim Path with the Ardmore Cliff Walk in Waterford | Middle: Huntington Castle | Right: Trekking the Knockmealdown Mountains

Easter Weekend at Hook Lighthouse, 1-2 April 2018

Hook Lighthouse presents a Bank Holiday Weekend of family fun and entertainment...and of course lots of chocolatey treats. Enjoy games on the lawns, and the lighthouse's resident Captain Hook might even pay a visit! Easter-themed arts and crafts sessions with resident artist Rose will also be available. Guided tours are on offer seven days a week at Hook Lighthouse, sharing one of the greatest stories in Ireland’s Ancient East (and truly amazing sweeping views of the coastline) with visitors.

Fairyhouse Easter Festival, 1-3 April 2018

The Irish people have a unique understanding of horses – it’s embedded in our culture, in our ancient history, and in the thrill of the race day. Discover the sport of kings at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival this spring, a landmark event that takes place every year at Fairyhouse Racecourse in Ratoath, Meath. One of the most anticipated dates on the Irish Racing calendar, it features the Irish Grand National and has been the scene of some memorable occasions in horse racing history. Soak up the electric atmosphere of a traditional Irish race day over the course of three days this Easter.

Wells House - Gardens
Horse Racing at Fairyhouse
Hook Lighthouse
Left: Couple enjoying the gardens at Wells House and Gardens | Middle: Horse Racing at Fairyhouse | Right: The lighthouse at Hook head at sunset

Lullymore at Easter, 31 March - 6 April 2018

The most Egg-citing Hunt of them all is waiting at Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park! Join the Easter Bunny for an “eggstra” special event where you have to find all the clues, solve Easter Bunny’s puzzle and collect your egg. Check out the Funky Forest indoor play centre with its giant slide and ball pools, air hockey, fussball, cable run and pirate ship – or try your hand at the crazy golf course. Kids can burn off extra energy on the large outdoor playground, and the whole family can climb aboard the hugely popular train trip through the new Peatland Biodiversity Trail.

Easter at Belvedere House and Gardens 31 March - 2 April 2018

An 160-acre lakeside estate with magnificent views complete with a Fairy Garden, you'll find an ideal spot for family fun this Easter at Belvedere House and Gardens in Mullingar, County Westmeath. The Easter Treasure Trail is wonderful for families, with fun tasks that lead to Mr & Mrs Easter Bunny and an Easter Egg (when planning your visit, it is essential to pre-book your precise time slot as these fill up quickly). The family can also enjoy 8km of walks, a Georgian Villa, Victorian Walled Garden, three playgrounds, a gift shop, picnic areas and a licensed café.

Lullymore Heritage Park Turf Cutting
Tullynally Castle, County Westmeath
Flora & Fauna Workshop at Wells House
Left: Turf Cutting at Lullymore Heritage Park | Middle: Tullynally Castle | Right: Flora & Fauna Workshop at Wells House

Tullynally Castle at Easter, 1 April 2018

The spring's first opportunity to see the wonderful gardens of Tullynally Castle – an historic Irish country house near Castlepollard in County Westmeath – begins with an egg hunt in the grounds on Easter Sunday. Wander through the green spaces and marvel at the results of over three centuries of gardening in this idyllic spot – proud owner Thomas Pakenham has been shaping the landscape here himself for over 50 years.

Easter at Wells House and Gardens, 1-3 April 2018

Head to Wells House and Gardens in the heart of Wexford this Easter for a cracking array of family events. The children will enjoy hunting for chocolate eggs in the Well's Eggstatic Easter Egg Hunt, where you can jump in and join the Easter Bunny on his treasure hunt throughout the estate. The fun continues into Easter Monday when you can meet the Electric Zoo friends. To cap off your visit, wander through the estate’s beautiful landscaped grounds, relax in the Victorian Terrace Gardens or stroll the Lady Frances Woodland Walk.

More things to do at Easter

And that’s just a fraction of the things you can do on your visit to Ireland’s Ancient East!

For more attractions and activities
 check out the See & Do section