I love Culture Night in Dublin and have attended almost every year that I've lived here so far. Unfortunately this year I won't be able to but I've compiled a mini itinerary for you if you are out and about and are wondering what's on.
Firstly a bit about it; culture night runs throughout Ireland annually to celebrate culture, creativity and the arts. Hundreds of cultural institutions open their doors for free and extend opening hours so you can go for a nice meal or a drink after work and then pop along and see something beautiful free of charge in your own city that you've always meant to check out but never got around to. While it is on throughout the country, as I said, for this post I'm just focusing on Dublin, although I'd imagine Limerick will have plenty to offer too, being city of culture this year.
Unfortunately, a lot of the events in Dublin are already booked out but there's still time to get in on this lot:
Glasnevin, Casino Marino, Christ Church and performers from Dublin's writer's forum.Photos via Culture Night website.
- Glasnevin Cemetery. We went to this a while back and loved it. While it sounds grim, the history of the place is absolutely fascinating. The museum is open from 5-9pm but sadly the cemetery tours are now booked up for the night. The museum itself is really interesting though and you can still walk around the graveyard and play "spot the 1916 rebels" if you're so inclined. Or, you know, go back another time and do the full tour cause it really is excellent. Also, make use of the cafe. They make a mean lemon drizzle cake. You'll need sugar and warm tea after the graveyard as it can be quite emotional.
- Casino Marino. This is actually one on our list that we've never been to so we'd definitely be going now if we could! This is described as an "architectural gem…cleverly disguising an interior of lavishly decorated plasterwork and richly patterned marquetry floors, hidden inside a neo-classical temple, bathed in a kaleidoscope of colour changing lights!" Wowzers! Open from 5-9pm.
- Christ Church Cathedral. We did this a couple of culture nights ago and it was really cool. Christchurch is obviously one of the more stunning historical Dublin buildings and at night time there's something extra special about it. Open from 6-10pm there'll be music, storytelling for children, a silent film screening and the opportunity to explore the church and it's surroundings. Be prepared to queue for this one as it can be very popular.
- The Workman's Club are hosting the Dublin Writer's forum for a spoken word and open mic poetry event from 5-11pm with a musical interpretation of Ulysses kicking off at 9.30pm.
The long room, Little museum of Dublin, BFG cake!!, Merrion square. Photos via Culture Night website.
- The Old Library & Book of Kells. I don't really need to give a reason for why you need to go to this, do I? Open from 5-10pm, you don't need to book for this but again, prepare to queue.
- The Little Museum of Dublin. Again, we spent a Sunday afternoon here recently and loved it. I actually can't recommend it enough. This is the people's museum of Dublin in the 20th Century, with exhibitions over three floors. There'll be free guided tours on the night along with special performances and a "few surprises" apparently. Open 5-9.30pm.
- Roald Dahl Cake Exhibition. In case you missed this last weekend in Temple Bar, you can head to Waterways Ireland visitor centre to celebrate the life and work of Dahl in the best way possible- through cake! There'll also be workshops on cupcake design, cake decorating and french truffles. Open from 7-9pm.
- "Downstairs Dublin", Merrion Square. I love the buildings in Merrion square and they're all coming alive for one night! Featuring a series of "talks, installations, projections and pop up events in the outside basement spaces", you have to look down to discover "mini-stages, surprises, live debates, music, food, art, drama, dance from leading artists, writers and thinkers". I love the idea of wandering from each house to the next and discovering something completely different in each outdoor basement! How exciting! This would be top of my to-do list to be sure! From 5-10pm.
As always, there's loads more you can do, including; walking tours, art exhibitions, visiting Dublin's landmark buildings and galleries and if I were you, I'd fit in as much as possible. It's such a wonderful night and celebration of our culture and heritage, I'm actually jealous of everyone who's going! You can find out more from the Culture night site HERE. Let me know in the comments if you're planning to visit anywhere or what your own past experiences of culture night have been!