Dublin, Ireland: Glasnevin Cemetery Halloween Mid-Term Tales Tour & Botantic Gardens

Today we met up with friends to take the Children’s Mid-Term Tales Tour of the Glasnevin Cemetery.  Glasnevin Cemetery hosted a one-of-a kind Halloween tour for children aged 6 – 12, running  The tour will be given by the Ace of Spades, who will terrifically terrify you with tales of gruesome truths and funny folklore. Are you curious to discover how the legend of the headless horse man came to pass or perhaps you’d like to hear the story of the unfortunate Vincent brothers and the cursed ‘Black Aggie’ statue?   The tour guys Alan and Warren very amusing!



We first ate our lunch at the Whitworth Pub where the kids had their faces painted and then we headed off for a quick look at the decorated pumpkins at the Botanic Gardens.


With their faces painted and costumes on – we set out for the tour with Alan and Warren.


maebh and nina faces


It was really fun and the cemetery is really nice –  after being here for 3 years, it was our first time.   It’s a very peaceful, beautiful place and next time we’re at the Botanic Gardens for a walk through, we’ll pop over here being so close it’s a must.


Halloween Costumes: Homemade Edition – Joke In A Box

Halloween costumes in our house has always been purchased and if luckily for us, re-used for a few years in a row.  Maebh has not even asked for a new costume and will dress in one of her many Frozen dresses. Soren who has been Captain America for two years in a row has come up with a make your own costume with Nils.

The concept began with him saying he wanted to be a joker so he can tell jokes as last year at every house he’d tel the same joke… “Why did the toilet paper roll down the hill?  To get to the bottom!”

So instead of a joker, he is a JOKE IN A BOX, which needed to have a curtain in front of hole where candy is inserted to hear a joke.  Whats more is that behind the curtain s a pumpkin pail which he used last year for his trick-or-treating.

Here are the photos of the creation of the costume. I will post more photos on Halloween night. For now he’s thrilled to wear it to school on Friday.

And Maebh tried on the costume.
The night was hugely successful – he had tons of jokes, loads of candy!

Halloween Pumpkin Decorating @ the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin

Last year during our visit to the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnvein, our kids learned of a pumpkin decorating contest held at every year the week before Halloween – so you better believe come Halloween this year, our kids will be all over it!  A classmate of Soren entered last year – so assuming he’ll be there again this year.  And a girl from soccer told Maebh she was entering too, so we’ll be sure to look for her entry too.

The decorated pumpkins which are being entered into the contest are due this Saturday so were in full action on getting their pumpkins ready.

After much internet searching including Pinterest.com and thinking, the kids have made up their minds.  Soren’s pumpkin is going to be an eye.

Here are a few photos of the current pumpkin state …. will be sure you post the final results.

see the eye?


Maebh’s is a pink pumpkin with melted crayola crayons dripping down in.  With some feathers on it she is going to call it sparkly feather – or so that what her plan is with it.

But the paint used on Maebh’s pumpkin didn’t stick and it peeled off, she decided to change it up.  It is now covered with glitter and has melted crayons down the side and will sit on a plate of feathers.

and the final pumpkins which are ready to be entered …

and the FINAL PRODUCTS – Feather Sparkles and Eyeclops were entered today in the contest.

I took some photos of the other pumpkins which were also submitted.  Very cute & creative ideas.  Of course, Trumpkins are a hit this year during the presidential election.

So many creative pumpkins – it was a lot of fun looking at each one.

Halloween Night

So last night completed our Halloween festivities in Dubiln and truthfully I’m happy it is over!





Our kids trick or treated here in our neighborhood which was fun – many houses really got into the spirit. Some go overboard with light up skeletons and screaming goblins and moving hands… they loved it. Unlike in America where you get ONE  or maybe two pieces of candy, they Irish gave out bags of candy – just like goody bags at the end of a birthday party.  A family up the road made 70 bags!!   On the next street over, one lady told us she’s been living in her home for 49 years and she’s been giving mulled wine away to all the parents who come to the door.   I took a sip but gave Nils my glass  – so that is when I became the DD who would drive us to the bonfire and fireworks up by the kids’ school.

So after going up and down our street and the next one over, we headed over to the fireworks.  Not sure who exactly put them on but I think it’s the council – as they are illegal here.  Anyway we ran into some of the families from the kids school and the fireworks were good.  Immediately after they lit the bonfire – which was essentially just junk that all the local kids gathered.  There was wood but also stuff like a turtle sand pit, a mattress and a tire!   Do they not know how bad that is… anyway, we stayed for a bit to see it get lit up, Soren and his friend tossed a few pieces of wood in and then we were off – as were many of the families.    Who knew what happened later that night, but in reading the newspapers online, lots of bad behavior was happening throughout the city.  The Dublin Fire Brigade Tweeted @DubFireBrigade  their call outs all last night – and some stuff was just bad.   Perhaps it is just me but the police do NOT carry guns so when called to help protect an Ambulance or Fire Truck who was to help out injured person, being greeted by a group of unruly youths seems a bit silly.  The headline was: In one 12-hour period, fire services dealt with 193 small fires or bonfires, 19 house fires and 26 “unconscious cases”.








Earlier in the day, the four of us took a walk to the local grocery store to pick up a couple things and we say a group of kids setting off fireworks which they call “bangers” here.  Anyway, they were clearly just hanging around without supervision and later that night on the way to the fireworks we drove by a huge bonfire in the grassy green by the playground.   Nils and I differ a bit here as he says they are just kids hanging out having some fun…

Who knew the city could/would be so insane.   There is a line between kids having a bit of fun and then there is outright dangerous and disrespectful behavior which is labeled “anti-social behavior”. You often here of a great North Side vs South Side city issues with these problems but last night to me solidified that there is problems on both sides of the River Liffey.   When I say bad, I mean a 21 year old guy from the flats in the South Side of the city was stabbed to death.  And West of the city was another stabbing incident.   Happy to report this is no where near our house!

Anyway, we then went over to a neighbor’s house up the road for some drinks and the kids watched TV and ate way too many treats and chips.

Thankfully we all had a great, SAFE night!

Oh and carving our pumpkin a week early is way too soon – they were ROTTEN!!


Halloween Festivities @ Kennedy’s Pumpkin Patch, Meath, Ireland

Today we visited Kennedy’s Pumpkin Patch in Julianstown, Meath to pick some pumpkins and tomorrow we’ll cut them up. What they did was they harvested loads of pumpkins and put them all in one area and that is where you’ll select your pumpkin.   We arrived at 11:20 am to line of cars so it’s very popular.  Fortunately, I had them on my Facebook page and when I saw they had (tickets via eventbrite for FREE) I booked us in on Saturday.  It went very quick and so many missed out -but we got lucky.

After we drove up the Carlingford, which is a very cute village, fully decorated for Halloween, on the edge of the Moune Mountains of Northern Ireland.  We had lunch in the same place as before and while it was good,

I think we’ll opt to try a new place next time.  Plus the Oyster guy in his van as not there – so Soren was a bitbummed as he had a 2.00 coin in his pocket, which he found at the farm, so was saving it for two of them.

On the way out of Carlingford, we took the recommendation from the guy in the Visitor Centre and stopped up at Flagstaff for views of the Moune Mountains at the picnic area.
Such nice views – well worth the short detour.   Next time, we’ll cross over the lough and into Northern Ireland to explore Game of Thrones region, etc. I’d love to get a holiday home up there for a week, explore all around the area at leisure.

This morning, we carved our pumpkins pin our pj’s.   They refused to put their hands in and remove the seeds and insides… so lucky me, I did that job.

So after I scooped out ALL THREE pumpkins,

they set off with cutting out their designs. Soren carved his name and a face and Maebh did a flower and then decorated with glitter & glue.
Tonight we added some candles to test them and will set them outside towards the end of the week.

This year we’ll stay local on Halloween.  First we’ll trick-o-treat on our street early and then at 7 pm, we’ll watch fireworks over by the school.  Who knew Ireland took part in the festivities a lot like the Americans do.
The women’s club hosted a kids Halloween party last week where they had a good time. There was a donut on a line game, limbo, trick-or-treating and more.

Halloween Events: Scary Trail, Trick-O-Treat

Tonight was quite an uneventful Halloween night.  In fact, probably the most low-key Halloween I’ve ever had in my lifetime.  Gone are the days when we’d dress up with friends and go clubbing… and major effort into our costumes to win prizes.  I’ll never forget my two friends and I dressed up as Three Men in a Boat and won $500 – which was a huge prize for us back then.


But as I hoped, the kids did have fun.  As it is Half Term week, where the kids actually have a full week off of school, the dress up parties were not happening.  We do not have a large, organized parent groups like we did back in the States and it’s not as big a day, so it’s different.  Last year, our friends hosted a pretty big party, but as they have a newborn baby this year, they decided against it this year.

When we got back to Gresham, we did a quick walk around the village in search of houses with pumpkins lit up.  As it’s a small village and some houses are set back off the main street, we didn’t get too far. I think we stopped at three homes before returning home.  I told the kids, we had to get back home in case anyone wanted to visit us.  Eagerly they agreed and kept their costumes on in case someone came to ring our bell.   It was then when they made this video:

When we got back to Gresham, we did a quick walk around the village in search of houses with pumpkins lit up.  As it’s a small village and some houses are set back off the main street, we didn’t get too far. I think we stopped at three homes before returning home.  I told the kids, we had to get back home in case anyone wanted to visit us.  Eagerly they agreed and kept their costumes on in case someone came to ring our bell.

After about 20 minutes, we got the knock.  It was two little boys from up the street who go to school with our kids.  That was it… one set of kids. Thankfully I didn’t buy tons of candy to have around the house, though I do wish I could have a few Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!

Soren dressed as Batman and Maebh was in Soren’s old Spiderman suit from the last TWO years – complete with puffy muscles.  She has plenty of tutu’s and pretty dresses with butterfly wings, but she really wanted to be Spiderman, so Spiderman it was.

Later, she wanted to be Spiderman with a Batman mask.
We had the Halloween Trail on at work, we were super busy and sent out 133 trails just today!! 

Originally I was going to take the kids to Sheringham Park on Saturday and do the Halloween Trail, but at the last minute had the idea to just have them come to the park after Maebh’s nap.   Just when I was saying to a colleague that I hope they come soon as it will be dark soon, they came around the corner in full costume.

The kids did the trail and Soren got to choose what cookie he wanted.  Like many of the kids today, when they saw the choices, they took forever to choose! 🙂  

They then warmed up with some chocolate milk in the cafe while I finished up working. As they were in costumes and excited to Trick-or-Treat, we decided we’d give it a go.  Here there is an implied rule, if a house has a lit pumpkin outside the house, it means that they’d love for you to knock and no pumpkin means don’t.  

First we popped back home and visited our neighbors in #10.  When the two kids answered that door in full costume, one being quite scary, they had some fun with our kids.  Then a quick visit to the neighbors in #3 and then that was it – what next?  


We thought we’d head up to Cromer, a larger town where there are more people and the houses in some parts are close together, like row houses, so we thought it would be easier.   Plus, we thought we’d stop off for a super quick trick-or-treat surprise at a friend’s house.   When done, we cross their street to the one house we saw with decorations and a lit pumpkin.  When the girl answered, she told the kids to take a few treats – clearly not many kids were coming around.

We still have to carve the pumpkins, so I will do that with the kids on Saturday when I’m off. Truthfully, I’m glad it is over.  Thanksgiving here is a pretty non-event too.  We’ll have a meal or two with various friends, pumpkin pie and then… we have Christmas!  I think is far more fun & festive and the kids are a great age to enjoy every minute of it.  We won’t make it to consume, consume, but have fun with it.  I have a lot of crafts planned…and fun ideas for the Elves which I hope to get soon, as they need to arrive on Thanksgiving.