Culture Night 2017 in Cork: What’s On For Kids?

Culture Night 2017 is almost upon us. On the 22nd of September, various centres of culture including museums, theatres, churches and many more open their doors and allow in the public for exhibits of the best of what they do. It’s an annual event which I look forward to each year, as there is always something a bit different on that night.  Although there’s lots of events that are for adults only (great date night!), it also provides lots of options for the little ones too. Here’s what’s set to go on in Cork to keep the kids happy for Culture Night 2017.

Culture Night In Cork 2017-What's On For Kids-

City Hall Concert Hall

City Hall Concert Hall is home to an afternoon of film screenings for all ages.

3.30pm The Eagle Huntress: Thirteen-year-old Aisholpan trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle huntress. It’s an inspiring documentary that shows just what girls are able to do.

5.15pm War of the Buttons (12A)

A 1994 Irish-French drama adventure film directed by John Roberts, written by Colin Welland and based on the French novel La Guerre des boutons, by Louis Pergaud. The story, about two rival boys’ gangs in Ireland, the Ballys (working class) and the Carricks (middle class), is set in County Cork, where it was filmed on location.  The film has been classified as a drama and comedy, and the tone is frequently light and humorous. It examines issues of conflict and war, the actions and consequences of violence, and how it can divide and oppose people who can be friends as easily as they can be enemies.

7pm (Gearrscannain Gaeilge). Short films in Irish, subtitled, to get the cupla focail in while also providing good entertainment. Films such as Yu Ming is Ainm Dom, a brilliant short about a Chinese man who wishes to move to Ireland and seeing that Irish is our national language becomes fluent – only to arrive and find that nobody can understand him, make up the schedule.

City Hall Millenium Hall

Also in City Hall, the Millenium Hall is host to an afternoon and evening of music and dance.

12pm-1.30pm – Inclusive music and brass band performances with demos of assistive music making technologies

4pm: Making Moves dance workshop ages 7+ (booking advisable).

The Everyman

Over in Cork’s Everyman Theatre, they’re prepared for a family friendly fun schedule for Culture Night 2017. At 3pm, they’re offering a Behind The Scenes Tour of the theatre which holds so many incredible performances each year. From 4-6pm, they’ve got events filled with family fun with the Panto (Beauty and the Beast) – balloons, facepainting and more for all the family.

The Glucksman Gallery, UCC

Ucc’s Glucksman Gallery regularly holds art sessions aimed at kids, and for Culture Night this is no different.

At 3pm, they’ve got an Under The Sea Arts Workshop. Join our artists for a fun filled art workshop that invites children 0-5 years to create all types of sea creatures. We’ll be transforming the Glucksman Gallery Foyer into the deep blue sea with jellyfish, turtles, tropical fish, seahorses and much more. Just beware of the shark!

There’s also a Teen Art Workshop from 4-7pm. This Culture Night, walk with the Glucksman team across the river on an aquatic adventure to Fitzgerald’s Park. Down by the River Lee, you can stop off at our printmaking workshop that looks at the coral reef, discover shipwrecks in our construction workshop and help us finish our giant Blue Whale collage.

Graffiti Theatre Company

Fighting Words Cork at Graffiti Theatre provides free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing to as many children and young people as we can reach. In this one-off workshop for 8 to 10 year olds, we will create a book, complete with original characters and illustrations during a two-hour workshop. Delivered by a team of volunteer writing tutors, the workshop will take place at Graffiti Theatre in Blackpool. If the cranky editor, Mrs McConkey, can be persuaded, each child will receive a free copy of the book they create together to take home.

Spanish Studies Centre, Patricks Hill

The Spanish Studies Centre on Patrick’s Hill is offering events that give attendees a true taste of Spain, by immersing in the lang.

For 4-8 year olds, this consists of an arts and crafts session through Spanish. They’re also offering a taster class in Spanish for Beginners (kids and grownups alike!). To finish up, they’re hosting a food event entitled “A taste of Spanish”, consisting of traditional tapas and refreshments.

Cork City Library

There’s an action packed schedule on in Cork City Library on Grand Parade this year for Culture Night, with something for everyone.

At 5pm, the exhibition “Cork City Libraries: 125 years of service” kicks off, open to all. At the same time, the “Culture Colour! ArtLink’s Giant Sized Colouring book” will become one of the big focal points for young and old alike.

5pmStoryteller Paddy O’Brien presents Magical tales of Ireland, suitable for all the family.

5.45pmDeirdre Ryan presents Music and Stories from Around the World, suitable for all the family.

6.30pm . Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Jane Austen’s death, Chattyboo Productions present comic scenes from the unfinished novel “3 Sisters”.

7pm: Seamus Heaney; A selection of poetry: presented by Mary Fitzgerald.

7.15pm Mickey MacConnell Session. Mickey wrote Only our Rivers Run Free in 1965. The song became the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement, before the North erupted in violence and has been recorded more than 400 times and translated into 16 different languages. He was awarded the highest honour in folk music, The Creative Arts Award, at the Fiddlers’ Green Folk Festival, 2016, first won by the then Noble Laureate Seamus Heaney. Mickey’s songs have been recorded by Christy Moore. , the Wolfe Tones, Mary Black and the James Last Orchestra. Take this unique opportunity to hear Mickey perform.

8pm One City..One Book. The Launch of the Chinese translation of ‘The Things we Lose, the Things we leave behind’ by Billy O’Callaghan. Irish, English and Chinese readings with traditional Chinese music and cuisine.

Beidh Colm Ó Ceallacháin ag léamh gearrscéal ón mbailiúchán The things we lose, the things we leave behind le Billy O’ Callaghan.

Firkin Crane

Make, see or join in. The home of dance in Cork presents a fascinating range of dance events and unique experiences to suit a range of ages and abilities. There will be opportunities for everyone to participate, watch and learn more about dance. Enjoy learning the history of this unique circular building in Cork’s most historical quarter.

Mayfield Arts Centre

The Mayfield Arts Centre has a number of events going on to mark Culture Night 2017. This includes a tour of their Open Door exhibition, Cuig Arts studio visits and Creative Workshops. Drop in from 5-6.30pm. Suitable for all the family. 

Sample Studios Churchfield

Sample Studios in Churchfield is offering free arts and crafts for kids from 5-7pm. For more information, check out their website

The Quay Co-Op Bookshop

Kevin Doyle reads The Worms That Saved The World

Backwater Artists Group Wandesford Quay

For older kids, there’s lots on in the Backwater Artists’s Group studio on Wandesford Quay. For the 7-12 year olds, there’s a Kids ‘Stained Glass’ Workshop on from 5.30 – 6.15pm.

If they’re a bit older, there’s a Portraits Drawing Workshop for those aged 16 and up from 6.30pm – 7.10pm. There are only eight spots available for this one.

Booking is essential for  both workshops. Make sure to contact Elaine Coakley, phone 021-4961002 between 10am – 5pm Mon-Fri, or email [email protected]

Workshops aside, make sure to take the chance to visit the studios and the new Project Space where you can see Overlooked, an exhibition by Gerard O’Callaghan and meet the artist. You’ll be able to partake in guided tours too.(6.30pm – 8.30pm).

The Kabin Studio, Knocknaheeny

6-8pm: Public rap & beats workshop with performances from local artists and open-mic at the Kabin Studio (supported by Music Generation Cork City & GMC Beats Workshops). Record in the vocal booth, try out some beatmaking technology or just sit back and enjoy the tunes.

Togher Music School

Togher Music School are to display performances by their students in Togher Community Centre from 7-8pm.

CADA Performing Arts

Pop in and see a class in progress, dancing, singing, acting and all having fun. Feel free to join in on the action at CADA Performing Arts, Cork’s leading centre for performing arts. See more info here.

North Main St

Street Events will be in full swing on Cork’s North Main St from 5-8pm. Screening of Young Offenders in Gate Cinema at 6.30 (15+ only) but storytellers and music in the street, with performances from Pitch’d CIrcus Arts Festival.

Cork Public Museum, Fitzgeralds Park

The Cork Public Museum, home to all things Cork history, is extending it’s opening hours for Culture Night until 7pm.

Cork Public Museum is the oldest Local Authority museum in the Republic of Ireland and has for over seventy years displayed the rich archaeological and medieval history of Cork, as well as tracing the often turbulent relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom during the late eighteenth century on.

We have introduced two new exhibitions this year: The Tsar, the Rosehills and the Music Shop – The story of Cork’s Jewish Community 1880’s to 2016’; Hair Hurling Balls – Earliest Artefacts of our National Game.

Fitzgerald Park

While you’re over in Fitzgerald Park, make sure to check out the unveiling of the mural “Arriving Into View”.

Arriving Into View is an art project that invited teenagers living in direct provision centres in Cork City and County to work with the Glucksman and practicing artists over a six week period in Autumn 2017.

Throughout the sessions participants engaged in projects that investigated ideas of personal journey. Teenagers explored the processes and techniques involved in communicating stories and messages to large audiences while working with different mediums and artists.

The project invited 15 teenagers (ages 13-17 years) from direct provision centres in Kinsale Road, Glounthaune, Clonakilty and Drishane Castle to work with practicing artists. This was an opportunity for these teenagers to interact with artistic ideas and mediums and to discover their own creative and imaginative capabilities away from their prohibitive surroundings.

The culmination of the project is tonight’s public display of a large scale mural created by the group in Fitzgerald’s Park.

Cork Community Art Link

From 5pm, Cork Community Art Link is offering free music workshops on the Cork Community Gamelan, presented by Music Generation Cork City in partnership with UCC. No musical experience necessary. Booking recommended, see

At 6pm, see Eastgates Drama Group presents DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS, a collaborative film project between Enable Ireland Adult Day Service and the Cork Film Centre. In 2017 the Eastgate drama group undertook a creative residency programme at the Cork Film Centre at the Gunpowder Mills in Ballincollig. On Culture Night, there will be a screening of their work created during their residency as well as other films created and curated by the group. Screening at 6pm at Cork Community Art Link, Blackpool, this is an event for all ages and abilities.


‘SCRUBS’,  the CUH Workplace choir and special guests will give a musical performance in the Atrium of the Cardiac Renal Centre. The performance takes place from 5-5.30. Tomás Ó Riordáin,  a native Irish speaker will compere for the evening. SCRUBS  will sing a repertoire of Irish Songs especially selected by director Patrick Dalton, such as Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile’  agus ‘Mo Ghile Mear’. Other guests are local Gaelscoil Ui Riada and  Haley Griffin on Piano from the CIT school of Music will accompany Alison Long a staff member who will sing. There will be a Traditional Irish Music Session, Irish Set dancing & literary renditions.

Elizabeth Fort, Barrack St

Cork City’s 17th century star-shaped fort extends their opening hours until 9pm to celebrate Culture Night 2017. This offers a unique opportunity to visit after dark. Evening activities will include guided tours in English, Irish and Spanish and other surprises.

5pm: Irish (suitable for learners)
6pm: English
7pm: Spanish
8pm: English (ISL Interpreted event for deaf and hard of hearing visitor.)

CIT Blackrock Observatory

Over at Blackrock Castle, the Observatory will be in full swing for Culture Night 2017. From 6-8pm, they’re hosting Saturn Themed Hands On Science Explorations for 7-12 year olds. Weather permitting, you’ll get the chance to go stargazing from this wonderful observatory to mark Culture Night 2017. Find out more info here

So, there we have it – lots in store for the kids of Cork (and adults alike!) to enjoy in Cork for Culture Night 2017. What have you got in mind? Anything I’ve missed that you want to let me know about? Make sure to book early, the 22nd is creeping up on us fast!


Looking for more things to get up to in Cork with kids? Here’s what more I recommend!

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