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Upcoming Events, Exhibitions and Talks at the Gardens
Last updated: March 1, 2018

The calendar to the right will help you navigate around the many events we have – if you hover your mouse over an orange date it will show you what events are on that day, and a further click will give you the full details.
As well as the full schedule, there are sections to show you details for:


Exhibitions

Éireannach – A Worldwide Exhibition linking people with plants through Botanical art
Organised by the ISBA
Saturday 5th May – Saturday 27th May

Botanical Art Worldwide is a ground-breaking collaboration between botanical artists, organizations and institutions worldwide. Twenty-three artists are creating and exhibiting botanical artworks of native plants found in each of their countries to create a record of today’s botanical diversity. Digital slide shows of up to forty works, with all other countries’ images will be shown at each venue during the run of each exhibition. The Irish Society of Botanical Artists will be hosting an open day on the 18th of May which will include a tour of the exhibition, demonstrations and a chance to meet the artists involved.
Daily in the Gallery Space, Visitor Centre
An Óige, Annual Photography Exhibition
Thursday 31st May – Sunday 10th June

This Annual Photography Exhibition, now in its 80th year, is organised by An Óige Photographic Group. It features a wide range of prize-winning images for 2018, including a section exploring the National Botanic Gardens.
Daily in the Gallery Space, Visitor Centre
Inside, Outside 'n' Beyond – Gerard Byrne celebrates 30 years of painting the National Botanic Gardens
Friday 22nd June – Sunday 15th July

Having travelled the world as one of the leading exponents of modern impressionist painting, Gerard has returned repeatedly over the last thirty years to the National Botanical Gardens in Dublin, a location close to his heart. Many of his spectacular and celebrated paintings not only convey the vibrancy and lushness of the flora, they feature dramatic renderings of the iconic wrought iron architecture of the great Victorian glasshouses.
Daily in the Gallery Space, Visitor Centre
Devonian Plant Fossils – A window into the past
Monday 2nd August – Friday 24th August

A joint exhibition between the National Botanic Gardens, Geological Survey of Ireland and the Natural History Museum will showcase the amazing 360 million year old fossils from Kiltorcan quarry, Co. Kilkenny.  Kiltorcan is internationally known for its rich assemblage of excavated fossils but this is their first significant public display. The fossils provide a fascinating glimpse into the plant world at the end of the Devonian Period.
Daily in the Gallery Space, Visitor Centre

Shows

Cactus and Succulent Show
Saturday 9th June

The Cactus and Succulent Society Show is held every second year and is a showcase for amateur growers. Prizes are awarded in over forty classes and it is an opportunity to see the variety of plants grown by enthusiasts in the challenging Irish climate.
Time: 12.00pm to 6pm. Teak House
Sweet Pea Show
Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd July

The Gardens are delighted to host the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland’s Annual Sweet Pea Show. This is your opportunity to see a display of sweet peas grown on cordons by the leading growers in the country. On Saturday morning over a dozen growers will arrive in the Teak House to transform it into a sweet pea wonderland before the plants are judged.
Times: Saturday 12.30pm to 5.30pm, Sunday: 10.00am to 5.00pm
The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival
Saturday August 18th to Sunday 2nd September

The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival is coming to the National Botanic Gardens. The festival will run over the weekend of the 18th and 19th August and an exhibition of tomato cultivars as well as their relatives - tobacco, potatoes, chillies, petunias and even deadly nightshade - will be displayed in the Teak House for a fortnight. There will be a series of talks – Tomato Tales – amongst the speakers will be tomato-addict Nicky Kyle, who will tell us all about growing, eating and enjoying tomatoes.
Daily in the Teak House

Lectures, Tours & Other Events


Themed Guided Tour – The Silk Road
Saturdays 26th May

The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes that wound through China to the Mediterranean Sea. Though silk was the major trade item, many other plant-derived goods were exported along this route, such as cotton and wine. Hear the fascinating tales surrounding the uses and folklore of these plants while also catching some of our most beautiful Chinese plants at their best.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet in the Visitor Centre

Children’s Workshop – Origami
Saturday 26th May

Come and get creative with paper at our new children's origami workshop, and learn about the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. Did you know ‘Ori’ means fold and ‘Kami’ means paper? Having mastered the basics of this elegant art, you can then transform a sheet of paper into something exciting like an animal, tree or flower. Materials supplied.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Booking essential (Suitable for ages 8 to 12)
Irish Sign Language Tour of the Gardens
Saturday 26 th May

Join us for a free Irish Sign Language tour of the National Botanic Gardens this summer. Find out more about our fascinating plant collections - from Wild Ireland, to the African desert to the tropical rainforest.
Time 3.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre

An Óige, Annual Photography Exhibition
Thursday 31st May – Sunday 10th June

This Annual Photography Exhibition, now in its 80th year, is organised by An Óige Photographic Group. It features a wide range of prize-winning images for 2018, including a section exploring the National Botanic Gardens.
Daily in the Gallery Space, Visitor Centre


Daily Guided Walks in June – Bloomin’ Summer
Walking through the Gardens in summertime when many flowers are in full bloom is a magnificent experience. Join our special guided tour and hear all about the plants, design and history of the stunning Herbaceous Border, Annual and Bedding Displays, the Rose Garden and much more.
Times: Monday – Saturday 11.30am and 3.00pm. €5 per person
Sundays 12.00pm and 2.30pm. Free of charge

Themed Guided Tour – Scent-sational – A story of perfume and pollinators
Saturdays 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th June

A heady tour of the most fragrant summer flowers including a brief history of perfume. Of course, plants do not produce their scent just for our pleasure but to entice pollinators and give chemical warning signals. On this tour we will also explore how plants use scent to exploit animals to their advantage.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Booking essential, €5
Sunday Kids Drop by Activities
Sunday 3rd June

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
Sunday at 11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

Cactus and Succulent Show
Saturday 9th June

The Cactus and Succulent Society Show is held every second year and is a showcase for amateur growers. Prizes are awarded in over forty classes and it is an opportunity to see the variety of plants grown by enthusiasts in the challenging Irish climate.
Times: 12.00pm to 6pm. Teak House

Children’s Event – Pond Dipping
Saturday 9th June

Explore the weird and wonderful diversity of insects and minibeasts living in and around the pond at the National Botanic Gardens. Perfect your technique with guidance from the experts and learn how to identify the amazing creatures you have captured. Once you have discovered the hidden pond life you will never look at ponds the same way again!
This workshop is suitable for children age 8 and upwards.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Visitor Centre. Organised with the Irish Wildlife Trust.
Admission Free.
Booking essential.
Themed Guided Tour – Scent-sational – A story of perfume and pollinators
Saturday 9th June

A heady tour of the most fragrant summer flowers including a brief history of perfume. Of course, plants do not produce their scent just for our pleasure but to entice pollinators and give chemical warning signals. On this tour we will also explore how plants use scent to exploit animals to their advantage.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Booking essential, €5
Sunday Kids Drop by Activities
Sunday 10th June

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
Sunday at 11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

Workshop – Beginner’s Photography with Eamon O’ Daly of the Outdoor Studio
Fridays 15th, 22nd & 29th June

This three-day workshop will cover all the basics of digital photography, how to understand your camera and take better and more creative photographs. Suitable for all digital camera types this workshop will improve your skills of landscape, flora and wildlife photography.
Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm.
Book online at www.skerriesphotography.com or call 01 849 2572
Cost: €110.

Themed Guided Tour – Scent-sational – A story of perfume and pollinators
Saturday 16thJune

A heady tour of the most fragrant summer flowers including a brief history of perfume. Of course, plants do not produce their scent just for our pleasure but to entice pollinators and give chemical warning signals. On this tour we will also explore how plants use scent to exploit animals to their advantage.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Booking essential, €5
Children’s Art Class – Budding Artists
Saturday 16th June

Join our ‘budding’ artists, a creative workshop especially for younger children taking place once a month, under the attentive eye of artist Niamh Synnott. Children are encouraged to take a closer look at the natural world all around them to inspire fun art-making activities. Suitable for 4 to 7-year-olds.
Time: 11.00am-12.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Cost: €10. Booking essential
Children’s Art Class – Hardy Annuals
Saturday 16th June

Join us for a guided discovery of the natural world where you can observe, engage, and be inspired by your surroundings. Participants in this art programme will be encouraged to use materials in fun and interesting ways while taking inspiration from the world of plants on show at Glasnevin. Suitable for 8 to 12-year-olds.
Time: 2.00pm – 4.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Cost: €10. Booking essential
Sunday Kids Drop by Activities
Sunday 17th June

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
Sunday at 11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

Workshop – Beginner’s Photography with Eamon O’ Daly of the Outdoor Studio
Friday 22nd June

This three-day workshop will cover all the basics of digital photography, how to understand your camera and take better and more creative photographs. Suitable for all digital camera types this workshop will improve your skills of landscape, flora and wildlife photography.
Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm.
Book online at www.skerriesphotography.com or call 01 849 2572
Cost: €110.

Inside Outside 'n' Beyond – Gerard Byrne celebrates 30 years of painting the National Botanic Gardens
Friday 22nd June to Sunday 15th July

Having travelled the world as one of the leading exponents of modern impressionist painting, Gerard has returned repeatedly over the last thirty years to the National Botanical Gardens in Dublin, a location close to his heart. Many of his spectacular and celebrated paintings not only convey the vibrancy and lushness of the flora, they feature dramatic renderings of the iconic wrought iron architecture of the great Victorian glasshouses.
Daily in the Gallery Space, Visitor Centre

Themed Guided Tour – Scent-sational – A story of perfume and pollinators
Saturday 23rdJune

A heady tour of the most fragrant summer flowers including a brief history of perfume. Of course, plants do not produce their scent just for our pleasure but to entice pollinators and give chemical warning signals. On this tour we will also explore how plants use scent to exploit animals to their advantage.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Booking essential, €5
Sunday Kids Drop by Activities
Sunday 24th June

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
Sunday at 11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

THEATRE IN THE GARDENS – 'Meet me in the Gardens'
Sunday 24th June and 1st July, Saturdays 7th and 14th July

From the company that brought you Angels in the Park, Shiva Productions, presents a unique and powerful site-specific theatrical experience, which will take you on a journey through the bewitching gardens and will change how you will see them forever.
Times: 2.00pm & 4.00pm. Meet in the Education & Visitor Centre
Booking Essential
Concert – National Concert Hall Gamelan Orchestra
Thursday 28th June

The National Concert Hall Gamelan Orchestra is a fascinating ensemble of instruments consisting of a wide variety of gongs, bells and xylophone-type instruments which produce a magical sound when played. The orchestra is delighted to have been invited by the Indonesian Embassy to travel to Java in 2018 to participate in a concert tour of the island. It is this concert programme which they will be performing in the National Botanic Gardens in advance of their concerts in Java.
Time: 6.00pm. Meet in the Visitor Centre
Booking essential through Eventbrite
€10 per person

Workshop – Beginner’s Photography with Eamon O’ Daly of the Outdoor Studio
Friday 29th June

This three-day workshop will cover all the basics of digital photography, how to understand your camera and take better and more creative photographs. Suitable for all digital camera types this workshop will improve your skills of landscape, flora and wildlife photography.
Time: 10.30am – 3.30pm.
Book online at www.skerriesphotography.com or call 01 849 2572
Cost: €110.

Themed Guided Tour – Scent-sational – A story of perfume and pollinators
Saturdays 30th June

A heady tour of the most fragrant summer flowers including a brief history of perfume. Of course, plants do not produce their scent just for our pleasure but to entice pollinators and give chemical warning signals. On this tour we will also explore how plants use scent to exploit animals to their advantage.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Booking essential, €5

Daily Guided Walks in July – Bloomin’ Summer
Walking through the Gardens in summertime when the flowers are in full bloom is a magnificent experience. Join our special guided tour and hear all about the plants, design and history of the stunning Herbaceous Border, Annual and Bedding Displays, the Rose Garden and much more.
Times: Monday – Saturday 11.30am and 3.00pm. €5 per person
Sundays 12.00pm and 2.30pm. Free of charge

THEATRE IN THE GARDENS – 'Meet me in the Gardens'
Sunday 1st July

From the company that brought you Angels in the Park, Shiva Productions, presents a unique and powerful site-specific theatrical experience, which will take you on a journey through the bewitching gardens and will change how you will see them forever.
Times: 2.00pm & 4.00pm. Meet in the Education & Visitor Centre
Booking Essential
Teachers’ Summer Course – A Course Outdoors
Monday 2nd to Friday 6th July 

This popular accredited course is designed for primary school teachers and focuses on the outdoor classroom. It includes behind-the-scenes tours, seashore ecology and native plant identification field trips.

For further details and booking contact: acourseoutdoors@gmail.com
Tuesday Kids Drop by Activities
Tuesday 3rd July onwards

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
Suitable from ages 4 and up.
11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

Themed Guided Tour – Chasing Rainbows – Colour and the Natural World
Saturday 7th July

Did you know bees can see an extra colour, that green really is the basis for all life on Earth, or that urine was an essential element of an 18th century dyeing process? Delve into the vibrant world of pollinators, dyes and pigments, symbolism and how colours got their names in this fascinating walk.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Booking essential, €5
Children’s Event – Pond Dipping
Saturday 7th July

Explore the weird and wonderful diversity of insects and minibeasts living in and around the pond at the National Botanic Gardens. Perfect your technique with guidance from the experts and learn how to identify the amazing creatures you have captured. Once you have discovered the hidden pond life you will never look at ponds the same way again!
This workshop is suitable for children age 8 and upwards.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Visitor Centre. Organised with the Irish Wildlife Trust.
Admission Free. Booking essential.
THEATRE IN THE GARDENS – 'Meet me in the Gardens'
Saturday 7th July

From the company that brought you Angels in the Park, Shiva Productions, presents a unique and powerful site-specific theatrical experience, which will take you on a journey through the bewitching gardens and will change how you will see them forever.
Times: 2.00pm & 4.00pm. Meet in the Education & Visitor Centre
Booking Essential
Tuesday Kids Drop by Activities
Tuesday 10th July

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
Suitable from ages 4 and up.
11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

THEATRE IN THE GARDENS – 'Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland'
Tuesday 10th July

Take a trip down the rabbit hole with Chapterhouse Theatre Company this summer as they present the classic tale of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Join Alice as she stumbles into the magical world of Wonderland and meet a whole host of colourful characters.

Bookings from May onwards
Children’s Workshop: Budding Botanist – Collecting and Pressing Flowers
Thursday 12th July

Ever wanted to start your very own dried plant collection? Get great tips and discover how you can become a plant collector! Join our guides on an expedition through the Botanic Gardens, identifying and collecting suitable plants for pressing before constructing your very own flower press. If you like, you can also create some beautiful botanical designs with our pre-dried plants.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Admission Free. Ages 6 and up.
Booking Essential.
Drop by Demo – Edible Flowers
Saturday 14th July

Join us to find out how you can feast on flowers. Learn how to fill your garden with easy to grow edible flowers that you can use to adorn your salads and drinks adding colour and flavour alike.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre

Themed Guided Tour – Chasing Rainbows – Colour and the Natural World
Saturday 14th July

Did you know bees can see an extra colour, that green really is the basis for all life on Earth, or that urine was an essential element of an 18th century dyeing process? Delve into the vibrant world of pollinators, dyes and pigments, symbolism and how colours got their names in this fascinating walk.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Booking essential, €5
THEATRE IN THE GARDENS – 'Meet me in the Gardens'
Saturday 14th July

From the company that brought you Angels in the Park, Shiva Productions, presents a unique and powerful site-specific theatrical experience, which will take you on a journey through the bewitching gardens and will change how you will see them forever.
Times: 2.00pm & 4.00pm. Meet in the Education & Visitor Centre
Booking Essential
Children’s Art Camps
Monday 16th to Friday 20th July

Join our creative art workshops for five wonderful days! Join artist Niamh Synnott for a week of Art. Children will be encouraged through fun art activities to observe, engage in and be inspired by their surroundings. Kids can try their hand using a variety of mediums and materials such as mono and block prints, batik, plein air painting, and construction using art straws.
Budding Artists (for 4 to 7-year-olds) 11am to 12:30pm
Hardy Annuals (8-12-year-olds) 2:00 to 4:00pm
Booking essential, €60
Tuesday Kids Drop by Activities
Tuesday 17th July

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
Suitable from ages 4 and up.
11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

Celebrating The Festival of Curiosity Adults’ Guided Walk – Biomimicry
Saturdays 21st and 28th July

Did you know that the idea for Velcro was sparked by a seed head? Can you guess which plants were responsible for the creation of waterproof paint? Join us on this fascinating tour and find out how scientists are inspired by nature to create ingenious new inventions.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
€5 per person, Limited places available
Sweet Pea Show
Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd July

The Gardens are delighted to host the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland’s Annual Sweet Pea Show. This is your opportunity to see a display of sweet peas grown on cordons by the leading growers in the country. On Saturday morning over a dozen growers will arrive in the Teak House to transform it into a sweet pea wonderland before the plants are judged.
Times: Saturday 12.30pm – 5.30pm
Sunday: 10.00am – 5.00pm Organised with the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland

The Aroma Demo
Saturdays 21st and 28th July

An intriguing demonstration of some of the scented plants from the gardens. Learn how they can be made into essential oils and perfumes. See how rose water, herbal infusions and homemade perfumes are made. Discover how to bring these beautiful aromas into your home with potpourri and fragranced wardrobe sachets.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet in the Visitor Centre
€5 per person
Tuesday Kids Drop by Activities
Tuesday 24th July

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
Suitable from ages 4 and up.
11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

Children’s Workshop: Budding Botanist – Collecting and Pressing Flowers
Thursday 26th July

Ever wanted to start your very own dried plant collection? Get great tips and discover how you can become a plant collector! Join our guides on an expedition through the Botanic Gardens, identifying and collecting suitable plants for pressing before constructing your very own flower press. If you like, you can also create some beautiful botanical designs with our pre-dried plants.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Admission Free. Ages 6 and up.
Booking Essential.
Celebrating The Festival of Curiosity Adults’ Guided Walk – Biomimicry
Saturday 28th July

Did you know that the idea for Velcro was sparked by a seed head? Can you guess which plants were responsible for the creation of waterproof paint? Join us on this fascinating tour and find out how scientists are inspired by nature to create ingenious new inventions.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
€5 per person, Limited places available
The Aroma Demo
Saturday 28th July

An intriguing demonstration of some of the scented plants from the gardens. Learn how they can be made into essential oils and perfumes. See how rose water, herbal infusions and homemade perfumes are made. Discover how to bring these beautiful aromas into your home with potpourri and fragranced wardrobe sachets.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet in the Visitor Centre
€5 per person

Daily Guided Walks in August – Bloomin’ Summer
Walking through the Gardens in summertime when the flowers are in full bloom is a magnificent experience. Join our special guided tour and hear all about the plants, design and history of the stunning Herbaceous Border, Annual and Bedding Displays, the Rose Garden and much more.
Times: Monday – Saturday 11.30am and 3.00pm.
€5 per person
Devonian Plant Fossils – A window into the past
Monday 2nd August – Friday 24th August

A joint exhibition between the National Botanic Gardens, Geological Survey of Ireland and the Natural History Museum will showcase the amazing 360 million year old fossils from Kiltorcan quarry, Co. Kilkenny.  Kiltorcan is internationally known for its rich assemblage of excavated fossils but this is their first significant public display. The fossils provide a fascinating glimpse into the plant world at the end of the Devonian Period.
Daily in the Gallery Space, Visitor Centre

Papermaking Workshop
Sundays 5th and 12th August

Explore the process of handmade paper making with this afternoon session especially for Adults. Make pulp using recycled material and natural plant-based dyes. Infuse the paper with seeds to make plantable paper or add pressed petals and leaves to give a decorative finish.
Time: 2.00pm – 4.00pm.
€25
Booking essential.
Themed Guided Tour – Sense-sation – a Sensorial Tour of the Gardens
Sundays 5th, 12th, 19th August

We are constantly interpreting the world around us using at least one of our senses and unconsciously using others throughout every single day. Explore the very special world of the botanical gardens in a myriad of ways with this multi-sensory tour. Listen to the rustle and swish in the grass garden, inhale the calming lavender in the organic vegetable garden and run your hands over the warm bark of a Giant Redwood tree.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet in the Visitor Centre
€5 per person
Children’s Workshop: Budding Botanist – Collecting and Pressing Flowers
Thursday 9th August

Ever wanted to start your very own dried plant collection? Get great tips and discover how you can become a plant collector! Join our guides on an expedition through the Botanic Gardens, identifying and collecting suitable plants for pressing before constructing your very own flower press. If you like, you can also create some beautiful botanical designs with our pre-dried plants.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Admission Free. Ages 6 and up.
Booking Essential.
Children’s Event – Pond Dipping
Saturday 11th August

Explore the weird and wonderful diversity of insects and minibeasts living in and around the pond at the National Botanic Gardens. Perfect your technique with guidance from the experts and learn how to identify the amazing creatures you have captured. Once you have discovered the hidden pond life you will never look at ponds the same way again!
This workshop is suitable for children age 8 and upwards.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Visitor Centre. Organised with the Irish Wildlife Trust.
Admission Free.
Booking essential.
Papermaking Workshop
Sunday 12th August

Explore the process of handmade paper making with this afternoon session especially for Adults. Make pulp using recycled material and natural plant-based dyes. Infuse the paper with seeds to make plantable paper or add pressed petals and leaves to give a decorative finish.
Time: 2.00pm – 4.00pm.
€25
Booking essential.
Themed Guided Tour – Sense-sation – a Sensorial Tour of the Gardens
Sunday 12th August

We are constantly interpreting the world around us using at least one of our senses and unconsciously using others throughout every single day. Explore the very special world of the botanical gardens in a myriad of ways with this multi-sensory tour. Listen to the rustle and swish in the grass garden, inhale the calming lavender in the organic vegetable garden and run your hands over the warm bark of a Giant Redwood tree.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet in the Visitor Centre
€5 per person
Children’s Art Camps
Monday 13th to Friday 17th August

Join our creative art workshops for five wonderful days! Join artist Niamh Synnott for a week of Art. Children will be encouraged through fun art activities to observe, engage in and be inspired by their surroundings. Kids can try their hand using a variety of mediums and materials such as mono and block prints, batik, plein air painting, and construction using art straws.
Budding Artists (for 4 to 7-year-olds) 11am to 12:30pm
Hardy Annuals (8-12-year-olds) 2:00 to 4:00pm
Booking essential, €60
Heritage Week
Saturday 18th – Sunday 26th August

The Theme of National Heritage Week 2018 is Sharing Stories


Busy Bee Trail
Saturday 18th – Sunday 26th August

We’re on a National Heritage Week buzz here at the Gardens! Try our Pollinator Trail and get in touch with nature.


The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival
Saturday 18th August to Sunday 2nd September

The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival is coming to the National Botanic Gardens. The festival will run over the weekend of the 18th and 19th August and an exhibition of tomato cultivars as well as their relatives - tobacco, potatoes, chillies, petunias and even deadly nightshade - will be displayed in the Teak House for a fortnight. There will be a series of talks – Tomato Tales – amongst the speakers will be tomato-addict Nicky Kyle, who will tell us all about growing, eating and enjoying tomatoes.
Daily in the Teak House

Art Installation – Mandala making in nature
Saturday 18th August

Explore the story of an oak tree and the rich biodiversity that surrounds it, while creating a giant mandala around its base. As you will be using found material gathered in the Botanic Gardens the art installation will be eco-friendly and also time based. This is a communal activity and families are welcome.
Time: 2.00pm to 5.00pm

Themed Guided Tour – Sense-sation – a Sensorial Tour of the Gardens
Sunday 19th August

We are constantly interpreting the world around us using at least one of our senses and unconsciously using others throughout every single day. Explore the very special world of the botanical gardens in a myriad of ways with this multi-sensory tour. Listen to the rustle and swish in the grass garden, inhale the calming lavender in the organic vegetable garden and run your hands over the warm bark of a Giant Redwood tree.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet in the Visitor Centre
€5 per person
Tuesday Kids Drop by Activities
Continuing until Tuesday 28th August

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm. No bookings required, first come first served.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

Children’s Workshop: Budding Botanist – Collecting and Pressing Flowers
Thursday 23rd August

Ever wanted to start your very own dried plant collection? Get great tips and discover how you can become a plant collector! Join our guides on an expedition through the Botanic Gardens, identifying and collecting suitable plants for pressing before constructing your very own flower press. If you like, you can also create some beautiful botanical designs with our pre-dried plants.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Admission Free. Ages 6 and up.
Booking Essential.
Making Sense – Philosophy Tour
Saturday 26th August

At the Academy in Ancient Greece, philosophy students strolled outdoors while pondering the big questions. As Friedrich Nietzsche said centuries later, “It is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth.” The ambience of the National Botanic Gardens itself arguably provided inspiration to the great Ludwig Wittgenstein, who sat in the Great Palm House to keep warm in the 1940s. Following in the footsteps of these great thinkers, we will explore philosophical themes in the outdoor classroom that is the Botanic Gardens.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet in the Visitor Centre
€5 per person


Theatre events in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

THEATRE IN THE GARDENS – 'Meet me in the Gardens'
Sunday 24th June and 1st July, Saturdays 7th and 14th July

From the company that brought you Angels in the Park, Shiva Productions, presents a unique and powerful site-specific theatrical experience, which will take you on a journey through the bewitching gardens and will change how you will see them forever.
Times: 2.00pm & 4.00pm. Meet in the Education & Visitor Centre
Booking Essential
THEATRE IN THE GARDENS – 'Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland'
Tuesday 10th July

Take a trip down the rabbit hole with Chapterhouse Theatre Company this summer as they present the classic tale of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Join Alice as she stumbles into the magical world of Wonderland and meet a whole host of colourful characters.

Bookings from May onwards


Events at the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh

Kilmacurragh is located in Kilbride, east Co. Wicklow (Junction 18 on the M11), it is the centrepiece of an eighteenth-century estate and is famous for its conifers, rhododendrons, meadows and double-borders. Free, guided tours are held twice daily from the 29th of March until the middle of October at 12.00pm and 3.00pm. Please check the website or locally for seasonally themed guided tours and trails. Don’t miss the fabulous Rhododendron Walks Saturdays and Sundays from 31st March to the 29th April.
Further information – Mid-March – Mid-October – 0404 48844.
Picnics are permitted at the designated picnic tables. Group tours should be pre-booked. Meet at the car park entrance to the Gardens for all events.
The Acton Café is open all year round.
Further information: Nov – Mar: 01 857 0909/ 804 0319 Apr – Oct: 0404 48844
Group tours should be pre-booked. Meet at the car park entrance to the Gardens for all events.

Workshop – Beginner’s Photography with Eamon O’ Daly of the Outdoor Studio
Friday 23rd March and Friday 9th May

Combining the wonderful spring blossoms with the beautiful gardens and woodland walks, this one day outdoor workshop will provide excellent photo opportunities combined with relaxed learning. The course is suitable for beginners to enthusiasts and all camera types.
Time: 10:30am to 3:30pm. Cost: €35
Book online at www.skerriesphotography.com or call 01 849 2572
Tree Walks for Tree Week
Sundays 4th and 11th March and Saturday 10th March

Kilmacurragh has an interesting range of trees including towering old rhododendrons, an amazing Magnolia campbellii and ancient yews and oaks. In celebration of National Tree Week, join us for a guided walk exploring these fabulous trees at Kilmacurragh.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park

Rhododendron Walks
Daily from Sunday 31st March until Sunday 29th April

Come and take part in a most memorable experience, walking through the gardens of Kilmacurragh as the beautiful old rhododendron trees burst into blossom.
Time: 3.00pm. Meet at the Car Park

Family Event – Garden Bird Safari at Kilmacurragh
Sunday 8th April

Join author and Botanic Gardens Head Guide Glynn Anderson for a guided bird walk, uncovering the rich bird life of the Gardens. On a lucky day you may be fortunate enough to spot a red kite. If you have them, be sure to bring your binoculars for a closer look!
Time: 10.30am. Meet in the Car Park
Admission Free. Booking essential.
Guided Walk – Common conifers and how to tell them apart
Saturday May 25th

The identification of conifer trees is not a mystery. Although there are over 700 species of conifers in the world and thousands of variants, some of the common conifers are easy to identify.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Car Park

Guided Walk – Common broadleaves and how to tell them apart
Sunday May 26th

There are hundreds of different broadleaf trees that grow in Ireland. On this guided walk we will pick out the most common ones and help you identify them.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Car Park

Guided Walk – Meadows and Hedgerows
Saturdays in May, June and July

Join our expert guides on a stroll through the summer meadows. From wild Irish orchids to yellow rattle, discover the many wonderful plants that are growing in our regenerated meadows.
Time: 2.30pm. Meet at the Car Park


Activities for Children

Children’s Garden Trails

Choose from a selection of free trails at the Visitor Centre and embark on a self-guided discovery of the wonderful plants on display in the Gardens and glasshouses. Trails available include:

‘Plant Partners’ - Discover the amazing interactions between plants and animals
'The Food Trail'- Find common and curious foods from around the world
‘The Bark Trail’- Observe and touch the many textured trees of the Gardens
‘The Native Trail’- Explore our native plant collections (also available as Gaeilge)

Family event – Garden Bird Safaris
Wednesday 28th March and Sat 14th April at Glasnevin
Sunday 8th April at Kilmacurragh

Join author and Botanic Gardens guide Glynn Anderson for a guided bird walk. Come and discover what birds live in the gardens. If you have binoculars, bring them along and see what you can spot.
Time: 10.00am
Admission Free. Booking essential on 01 8570909
Art Workshop for 4 to 7-year-olds – Budding Artists
Saturdays 10th March, 14th April, 19th May, 16th June.

Join our ‘budding’ artists, a creative workshop especially for younger children taking place once a month, under the attentive eye of artist Niamh Synnott. Children are encouraged to take a closer look at the natural world all around them to inspire fun art-making activities. Suitable for 4 to 7-year-olds.
Time: 11.00am-12.30pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Cost: €10. Booking essential
Art Workshop for 8 to 12-year-olds – Hardy Annuals
Saturdays 10th March, 14th April, 19th May, 16th June.

Why not join us for a guided discovery of the natural world where you can observe, engage, and be inspired by your surroundings. Participants in this art programme will be encouraged to use materials in fun and interesting ways while taking inspiration from the world of plants on show at Glasnevin. Suitable for 8 to 12-year-olds.
Time: 2.00pm – 4.00pm. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Cost: €10. Booking essential
Art Week Camp
Monday 16th to Friday 20th July & Monday 13th to Friday 17th August

Join artist Niamh Synnott for Children's Art Week! Children will be encouraged through fun art activities to observe, engage in and be inspired by their surroundings. Kids can try their hand using a variety of mediums and materials such as mono and block prints, batik, plein air painting, and construction using art straws.
Ages 4-7 years: 11.00am - 12.30pm
Ages 8-12 years: 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Cost: €60. Booking essential.
Origami Workshop
Saturdays 19th and 26th May

Come and get creative with paper at our new children's origami workshop, and learn about the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. Did you know ‘Ori’ means fold and ‘Kami’ means paper? Having mastered the basics of this elegant art, you can then transform a sheet of paper into something exciting like an animal, tree or flower. Materials supplied.
Time: 2.30pm. Free event but Booking essential.
Booking essential (Suitable for ages 8 to 12)
Pond Dipping
Saturdays 12th May, 9th June, 7th July and 11th August

Explore the weird and wonderful diversity of insects and minibeasts living in and around the pond at the National Botanic Gardens. Perfect your technique with guidance from the experts and learn how to identify the amazing creatures you have captured. Once you have discovered the hidden pond life you will never look at ponds the same way again! This workshop is suitable for children age 8 and upwards.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Visitor Centre.
Admission Free. Booking essential.
Budding Botanist – Collecting and Pressing Flowers
Thursdays 12th and 26th July and 9th and 23rd August

Ever wanted to start your very own dried plant collection? Get great tips and discover how you can become a plant collector! Join our guides on an expedition through the Botanic Gardens, identifying and collecting suitable plants for pressing before constructing your very own flower press. If you like, you can also create some beautiful botanical designs with our pre-dried plants.
Time: 11.00am. Meet at the Visitor Centre
Admission Free. Booking essential.
Sunday Kids Drop by Activities
25th March – 24th June

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
Sundays at 11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

Tuesday Kids Drop by Activities
Tues 27th March and Tues 3rd April

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.

Tuesday Kids Drop by Activities
Tues 3rd July – Tues 28th August

Kids, join us for fun activities in the dedicated Children’s Garden. Sow seeds, make seed bombs, design bug hotels and re-use everyday items to create your own piece of eco art.
11.00am, 11.30am, 3.00pm & 3.30pm.
Suitable from ages 4 and up. All children must bring their own grown up.
No bookings required, first come first served.


Education Workshops and Tours for schools

Green-Schools Biodiversity Flag

We offer supports to both Primary and Secondary schools in achieving Green Flag status. Each Green Flag Session lasts approx. 2 hours.
Join our expert guides exploring the Gardens on our Biodiversity Tour and discover the importance of our native plants and animals. This is followed by a hands on workshop in our Children’s Garden, where you will get some practical advice on what to do in your own school garden to help biodiversity. While you are there you can check out our butterfly/pollinator bed, bog bed and sow some seeds in your own newspaper pot to bring back to your own school garden. Then explore how insects help plants with our self-guided Pollinator Trail through the Botanic Gardens.
Guided Tours for Schools
A variety of specially themed guided tours and workshops are available free of charge to school groups. All school visits should be pre-booked at the Visitor Centre - 01 8570909/ 01 8040319
Primary Schools Guided Tours
  • The Rainforest – Explore Ireland’s only tropical rainforest in the Great Palm House, and find out about plants from all over the world. Available year round
  • Irish Plants – Hear all about Irish plants and trees, their uses, folklore, and how to identify them. Visit the Viking House and find out what plants they grew for food, clothing, and shelter. Available year round
  • Tree-mendous trees – Discover the lives of our great trees – how they produce their food, survive the seasons, and help us in our daily lives. Available year round
  • National Tree Week – Tree walks for schools. Sunday 4th to Sunday 11th March. Hear some fascinating facts and tales about native and exotic trees alike, and also learn how to identify some of our most popular trees. Suitable for 1st class and up. To celebrate National Tree Week each school group will have the opportunity to take a tree away with them to plant!
Primary Schools Workshops
  • Delve Deeper – Take a tour of the Gardens and collect samples with our intrepid guides before going back to the Education Centre to experiment with our special, user-friendly, handheld, digital microscopes. See what leaves, seeds, and even microscopic bugs look like close up! Available year round
  • Spring into the Veg Garden, Hands on Workshop – Come along for a hands-on workshop and get practical advice about planting up your School Garden to taste a seasonal harvest before the summer hols. Sow food and flower seeds to bring back for your school garden. Available March & April
  • Planting Pumpkins – Learn what crops you can sow now to enjoy after the summer. Learn which varieties give a bumper autumn harvest and what tricks you can learn to make sure a bumper crop is waiting for you when you come back in the autumn. Photograph your pumpkin as it grows to enter the competition to see who can grow the biggest by harvest time. Available May & June
Primary Schools Trails
  • Plant Partners – Why not collect this self-guided trail and explore the intriguing world of plant and animal relationships.
  • Native Trail – Discover native Irish plants and the animals that use them. Also available as Gaeilge.
Second Level Guided Tours
  • Plant Adaptations – This guided walk will look at some of the amazing adaptive features our plants have adopted to cope with everything from predators, habitat loss to climate change.
Workshops for Secondary Level
  • Delve Deeper – Take a tour of the gardens and collect samples with our intrepid guides before going back to the Education Centre to experiment with our special, user-friendly, handheld, digital microscopes. See what leaves, seeds, and even microscopic bugs look like close up!
  • Ecology Workshop – Explore the world of ecology while taking an expedition through the Gardens exploring ecological concepts such as nutrient cycling, climate and soil adaptation, and habitat structure. This workshop combines an interactive classroom session with a tour of the Garden's native and exotic plants. It also features activities such as:
    • mapping woodland and hedgerow habitats
    • stepping from tropical to desert biomes to explore plant adaptations to the world's climate and environmental factors
    • searching the garden's amazing plant collection for fascinating living examples of ecological relationships such as competition, predation, parasitism, and symbiosis
    • Students will also get a chance to study plants at the centre of real conservation projects, and even see rare plants that are extinct in the wild. This workshop is based on the curriculum needs of the Leaving Cert Biology Sub-Unit General Principles of Ecology, but will also cover other aspects of the Leaving Cert Biology and Geography Curricula.
  • Spring into the Veg Garden, Hands on Workshop – Come along for a hands-on workshop and get practical advice about planting up your school garden to taste a seasonal harvest before the summer hols. Sow food and flower seeds to bring back for your school garden. Available March & April
  • Planting Pumpkins – Learn what crops you can sow now to enjoy after the summer. Learn which varieties give a bumper autumn harvest and what tricks you can learn to make sure a bumper crop is waiting for you when you come back in the autumn. Photograph your pumpkin as it grows to enter the competition to see who can grow the biggest by harvest time. Available May & June
  • Workshop for TY Horticulture Participants – Food Glorious Food. Come along to this half day session and find out all about the food we eat from tropical bananas to tomatoes and potatoes. Visit the organic garden to see what is growing outdoors, take a self-guided trail and discover the tropical economic plant crops which we use in our everyday lives, Plant your very own food crop and take it back to your school garden. Limited availability.
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