Preparing for Our Ireland Family Vacation

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We are counting down the days until we depart for Ireland. Right now our main conundrum is should we take Halloween costumes?

It seems silly to even be thinking about as I am usually all about packing light. And our costumes are anything but and they are full-on Renaissance garb.

However, we have to take a large suitcase to fit in dress clothes for Doug & I as our stay at Ashford Castle includes dinner in the castle's George V Dining Room – jacket and tie are mandatory for men, and no jeans allowed.

Ashford Castle
Ashford Castle

Ireland Family Vacation – Halloween Itinerary

While I don't have our itinerary 100% planned yet, I want to share a few of the highlights.

Day 1: After flying all night we will arrive bright and early at Shannon Airport. We will collect our car and head directly to The Old Bank in Bruff where Miriam has promised us cozy beds for a short rest. Later that afternoon we will head to Lough Gur for the end of the Storytelling Festival and a hike on Knockadoon.

Day 2: We will have a relaxing morning at The Old Bank before heading to Bunratty. We'll make a stop at Durty Nelly's before heading over to Bunratty Castle for the Halloween festivities. That evening will be adults night out with Miriam and her husband, Pat, at a wine bar in Limerick.

Day 3: We say goodbye to Bruff and head toward County Clare, via the Shannon Ferry. Plans for today are still shaping up, though they may include a stop at Lahinch Adventures before we arrive at Doolin Hostel. We plan to explore the Burren during our time in Doolin.

Day 4: Burren exploration is on the agenda today, including a visit to the Burren Nature Sanctuary.

Day 5: Leaving Doolin, we'll stick close to the Wild Atlantic Way route as we make our way to luxurious Ashford Castle on Lough Corrib. Our family will explore the grounds during the Hidden Garden treasure hunt before the girls head off for Wizarding School activities – including cookery, the Chamber of Witchcraft & Wizardry, dinner & movie night. Doug and I get to enjoy time alone and will take a wooden boat ride on Lough Corrib and have a romantic dinner in the sumptuous George V Dining Room.

Day 6: Magical castle time ends, but the fun is only beginning. We will celebrate Halloween at Westport House in County Mayo today. Our lodgings will be a self-catering cottage near the village of Westport.

Day 7: Irish history today as we visit the only National Museum of Ireland outside of Dublin – the Museum of County Life in Castlebar. Then it's back to Westport House and the Adventure Activity Centre for high ropes, zorbing and archery!

Day 8: Departing Westport, we'll wander along Mayo's Wild Atlantic Way (hoping for a stop at Achill Island) before heading inward to Mount Falcon where we will spend 2 nights in a self catering cottage on the property.

Day 9: Today we plan to enjoy the activities offed at Mount Falcon – hawking, clay pigeon shooting, archery… (archery seems to be featuring often this trip).

Day 10: Our Ireland adventure is coming to a close as we say goodbye to Mount Falcon and drive to Limerick. If time allows, we will make a visit to King John's Castle before visiting our friends Eoin and Säsa for dinner. Our final night in Ireland will be at Pery's Hotel.

Day 11: Slán go fóill, Ireland. Goodbye for now.

So, what do you think?

It's a busy schedule, but not overly crazy.

Should we take our Halloween costumes? I also think that it would be cool to do the Hawk Walk at Mount Falcon in our Renaissance garb – it would make a terrific Christmas card photo.

Want to follow our Halloween Ireland family vacation?

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I'll be posting photos from our adventures as we explore the west of Ireland.



  1. This sounds amazing
    Have enjoyed monitoring your progress! Where will you fly out of? Which rental company did you use this time? When you eat at the cottages-do you grocery shop?
    Will the nice people you mention take other Americans in also!!!
    Have fun!

      HI Sharon- and thank you for the terrific questions!

      We have a couple hops across the US – Chicago to Newark, then to Shannon.

      We used for this trip – I will report on how it goes when we get back!

      Yes, when we rent cottages we do grocery shop – it’s one of my favorite things to do in Ireland! I love to see the differences in products!

      And, yes, everywhere we are staying you can stay too!

      I hope you’re following along on Facebook or Instagram – that’s where I will post the most images during our trip.Thanks for reading!

    Hi Jody
    Day 5 for the parents looks the best 🙂
    Will you be here for Halloween night? If so, will the kids go “trick or treating”? The same fuss isn’t made of Halloween here as it is in the states. My wife is busily running around trying to make sure our kids first Irish Halloween is eventful 🙂

    Enjoy your trip. Your itinerary looks amazing. I hope the weather will be nice for ye.

      Hi Liam. Day 5 should be amazing!

      We will be at Westport House on Halloween Day, so we likely won’t do much that night. As it’s a Friday, we will likely try to find a pub with some music. Or maybe we’ll just relax at the cottage that evening!

      We still haven’t decided if we will bring costumes for all of us – or put together something for the girls when we get there. It will likely be a last minute – how much room do we have in the suitcase – decision.

      Thanks for your comment!

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