Powerscourt runs a year-round events programme including treasure hunts, guided walks, gardening workshops, bug hunts, theatre evenings and much more that all the family will enjoy. Annual members enjoy a reduced rate ticket price to many events. With annual membership you can also enjoy unlimited entry to Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall, 10% discount in the Garden Pavilion and exclusive access to our private River Walk during normal opening hours. Our thanks to Aisling Lyons of for this review.
We attended both the Frightmare Trail and Scare Crow Making family friendly events in Powerscourt Estate over the October Bank Holiday weekend. First up was “Frightmare” which was run on the grounds of Powerscourt Estate by a team from Imaginosity. I genuinely didn’t know what to expect - usually the Imaginosity events are very well run but as they are aimed at children, I didn’t think it would be scary enough for my Addams Family-esque children.
Well, we were in for a treat! At the outset we were given a map and sent off the beaten track to look for clues, the first clue confirmed as being under a witch’s hat. The walk was decorated to scare, with black bags containing suspicious shapes, cobwebs, broken police cordons, and scattered debris making it instantly atmospheric.
There were some great touches - rather than using a static clue, we found a real live witch who said she could ‘smell the children coming’ – fantastic! We had to repeat a few spells in German before we could see the clue.
All the clues had an interactive aspect, and we met spiders, rats and pirates as we continued on our journey, with each characters giving us chilling warnings to ’look out behind’ and ‘trust no one’ etc.
The grand finale came at the Pet Cemetery where we met the absolutely brilliant Tina Vamp and her macabre ‘dead toy tea party’. She introduced us to a vampire who played the “Monster Mash” on keyboards while Tina taught the children to dance along. Unfortunately, vampires will be vampires and so it ended with him chasing all the children to shrieks of delighted terror.
Where did the final clue lead us? Back to the main house for a sweet treat, of course.
Verdict: The children were just the right level of spooked, although the vampire chase was a little too much for my three-year-old who was frightened and asked to ‘go home now!’ If you are looking for a family friendly scare at Hallowe’en, I would highly recommend this.
We headed back up to Powerscourt on the rainy bank holiday Monday for the ‘Make a Scarecrow’ at The Garden Pavilion event. This was brilliantly organised and again the team working at it were excellent at instructing the children on what to do. We had Monica helping us out, whose enthusiasm was absolutely infectious.
The children were invited to make and style their very own scarecrows, with a central supply of clothes and straw provided along with hessian, string and accessories left out at each family’s workstation.Now, I am not usually one for getting involved children’s activities, but this was so much fun that the entire family got stuck in! If we were unsure of the next step there was always someone on hand to help.
We started with a bamboo cross for each scarecrow, and after much stuffing, tying and gluing ended up with three actual scarecrows. They are suitably creepy and will finish off our decorations for the 31st perfectly!
Our verdict: Well worth the trip, the Pavilion staff put a lot into making this a fun, successful and interesting class.
Aisling posts about our family events throughout the year. Aisling runs a parenting blog which you can follow here.
Bio: My name is Aisling Lyons, stay at home mother of three, and sometime radio pundit ;).I have over 20 years experience in the childcare sector, starting out as nursery nurse before moving into nannying, and then returning to work in creches for over 14 years, twelve of which were in creche management. I managed a private creche "Johnstown Kiddiecare" in Kilpeddar, Co. Wicklow, and then moved into Dublin to manage the nursery on-site in Trinity College Dublin. I finally left that position to open my own creche "Aisling Childcare", which I ran for seven years. I closed the creche when baby number three was imminent as I really wanted to focus on motherhood. I am passionate about children being given the very best opportunities to allow them to grow up to be happy and confident. I set up a blog to help any parents struggling with the little and large problems that parenting young children can bring! I really hope that some ideas I bring will help families thrive and forge ahead!: )