Siamsa Tíre

Samhain Festival 2021

Celebrate the Celtic Festival of Samhain (Halloween) this mid-term with family-friendly fun at Siamsa Tíre.

Ooh… What was that spooky sound?  It’s the sound of Halloween (otherwise known as the Celtic festival of Samhain) and it’s fast approaching. 

In bygone times, our ancestors celebrated Samhain by drawing in close to the fire and entertaining each other with stories of wandering spirits and other worlds.  Siamsa Tíre invites you to continue this tradition of entertainment with its annual Samhain Festival. 

Taking place over the mid-term break from Monday 25th to Saturday the 30th of October, it promises a family-friendly mix of theatre, arts and crafts workshops, and storytelling, with an enchanting children’s art exhibition thrown in for good measure. 

It opens on Monday 25th with I am Baba.  This is a theatrical experience created for parents and babies by the internationally-renowned director Anna Newell and award-winning composer David Goodall. Parents and babies enjoy an adventure of lights, songs, and textures as they explore themes of identity and personhood. For older children, Barnstorm Theatre Company will stage Alice and the Wolf, a dark re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood for the digital age.  It features a little girl who spends most of her time playing an online game called Wolf World.  Her dad isn’t around.  Her mother has gone to Canada to meet a lumberjack and her best friend has dumped her for a YouTube star.  What will she do when the people she plays with online come looking for her in real life?  What if one of them is the Big Bad Wolf? 

For spooky storytelling, join Irish author, storyteller, lecturer, and broadcaster Eddie Lenihan as he tells tales of magic, myth, and mystery for young and old.  Eddie is one of the few remaining traditional storytellers (seanchaithe) in Ireland and audiences can expect to be spellbound by his stories. 

Our Samhain Festival also includes a series of children’s workshops:

Amazing ARTitecture - children create architectural sculptures from items that most of us throw in the bin. 

Razzle-Dazzle Robots - children use toilet roll, cardboard, and tinfoil to make colourful robot characters. 

Monster Mash-Up - Illustrator Olivia Golden will will introduce children to a world of Raboos, Slumpires, Fletitches, and maybe even a Zat or two!  She will then help them to create monsters inspired by their own imaginations. Olivia’s work has featured in more than 30 books for all ages.

Spooky Science - Designer Minds aims to expose children to the wonders of science, design, and technology through hands-on activities and experiments.  Children will be shown how to make potions that bubble and burp and even how to make pumpkins puke. 

Pottery Throwing Workshops - Tralee Pottery Club is running a series of pottery workshops ppen to children of all ages up to teens, with one specifically for parents and toddlers. These will be pottery wheel throwing taster workshops where everyone will throw their own pot on a professional wheel, decorate it, and take it home as a piece of art to admire on the mantelpiece. 

The centrepiece of this year’s Samhain Festival is our commissioned exhibition A Way Home/An Slí Abhaile.  This magical art exhibition for children tells the story of two siblings who get lost in the woods at Halloween.  They meet ghosts, banshees, and otherworldly creatures that teach them the true meaning of this festival.  The story was written by children’s author Olivia Hope and features artwork by 20 renowned children’s book illustrators.  Make sure you allow time to visit it when you’re attending one of the events being organised at Siamsa Tíre this mid-term.  It’s spook-tacular.  

Samhain Competition

As part of our Samhain Festival, one of the illustrators of our ‘A Way Home’ Samhain Exhibition, Olivia Golden, has provided one of her artworks for children to colour in. If you send in a photo of your child’s completed illustration to, your family will be in with a chance to win tickets for Alice and the Wolf family show (for children aged 7+ years) and your child will get a free place on the Monster Mash Up Illustration workshop with Olivia Golden. For younger family members who want to send in their entries, the winner and their family will get a private reading and guided tour of the exhibition that illustrates the folk story ‘A Way Home’ written by Olivia Hope which inspired this magical exhibition. The competition will be judged by author Olivia Hope and illustrator Olivia Golden. Winning entries and runners up will be displayed and become part of the exhibition.  

How to enter:

  1. Download and print off Olivia Golden's A4 drawing (just click Samhain Competition) and line up the pencils, crayons and paints for your children to get busy.
  2. Either send in a photo of your child’s masterpiece by email to or drop it in or post to Siamsa Tíre Box Office, Tralee Town Park, Tralee.
  3. When you submit your childs' materpiece, you acknowledge that if they are picked as one of our winners, their work of art will be displayed as part of the 'A Way Home' Exhibition and you provide permission for your child's name to be included in all competition promotions announcing the winning entrants both in print and online. 
  4. Deadline for entries is 12 noon on Friday 22nd October with results being announced by noon Monday 25th October.


For more information and to book tickets for our Samhain events, visit WHATS ON