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Children’s Play Day

Families are invited to join in a day of fun and games in the beautiful surroundings of Merrion Square Park, which promises lots of fun and entertainment. Children will get the chance to play the games that children played in 1916.

The Children’s Play Day will include children’s street rhymes and games, including skipping, marbles, penalty shoot-outs, relays and obstacle courses.  The event will also tap into children’s imagination with creative messy play, art, dress up and den building.

On the stage of a circus style tent, there will be music and performances where well known personalities from RTE Junior will host sessions and engage audiences throughout the day.

Event Details

Play activities will include:

  • Street Games – skipping (big rope and individual ropes), hop-scotch, hula hoops, marbles, ball games, yo-yos, chalk, tin cans
  • Bunny hoppers and similar toys
  • Dress up, props (tea sets etc)
  • Parkour
  • Teen ‘chill out’ area
  • Giant Games – Jenga, Dominoes and Connect 4
  • Giant balls
  • Sand (buckets, spades etc)
  • Lego, Mobilo
  • Toy soldiers, dolls, action figures, cars etc
  • Drama games and informal performance opportunities
  • Parachute games
  • Giant inflatable Do-Nut
  • Pillow fight
  • Loose parts play – dens etc
  • Wooden go-carts
  • Obstacle races
  • Big Art Tent – facilitated by ‘Re-Create’

Dublin City Council and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs are collaborating in this event to promote Dublin as a child-friendly city. This is one of Dublin City Council’s family-friendly events taking place during the Easter holidays as part of the 1916 commemorations.


Circus Tent Stage

Hosted by Emma and Muirean from RTÉ Junior.

Drop in to enjoy Sing Along Sing Songs with Emma O’Driscoll from RTE Junior, magic shows by Reuben, and musical performances bythe Garda Band, The Henry Girls, young traditional musicians, Mochóirí, The Rowsome Sisters, and the students of the National Performing Arts School with their showcase “We Could Be Heroes”. Music and singing is at the core of this piece. It will include readings from The Proclamation and The Soldiers’ Song and a short play based on the 1916 Rising and its place in 2016. Be ready to answer “Ireland’s Call” at the finale.


Experience the thrill of riding a carousel – whether you’re a little kid or a big one! We will have two carousels to suit kids of all ages.


Take a look at the artists of The Merrion Square Artists Association in action, as they capture the activities of the square on canvas.

Eats and Treats

There will be eats, treats, a picnic area and public facilities.


Abbey Theatre, An Garda Siochana, Association of Professional Genealogists Ireland, Band of An Garda Siochana, Buswells Hotel, Capuchin Friary, Century Ireland, Cobblestone, Conradh na Gaeilge, Dubray Books Grafton Street, Dublin Fire Brigade Pipe Band, Dublin Institute of Technology, Eason’s O’Connell Street, Gallery of Photography. Garda Historical Society, Generator Hostel, Glasnevin Trust, Grafton Barbers, Hodges Figgis Dawson Street, Irish Film Archive, Irish Veteran & Vintage Car Club. John Shevlin Millinery, Little Museum of Dublin, Louis Copeland & Sons, Manning's Bakery, Massey Funeral Directors, Maynooth University, Merrion Square Artists Association, National College of Art and Design, National Library of Ireland, National Museum at Collins Barracks, National Transport Museum of Ireland, NUI Galway, Poetry Ireland, Queen's University Belfast, Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association, Royal Hibernian Academy, St Michan's Church of Ireland Parish, St Michan's Roman Catholic Parish, St Vincent de Paul, SIPTU, The Four Courts, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, University of Ulster, Whyte’s Irish Art & Collectables, National Print Museum, Irish Guild of Weavers Spinners & Dyers, ICA, Feltmakers Ireland, Irish Woodturners Guild, Doran Barber Shop The Pram Doctor, The Merrion Square Artists Association, The Dice Bar, Third Space, The Family Resource Centre St. Michael’s Estate, Brown Bag Films, The Stoneybatter and Smithfield People’s History Project, The Revenue Museum,

RTÉ would like to gratefully acknowledge the support and participation of the individual speakers who were kind enough to share their research and private collections with the public as part of the RTÉ Reflecting the Rising project. A big thanks also to the many volunteers and actors who gave their time so generously to help make RTÉ Reflecting the Rising a memorable and successful day.

RTÉ Commercial Enterprises Limited, Registered in Dublin, Registration Number:155076.
Registered Office: Donnybrook, Dublin 4, Ireland.