A common complaint of those who enjoy visiting museums and galleries is that these places are so often only open within business hours, and so are closed when they escape from work. At the weekends, everyone brings along the kids or their granny, and these places become too busy to be as enjoyable as they otherwise could be.
This is where Culture Night comes in! What first began in 2006 as a modest initiative to encourage interest in music, culture and the arts (within the confines of Dublin) has now grown exponentially and has evolved into a country-wide event with more scope than ever before.
Culture Night in Dublin 2015
This year’s Culture Night is being held on Friday, September 18. On this very special evening, attractions such as Glasnevin Cemetery, National Art Gallery, Natural History Museum and many, many more keep their doors open until late. Those places that normally would charge an entrance fee allow free entry, and many other venues hold exclusive once-off events.
Meanwhile, other institutions that do not normally open their doors to the public (for example the Freemasons’ Lodge on Molesworth Street) are open to everyone (expect some queues) and visitors can discover these fascinating buildings while learning some things they never knew before about the organisations behind them.
Children Welcome to Culture Night
In particular, children are encouraged to take an interest in creativity and history as many places run workshops and innovative family-friendly events which everyone can enjoy.
There are so many historical and culturally significant places around the country that people either do not know exist, or keep meaning to visit and never do. Culture Night aims to change this, while bringing these remarkable places to the forefront of people’s minds and making access as easy as possible.
In the spirit of easy access, the organisers behind Culture Night have, in a very smart move, split Dublin into various “quarters” as different areas of Dublin tend to have something unique and different to offer.
For example, near Dublin City Centre there is the “Liberties & Historic Quarter”; “Monto & The North Georgian Quarter”; “Phoenix Park & Museum Quarter”; “Temple Bar & Creative Quarter”; “The Docklands” and “Trinity & South Georgian Quarter”. Acknowledging that there is so much to see and do outside of the City Centre, there is also a programme of events in “Greater Dublin” and a whole package of events specially related to “Irish language”.
Complimentary buses provided by Dublin Bus will shuttle members of the public between various attraction on routes A, B, C and D (check out http://www.culturenight.ie/tax_dublin_events/culture-on-the-move/ for more details on how to get around on the night).
One of the highlights of the “Greater Dublin” programme is the 38 acre Airfield Estate, out by Dundrum. Visitors can explore the house, farm and gardens and take a look at letters and documents preserved by the Overend family. There is an exhibition which celebrates the various charitable works of sisters Naomi and Letitia Overend. These sisters were also quite successful at gardening and keeping Jersey cows (some of which have won awards).
On the night, you can also sample recipes from the Overends restaurant and try some Jersey herd milk, produced on site.
For the full programme of events taking place in Dublin and around the country, go to http://www.culturenight.ie/ which is a really comprehensive website that will tell you everything you need to know to make the most of this fantastic celebration of arts and culture.
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