Festival of Curiosity: dinosaurs, dragons and Dr Death visit Dublin

The four-day, family-friendly festival has something for everyone

An event at last year’s Festival of Curiosity

An event at last year’s Festival of Curiosity

 

If you fancy having your brain tickled, the Festival of Curiosity offers plenty of opportunities in Dublin over the next few days. From dinosaurs to origami and from lobotomies to love, the four-day festival offers “playful days”, “curious nights” and fun.

The festival, now in its third year, is designed with all ages in mind, according to co-founder and creative director Ellen Byrne. “It’s for everyone,” she says. “When we say we have a family event, it’s not just for the young kids, it is also for grandparents and parents and teenage brothers and sisters. It’s about making memories together.”

Several free family-oriented events will run during the festival, including the hands-on Curiosity Carnival at Smock Alley Theatre, which is all about messing around and creating with technology. “It’s very playful,” says Byrne.

Tickets for the Curiosity Carnival are booked out, but Byrne says people who don’t have tickets could “chance it” as spaces may become available; if you don’t get in, there will be free, non-ticketed events at the nearby Wood Quay venue.

Other free events include Dublin Maker, which celebrates creativity and will take place in Trinity College Dublin on Saturday. You can also get busy making curious creatures out of Lego at Dublin City Hall on Sunday, or out of paper as part of the Origami Zoo at the Coach House in Dublin Castle from Friday to Sunday.

 

Dinosaur expert

The festival will host speakers and performers, including dinosaur expert Jack Horner, who was a consultant on the Jurassic Park films; Sue McGrath’s show Science with Dragons; and Simon Watt’s Dr Death & the Medi-Evil Medicine Show (for over-fives and the non-squeamish).

If you want to stretch your legs and do some urban exploring, there are a treasure hunt with riddles, puzzles and science and a guided walk exploring Dublin’s wildlife.

For adults, the Curious Nights programme tackles various themes, such as The Anatomy of a Lobotomy, based on a radio documentary about the history of lobotomy in Ireland; Curiosity Box, which explores the future of design, fashion, genetics and technology; and Date Night/Love Hack, a series of rapid-fire talks on the theme of love.

If you want to enjoy the festival from the comfort of wherever you are, curl up with the specially made podcast Tales from the Cryptid on festivalofcuriosity.ieby Maurice Kelliher and Shaun O’Boyle. It takes a wry look at hoaxes and how they were debunked.

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