Don’t miss out on the bustling Autumn & Winter events programme at Westport House
Roll Up to Fossett’s Circus – NEW!
With a historical association of providing animals to Westport House Zoo in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s , The Fossett Family are delighted to return after such a long absence. When the Blue & White Big Top bearing their name is erected at Westport House from October 1st to 5th, it will be a very proud and special occasion as the internationally renowned circus family are celebrating an unbroken 126 years of entertaining the Irish public. This year, the Fossett family are delighted to present one of their strongest productions in recent years. The 2014 show features jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, ponies, chair balancing and a death defying high wire finale! The audience will also be amazed by an exciting aerial Straps Act all the way from Germany, a contortionist from China, Fire Juggling from Romania, Diabolo presentation from Italy, a high school equestrienne from the UK and of course Fossett’s very own clown, Otto. This year Otto takes a little break from his usual antics during the show to present a rarely seen circus presentation involving bubbles. The Big Top is not to be missed on Thursday 2nd October at 7.30pm and Friday 3rd October at 4.30pm & 7.30pm. On Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th October they will present their show at 2.00pm & 5.00pm. Admission Prices start at €10 per child and €12 for adults.
Head West for ‘Ireland’s Best Halloween’ Fest
As summer draws to a close, anticipation starts to build for Halloween and rumours flourish of ghoulish goings on at the historic Westport House in Co. Mayo. The annual Halloween Fest, running from October 26th to 31st during the mid-term break from 11am to 5pm daily, is the perfect place to go for fiendish family fun. It’s so devilishly good that it was awarded the Best Halloween Event in the West in 2013 by Primary Times. The 18th century historic house will be transformed into a (not too) scary haunted house for the week (suitable for little ones), and the attractions and activities on offer are guaranteed to cast a spell over your little witches and warlocks! The cauldron of festive fun includes the White Witch’s story time and ghastly face painting. For that added bubble, boil and trouble make sure you try out the frighteningly good family workshops and activities throughout the day:
- Carve your very own Jack O’Lantern to ward off evil spirits when you get home (additional charge of €2.50 for your pumpkin);
- Zombie shuffle your way to the formal Large Dining room of Westport House and learn all the moves to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video.
- Halloween Fest has added a daily dining room Kiddies Disco to the programme for 2014 (NEW!).
- Trick or treat your way to Westport House’s ‘Spooky Spoons workshop’ where you’ll learn some gruesome new recipes and decorate your own cupcake with snakes and spiders webs and maybe even eye of newt?
If all this Hallowe’en fun has worked up an appetite, be sure to stop by the Tea Rooms to pick up your complimentary spiced apple surprise. You and your little monsters will have a hauntingly good time as you experience the thrills ‘n’ chills of our Pirate Adventure Park. Travel into another world on the mysterious Westport House Express train ride and have more fun than you can shake a broomstick at while on board the swinging ship and pedal Go Karts before a final wicked trip on the log flume water ride. The park is open from 1pm to 5pm daily. Make sure you get in the spirit of things by dressing up in Halloween costumes!
Spooky Train Tour – NEW!
It may look like a sweet little ride but don’t let the bright colours fool you! The Westport Train Tour will tell tales of not-too-spooky Irish ghosts and ghouls, the Irish origins of Halloween and its traditions. While we love a little scare, rest assured that the Spooky Train Tour will be suitable for little ones too. Pick up points at the town centre gate to Westport House and the Quay, Westport, with trains departing daily from October 26 to 31 from 11am to 2pm daily.
Winter Wonderland of the West
Westport House will be sprinkled with magical Christmas dust and transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland every weekend from Saturday November 29th until Christmas Eve in 2014. Make sure you bring all the family to meet Santa, Mrs Claus and their Elves!
Having a merry little Christmas begins the moment you step into the stunning history 18th century house, with its cosy fireplaces, friendly staff, and stunning décor setting a truly festive tone even before you visit Santa and his elves at Santa’s Grotto. Whether kids have been naughty or nice, they will receive a special gift from Santa and not forgetting that parents deserve to be treated too there is a warming glass of mulled wine on arrival and a juice for the little ones. There’s plenty more to enjoy from magical storytelling and sing-songs by the fireside with Mrs Claus to festive face painting with their cool as ice snow(wo)man. Westport House are renewing their tradition of a Christmas Wish Tree where families are invited to write their wishes and for every family wish we will donate €1 to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice they hope will be generously supported, as people remember that true meaning of Christmas is all about giving.
New in 2014, this Christmas, Westport House has changed up the format a little to offer a host of new festive fun. Every day, we will test your Christmas Carols with our “Elves Factor” Carol-Singing-Karaoke sessions. Make sure you visit the Elves Workshop where, this year, you can now make your own yuletide log for the Christmas dinner table or to give as a gift to someone special. Be sure all the kids make time to decorate their own Ginger Bread Man – and maybe enjoy tasting it too! The Westport Road Train will be running for the first time this year with festive jaunts throughout the estate as you sing along with Christmas cheer!
Tickets for Winter Wonderland are priced at €10 for infants under 2, €20 for children aged 2 and up, and €10 for adults. Babies under 1 year go free for their first Christmas. Pre-booking is essential on www.westporthouse.ie. The Westport Road Train will be priced additionally at €5 per person or €15 for a family of four.
Wreath Making Workshops, December 6th & 7th – NEW!
We invite everyone with a creative flair to come and join us on December 6th & 7th at 11am. €40 – includes a mulled wine, mince pie, participation in the workshop and admission to the house and grounds for the day. The wreath making workshop is a 2 hour informal session where we show you how to make a decorative festive wreath from our own Westport House foliage, cones and berries. The wreath is yours to take home at the end of the day. A great way to get you in the festive mood!
Make Your Own Reindeer Workshops, December 13th & 14th – NEW!
Join us to learn how to make your own 2ft tall reindeer which will be the pride of all of your Christmas decorations going forward! You’ll be very proud of this rustic little beauty which is suited to free standing at the bottom of your Christmas tree, standing at the front door to welcome visitors or in front of the fire. Westport House will provide the necessary materials to assemble your reindeer which requires some use of wood-making tools but you’ll be guided by an expert. Ideally suited to teens, tweenies, mums or dads with a creative flair and a “can-do” handy interest.