Guide to Halloween in Galway 2023

By Michelle Byrnes

Spooky season is officially underway and there are plenty of ways to embrace the Halloween mood around Galway.

For Irish people, this time of year holds a special place in hearts around the country, since the origin of Samhain here, over 2000 years ago.

Galway’s medieval history makes it the perfect place to celebrate the occasion.

From boozy brunches to haunted tours, there’s something for everyone this Halloween.

Here’s a list of all the events and activities that are taking place in Galway over the next few weeks:

Visit a pumpkin patch 

What’s Halloween without a Jack-O-Lantern?

Visiting a pumpkin patch is a great way to get the season started and start decorating with festive fruits.

Galway Pumpkin Patch is located on the grounds of the Castletaylor Estate in Ardrahan.

As well as the scenic fields, there are lots of family activities available to take part in.

Tickets are required for entry and each family ticket includes a pumpkin to take home.

The event is available to book online for every weekend this month.

Take a scary tour 

The Dark Tour of Galway City by Experience Galway is a walking tour through the scariest corners of the city, revealing its haunted history.

Participants will take a 90-minute tour through Galway, whilst learning about its sinister past.

They will be expose to tales of murders, executions, and folklore to get them in the spooky spirit.

The tour is available to purchase by ticket on the Experience Galway website and unavailable for children under 16.

Tours are available from Friday, 13 October to Sunday 5 November. 

Indulge in a mystery food tour 

Galway Food Tours is hosting a Halloween special with a Mystery Food Tour adventure.

The tour takes place throughout the centre of the city and the west end.

This event could be ideal for foodies or someone looking for a unique way of celebrating this holiday.

Tickets are €45 per person and include food from four mystery venues, with more information on their website.

Solve a murder mystery

Wildlands in Moycullen offers many Halloween events during the season, one of which includes a Murder Mystery Orienteering activity.

According to their website, participants will follow clues while venturing through the eerie woods surrounding the park, all while dressed in their most creative costume.

Tickets cost €5 and are available on the Wildlands website.

Macnas Parade 

After their four-year hiatus, Galway welcomes back Macnas and their magnificent creations will return to the streets on Sunday 29, October at 5.30 pm.

Their 2023 performance will feature La Loba, who according to their website is “a wild Wolf-Woman who collects and preserves the bones of animals, humans and gods that are in danger of being lost to the world and sings them back to life by moonlight.”

Macnas are also looking for volunteers to help bring back their magical parade to Galway, getting people into the weird and wonderful spirit of the Irish Halloween tradition.

Learn more on their website here

See a scary movie

Pálás cinema is hosting ‘Waking Nightmares: 1970 The Birth of Modern Horror’ to appreciate the revolutionary era of modern horror.

Screening a collection of game-changing horrors and terrifying thrillers, visiting the cinema this Halloween will definitely be an activity to get viewers in the mood for the holiday.

Movies like Young Frankenstein, Halloween, and The Exorcist will be shown from 25 October.

Grab a drink 

A plethora of pubs are hosting upcoming events dedicated to the Halloween season.

If you’re getting all dressed up with nowhere to go, the Halloween Drag Ball at the Róisín Dubh takes place on Monday, 23 October, with performances, costumes, and more. 

Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Absent 012: The Absent Chainsaw Massacre will be kicking off Halloween night at The Cellar Bar.

The bar will be transformed into a house of horrors and comes complete with a musical performance and costume competition to top off the fun. Tickets are also available through Eventbrite

If you can’t wait until night to start the party, Harryween Disco Brunch at HYDE Bar offers a Harry Styles-themed afternoon with food, drink, music, and fun. Tickets ca be purchased through Eventbrite.

For University of Galway students, Hallows is back at Sult and Áras Mac Léinn.

Brought to you by the Students’ Union and Societies along with Bümblê and Reboot Events, Hallows will take place on Halloween night, Tuesday 31 October.

The event includes many attractions from all different societies, so it’ll surely be an action-filled night. Use Scope Tickets for purchase.

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