Inaugural Autumn Fête Announced for Irish Heritage Trust Visitor Attractions

Thursday, September 07, 2023. 3:12pm

Follies & Fun for Old & Young in Cork, Wexford and Roscommon

Sunday 1st October 2023

This October 1st, visitors to the Irish Heritage Trust managed properties which include Fota House & Gardens in Cork, Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens in Wexford, and Strokestown Park in Roscommon can enjoy an Autumn Fête – a vibrant celebration of heritage and positive aging.

Designed to bring family generations together, the event will offer an impressive array of indoor and outdoor experiences, catering to both the young and the young at heart. Coinciding with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons and Positive Aging Week 2023, the Autumn Fête embraces the spirit of aging and will feature a rich tapestry of activities including: lawn croquet, personalised tours, music, dance, funfair amusements, wellness activities, wildlife encounters, nature trails, scavenger hunts, and a medley of vintage and traditional activities.

Fota Wood Walk

All Irish Heritage Trust properties are dog-friendly and staff and volunteers look forward to welcoming all members of the family to the Autumn Fête. Delicious food and tantalising treats will be available at food stalls and at the visitor attraction cafés, catering to various dietary requirements.

Launching the first Autumn Fête Anne O’Donoghue, CEO of the Irish Heritage Trust says, “The Irish Heritage Trust takes pride in celebrating people, place and participation. Our commitment lies in preserving the wisdom and experience of our cherished older community members and fostering a welcoming environment that encourages their active participation while also harnessing their invaluable knowledge to pass down to the generations that follow.”

The Irish Heritage Trust is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation, sustainable development, and interpretation of Ireland’s built and natural heritage. 

We collaborate closely with local communities and foster enduring connections to fulfil our mission. The Trust extends a warm invitation to join us at one of our historic sites on 1st October as we embrace the past, relish the present with our cherished family members, and celebrate the ties that bind generations together. We hope visitors are inspired to create lasting memories, nurture cross-generational connections and friendships, and embrace the spirit of positive aging. By attending our Autumn Fête and exploring an Irish Heritage Trust property, visitors play a vital role in supporting our mission to safeguard and conserve these remarkable places for the future,” continued Ms. O’Donoghue.

For more information go to:  




12pm-5pm – Sunday 1st October 2023


Highlights of the day at Strokestown Park include Edwina Guckian’s demonstration of traditional straw hats which were created for Mummers followed by a Mummer’s performance accompanied by the Ox Mountain Trio. Animal Petting Corner, Mud Bugs Nature Crafts, Traditional Woodland Games, Family Scavenger Hunt, Bespoke tours of the house and gardens and much more ensure there will be something for all the family, all from noon to 5pm. Access is via a €10 ticket for adults, concessions available and free for members of the Irish Heritage Trust, see Free parking. 

Strokestown Park


The fun continues at Fota House and Gardens, Cork, with an exciting array of activities on offer from noon to 5pm on October 1st, including a vintage fun fair, traditional fun fair games from 3 legged races, sack races, potato & spoon race, coconut shy, hoopla, tin can alley and more for the young and the not so young. There will be face painting for little ones, croquet on the lawns, a food producers market and vintage ice cream truck with an outdoor cinema showing The Greatest Showman. There will be a drawing room baby stimulus opera, Mrs Kevin’s cat children’s house tour, tales & treasures with the collection care team from the Fota stories recording and a family arboretum & gardens treasure hunt plus a guided Bee pollinator trail. See 

Fota House Gardens


Activities fit for a king and his court will be offer from noon to 5pm on Sunday, October 1st at Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens, and these include the Irish Agricultural Museum trail, a museum talk, live music in the museum courtyard, lawn games on the sunken garden including giant chess, giant 4-in-a-row, giant snakes & ladders, Xs & Os, croquet, potato & spoon races, space hopper races, Peter Rabbit games, plus a vintage car show at the castle, a series of open house castle tours,  wellness classes including Yoga, Qi Gong & meditation plus a garden trail and Peacock talk and a wildlife walk with fun animation from Buí Bolg. Access is via tickets Adult €10.50/Child €4.50/Family €26. Free for members of the Irish Heritage Trust, see . Free parking.

Johnstown Castle

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