Cruinniú na nÓg

Criunniú na nÓg is a day of free creativity for children and young people under 18 in Ireland. It is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme’s Creative Youth Plan to enable the creative potential of children and young people. For more information, visit the Cruinniú na nÓg website here and take a look at some of the free events running in Laois Libraries below.


Abbeyleix Library

Harp Workshops –  18th May, 25th May, 8th June and 15th June (time confirmed on booking), For age 7 upwards, Learn to play the harp with Siobhan Buckley in a fun and relaxed environment. Instruments will be provided.  By taking part in this project, you will learn basic technique, and be able to find your way around the harp playing tunes you will recognise. Through different musical games, we will work around the coloured strings which will help embed the patterns into your muscle memory, so no musical knowledge or harping experience is required to be part of this unique opportunity to create and perform music together. This project will culminate with a performance of what we’ve been working on over the couple of weeks so bring enthusiasm and open minds to make music together.

Booking essential.  Contact 057/8730020 or email

Harp in the library – 15th June, 1pm, Local musician Siobhan Buckley and her students bring beautiful strains of harp music to Abbeyleix library.  Siobhan is working with two groups of young people in Abbeyleix Library to introduce them to basic technique to play the harp in a fun and relaxed environment. Some of Siobhan’s students may have no musical knowledge or harping experience but she has used different musical games to work around the strings and embed the patterns into muscle memory.  All of this works together to create a unique opportunity for these young people to create and perform music together.  This project will culminate in a performance by Siobhan, accompanied by her students to show what they have been working on together.

Booking for recital advised as places are limited (Essential for workshops). Contact 057/8730020 or email


Mountmellick Library

Get Out with junior photographer Rossa Bracken

‘Get Out’ with this series of wildlife photography workshops with 14 year old wildlife photographer Rossa Bracken with emphasis on his native Slieve Bloom mountain range. The workshops will include a field trip to a wildlife hide on the Slieve Bloom Mountains along with a photographic exhibition on the final workshop. Animal Magic will also be there with their furry friends on one of the workshop dates.

The workshops are as follows:

May 25th Mountmellick Library 11am-12:30pm

June 1st Irish Photography Hides, Ballyfin, Laois 9am-12pm

June 8th Mountmellick Library 11am-12:30pm

June 15th Mountmellick Library 11-12:30pm

Places limited and booking essential

Text 085 1622342 to book your place or email Mountmellick Library on


Mountrath Library

Circus skills workshop – Thursday, 13th June, 4-5pm, 7 years to teenage.  Celebrate Cruinniú na nÓg and join us for a fun and inclusive children’s circus workshop at Mountrath Library in the company of professional circus skills performer and teacher Stephen McGinley. He has been training in Circus Arts and specializing in juggling for over nine years.

This workshop involves accomplishment of several circus skills, designed to be attainable by every participant regardless of ability. So why not book a place and take the chance to learn and practice juggling, balancing, plate spinning and parachute games in a fun and engaging library atmosphere.

Booking essential. Phone 0578756378 or email

Circus skills demonstration – Saturday, 15th June, all day,  Celebrate Cruinniú na nÓg and join us for a short fun circus skills demonstration video at Mountrath Library. Professional circus skills performer and teacher Stephen McGinley has been training in Circus Arts and specializing in juggling for over nine years.  He recently provided a workshop for young people in the library.  This workshop involved accomplishment of several circus skills, designed to be attainable by every participant regardless of ability.  Skills included juggling, balancing, plate spinning and parachute games. Join us to watch a video of what the young people achieved

No booking needed.  Video available to view in library all morning


Portarlington Library

 Face Painting Workshops – Wednesdays 5th and 12th June, 4.30 to 7.30, 15-17 years, Local artist, Romena Roe will train young people the skill of facepainting.  They will learn a number of different templates over two evenings. They will then have the opportunity to practice their new skills at a live event on 15th June.

Booking essential, Ph 0578643751 or email

Face Painting-Saturday 15th June, Time TBC at booking, 0-12 years, Face painting will be provided for children by young people who have been trained by local artist Romena Roe.  The teenagers will have attended workshops by Romena in Portarlington Library and on Cruinniu na nÓg will share their new skills with the community.  On Cruinniú na nÓg children will have a number of facepainting designs to choose from.

Booking recommended. Ph 0578643751 or email


Portlaoise Library

Messy Play-Saturday, 15th June, 10.30am, 0-6 years, Discovery Playtime messy play sessions are designed by play experts to give children the freedom and independence to learn new skills and explore through play. Throughout these sessions children have the opportunity to refine their gross and fine motor skills, dexterity, hand eye co-ordination and problem-solving skills along with practicing self-regulation, social skills and building on their language and vocabulary. This is a child led, safe space for children to follow their interests and have the freedom to manipulate specially selected age appropriate toys and resources to promote their development. Sessions are designed for children to gain confidence in meeting new people in a safe, engaging and child friendly environment.

Children should wear clothes that they can get dirty.  Parents need to accompany children throughout the event.

Booking essential as places are limited. Booking available here from 14th May.  Alternatively contact 057/8622333 from that date.

 The Big Dig, 15th June, Time TBC at booking(sessions 12 to 3pm), 6-12 years, The School of Irish Archaeology visit Portlaoise Library to introduce the next step in the evolution of creative and hands-on learning for our younger generation. The replica ‘Viking House’ and excavation site allows children and young adults to explore the Viking world through a simulated archaeology dig.  The workshop gives children and young adults the chance to experience what it is like to be an archaeologist by learning how to excavate the remains of a Viking house. As they dig through the site, participants will unearth Viking treasures and artefacts dating back 1,000 years. They will learn about the lives of our Viking ancestors as history is brought to life by qualified archaeologists. Our educational workshops offer a unique experience that will leave our future generations fascinated by our ancient ancestors and eager to learn more

Parents need to be in attendance at all times during the dig. Children are required to make sure they wear clothing they do not mind getting dirty including shoes.  Dress for outdoor event. All props provided by facilitator.

Booking essential as places are limited. Booking available here from 14th May.  Alternatively contact 057/8622333 from that date.

Young Laois Writers Publication Launch and Readings-Saturday, 15th June, 2pm, all welcome

A diverse group of young Laois teen writers have been attending creative writing workshops in Portlaoise Library.  They have been equipped to express their personalities through the medium of prose or poetry.  The essentials of memoir writing enabled them to share with others their own lived experience and life lessons.

Laois County Library Service with tutor Ryan Dunne hope to publish a compilation of the work of these writers.  This will be an important snapshot of life as experienced by teenagers of Laois today and the diversity of cultures from which they come.  Our writers will read their work in the library on Cruinniu na nÓg.

Booking advised as places are limited. Contact 057/8622333 or email


Rathdowney Library

Circus skills demonstration – Wednesday, 5th June, 3-4.30pm, 9-12 years

Join ISACS Circus Explored for a fun introduction to the world of circus. Experience the thrill of juggling, master the art of hula hooping, or experience the excitement of plate spinning. Come along and unleash your inner circus explorer!

As this is a physical class, we recommend bringing a water bottle and to wear comfortable clothes. No experience necessary, our tutors will be on hand to help you along.

Booking essential. Contact 0505/46852 or email

Dance Workshop – Saturday, 15th June, 11am, Age 5-10 years


This creative dance workshop invites children to physically explore ideas from the show FALL and FLOAT’ they attended the previous week: Float, fall, spin, shake and discover all types of creative moves with Monica Munoz.  With the help of some balloons and your own imagination, this workshop will give you the chance to discover your own moves to all kinds of brilliant music… All you need are bags of energy and lots of enthusiasm!


Rathdowney Library, Mill Road, Rathdowney, R32 DXP5

Booking advised as places are limited. Contact 0505/46852 or email


Cruinniú na nÓg Saturday 15th June

Stradbally Events at the Laois Arthouse & Stradbally Library


While I was Dreaming

The project is focused on the idea of the child or young person immersed in a dreamlike space, experienced through light, colour, sound and texture. The use of light and colour, moving and still accompanies soft sounds, participants can experience this in the quiet covered setting of the music room, tented inside to create a dreamlike space. The inside space will be covered in fabric and textures to interact with and enhance the experience in this quiet dream space.

Additional needs participants accompanied by carer.


The dream space is suitable for all abilities and neurodivergent participants.

Age 5-16  

10am-11am   12pm-1pm

Please confirm time of event on booking

Participants per workshop 8

For booking  email


Painting with the Aroma of Coffee

Today, coffee painting is a direction in modern art that is becoming more and more popular. It is so wonderful and so original: to brew a cup of strong aromatic coffee, but not to taste it as you are used to, but to dip a brush into it and try to create a masterpiece on paper. At the workshop, you will learn which coffee is best suited for drawing, how to create different shades of colour on paper, and what auxiliary effects cinnamon and cocoa add. Painting with coffee is like watercolour. The colour range of the coffee palette includes colours from light yellow to dark brown, and they, in turn, perfectly convey the effect of antiquity in the picture. Coffee is good for drawing historical sights, streets of old cities, architecture, and mountains. But coffee also gives portraits a special charm and lightness. Coffee images seem to come to paper from the most secret corners.


English & Ukrainian spoken

Age 6-16

10am -11am  12pm -1pm

Participants per workshop 8

For booking  email

Please confirm time of event on booking




Wall Hanging Workshop


This wall hanging workshop focuses on sustainable and recycled materials, promoting eco-consciousness. Participants delve into textile artistry, using repurposed fabrics and yarns to craft beautiful pieces. We will champion sustainability by creating artworks with recycled materials. Innovative techniques like upcycling old clothing are emphasized. Each design tells a story of renewal and resourcefulness. The workshop aims to leave a positive impact on both art and the environment.


For children aged 5 to 16! Offering flexible instruction allows participants of all ages to engage at their own pace and skill level. The workshop can focus on simple techniques such as basic knotting, weaving with large needles, or gluing fabric onto a base. All materials are provided catering for all skill levels and ages ensuring that everyone can participate comfortably.


Age 6-16

10am-11am 12-1pm

Participants per workshop 8

For booking  email

Please confirm time of event on booking


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