We are a few weeks into the summer holidays already, its great having no routine but has the novelty worn off yet? During the school year I dream of staying tucked up in bed and dread my morning chants of “Get Up”, “Hurry up”, “Brush your teeth”, “Where are your shoes”, “Get in the car”. I embrace the time of not having to make lunches, searching for clean uniforms and having to meet after school activity deadlines. But then after a few lazy days, the motivation to get active kicks in. Family days out can be very expensive so I have pulled together a some FREE and inexpensive days out to entertain you and your troop.
The key to hitting the road early is preparation. I have pulled together some outfit layouts with m-use accessories. I have kept it simple and easy, as you need your hands free when hanging out with your little people!
#1 - City Cites
Chester Beatty Library - https://www.cbi.ie
On a wet day, why not go indoors and visit the Chester Beatty Library in the heart of Dublin city. The library is family friendly and offers activity packs for Children. The library contains a huge collection of manuscripts and books from around the world dating from 2700BC to this century. For more information on their free events visit www.cbl.ie
National Gallery Of Ireland - https://www.nationalgallery.ie
Art is so good for the soul and everyone sees and creates their own interpretation. Why not visit The National Gallery of Ireland with your budding artists. Another indoor activity, be inspired and get creative. Grab an ‘art backpack’ or a children’s audio guide and explore and create at the National Gallery! They offer free workshops and on holidays and mid-terms you can participate in one of their courses designed to cater for children and young teenagers. Check out their What's On calendar for information on upcoming events. Also check out the RHA www.rhagallery.ie/ and IMMA www.imma.ie/
The National Museum - (links below)
The National Museum of Ireland has four locations. Three sites are in Dublin and one is in Mayo. Each Museum site specialises in a particular area of culture and science:
- Archaeology, located in Kildare Street, Dublin
- Decorative Arts & History, located at Collins Barracks, Dublin
- Country Life, located at Turlough Park, Co. Mayo
- Natural History, located at Merrion Square, Dublin
Activity sheets help children stay focused and engaged, while they gain skills and learn something new. My Favourite Animal - This short, simple activity sheet asks the student to describe and sketch their favourite animal in the Museum.
# 2 - It's Black & White
On a wet day why not hit the Cinema. Check out the family or early morning deals. Some great movies are shown in the summer, "Dispicable Me 3" is showing in most cinemas, this is a great one to sit through, some adult humour helps to keep you awake and amused.
Dublin Zoo is a fun-filled day for all the family, it’s a place to learn about wild animals, especially those which are endangered. It is a registered charity so by visiting you help maintain Dublin Zoo to a high standard, improve the Zoo and contribute to conservation programmes.
Located in the Phoenix Park in the heart of Dublin city, it welcomes over one million visitors on average each year. Check out the playground outside of the park or go for a stroll up and down the Phoenix Park, you might spot an 'old deer'.
#3 - Outdoor & Explore
Bring the dog or hop on some bikes and explore your nearest forest. We are blessed to be surrounded by so much greenery. Kids love to climb trees and wander through the foliage collecting sticks, stones and flowers. If bringing the dog don’t forget to bring your doggie bags. Download an activity sheet of 'interesting finds’ to collect in the forest. This will keep them focused and interested in what surrounds them.
Glendalough is nicely nestled in the Wicklow Mountains National Park, ‘the valley of the two lakes‘, one of Ireland’s most beautiful visitors’ destinations. Keep your eyes open for the Monastic Site with Round Tower, scenic lakes and valleys (ideal for a little paddle), as well as a selection of walks and trails in the area including The Wicklow Way.
#4 - Sun, Sea, Sand & Playgrounds
New and improved playgrounds are popping up everywhere. You can easily squeeze a few hours of entertainment providing you have a packed bag of food to feed their energy. Check out your local playground near you or head off somewhere new and meet up with some friends.
Living on an island has its advantages, as water is never too far away. Whether you are close to a stony beach or sandy shores. Grab a bucket and spade, badminton rackets or a football. There is so much natural entertainment to keep them busy. Crisp sandwiches are tradition and a sneaky 99 on the way home are the perfect ingredients for making memories.
Tip - Sometimes its difficult to get them in the car and get going but once they are there its as difficult to get them to leave. Don't forget to pack a big picnic of healthy snacks and a few sneaky bribes for temping them to walk a little further!!!
These are the days that you and your little ones will remember most, don't forget to take some pics, time passes so quickly!
by Edelle Mellet