SeaFest, the largest free, family-friendly maritime celebration in Ireland, takes place in the Port of Cork, Cork City this weekend, from 7 – 9 June. It features a fantastic array of free events for all ages — free sailing, kayaking, vessel tours, opportunities to see marine creatures up close, and a variety of interactive sessions. There will also be a number of familiar faces — cooking demos from top celebrity chefs such as Neven Maguire, Martin Shanahan and Rory O’Connell; and a talk from Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann, Evelyn Cusack on our changing weather. There will be plenty of things to entertain your family and make this a weekend to remember!
Finding new places to go with the little man in tow has become an ever-growing hobby as he gets older and needs more to keep him interested. It’s not as easy to keep his attention (and keep him out of trouble) with the same places over and over, so I’m thrilled to discover new places. When they’re places that are right on our doorstep, all the better! So discovering Nano Nagle Place, which has reopened within the last year to the public after a huge renovation, has been a brilliant start to our Summer.
I was very excited to receive an email last week inviting my family to a preview screening of Incredibles 2 in The Gate Cinema in Cork. Held by Vodafone Family Firsts, the event was screening the movie a week before the Irish release date of July 15th. Needless to say, we jumped at the chance and headed along to the screening at 11.30 on Sunday morning. We’ve watched the first Incredibles movie with our four year old, and he is mad about all things superhero so the going was good. He’s also a happy cinema goer, which is always a bonus.
I hardly dare say it, but the Summer has arrived in Cork. There are intervals of sunshine between the rain and I wind up sunburnt while driving the car. I really should just apply the sunscreen before getting in the car even if it’s lashing as a habit, it’s happened more than once. With the good weather joining us occasionally, it’s nice to get out to new places as a family and we’ve just discovered the beauty of Fota House and Gardens during May. More specifically, the arboretum and gardens around the house – we’ve not done the house tour but it is beautiful to look at. Here’s how we got on!
Ireland’s national holiday, St Patrick’s Day, falls this Saturday, 17th March. Each year, we celebrate St Patrick, the guy who got the credit for bringing Christianity to Ireland (apparently Palladius didn’t kick up enough of a stink about it). Each year, we have parades and family events as well as a bank holiday. St Patrick’s Day has a reputation for being linked with alcohol consumption, so I’m encouraged to see how many family-friendly events are taking place this year. I did a roundup of the events happening in Cork in previous years and people seemed to find it helpful. Hopefully, this may be of help to you in picking what you are doing with your family that day.
With only a few days to go, the shops are manic, the postal dates have passed and hopefully you’ve still got fingernails after biting them down to see if THAT toy arrives before the big day. However, if you’re stuck for a last minute gift and you can’t face the Christmas crowds in town, don’t fear. Give them a gift that lasts the whole year (or at least a few months) from the comfort of your own sofa. Here’s 11 gift subscriptions that will keep them happy (and keep your sanity) this Christmas.
As the last posting day is drawing closer, and shops are starting to fill to bursting with last-minute shoppers, the pressure is on to buy THE PERFECT GIFT. While some people have been prepared since August (I am DEFINITELY not in that category), some of us have gone against our resolutions to be more organized in 2017 and are faced with finding the perfect gift in a short amount of time. As lovely as online shopping is, the chances of things getting here on time and in one piece diminish over the festive season, so sometimes brick and mortar shops are the only options left. While Cork City is full of the regular high street shops (Debenhams, H&M, New Look), it’s also home to some wonderful homegrown small shops with thoughtful gifts you’ll not find elsewhere. Here’s a look at 8 of the loveliest spots to pick up thoughtful gifts in Cork City this festive season.
Christmas is a time of magic, a time of wonder, especially for little ones. This is really the first year that Eliott is getting into it – he is very excited about the idea of Santa coming, and has been singing songs about Rudolph for weeks. With that in mind, we’ve been hoping that a Santa experience will give all of us, not just him, that Christmassy feeling we’re seeking in the dark December days. We were lucky enough to be invited to check out the wonder of Christmas at Cork’s Fota Beyond experience this year.
Hallowe’en is fast approaching, and there’s plenty going on to celebrate the night when the ghouls come out to play. With the weather as miserable as it has been lately, hopefully this will be a chance to have some spooky fun without getting rained out of it. Over the last few years, the Hallowe’en spirit has definitely increased in Cork, and this year is no different. Whether you’re a little one or a grown up, Cork has plenty in store for you.
So, what’s going on this year?
Culture Night 2017 is almost upon us. On the 22nd of September, various centres of culture including museums, theatres, churches and many more open their doors and allow in the public for exhibits of the best of what they do. It’s an annual event which I look forward to each year, as there is always something a bit different on that night. Although there’s lots of events that are for adults only (great date night!), it also provides lots of options for the little ones too. Here’s what’s set to go on in Cork to keep the kids happy for Culture Night 2017.
Cork City is my home. I’ve lived here for 8 years now, and I’ve developed a love for the place, rain and all. It’s a beautiful city – yes, it has it’s faults too, but for it’s small size, it’s filled with lots of history and beautiful buildings. A few times a year, it gets to show off all the wonderful cultural things this little city holds dear. On 19th August, the 12th annual Cork Heritage Open Day, is one such day of showing off. If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family this weekend, you’re sure to find something you’ll love here.
Getting to see Ireland’s gems of historical sites is definitely something I want to do more of. Being able to drive now has opened up so much more of the country to me and I plan to embrace it. I studied Celtic Civilisation as part of my degree, and so discovered a lot of interesting history of these amazing sites. They’re a great resource to bring kids to as well – they make a fantastic day out and they’ll be learning to boot. Many of these sites are now owned by the Office Of Public Works (OPW).
On a normal basis, these sites are mostly paid entry. However, on the first Wednesday of the month, they are free entry to the public which makes them a great free day out. AND from July 1st, they’re all free entry EVERYDAY for kids! Here’s a list of the sites waiting for you to discover them – great for days out when the kids are off and you’re needing something to do!
Have you got plans this June Bank Holiday weekend? The Cork Harbour Festival stretches over the Bank Holiday weekend through to the following weekend. It runs from 3-11 June. It’s filled with lots of activities suitable for everyone in the family. If you’re looking to embrace the maritime spirit, this festival may be the one for you. Head to Cork for lots of fun, free entertainment and great family events.
Keeping toddlers entertained can be a constant battle – especially when you’re trying to vary things up so you don’t go mad yourself. Kids are expensive little people, and activities to keep them entertained can really rack up the costs. So, as its coming into the longer days, here are four free things to do with toddlers in Cork City.
Although I live in Cork City since 2009, a special part of my heart lies in Waterford. It’s where I was born, it’s where I spent the Summers and weekends of my teenage years. It’s where a whole lot of my family live. I may have been brought up in County Wexford, but Waterford was MY home. On our visits home I love to share this love with E, which I’m hoping will become more frequent when I’m fully road legal! I love coming to Waterford City for Winterval, the Winter Festival which has been a massive success in recent years. Although we were down to see the festival last year, this is the first year we’ve been down to visit the Winterval Santa Grotto in the Medieval Museum. I think I was looking forward to it more than the child! Here’s how we got on….
The season is upon us and the day itself rapidly approaching, yet I’ve been struggling to get into the festive spirit for some reason this year – despite having a tiny tot who I’m sure will be thrilled by the concept of Santa and MORE TOYS, my former retail employee soul is still rallying against the music and not getting into the spirit of things. This however, was to be combatted by immersing myself into a festival of all things Christmas – Waterford’s Winterval – during a much needed break away from normal life and home to see family.
When you’re at home with a toddler, days can get pretty repetitive. Unless you set up different things to do during the week, it can feel like Groundhog Day. Every day involves chasing a football around the living room. My life soundtrack is currently the songs from Baby Genius. It’s worse when it rains – yes, I’ve still not learned to love the rain – because as I don’t drive, there is little to do in the city centre with a toddler and outside of that isn’t much of an option. There are only so many visits to the kiddie library we can do in one week, so I decided one morning that we’d change tack and head to Chuckies Play Zone, the closest soft play centre to us.