Christmas Activities and Days at Home ideas…

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The month of December is mostly about Santa and Elves but there are lots of other days to be keeping kids entertained and the hysterical excitement somewhat subdued until the big day!

There is plenty to do to get out of the house and a few ideas below if you are staying put too. These events are mostly Dublin based so apologies if you are reading from further afield!

At home, coming up to Christmas I find there is an abundant ideas to do baking or crafting with the kids. Here are some of my fav finds and I do hope to try and get a couple done with Josh in the few weeks ahead. I find baking a treat then picking out a festive film on a miserable day work well!

If you haven’t already sent the letter to the big guy make sure to send it to An Post and get a response from them/santa and see your kids faces fill with joy. See below on how to do it, couldn’t be easier and the result is fab!

Be sure to write early. In your letter clearly write your (child’s) name and address. Post your letter to: Santa Claus, North Pole (using a €1 stamp). Santa’s helpers in An Post will make sure you receive a personal reply from the great man himself, just before Christmas.If you are out and about there is plent to do..

We love going to the library so coming up to Christmas we will be picking some Christmas books and films. I did take a look at what my local libraries have happening and here are some of the events they are holding on the run up to Christmas.

http://libraries.dlrcoco.ie/events-and-news/event-calendar/pyjama-storytime

http://libraries.dlrcoco.ie/events-and-news/event-calendar/christmas-crafts-children-aoifemunn-1

Kilrudderry is always a lovely spot to visit and for this month they have Christmas Markets 9am-5pm for all Weekends in December

The Ark has a lovely festive show on called Tracks in the Snow for the whole month which might be nice to attend as something different to do.

Giddy Studios is a lovely spot to create a Christmas gift for the family and a good way to escape the madness of Dundrum. They make it easy and you always come out with something lovely.

Powerscourt at this time of year has a stable set up with reindeer to visit which is a really cute thing to do. I also spotted this lovely event which looks fun! –http://powerscourt.com/events/robby-christmas-robin-dale-treadwell

Phoenix Park Visitor Centre is a great little spot with a really good playground and the cutest little coffee shop which I would say is very Christmassy at this time of year!

Airfield have a lovely initiative on at the moment to leave food donations for the Dublin Simon Community and I think this is a lovely way to show kids to be charitable at Christmas too.

Speaking of coffee Lolly & Cooks will have lots of festive treats for adults and kids this month so a nice spot to stop for a warm milk and a little cake with the kids if our and about.

A really nice idea is going pick a new decoration for tree once it’s up, allowing them choose whatever one they want could end up soon interesting and you then have a memory made for each year!

Finally one of our favourite things to do is go to the Live Crib in the Mansion House which stepped up a gear last year but is still for charity which is nice. We then usually walk around the corner to see the wonderful display of the gingerbread house that The Shelbourne Hotel put on each year, Josh just loves it and anything Josh loves Max usually gets fairly excited by too so this one will definitely be on our list.

Christmas can be so chaotic but just spending special times and moments with your family is really what it’s all about.

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Halloween Events 2016

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A bit of a lazy links post but here are some lovely Halloween Events happening this weekend:

A few favs of ours: 

Airfield

Scalpwood


Other fun events:

Bram Stoker Festival-some highlights include:

  • Stokerland: Sat 29th & Sun 30th / 11am – 4.30pm / St. Patricks Park, Dublin 8 / Entry free.
  • Takes From The Shadows: Gothic Tales: Sat 29th / 2pm & 4pm / Marsh’s Library, St. Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8 / Entry free.
  • The Bram Jam: Sun 30th & Monday 31st / 12pm – 2pm / The Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 / Entry free.
  • Dracula’s Spooky Underground Sound Lab: Sun 30th / 11am & 2pm / The Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 / Entry free.
  • Dracula’s Disco: Mon 31st / 11.30am – 2pm / The Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 / Entry free.
  • Macnas Sleep No More: Mon 31st / 5.30pm – 6.45pm / Moore St / Henry St, Dublin 1 / Free.


Powerscourt Pumpkin Carving 


Have a great bank holiday! 🎃💜👻

Easter Week 

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As our Easter break comes to an end today, all returning to work tomorrow I thought I’d write a quick post on some of the activites we said we were going to do and how they fared. 

This year chocfest was pretty unavoidable but we limited it where we could as it evidently turned our child into a demented being!

  

All the activities we attended were great from Peter Rabbit story telling, Cadbury Easter Hunt and The Mad Hatter Tea Party which was cut short by a rain storm. The Cadbury’s hunt definitely upped their game from last year and it’s a real winner for kids of all ages but there sure ain’t any avoiding the chocolate there! 

  
  
Josh’s Creche embraced Easter too so lots of fun was had with his teachers and pals up there, we are very lucky with the Creche we chose and are so thankful he is so happy there.

  

We baked too which is something Josh just loves to help with for family on Sunday.

  

Sunday started with a basket from the Easter Bunny, alternative chocolate gifts included: A sticker book of a film we went to see on Monday, a Spot Easter book, new Playdoh, a small egg and a Peter Rabbit DVD!

  

We had a hunt in the garden, again, alternating chocolate eggs with plastic ones for Josh and his cousin to collect. 

    

I love every celebration but it seems Easter is getting bigger and bigger and I’m never adverse to hopping on a bandwagon so long may it continue.. Now what to do with all this chocolate so we can get our normal toddler back!!!

The last activity we did was a child free zone, we went on a day date. I love day dates, out early, home early {god I’m getting old}. Anyway it started with a bit of holiday shopping followed by a trip to The Guinness Storehouse. Neither of us had been and whilst the tickets are not cheap to be a tourist for a day it is well worth it. The building itself is impressive and the whole experience is well organised. It starts with an introduction and you are then left to your own devises. The Guinness Academy was a highlight for Ian and The Gravity Bar for me. Bring a non Guinness drinker Ian could avail of my ticket and experience both as part of the ticket charge. If you want to do both on one ticket you would pay an extra 5 euro. A really good day trip and for any overseas friends or family it would be a must! 

   

  
We also treated ourselves to the pre theatre in Chapter One and it’s one restaurant that never fails to impress. The service, the food and the room itself are all top of their game. It might be a bit out of the way for some but well worth the trip. 

  
  
A lovely Easter overall now roll on Springtime, it’s been nice to see a glimpse of you! 

Our Santa Experience in Airfield 

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We had a lovely prize to give away a couple of months ago for a trip to the Santa Expereince in Airfield and we actually booked ourselves to go with my mum aka Ga Ga as she missed out on our Rathwood adventure.

  
 

We were booked yesterday for 3pm and got a well informed email the day before to advise arriving a little early to enjoy the other activities available. 

We arrived at 2.15 on a wet and miserable day but were quickly checked in and shown to the hot chocolate and mulled wine tent.

  
We then decided to go and see Santas bedroom, the reindeers and write a quick letter to Santa before heading back to his house for a visit.

  

  

  
At 2 minutes past 3 we were all led through to Santas house which was warm and inviting. All the children sat and listened to Santa tell a story-well Josh rushed forward fearless in comparison to previous Santa visits and delivered his letter to the big man. After a quick story each child was asked their name and what they would like. It was then time to receive a lovely gift and a quick piccie with Santa too.

  
Out we then went to the big house to look at the giant tree and gingerbread house then to the main restuarant for a cup of warm tea and a mince pie.

  
The experience is definitely better for younger children and whilst very simple for the cost of the tickets, on a nice day you could take full value in experiencing the farm too. The Santa himself was just lovely, the gifts well thought out in a lovely customised bag and not plastic rubbish. I also really liked the way you didn’t have to wait for Santa in the group setting but still felt you got your time with him.

   

 
Would I do it again, probably not but then I think each year we will pick somewhere new. It was am lovey family afternoon with more memories to add to the memory bank for all!

It’s a Kids Christmas-Plans and Ideas  

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Christmas really is all about kids. The magic, the memories and the mayhem! For us December used to be all about socialising and catching up with friends and in part it still is but Josh is really clued in this year so we have a few things planned.
We had a sudden family bereavement just as we arrived home from New York hence the delayed ‘top spots’ post.. Because of this we want to make sure it’s a lovely family Christmas and here are some of our plans below. 
Last weekend kicked off with a recorded Late Late Toy Show with Homemade Gingerbread Men session. Then on Sunday we went to Rathwood for the Santa Train, I had heard mixed reports from other years but we loved the Teddy Bear picnic so we are hopeful. You can see my review here.
Yesterday we will be posted Josh’s  Santa letter and An Post do something lovely which means they get a return letter from Santa-I can’t wait to see Josh’s reaction!

  
At the weekend we have a workshop in The Maritime Museum in conjunction with NGI and Dun Laoghaire Christmas Fair. Sunday is my husbands work family Christmas Day and tree time which I think he will love this year with all the sparkly lights! We are going to try here for our tree this year-Glencullen Christmas Farm
The following weekend we are hoping to go in and see the live crib at the Mansion House.

Then that Monday we are doing Santa again {yes about his 4th time to see the big man} in Airfield with my mum which will be lovely. 
We have one more workshop pencilled in for the 19th in the National Gallery but we just hope to get a spot.

  
Some other festive ideas {that aren’t booked out}:
Reindeer Run 

Christmas Kingdom Malahide

Believe Christmas Market 

I also got this idea from a fellow blogger Mum of Boys and it’s a tradition I am definitely going to take up this year! 
Create a Christmas Box. Create a box for the festive season that can be pulled out on 1st December every year. Include Christmas stories, DVDs, music CDs, figurines, decorations, and festive toys. When the kids see the box coming out of storage, they will know that Christmas season has begun!

I love these boxes that are supplied locally to me so may get one of these for it!

  

Next up with be some pressie ideas for any last minute shopping that might still need to be done! 

Mummy Monday’s 

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I have been quiet these last week or so due a hectic but fun filled birthday week. This week was a bog standard Monday due to weather and exhaustion but as a rule I do try and find a weekly activity for us to enjoy. 

I often get asked where I find the activities myself and Josh get up to on my Monday’s off.. Straight up it is probably my social media addiction. 😏

Some recent places we have been and loved are below and a few things we want to do too which I may have mentioned before. They are all not just on a Monday but it might give you a few ideas to fill the weekend with fun family things to do!

Generally on a Monday, I like to head off with him about 9.30/10 incorporate some chores with an activity and then he will crash out for his daily nap en route home which will give me time for a cuppa and to get the dinner on which leaves me free for some jigsaw making/painting etc in the afternoon. A day well spent with the boy wonder! 

Here are some of the activities: 

Trojan Gym-this gym turns into soft play every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9.30-12. 

It’s 5 euro per child and they serve tea/coffee and fresh fruit from 10.30.

Giddy studios-we love this place and from 5 euros for a tile you can have lots of fun. We hope to create something for Christmas in the coming weeks. 

Milltown playground-I spotted this playground on the Luas and not its a favourite spot and with the lovely Thru the Green nearby for a hot beverage and a treat it’s a perfect Sunday spot!

  
National Gallery Workshops-we love to go to these when we can and hope to sign up to a seasonal one before the year is out! There are events in both the national gallery and the maritime museum for Christmas and we have already booked into one through eventbrite.

Airfield-always a good option and just the feeding of the chickens/cow milking provides enough entertainment to then be able to sit with a cuppa in their lovely cafe and now have a quick wander around their Christmas shop 😊

DLR Lexicon-another great spot. They always have lots of kids activities on and a pier walk and ice cream as a treat afterwards on a nice day is a lovely thing to do!

Visit to Hamleys-sounds like a strange one but if I have to nip to Dundrum this is Josh’s ‘treat’. He is happy just to look at the toys for now and guides me towards a Santa list too so it’s a double bonus. 

Play cafes/groups-some play cafes we really like are meerkats, fraggles, Merrion play group on a Tuesday/Wednesday 10.30-12pm and Starbucks kids events on a Tuesday 11-1pm if I happen to be off and have to run a few errands this is a handy thing to do!