Summer with the Boys

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Every year since Josh was born I’ve made a wish list of things I’d like to do or events I’d like to go to in the summer months. This year is no different… Some might be the same as before so Max can experience them for the first time or some we might be revisiting due to them being a big hit. We have new places on the list too and this years list looks like this. I don’t always get through the list but will make every effort to give it a good bash with the boys! We do try and keep an eye for smaller local events too and if of interest we try and do those too which I post up on my social media pages… 

You might fit one or two in from the list below before schools back which would be a fun way to spend the last days of the summer hols. 

The ‘beach bucket’ list: 

Phoenix Park Visitor Centre & Playground:

We loved it here, great parking, lovely little indoor and outdoor cafe/coffee spot and good playground nearby for a run around. Entry to this area is free. 

Kiora Farm:
I’d heard great things about this farm so was excited to visit on a sunny day in July. Entry is 7.50 per person which I thought was a little steep but I’d wanted to bring Josh since last summer so it felt worth it. Don’t get me wrong, it is really nice and Josh absolutely loved the fire truck, diggers and go karts. However it just felt a bit thrown together for me. Nice, worth a trip if you are in the area but not worth the trip down from Dublin if you know what I mean. Entry fees as above. 



War Memorial Gardens:

We went here on a random sunny Tuesday my husband happened to be off and it was blissful. A beautiful part of the Liffey, we pitched up a picnic and enjoyed the simplicity of the surrounds. There is a good ample to do and parking is great. There isn’t a lot to the ‘park’ but with a ball or a game of catch it’s a lovely way to pass an hour or so… Entry is free to this parkland. 



Bray Fair-Air Fair:

This year we didn’t actually go to Bray for the air fair so we missed out on the great funfair and never got to go back down for that alone however our view point for the airshow was great-we headed up Killiney Hill. It is a great viewing spot and the website had stated this year the start time of the actual airshow so we were up there for 3. It was busy but not mental, lots of people had laid out picnic blankets etc. It was good but it’s a little slow and for younger ones the inpatience sets in. Airshow viewing is free but if you go to the fair the rides range from 2 euro a go which can quickly rack up!



Russbourgh: 

We went here earlier in the summer and loved it. It’s got all the makings of a great afternoon. You do pay a small amount for some of the attractions but it’s very minimal. There is a brilliant playground, great walks and the highlight for us was the fairy trail… The coffee shop down there is ok but it would be a perfect place for a picnic too or Avoca isn’t too fair away so you could stop en route to pick up some goodies. As above there are small charges for some of the attractions but it is not heavily monitored. 



Kilmacuragh-Hunters Hotel:

We ventured off here one Sunday morning that the sun looked like it was sticking around. It’s about a 40 minute drive from the south side of Dublin and well sign posted too. It was a lovely little ramble and a perfect distance for a sometimes lazy 3 year old to race around… We decided then to skip the coffee shop there and en route home stop off in the quirky Hunters Hotel for a scone and tea in the sunshine. It was a perfect combo for a sunny Sunday in June. Entry to Kilmacuragh is free.



Greenan Maze:

We only visited Greenan earlier this week and really liked it. Unfortunately the rain kept us from seeing part of it but we had such fun in the maze, around the farm and looking at all the fairy doors that it didn’t really matter. The tea rooms were lovely and the whole place is well organised and laid out. They give you a map at entry and a treasure hunt to follow which brings you around the whole attraction, taking all the bits in-at the end kids are given a little bag of treasure/jellies which keeps them happy for the trip home. Entry is 7 euro per adult/8 per child with family deals available. 



Skerries-see previous post as we didn’t make it back this summer but hoping for an Indian summer for a visit!

Places we never made…

Some on the list we never made it to this year {the summer went so fast} so back on the list for next year is Wells House along with Fruit Picking & Japanese Gardens/National Stud!

Throughout the summer myself and Max also attended Claphandies classes every Friday, first in Ballsbridge and then in Terenure. It was such a lovely thing to do with him and he adored it. The structure of the class is introductions, playtime, signing and dancing with a finish of some sign language and a different discussion topic each week. It might not be for everyone-the happy/clappy/dancing element of it but any one on one time based around fun I get with my second little man is particularly precious so we were delighted to be asked along. Check out their website for the new autumn term starting in September. 

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First Aid and Pregnancy & Baby Fair

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It was a busy weekend for us a couple of weekends ago. I attended a ClapHandies First Aid seminar in the morning and then we all went to the Pregnancy & Baby Fair later that day. See links to both below:
http://www.claphandies.com/firstaid.php
http://www.pregnancyandbabyfair.ie/

The seminar was in the city and was well organised. The instructor knew her stuff and kept well to the format and prepared presentation. She gave a brief description of common first aid issues and was happy to have interaction from the 60+ group of attendees. We finished with a demo on CPR and recovery for all ages. I got this through Mothercare offers for €25 and found it useful but not sure if it would be worth the usual full cost of €50. They do a full day First Aid course too if you wanted to extend your knowledge.

Then to the RDS it was. We found the Pregnancy & Baby Fair very useful this time last year when I was at the early stages of pregnancy and wide eyed in anticipation of what lay ahead. This year we went to get some advice on purchasing a monitor. It does seem that all the stalls target market appears to be mums and dads to be as we were not given quite the same ‘undivided attention’ this year and it seemed a bit smaller this year too. We picked up a few handy purchases-babypotz, clevafeed, as per links below & a few good freebies however. We never did get a monitor with not much on offer there but a good day out overall.
http://www.clevamama.com
http://www.babypotz.com/

Classes-Trial & Error

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I love getting out and about with Josh so in the last few weeks we have tried a few classes.

We had done a private yoga/massage session with my friend and pre natal teacher when I/we were 6 weeks postpartum but she was then travelling to Asia and I also wanted to get into a weekly routine so started investigating my options.

First up was a baby yoga class that the teacher didn’t bother to turn up to, frustrating when we had trekked all the way to the class. Needless to say I then wanted to look for an alternative teacher!

Next up was a ClapHandies trial Playlabs. The organisation of this class and the concept was great. You go through a set routine which alters slightly each week. It focuses on developmental elements for baby and lots of interaction, signing and movement was the aim of the game. I don’t know exactly what it was about it but it just wasn’t for me but I would certainly recommend a trial and if you have a Mothercare family card there is a great offer for a trial at over half price on now!
http://www.claphandies.com/playlabs

Last week we started Baby Massage with Rachel Gaffey of MyWellBeing,
I had learned a few techniques in the early days but from the first class this looks like it is going to be extensive and Rachel has a real passion for her teachings and it shows. The class is well set up and easy to follow. She makes all the babies and mums/dads feel very comfortable and I am looking forward to the next one this week! Baby boy slept for 3 hours after the last one so I’ll hopefully be napping too this Wednesday afternoon! Baby Massage is also refundable on some health insurance policies so check yours out!

www.mywellbeing.ie
www.PregnancyClasses.ie

I hope to start Baby Yoga with Rachel next term but at the moment she is so good and well regarded her classes are full so fingers crossed.

This Friday we are bringing Josh for his first swim so I’ll let you know how that goes-we can’t wait! I am also signed up to a first aid seminar so will fill you in on that too.