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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Cool Kids Events-Final Updates!

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End of Summer updates: Well we are nearly at the end of the summer hols and we didn’t have the best of weather but we managed to almost complete our list! We are off to Messy Monkeys tomorrow and have one final update with a recent day in Bray! We hope to do Newbridge and Botanics in September and when the rain goes away head to Kilruddery before they close up for summer! You might fit in one or two before school is back next week! 

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Recently my pal asked me how I found out about some of the fun events we go to and it is probably a lot to do with my social media addiction and I know I have posted about things we have done in the past but here are some coming up in July and August that might keep your little ones entertained for a while and with the summer hols just started this may well be a perfectly timed post!

First 1000 Days, Pop Up Cafe-Airfield

We were really hoping to get a place on this but didn’t make the cut. 😩 I love the idea so keep your eyes peeled for the next one. I have written about the first 1000 days food method before and this combined in the beautiful surrounding of airfield it sounded like perfection. 

http://www.first1000days.ie/

Whilst on the subject of Airfield, we are recent new members and now that we are it’s great to be able to just pop up. The feeding/milking time for the chickens and cows is something I think Josh would love so like the rest of the activities below-it’s on the list! They also have a summer medley family event on 12th June which looks like great fun! 

  

http://www.airfield.ie/

{Review of June event}: I am really enjoying being a member of Airfield, it’s such a lovely spot to be able to nip up to as it’s pretty close to our house. Their Summer Medley was on Sunday and like everything they do, they did it well, with taste and kids considered in every element. There were lovely lawn games, bee keepers, seed sowing, flag making, classical kids music and all the usual animals to keep you entertained. They had a lovely BBQ on the go and their stables cafe running so plenty of refreshment options too. We didn’t get to face paint or cupcake decorate but you could have spent all day with all the planned activities but our boy was over due a nap so after a fun few hours we headed home. 

   
 

Teddy Bears Picnic 
Rathwood is known for all it’s seasonal events and when this one came up on Groupon we jumped at the chance and booked in a suitable day for early July. I think Josh is at about the right age and their other events get well received. I will post an update once we have been!

http://www.rathwood.com/events/teddy-bear-picnic/

{Review}: Josh was at the start of a gastro bug when we headed down here a couple of weeks ago but even still, he loved it! There have been a few things we have gone to, that I have wanted to experience with him before that I felt he was a little too young for but this was spot on. Older kids would enjoy it too but I would say about 4/5 would be the limit. The little train journey you take is perfectly timed and there is enough on and off the train without there being too much. You are kept well entertained throughout and it finishes with a picnic near the fairy house with the teddys before they head off for their next jaunt. I won’t spoil it too much but I would definitely put it on your toddler to do list. There is currently a groupon deal for this too. 

http://m.groupon.ie/deals/

   
 
 

We also stopped at Tinahely farm shop on the way home for some lunch and there is a big activity barn there that is rough and ready but looked lots of fun and for a full day out is really recommend this pit stop!

http://tinahelyfarmshop.com/
  

Kilruddery

It seems not a lot of people know about this spot just outside Bray. It’s a beautiful house, estate and farm with a weekly farmers market and great individual events throughout the year. A friend of mine is even heading to the family friendly groove festival this weekend which sounds like lots of fun!

http://www.killruddery.com/whats-on/

Sealife

On the subject of Bray, it is lovely on a sunny day-a real old school seaside town and with icecream parlours, fun rides and a fab pizza spot, platform pizza-we plan to make a day trip down here soon. I think Josh would be fancinated by all the big fish too. I have heard good things so I am looking forward to making the trip very soon. 

https://www.visitsealife.com/bray/

{Review}: We headed to Bray on a sunny Sunday. Having been out the night before the first stop was some grub and on the seafront if you want something more substantial than chips you can’t beat Platform Pizza. They have also opened a sister restaurant Box Burger that I can’t wait to try! We just happened to go on a day when a big fun fair was on and that certainly added to the fun. Josh just loved the rides and games! Not so much when we took him away..

  
We then headed to Sealife, we had a Dunnes receipt discount code so it was €17 euro in for the three of us (Josh was free). The square footage is small and certainly stuck in the 80s but Josh loved it. Most of the  viewing points are at toddler level and for older kids there are good information sessions. The highlight is the big shark tank at the end. A crepe was bought nearby to end a lovely family Sunday! 

  

Newbridge Farm

I have heard great reports about this North Co Dublin spot so this is on the list too. It is also half way to one of our fav eating spots, eastern seaboard and brown hound so double reason to put it high up on our ever growing list!

www.newbridgehouseandfarm.com/joomla

Skerries/Ardgillan

A great summer day out. A drive to this lovely seaside town, some lunch in a skerries spot and an icecream treat for afters from the lovely storm in a tea cup. Just 5 minutes drive away then is Ardgillian playground. It is a little walk from the car park but with it has fab views and a good selection of age appropriate play equipment so some Sunday this is definitely on our list to revisit. 

  

http://www.ardgillancastle.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=68

National Gallery Workshops 

We have gone to these since Josh was small and their new brochure has just been released. There is so much passion from the organisers and a lot of thought goes into each one, it is almost infectious. They are well worth a visit but with some booking is essential and all ages are covered. 

http://www.nationalgallery.ie/Learning/Families_and_Young_People.aspx

Powerscourt Gardens

We had been to the Avoca a number of times but this was Josh’s first visit to the magnificent gardens. He was free in and on a lovely sunny day the house and setting shone at it’s best. Josh loved counting the many steps, the bridges in the Japenese Garden and running in the grass to his hearts content while we lapped up the surrounds. There are also seasonal events that happen in the house so it is well worth keeping an eye.

  

http://powerscourt.com/events

Glenroe Farm

We revisited Glenroe farm recently too and Josh loved getting up close with the animals. It is a simple set up but there are lovely picnic tables and a great playground for a sunny day!

 

http://www.glenroefarm.com/

Messy Monkeys

Finally I just got notified this week that Messy Monkeys is returning for 2 dates this summer and we will be sure to be booking one of those!
   

    

http://messy-monkeys.ie/dublin-south

There are other places on my list that are new and I want Josh to experience like the botanic gardens and places I want us to revisit like brittas bay. Keep banking happy summer memories for our wonderful little boy! 

We got to Brittas too which you may have seen and as a sunny day out it really is a super spot.

  
Happy summer exploring..

Summer Bucket List

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We are well into the summer and have had some lovely weather of late..He even made it into his new paddling pool earlier in the summer and just loved it!
I started compiling this list of days out and things to do a while back and I am working through it.. I will report back once I have ticked them all off. Even though Josh is only 8.5 months old he loves being out and about and now after several trips to the playground he has started to recognise the swings and lets out a little squeal as we approach so for his first summer I want to make it memorable for him and let’s face it for me too 😉☀️.

So here it is…
•Dalkey island-picnic
•Howth cruise and Howth Head/Pier-a boat trip would be fun
•Avoca Malahide-mainly for mama
•Kilkenny-to visit family
•Brittas-he loves the water
•Brown Hound for cakes
•Hunters hotel-for scones in the sun
•Round wood/glendalough-such a pretty spot
•Kilruddery Farm-to see the animals
•Mount Usher-a walk in the gardens
•Hell Fire-to the forest
•Itsa Imma-apparently great for kids
•Airfield-for their great events

Do you have a bucket list and any suggestions welcome?

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