Have a spectacular weekend – or two

Families can have weekends of fun in Dublin and Cork without troubling their bank accounts

 

For the next two weeks, Irish families can indulge in jam-packed weekends of fun without making a dent in their bank accounts. The 13th annual Laya Healthcare City Spectacular returns to Merrion Square, Dublin 2 on July 6th-8th and Fitzgerald Park, Co Cork, on July 14th-15th.

Families can look forward to a range of events, including artists, international street performers and storytelling, with plenty of street food outlets to fill rumbling tummies.

Families can marvel as international street performers flip, twist and contort. Highlights include the work of Snap Boogie, Sara Twister, the woman who can fire a bow and arrow with her feet, and living statue artist Johnman.

Families can marvel at Sara Twister, the woman who can fire a bow and arrow with her feet.
Families can marvel at Sara Twister, the woman who can fire a bow and arrow with her feet.

Audience members will be encouraged to offer a small donation at the end of each performance, but this is not compulsory.

The It’s Good to Live stage gives participants the chance to drum, dance, jump and take part in health classes. The event has teamed up with the DSPCA to create a pet area, with dog training and agility demonstrations. There will be a doggy adoption parade, making this an event for all to share in, even your canine companions.

Children’s imagination

Director of the festival Michelle Holden has characterised the festival as “the antithesis of game consoles and mobile phones. We are unveiling a new activity within Laya Healthcare’s It’s Good to Live area dedicated to children’s imagination and a more wholesome approach to play. We are encouraging families to go back to basics with play and games and let their imagination run free.”

Upwards of 265,000 people are expected to attend the events. Entry to this five-day family extravaganza is free as are the majority of performances – though donations are appreciated. The event will be MC-D by social media talent James Patrice.

For the full programme, see cityspectacular.com #layacityspec

Limerockers Cru

This Limerick-based art collective hopes to inject the festival with the air of an 1980s New York City street party. The whole family can learn to drop beats, pop, lock and breakdance.

Where? Dublin and Cork

Boogie Bounce

For those looking for a novel way to burn some energy, why not hop around in Boogie Bounce trampoline classes?

Where? Dublin (It’s Good To Live stage)

Laughter yoga

Who said exercise can’t be fun? Laughter yoga will combine the two to ensure participants are stretching their limbs with a smile.

Where? Dublin and Cork (It’s Good To Live stage)

The Happy Pear

The Happy Pear twins, David and Stephen Flynn, will have some tasty bites up for grabs in Dublin. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan
The Happy Pear twins, David and Stephen Flynn, will have some tasty bites up for grabs in Dublin. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

For some culinary tips enjoy a conversation with foodie twins Dave and Steve Flynn from The Happy Pear. There will be some tasty bites up for grabs too.

Where? Dublin (It’s Good To Live stage)

Sing Along Social

This event allows everyone to belt out a tune. It has been described as “the zero-commitment choir for kids (and big kids) who can’t sing”.

Where? Dublin (It’s Good To Live stage)

Retro Sweatro

An interactive way to transport yourself back to the 1980s, these fitness classes will help everyone find their groove. Participants even have the chance to challenge host social media star James Patrice to a dance-off.

Where? Dublin and Cork (It’s Good To Live stage)

Lil Laya Ville

Calling all budding chefs. The City Spectacular is inviting children to rustle up some culinary delights in a food truck, a grocery and even a sushi bar. All food and games will be made from wood and participants will be asked to use their imagination to create the ultimate dining experience.

Where? Dublin and Cork (It’s Good To Live stage)

Family Zumba

Another facet of the It’s Good to Live stage, Family Zumba is a dance party that will get attendees moving along with instructor Carla for some active entertainment.

Where? Dublin and Cork (It’s Good To Live stage)

Kids’ Court

If there are any unresolved family disputes, why not settle them in Kids’ Court? The only judges here are kids with parents standing trial. Sentences include a custard pie to the face and even a bucket of iced water.

Where? Dublin and Cork

Pet-acular with DSPCA and Purina

For dog enthusiasts, there is no shortage of activities. The DSPCA will host the Scruffs dog show, dog training, agility demonstrations and pet health advice. The DSPCA will bring along some furry friends in search of new homes to the Doggy Adoption Parade, and Purina will supply some pet-approved surprises.

Dogs get a special welcome at the Pet-acular in both Dublin and Cork.
Dogs get a special welcome at the Pet-acular in both Dublin and Cork.

Where? Dublin and Cork

Just Eat Street

This food festival will be held within the City Spectacular with over 35 cuisines to choose from and music from international acts such as Afrobeat Collective Yankari, funk and soul band SuperTonic Soundclub. Participants can enjoy the festivities as Just Eat waiters collect orders and deliver their food.

Where? Dublin and Cork

Leinster Rugby Skills Session

Laya Healthcare works in partnership with Leinster Rugby which – with mascot Leo the Lion in tow – will hold a sports skill session and fun keep-fit activities to whip the whole family into shape.

Where? Dublin

Storytelling

For something a little less exerting there will be an assortment of readings of Grimm Fairytales and Hans Christian Anderson stories. Listen to dramatic readings of some beloved tales, as well as a few lesser-known fables from these celebrated authors.

Where? Dublin

Pound Fitness

Cardio meets the energising sound of drums for this high-energy workout for all the family.

Where? Dublin and Cork (It’s Good To Live stage)

Laya ’Bout Area with Living Statue DJs

Festival-goers can take a load off after an action-packed day in the chill-out area. Participants can lounge around in bean bags while enjoying a performance by the Living Statues DJs.

Where? Dublin

Super Troopers Graffiti House

This custom-made house will start the day as a blank canvas for kids of all ages to adorn with colour and creativity.

Where? Dublin and Cork

Afro Summer Dance and Drumming

Dance to the infectious beats of African drumming with the whole family. (It’s Good To Live stage)

Where? Dublin

www.cityspectacular.com

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