Need inspiration for things to do with children this weekend?

Are We There Yet? Read this if you’re scratching your head about things to do with kids

The Luxe performers taking part in the Christmas Procession - enough to get even Scrooge in the mood

The Luxe performers taking part in the Christmas Procession - enough to get even Scrooge in the mood

 

I think I have the nits. Or else it’s some new strain of parental anxiety that’s making me scratch my head constantly. I hope it’s not nits, that most perennial of parental occupational hazards.

“It’s nits,” my daughters diagnose, picking through my grey roots. (Bah. Grey roots. Another perennial. Must make an appointment before Christmas. When I stop having the nits.)

The children, unfairly, appear to be nit-free. But we do a family delousing just in case because you can never be too careful. One day we’ll look back fondly on these family rituals.

On the way to school, a joke comes on the radio. (RTÉ lyric fm. We are a Marty in the Morning family.) “There is no known cure for nits,” the voice says, “it’s something that has scientists scratching their heads”.

And so I get to explain what the word coincidence means while I scratch my head and google cures for nits on my phone.

Marty in the Morning in the car – when all the early-morning drama over lost socks and missing tin whistles has abated – spreads like a moustachioed balm over us, restoring our familial love, exterminating the angst but not, unfortunately, the nits. Even Marty Whelan cannot do that.

On another morning, now nit-free, it’s Diana Krall’s birthday so Marty plays her version of The Look of Love and yes, from the back of the car there are increasingly hostile demands to play something from Taylor’s new album, but they know the deal.

It’s Marty in the Morning and his own brand of corny jokes and a bit of Bach and maybe some Dusty Springfield and that’s just how we roll in the morning. Nits or no nits.

Anyway, here are some great things to do with children this weekend if you are scratching your heads for inspiration. (Join the club.)

It’s that time of year again ... one million Christmas lights are about to be turned on in the capital
It’s that time of year again ... one million Christmas lights are about to be turned on in the capital

Christmas Lights Switch On, Dublin

It’s beginning to feel a lot like . . . yes I know it’s still November but the lights are being turned on in Dublin this weekend and there’s nothing you or I can do about it. So if you can’t beat them, why not experience the festive charm of Dublin city with not one but two Christmas Processions through the streets of the capital on Sunday.

One procession starts on Grafton Street and the other begins on Mary Street, with dazzling performers LUXe leading both. The two parades will then meet on O’Connell Street when the Lord Mayor of Dublin will stop giving out about Bob Geldof long enough to turn on the lights of the 40-foot Christmas tree. Tis the season, okay? Okay.

Where: Grafton Street, Mary Street and O’Connell Street, Dublin

When: 5.30pm on Sunday, November 19th

Cost: Free

Contact: Dublinatchristmas.ie

Storyteller Joe Brennan will be spinning yarns this weekend
Storyteller Joe Brennan will be spinning yarns this weekend

Yarn Storytelling Festival

This great event continues with family storytelling in the Shoot Room at Killruddery Farm Market. The fire will be lit ready for some gripping yarns from master storyteller Joe Brennan. Suitable for children aged five and over, the events are free but you are advised to get there early as space is limited.

Where: The Shoot Room, Killruddery House & Gardens, Co Wicklow

When: 2pm on Saturday, November 18th

Cost: Free

Contact: Mermaid Arts Centre, 01 272 4030

Talk Like an Animal, Outdoor Workshops

If you’ve always wanted to hoot like an owl – and who hasn’t? – this is the workshop for you and your brood. Learn how different animals communicate, try out some fun games and try to chatter like animals. Can you do a waggle dance like a bee, heed warning calls to avoid danger or follow a trail of smells to find food? This is where you will find out. Supported by South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council.

Where: Poppintree Park & Lucan Demesne

When: 10am-11.30am in Poppintree Park, 12.30pm-2pm in Lucan Demesne, Sunday, November 18th

Cost: €1

Email education@owls.ie to book a place

Get sketching this Sunday at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin
Get sketching this Sunday at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

Sunday Sketching, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

Fancy finding your inner Picasso? These free sketching workshops for families in Hugh Lane Gallery are a great way for children to respond to art and get them talking about it too. You can bring your own sketchbook or avail of the materials provided. No need to book but numbers may be limited. Suitable for ages 6 and over.

Where: Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane

When: 3pm-4pm Sunday November 19th

Cost: Free

Contact: info.hughlane@dublincity.ie or 01 222 5550

Ballymaloe Craft Fair, Co Cork

Organisers of the Ballymaloe Craft Fair say this lovely event will take all the stress out of starting your Christmas shopping. A beautiful location with a huge variety of goods and talents with plenty of space – indoors and outdoors – for the smallies to run around. There’s a also a Lego club for when they get fed up tearing around the farm.

Where: Ballymaloe Grainstore, near Shanagarry, Co Cork

When: Saturday and Sunday November 18th and 19th, 10am-6pm

Cost: €3

Contact: 021 465 2531

Up and coming traditional musicians will take to the stage at Siamsa Tire, Tralee, Co Kerry for Trad Connections
Up and coming traditional musicians will take to the stage at Siamsa Tire, Tralee, Co Kerry for Trad Connections

Trad Connections

Budding Sharon Shannons or Paddy Maloneys take to the stage and show you what they’re made of. Probably one for slightly older children as it’s an evening event featuring the best up-and-coming young traditional musicians.

Where: Siamse Tire, Tralee, Co Kerry

When: Sunday November 19th, 8pm

Cost: €10/€12

Contact: boxoffice@siamsatire.com 066 7123055

Email tips about upcoming family friendly events and things to do with your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews or ones you’ve borrowed to arewethereyet@irishtimes.com or find me on twitter @roisiningle

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