Things to do with children this weekend: they are in for a treat
Are We There Yet? From sandcastle building to writing Limericks, boredom is not an option
Kite surfer Francois Colussi jumps over fellow surfer James Hayden on Dollymount Strand, Dublin to highlight the coming ‘Battle for the Bay’ at Dollymount Strand, May 25th-26th. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / IRISH TIMES
This weekend there are so many events for children and families going on in the capital, we don’t know what to choose. Let’s just say it’s going to be a very busy and fun-filled couple of days. Enjoy.
Head to the idyllic grounds of Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park for the always wonderful Africa Day on Sunday, where the sun always shines and parents can be found dancing badly to banging live music from all over that continent. We’ve been going for years, first bringing the girls in prams and, more recently, biking it to this colourful, diverse celebration of the best arts, crafts, music, dance and diversity Africa has to offer. Bonus: Farmleigh looks magical at this verdant time of year.
Where: Farmleigh House, Phoenix Park
When: Sunday, May 27th, 11am-6pm
Cost: Free but book on eventbrite
Battle for the Bay
There’s always a good reason to visit Dollymount Strand on the northside of Dublin but this weekend it’s a must-visit. The area will be transformed into a water-themed festival with something for all ages to enjoy. It’s a celebration of Irish kitesurfing, SUP (stand up paddleboarding) and watersports with funfair attractions, a Kids Zone and Biodiversity Village for children. Bring your togs, your picnic blanket and your suntan lotion/umbrella and enjoy this annual seaside session.
Where: Dollymount Strand, Clontarf
When: Saturday and Sunday, May 26th and 27th, 10am
Those Happy Pear twins, Stephen and David Flynn, are involved in a new festival for kids and their parents called Playstival which will take place in Airfield in Dundrum in August. But in the run-up to Playstival they are holding a number of community events and this sandcastle competition on Sandymount Strand is one of them. Head down to the Dublin 4 beach to make your creation and be in with a chance of winning a big prize and become king or queen of your very own castle.
Where: Sandymount Strand, Dublin 4
When: Saturday, May 26th, 1pm
Bring your Limericks
If you have a child with a gift for poetry, bring them along to this lovely event at Books Upstairs in Dublin. There are great prizes for the best ones which show ingenuity, excellent rhyming skills and, of course, a great sense of humour. Limericks are known as the “people’s poetry” so get involved and give it a go.
Where: Books Upstairs, D’Olier Street, Dublin
When: Sunday, May 27th, 2.30pm
For the fourth year running the RDS, Dublin will play host to Coolest Projects which aims to showcase, inspire and enable innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and tech skills in young people aged seven to 17. Expect hundreds of children and their creative tech projects, hands-on workshops and demonstrations of the latest innovations.
Where: RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin
When: Saturday, May 26th
Cost: €11 (under-18s free)
Contact: coolestprojects.org; iti.ms/2GHRTS1
Every Saturday until June 30th, there will be a fun-filled hour of art activity for parents/guardians and children aged three to seven years of age. Explore the exhibitions and create some colourful art to take home.
Where: Rua Red Arts Centre, South Dublin Art Centre, Dublin 24
When: Saturday, May 26th, 10.30am
Cost: €5 per workshop
Bar Monkey Festival
Ireland’s National Calisthenics Competition returns this weekend and anyone who is interested in “body weight movement” won’t want to miss it. (For the uninitiated Calisthenics are “gymnastic exercises to achieve bodily fitness and grace of movement”.) There are open sessions through the day and Ireland’s National Junior Calisthenics Competitions will take place as under-age groups show off their skills.
Where: Cuala Hall, GAA Club
When: Saturday, May 26th, 2pm
Love Your Zoo returns to Tayto Park this weekend until June 3rd with a load of exciting activities for all the family including World of Raptors, free flying birds of prey display and a special monkey weekend. Visitors to the Birds of Prey weekend can expect aerial displays featuring the world’s largest eagles and fastest falcons, impressive vultures and iconic owls. The Monkey Weekend is on June 2nd and 3rd when visitors can learn all about the five species of primates. Love Your Zoo week is an annual campaign established by BIAZA (Britain and Ireland’s association of Zoos and Aquariums).
Where: Tayto Park, Ashbourne, Co Meath
When: Saturday, May 26th until June 3rd
Cost: From €28 per person
Contact: taytopark.ie 01-8351999