Family Breaks Clare
Clare is a county that has been ingrained in my brain as a place of fun, sea, sand and holidays as we were brought to this beautiful county time and time again as a child. I still love to make a trip here when I can as I always feel the minute you go over the border cars slow down and the relaxed way of life embraces you.
When we think “Family Breaks Clare“, the first thing that usually comes to mind is surfing in Lahinch, Aillwee Caves and The Cliffs of Mohar but if that was not enough there is so much more in this county such as:
- Irish Seaweed Safari – The Irish Seaweed Safari is an experience not to be missed! Join the 4th generation Seaweed Foragers and enjoy the spectacular shore walk from the rugged coastline of Caherush meandering along the shoreline enjoying nostalgic views looking out on Spanish Point Bay along with the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands.
- Trip to Aran Islands -Sail to the Aran Islands or Cruise under the Cliffs of Moher ! Daily sailings to the Aran Islands from Doolin. Visit the spectacular Dún Aengus fort on Inis Mor, get away from it all on Inis Meain or take a quick trip to the smallest one – the beautiful island of Inis Oirr. Or take a Cruise under the Cliffs of Moher. Admire the scale and majestic beauty of the Cliffs of Moher on a 1 hour voyage of discovery.
- Bunratty Castle – Bunratty Castle & Folk Park is a must on your itinerary to Ireland. This is your chance to experience a window on Ireland’s past and explore the acclaimed 15th century Bunratty Castle and the 19th century Bunratty Folk Park.
- Explore the Burren – The Burren National Park is located in the southeastern corner of the Burren and is approximately 1500 hectares in size. The Park land was bought by the Government for nature conservation and public access. It contains examples of all the major habitats within the Burren: Limestone Pavement, Calcareous grassland, Hazel scrub, Ash/hazel woodland, Turloughs, Lakes, Petrifying springs, cliffs and Fen
- Cliff Coastal Walk – Beyond the grounds of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience you can now explore a new 20km coastal walking trail in Clare which will bring you along one of the most outstanding landscapes of Ireland. From LIscannor and Hags Head in the south, along by the majestic Cliffs of Moher and to Doolin in the North, with views over Aill Na Searrach, the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. The trail follows the line of the cliffs and passes through the grounds of the visitor centre. The trail starts on road from Liscannor where you will witness theamazing views of the Cliffs, the famous Aran Islands, Kerry mountains, Galway Bay, O’Briens Tower and the thousands of seabirds make the Cliffs a magical place. Talking telescopes are dotted along the paths as you go.
- Caving – Doolin Cave is home to the Great Stalactite. At 7.3 metres (23feet) it is the longest free-hanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere. The Great Stalactite, suspended from the ceiling like a chandelier, is truly astounding. Visitors can hardly believe that it was formed from a single drop of water over thousands of years. Extend the adventure from underground to over ground following a charming Farmland Nature Trail that takes a looped walk around the cave setting.
- Dolphin Watching – On the western seaboard of Ireland there are places where the distinction between land and sea is blurred. The west Clare peninsula in County Clare, guarding the northern shore of the Shannon estuary is one such place. The Shannon estuary is home to Ireland’s only resident group of bottlenose dolphins. Over 100 dolphins have been identified using the estuary at different times; calves are born each year and are usually encountered.
- Rock Climbing – The Burren climbing area is beautiful, with amazing cliffs and spectacular views and climbing instruction for all levels. With a large number of indoor climbing walls developing around the country, there is an increasing interest in trying it out on the real thing.
I think we all know Clare can boost of her nature credentials and stunning beauty but it is also a place rich in culture as around every corner there is a trad festival or trad music nights to enjoy. It is a place where you can bring children to enjoy these fabulous sounds and events often with live music during the day. While my children don’t normally see the inside of a pub from one end of the year to the next I love to bring them in to see a session and Clare is the perfect spot to do so. Some of the great pubs renowned for their sessions would be:
- Gus O’Connors Pub, Doolin
- The Roadside Tavern, Lisdoonvarna
- Brogan’s Bar, Ennis
- Vaaughan’s Pub, Kilfernora
The most famous Trad festival in Clare has to be Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy taking place every year on the first year of July. It is a week-long summer school of Irish traditional music, song and dance, incorporating tuition, lectures, recitals, concerts and céilithe. Thousands decend on the small town of Milltown Malbay every year and it is a mecca of traditional players from across the globe.
The long, mild afternoons at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy are devoted to lectures on the various aspects of Irish traditional music heritage and its connections with mainland Europe and North America. There are recitals each evening showcasing the instruments taught at the school, performances in traditional song and dance, and céilithe nightly. The serious work of tuition is complemented by the festival atmosphere in hotels, pubs and on the streets, as students, locals and visitors celebrate Irish traditional music. It’s simply perfect for lovers of music, history, and the craic agus ceol. If you enjoy trad music and are looking for something different look not further than this as one of the top family breaks Clare.
When looking for places to stay you will have plenty of choice for the family in the following hotels never mind all the camp sites available:
So when you are thinking about your next break away there is something for everyone in Clare and that’s I would consider family breaks Clare to one of the best.
Galway Arts Festival, open their enormous minds!
Galway International Arts Festival will take place from the 13th–26th July 2015 and audiences’ will be captivated by a spectacular 100 feet long and 70 feet high flying Skywhale, created by renowned Australian artist Patricia Piccinini from the 13th-19th July.
The registered flying machine piloted by Kiff Saunders operates on the same premise as a hot air balloon. People will be taken by surprise when the Skywhale passes overhead along the Galway skyline creating an unexpected and breathtaking event.
This colossal airborne creature will float into people’s lives at iconic Galway locations with Piccinini commenting, “I wanted to create something wonderful, in the sense of a thing that invokes a sense of wonder. Something remarkable in the sense that you might remark on it. The Skywhale is something that you might not expect to see in the sky on the day that you see it, and it might make you smile or think, or both.”
Stay tuned to the Festival’s Facebook and Twitter pages and local radio for daily updates on where Skywhale will appear above the city skyline, and sit tethered in locations around the city. This outdoor spectacle will amaze and surprise everyone
This year’s Galway International Arts Festival will also host an extraordinary amount of spectacular ourtdoor Street Spectacle around every corner.
Three giant dolls will move magically through the city centre delivering haunting operatic melodies as they go in The Giant Divas & Les Tambours show. These fantastic ornate divas will transform the streets into a mobile opera house. Joined by the Tin Soldiers’ Band of Drummers, French company Transe Express will delight audiences with their high-energy interactive street performance. This show has performed all over the globe, from Sydney Harbour to the London Olympics and now, Galway.
Friday 17th July 10 and Saturday 18th July 6pm from Eyre Square to Spanish Arch
Collectif Malunés will seduce audiences into their crazy upside-down world in the explosively powerful circus show Turned Upside Down. Amazing acts on the teeterboard, flying trapeze and cyr wheel are sure to take your breath away with this spectacular show from the young Flemish performers.
Eyre Square on Friday 17th July 1pm and Saturday 18th July 1pm & 4pm
George Orange will perform on a large-scale architectural structure in the shape of a crescent moon and clever comedy routines to music in Man on the Moon. The tricks increase in size over the course of the show building up to a spectacular finale when the audience helps Orange in his aim to walk the rope across the moon.
Spanish Arch Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July 12noon & 3pm
Heart-stopping acrobatic stilt walkers tell the story of the conquest of the skies by three Soviet explorers who try to fly to the moon in Tic O Tac’s The Sky Conquest. Their near death-defying acrobatics are quite simply breathtaking.
Wednesday 22nd & Thursday 23rd July 1pm & 10pm from Eyre Square to Spanish Arch
Cork Midsummer Festival
Family Events for May Weekend
WWII Military Festival
01 – 03 May 2015
Venue: Listowel Co. Kerry
This May Bank Holiday Weekend WWII Military Festival commences on Friday where re-enactors invade the town with their military vehicles and set up their Living History display which is a live recreation of a wartime encampment. This Living history live display will continue over the weekend – over 100 re-enactors are expected to attend with their military vehicles and equipment, who will be “in character” for the duration of the Festival, giving the town a unique wartime feeling. Saturday afternoon sees a WWII battle re-enactment “Invasion of Listowel” complete with blank ammunition. This is followed by a commemorative parade by various military veterans organisations, both Irish and International. A flyover by military aircraft just after the parade is planned subject to availability and weather. Sunday “Liberation Day” sees another battle re-enactment to liberate Listowel.
Rosscommon Lamb Festival 2015
29 April – 04 May 2015
Venue: Roscommon Town & County
The Lamb Festival is now a firmly established celebration of family fun, great food, farming, arts, crafts, heritage and community spirit in County Roscommon.
Now in its eighth year the festival celebrates lamb in a diverse range of food and farming events over the course of the weekend. The festival includes a wool craft village, guided heritage tours, an angling competition and international sheepdog trials with highlights being a lamb BBQ – Brazilian style – at the festival marquee.
01 – 03 May 2015
Venue: Bellurgan Park, Dundalk
Vantastival is a family-friendly festival which takes place over the May Bank Holiday Weekend. Three main stages of live music showcase over 80 acts over the course of the weekend and the music on offer is overwhelmingly Irish and ranges from trad and folk acts to rock, pop, electro and punk. A focus on the campervan lifestyle brings an extra dimension to the only festival of its kind in Ireland.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday scheduled children’s activities will take place in the Kids’ Camp, with this year’s theme – The Sky’s The Limit! We will create our own kites, do various activities around the subject of flight, and tie it all into recycling. We’ll make helicopters, rockets, planes and boomerangs all out of recycled materials, and origami birds from recycled paper… don’t forget to plant your own rocket seeds! Improve and learn new musical, circus and football skills, take part in interactive performances, and GET CRAFTY! Vantastival is held at Bellurgan Park, an estate of extraordinary natural beauty under the lofty shade of the Cooley Mountains.
Check out the link below for further information on kids activities:
8th Annual Hullabaloo! Offaly’s Children’s Art Festival
Taking place from Wednesday, October 29 until Saturday, November 1, the festival this year will stage workshops, live performances and more in Birr, Clara and Edenderry for youngsters aged three to twelve. This is a jam packed kid’s festival for where children of all ages are well catered for.
Events that jump out from the Hullabaloo! programme include “Get Masked” and “Lantern Kites” with Linda Kelly, which takes place in Birr Library on October 29, “Halloween in the Haunted Castle and Gardens” in Birr Castle on October 31 and in Clara Family Resource Centre TADS Presents “The Giant Blue Hand” a play for children by Marina Carr on October 30th.Children will get a chance to take part in “The Museum of Made Up Stuff”. Starting with a bunch of ordinary objects children will help invent a variety of alternative and imaginative uses. A clothes peg might become a replacement beak for an injured chicken…an old bike lamp could turn into an anti-war weapon that shoots out rays of love… to put together an amazing Museum Of Made-Up Stuff with objects, drawings and fancy-shmancy blurbs. This will take place in Birr theatre and arts centre on 30 October at 12.00pm, Clara Library at 4.30pm on 29 October and Edenderry Library at 11.30 am on 29 October.Meanwhile Join Maríosa and Gillian from Stage Craft Ireland for a series of workshops, all leading to a ‘Day of the Dead’ flash mob in Edenderry Youth Café on Wednesday 29th 30th and 31st. The participants will meet in front of EdenderryTown Hall with their creations and in costume for a flash mob of ghastly grunge and fire eaters! All welcome to witness the Day of the Dead!Other events taking place as part of the festival include workshops on music with Cartoon Music, Lu La Lo Chroi and Sing along with Ceird, Grapple Graffiti with Adrian McLoughlin, plays for children with Over the Rainbow, Origami Wonderland which transform sheets of paper into fun objects with George, the master paper folder, ceramic making as well as ghost walks and stories and more. Parents have been advised to book festival event places as soon as possible, while children are advised to wear comfortable clothing to workshops.
Bookings for events in Birr call at Birr Theatre and Arts Festival on 057 9122911. Events in Clara call 057 9331928 for the family resource centre and for events in Edenderry call 057 9357400.
If you are planning a break away for the mid term why no look up County Arms Hotel on our website for Offaly so you can take in this wonderful festival!!http://www.easypeazyfamilybreaks.com/item/county-arms-hotel/
World Conker Championships 2014
More than 2,000 people are expected to arrive in the town of Freshford in Kilkenny for the mighty battle for the October bank holiday weekend, to see who will collect the adult, child and team prizes. You have been to the various festivals during the summer, where music, art and comedy have been the focus of the day broadening your sense of culture but now its time for a festival that involves some real effort! Just get into the ring, put on a competitors bib and play the great game of Conkers!
The three-day-long programme of family-focused outdoor and indoor events this year includes ghost trails and cookery demonstrations, comedy, pumpkin carving, basket-making, art and crafts exhibitions and country walks as well as the now renowned Irish Conker Championships which run on the Village Green in Freshford on October 30. Registration begins at 12.30pm and competition kicks off at 1pm.
The Irish Conker Championships is open to competitors of all ages from 8 upwards with competitions judged at under-12, under-14, under-17 and adult levels. Team events also run on the day. Last year’s champion, Peter Theloke, will be there to share tips and skills with novice and long-time competitors and the many who have supported the event over its 12-year history.
There’s also plenty to see and do for those not interested in competing, fellow organiser Grace Kearney explains. “Two marquees on the Green will house a wonderful array of stalls which will sell crafts, home cooking and delicious food. There’s also children’s entertainment, Halloween activities and story-telling. We’re delighted to team up with the Crafts Council of Ireland in this year, the Year of Craft, to house two exhibitions in the Church of Ireland.
Top Ten Tips for Music Festivals With The Kids
1. Make sure it is a child friendly festival
Check out reviews from other families you know or online, check the festival website to see how well they cater for children and what activities they offer. If you have friends with kids who might go also, then that can make it even more fun, as they will entertain each other and even you can take turns of babysitting.
2. Buy some festival music
If the festival has bands you don’t know, create a playlist and listen to the music before you go. The kids will get a thrill when they see music being played live that they have previously only heard from home or in the car.
3. Find a Good Camping Spot
Find a spot in family camping near to toilets, but not so close that you’ll spend all night listening to the doors bang open and shut. While you want to be in easy reach of the amenities and close to the activity you may not want to be too close causing you to be disturbed all night long.
4. Ear Defenders
It’s worth investing in ear defenders for the small ones as they can often find the music too loud and uncomfortable!
5. Baby Wipes
Bring plenty of wet wipes, they are great for cleaning sticky hands after eating or muddy splashes off legs.
6. Eye Masks and Ear Plugs
Eye masks and ear plugs are very handy when sleeping in tents if you are not used to tents as residents in other tents may disturb you in the night and the sun comes up early in the morning!
Bring willies and crocs; don’t bother with any other kind of shoes, they will only get wrecked if it is muddy and everyone else will be wearing the same!
Buy a couple of 5 litre water containers and bring a couple of small drink bottles so you are not constantly buying drinks for thirsty children.
9. A potty for the tent
Instead of tramping to the toilets in the middle of the night pack a potty!
10. Bring a Whellbarrow or Trolley
Bring a wheelbarrow or fold up trolley to save you making multiple trips to the car with all your paraphernalia or heavy items.
City Spectacular Cork
Fitzgerald’s Park is a magical setting for City Spectacular but unfortunately the day came to a prompt close today when the heavens opened up on all that fun. We braved out the weather until the end as it did not dampen our spirits. The park is full of novel sculptures, entertainers, fun activities, balloon makers, face painters and lots more. Big kids can enjoy the many food stalls offering something for everyone. The buzz and exciting atmosphere was still present during the rain and the children could not understand why it was all over as the rain only added to their fun. As children danced around in their wellies and free ponchos, the organisers invited us back to enjoy the fun tomorrow in the 20 degrees sun that has been promised. The stage is set and the line up of street performers looks exciting so we certainly will be the first in the queue when the gates open tomorrow Sunday 20th July at 12.30pm.
Youghal Queen Of The Sea Festival
For those of you who missed the Queen of the Sea Festival in Youghal this weekend make sure you pencil it into your diary for next year as if was a great family day out today made perfect by the glorious sunshine. Between entertainment provided by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry we were treated to a well organised demonstration by the RNLI.
Our location to view the RNLI demonstration was perfect as we were very close to all the action.
Once we dragged our two budding music enthusiasts away from the gig rig we wandered around the many food stalls and sampled some delicious delights before enjoying some traditional amusements which were extremely good value. There were plenty of other activities over the weekend to enjoy such as a crab fishing competition, sandcastle competition, Garth Brooks Tribute, fancy dress competition and much much more! There was a great atmosphere and the organising committee can certainly say they provided a family fun festival for all to enjoy!!!