With one week down many of us have had our lives changed dramatically. Overnight, parents were hurtled into a new world of Lockdown, with no school, extra curriculum activities, playdates and day trips. Home schooling is the new buzz word clogging up our news feed. We are no longer receiving what’s app notifications on match times and training schedules but on links to free curriculum subscriptions and lockdown ideas. The new FOMO is home schooling with parents expected to switch into our new roles seamlessly with no planning or preparation. Never mind the parents who are sharing the kitchen table as a home office.
There seems to be a frantic frenzy to create schedules covering all aspects of the curriculum while children struggle to cope with the sudden halt to their daily routine and been cooped up in their homes without their usual loved ones visiting. I don’t know about you but the amount of arguments and shouting in my house has risen ever so slightly……. Remember learning covers a multitude of disciplines include lego, drawing and imaginative play so we should not feel stressed, overwhelmed and under pressure. Love and supporting our children through these difficult times is our job first and foremost.
Looking back on the last week, I have decided on a routine that suits our family, as I do think it is important to maintain some sort of routine but I also feel it is unique time for us sit back and take stock. Do the things that we are always to too busy to do. Bake a few more cakes, teach the kids how to bake or cook an evening meal. Watch a few more movies, have a few more cuddles and learn how to play cards together. A good friend of mine introduced me to the card game Dobble and charades, the old “play the game version” and not the board game, are firm favourites in my home. Social distancing or stay at home seems to be the most on trend hashtags and while I know it is critical, finding a quite beach or woods for a walk every day or so is vital for our minds and soul. There is a lot of worry in the air and the media are bombarding us with warnings so we need to find ways to keep our homes calm during this lockdown and taking time out or relaxing the schedules seems like a good fit to me. We have also made a few trips to a local pitch and putt course as we have our own clubs and there is no need to interact with anyone else. Craig pops in to pay and the kids wait outside for him so we are keeping our social distance.
Another friend sent me this fantastic link which is a simple yet extremely useful guide for keeping children entertained while learning that has been added to The Everyman Palace resource page. There is something for everyone whatever your school of thought is on entertaining the kids during these crazy times. I love the tip of The Glucksman Art Gallery who are offering daily art activities. Kudos to whoever put this together as it will be my new go to book of tricks in the weeks/months ahead. Just remember we have always been our children’s main educator, so we just need to do what we have always done.
It is that most wonderful time of the year again and Panto always kick starts our celebrations in this house as it is ideal for a night out during the cold winter days to come. Following on from the box office record breaking successful Aladdin last year in The Cork Opera House we eagerly awaited Peter Pan, Panto Cork Opera House 2019 and we were not disappointed.
While the traditional story of the adventures of a boy who never grew up, Wendy, Tinkerbell and of course captain hook was apparent, the original storyline and its characters were merely embodied in one-line gags. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so much. Nanny Nellie was outstanding and Smee, Captain Hook’s Sidekick, certainly gave her a run for her money. During the sing off between Captain Hook and Nanny Nellie, I managed to take a breath to notice many of the audience wiping tears from their eyes!
Featuring jokes involving local characters and political reference in the tradition of the pantomime society to entertain the adults, there were also many social and musical jokes especially for the younger audience and my ten year old boy was falling out of his chair at times in laughter. In today’s world of screens and technology it was a wonderful to see him enjoy such an art performed and staged as its professional best and I know I will have an eager panto buddy for many years to come.
The special effects and set really brought the show to life. While Peter Pan and the Darling Children flew over the London skyline, Nanny Nellie took to the skies in a car with spectacular impact. From the choreography, to the singing, to costuming and stage setting, the show was mesmerising. It was truly a brilliant production. Alot of dates before Christmas are sold out but the team at The Cork Opera House have confirmed that there are many dates still available in January so don’t miss out, it could be the best €27.50 (Family Pass €90-€120) you’ll spend on any kind of fun this Christmas.
Trabolgan Day Passes
Lucky for us we live only a half an hour from Trabolgan and so we can make regular day trips with the kids. Trabolgan was one of my own favourite spots as a kid and I love to watch the kid’s excitement when we head down there now. Trabolgan day passes are great value as you get a full day of fun so get down early and plan it out beforehand!
Trabolgan Holiday Village is located on over 140 acres of woodland beside the sea, 30 mins from Cork city and operates as a holiday camp or day visitor attraction.
Family Things to Do at Trabolgan
We normally start at the playground so kids can have a run around and I a coffee. One word of advice take a good look at the activities timetable for the day at this stage as there may be shows that you want to see and some of the activities have specific time slots. I prefer to organise our swimming around the shows as the kids will be starving after swimming and you can get lunch into them while watching a show.
There is a glass roof over the main outdoor area and the main stage is under this so if you get a fine day like we did last week it is was perfect to sit outside and relax while actually enjoying a picnic while being entertained.
Our next port of call is normally the swimming pool and with the waves and slide we normally pass away an hour or two here. The water was actually quite warm last week and I was pleasantly surprised with the renovations in this area. There is new flooring running throughout the changing area and a new seated area for those who wishing to sit this one out.
After our picnics we head back to the playground for a walk out towards the water area. However, last week I stumbled across the duck pond which has been developed into a nature area. It is a gorgeous spot to sit with a prompt board to encourage children to search the surroundings for little titbits of nature. I am glad to see Trabolgan making use of their gorgeous natural setting more.
The sports centre houses a jungle gym (admission included in the day pass) and a coffee shop for more hours of fun and it is here you can buy tickets to any of the TAS activities. You can also use your day pass for these instead of the swimming pool but to be honest we would not do these everytime as there is so much without having to include them.
Places to Eat in Trabolgan
At this stage we would head back down for another show as they are normally getting quite tired. A great way to end the day is Sally O’Hara’s Restaurant in the main square so I don’t have to cook when we get home and I know they will be starving after going all day so they will eat a belly full. Along with the main menu a carvery is available which is brilliant for the kids. There is a family special at the moment of €45 for two adults and two kids. I have never been disappointed with the food here and they have excellent coeliac choices. The staff are extremely friendly and always so accommodating.
Other dining options are Costa Coffee for a quick snack or Big Als@Casey’s Fast Food so there is something for everyone!
I am delighted with the renovations they are doing every year but I hope they might add new shower cubicles some time soon as I am not too fond with the open showers!
At the moment the Trabolgan day passes are €12 per person/ €50 for a family pass which is outstanding value as you can have one of the main activities which are swimming, crazy golf, birds of prey, TAS (Trabolgan Adventure Sports). Follow Trabolgan on facebook and keep an eye on their website as there are always doing offers on Trabolgan day passes. Click here for more.
What the Kids Said about Trabolgan
“Next time we go we are staying so we can do more stuff”