In our house, weekends are precious. They are the sacred days that Michael and I are off together and have full days to spend with the tiny humans. When it comes to the weekends, there are so many things that need to be done around the house, but often I just turn a blind eye and make an effort to plan an ‘adventure’. Adventure planning can be hard going sometimes and so I thought it might be useful to share some of our ideas on ‘Fun Things to do with Tiny Humans at the Weekend’. Sometimes our adventures are a walk to the playground with a stop in the shop en route home, other days we make it a little further. Family days out are what weekends should be made of! This weekend our wanderlust (and my cabin fever) brought us to Malahide Castle, Co.Dublin which is another weekend favourite for us year round.
What does Malahide Castle & Gardens have to offer?
Well you know funnily enough there is a castle and gardens, who’d have thought! Guided tours of the castle are available along with tickets for the walled garden and exhibition, pricing and information is available on their website. But in all honesty, we’re not yet at the stage of going to the castle on account of being ‘buggy’ bound and the fact that Luke would probably find it about as interesting as I find Paw Patrol. For older children and buggyless parents, the Castle tour is well worth a visit. There is also ample free parking available on the grounds which is one less thing to worry about.
What’s there to do with younger kids?
Well there is ample green space for them to run around in, to the front of the castle which is great when you need to run your toddler to the point of exhaustion. There are also trails and paths through beautiful woods and at the end of it all there is the mother of all playgrounds which is great for babies right up to older kids. There is a toddler section with great equipment including diggers, pulleys, slides, roundabouts and swings. It’s located alongside but separate to the older kids playground. The older kids playground features a slide that I want to go down but can’t (on account of being an adult, pfft), climbing frames, swings, balance beams and a double zip line which allows two riders to race. There is also some wooden equipment (balance beams and a bridge) in the woods for older kids, and outdoor exercise equipment which can be used by both children and adults.
What do adults get out of a day in Malahide Castle?
Apart from the all consuming feelings of joy from watching their happy kids play (that doesn’t sound at all sarcastic), adults get cake and coffee! There is a beautiful Avoca store located in the visitor centre which is a short stroll from the playground through the woods. Avoca has an amazing deli food store section which offers incredible food and treats to take away. There is a really great kids section which stock beautiful toys and clothes along with gorgeous books. All of the other traditional Avoca products are available including their trademark blankets and throws from the Avoca Mill, along with jewellery, kitchenware and giftware. To the rear of the shop is the restaurant, a.k.a The Happy Place, with a plethora of cakes, coffees and treats, alongside lunch and dinner options.
All in all, if you are looking for a place to spend a couple of hours with your tiny humans that is relatively inexpensive, is likely to yield smiling faces and cause minimal meltdowns, Malahide is the place. When it comes to family days out, Malahide is a nice escape to the great outdoors with the promise of a treat at the end of it all, what’s not to like!