Have a ball this Easter long weekend with activities for the whole family
This Easter, make the most of the long weekend with fun, family-friendly outings happening all over our lovely Emerald Isle. Whether you’re indulging on a staycation, heading to the zoo or for a post-dinner stroll, you’ll be busy bees right up to Monday evening.
Right in the heart of the Phoenix Park, the Himalayan Hills have just opened in Dublin Zoo. The new attraction houses red pandas and snow leopards and was designed to replicate the feel of a Nepalese village. Dr Christoph Schwitzer, Director of Dublin Zoo, said the habitat “has been designed to enhance the lifestyle of both the snow leopard and red panda, taking inspiration from their natural environment in Nepal.” Make a beeline to the new space this weekend to see the gorgeous animals up close – but not too close!
With over 100 acres of gardens and lush landscapes to explore, Donegal’s Oakfield is a much-loved family destination for a reason. For the first family event of the season, Oakfield’s Easter Storybook event will bring together classic storybook favourites with games, storytelling, arts, crafts and more. The event will run for four days, starting on Friday 15 April, from 12pm to 6pm. Expect Alice in Wonderland themed games on the lawn, stories and crafts with garden gnomes in The Dome. Hop on a train ride with Thomas & Friends from the Isle of Sodor station, or treat making in The Gingerbread Van with Hansel & Gretel. Plus, Easter family photos in Godrick’s Hollow, puppet shows in The Castle Kiosk and a visit to Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandmother’s House.
A new cinema experience with Scenic Cinema brings the magic of Harry Potter to the Marina Market in Cork this weekend. The event starts on Friday, 15 April with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and ending on Sunday with The Half-Blood Prince. You can bring food in from one of the delicious market vendors and grab a seat in either the pods (from €25 for two people) or a deckchair (€14).
Max Benjamin at Kildare Village
Treat yourself to a spring shopping spree at Kildare Village with a new pop-up from home favourites Max Benjamin. Open until the end of May, the pop-up will showcase some gorgeous Max Benjamin products at reduced prices with opportunities to bundle items for more savings. There will also be a Kildare Village Curated Collection, allowing shoppers to pick up must-haves, new products and gifts with even more discounts! And you can hop over to Joules or the Polo Ralph Lauren children’s outlet afterwards.
If you find yourselves out west this weekend, head to Wildlands in Galway. There, you’ll find a range of exciting activities for families of all ages. Take to the trees on a zipline, or to the seas in a kayak. Let the kids ‘do the messages’ in the Baile Beag, or soak up the magic of the fairy trail. This weekend, the Wildlands, as well as the Olive Tree kitchen are open from 9am. Last orders at the Kitchen are at 7pm. Activities are individually priced.
Lough Boora Discovery Park
In the heart of Ireland you’ll find Lough Boora Discovery Park, near Tullamore in Offaly. The park serves as the perfect escape into nature, with five walking trails, from 1k to 12k. Head for a stroll, rent a bike, or get lost on the fairy avenue. Get cultured in the sculpture park, or bird watch in the bird hide. The website warns that Google maps has a slight error, so if you’re planning a visit, make sure you search for the Discovery Park specifically, rather than just Lough Boora.
And if your family have had enough of one another by the weekend’s end, the kids can enjoy an EPIC Easter camp in Dublin’s docklands from Tuesday, 19 April to Thursday 21. At the EPIC Explorers Easter camp, children will explore a different theme related to explorers each day, discovering the history of the Irish diaspora through intriguing stories and creative activities. The three-day camp costs €50 and will be led by experienced facilitators. Camp takes place 9am-1pm daily, and is suitable for children between six and 12 years only.