My 11 Low spend and No spend days out with kids:
1. Beach days; with a picnic no extras needed.
2. Cinema; if you go to an Odean cinema all tickets are €5 which means you can get two admissions for the price of one adult in other cinemas. Obviously bring your own picnic. Unfortunately for me they do butter popcorn, so own me for life.
3. The Donkey Sancturay; hidden away in Liscarroll Co. Cork, Such a lovely spot. Free to enter with the option of a donation to the charity. lots of picnic spots so bring one.
4. Kilarney House and Gardens; Kilarney has some fabulous free days out available and this one of them. If you keep an eye on my stories you’ll often see where we take advantage of in Kilarney. Kilarney House and Gardens is fab, it has a new visitor’s centre with a few interactive bits for the kids, huge safe areas to let them run free, bathrooms and a cafe.
5. Swimming; in your public swimming pool. You can be snobby as you like about these things but they have to abide by the same health and safety rules and regulations like any other. Changing areas are so spacious in my experience and I’m never waiting on a family changing room. There’s always a full quota of qualified lifegaurds. I also find this ratio of staff often assures the hygiene standards are kept high too. Typically tots go free and adults average €6.
6. An Agricultural Show; not always free but a very low cost and usually packed with entertainment for the kids. I have been known to enter a dog show or two!
7. The library; I’m always harping on about it on my stories but if your not utilising your local library and its vast services your mad. Books, dvds, games, kids areas with free colouring, puzzles and computer time. If you want something they don’t have in stock they’ll order it, including the latest movie, cook book, childrens classic or video game. They notify you when it arrives. They also get funding for some lovely days that are always run so well. We’ve attended messy play, art and a magic show at our local library in the last 12 months there was more and we just weren’t free to attend.
8. Playdates; Schedule a playdate at least once a week. This is the ultimate free entertainment.
9. Visit an OPW site; Theres a whole list available with one in most counties. On the first Wednesday of every month it is free entry. I’m looking up my nearest one and putting it in the diary for August.
This link will give you the full list and l their individual information some are free all year round too so best to check your specific one out.
10. Visit your local Coilte forest; Coillte properties are €5 entry at the gate (you must have coins). Some have more to offer than others so be warned standards vary. Take for example Curragh Chase in Limerick has two playgrounds, public bathrooms, camping, cafe etc. Where as where we used to live Donadea was our nearest in Kildare, it was lovely but no playground, private cafe with the only toilets so if it wasn’t open no toilets very inconvenient. Especially as it was a seasonal cafe! You still pay a fiver for the “same” amenity there’s so a Coillte pass available which we used to have and i should really renew as is does quiet literally pay for its self over a yead! Another good example of the contrast between Coillte property’s is Faran Woods in Cork. It looks like another one going above and beyond to give you plenty of bang for your buck. Playground, deer, picnic spots, bathrooms just generally a nice family day out!
11. Ardnacrusha Power Station Tour; Last but by no means least a tour with a difference. I’ve not been on this but it sounds cool and is totally free. I believe they started the tours last year and have a new visitors centre. Do book in advance though as there’s a max of 30 people per tour. I found it on Limerick.ie which is a great resource and they give you the booking link for this tour as well as all the other info on it.
Don’t be stuck and make the most of these summer days no matter what size your wallet.
Enjoy Dee x