Saturday 15 December 2018

Ten things to do this weekend as we bask in the glow of some rare Irish sunshine

Faeba Francis and Ashly Simon from Newry enjoy the summer sunshine on the Bull Wall in Dublin. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Faeba Francis and Ashly Simon from Newry enjoy the summer sunshine on the Bull Wall in Dublin. Picture; Gerry Mooney

Kyle Ewald

For those of you not stuck inside watching the telly this weekend, there's a wealth of events going on across the country

And with the rare sunny weather we're enjoying, it might be best to get a bit of Vitamin D before the showers return.

Saturday

1) Family Day Festival: For those looking to get the whole family involved, Dublin’s Smithfield Square will be hosting a family fun day with a jam-packed programme of activities including the creation of Ireland’s Biggest Family Tree, a live magician performance, storytelling and comedy. Festivities begin at 1pm and conclude at 5pm.

 2) National Botanic Gardens of Ireland: While a stroll in St. Stephen’s Green or Phoenix Park is always a popular option when the sun decides to show its face, just a bus ride away from Dublin city-centre are the National Botanic Gardens.

 Visitors will be surrounded by over 15,000 plant species and cultivars, as well as experience Éireannach: A worldwide exhibition of botanical art, which debuted this weekend. Along with the wide variety of plants and vegetation that are already on display, visitors will have access to the botanical artworks of 23 artists from an array of countries. The Gardens are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 3) Seatown Weekend: For those with a full weekend to spare, a night away in one of Ireland’s best coastal towns would offer an easily-accessible and highly relaxing mini holiday. Top sea towns include Enniscrone; Co. Sligo; Dingle Co. Kerry; Bundoran, Co. Donegal; and Bray, Co. Dublin.

 Those looking to head to Bray or surrounding seaside towns, however, should note DART services from Dalkey to Greystones are closed until at least Monday due to signalling equipment fire damage. Dublin Bus will be accepting rail tickets and customers are advised to transfer to/from Dublin Bus services at Dun Laoghaire.

4) Limerick Food Market: Those in the Limerick area are encouraged to head to the county’s famous Saturday food market, which will be particularly enjoyable in this weekend’s sunshine. With almost 50 stalls and 21 shop units tempting even the pickiest of shoppers. Along with the very best of natural, fresh produce, homemade cheeses and chutneys and an array of other artisan meals, visitors will have their choice of Irish delicacies. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early as the market concludes at 3pm.

 5) Eat Yard: Foodies closer to the capital should head to Eat Yard, an outdoor food market located on South Richmond St next door to The Bernard Shaw. The open-air food court opens at noon on weekends and welcomes offers patrons an array of international dishes with vegetarian friendly and vegan options. Smoothies, drinks and dessert options are also available.

 6) Kerry Whale-watching: Marine-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts should head to Kerry on Sunday morning for a free guided land-based whale watch held by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

 Wildlife biologist Louise Overy will speak about the marine biodiversity off the Kerry coast offer tips on how to spot whales and dolphins from the land.

 No booking or group membership is required, participants are just asked to meet the group at 10:30 am at Brandon Point.

7) Galway Yoga: Galway is kicking off Biodiversity Week 2018 on Sunday with a mindful walk and yoga from 9:30 to 10:30am at Merlin Woods Galway. The event aims to bring awareness to the value of nature to one’s health, and is being run in conjunction with Stretch Yoga Galway.

 8) Red Bull Flugtag: Aircraft fans should head to Dun Laoghaire Harbour this Sunday for the return of Red Bull Flugtag, or “flying day” in German. Viewers will get to watch as 47 teams launch handcrafted human-flown machines and compete to see who goes the furthest.

 Competitors will also be judged on flight distance, creativity and showmanship of their aircraft. Event is free for spectators and competitors alike and will begin at noon.

9) Waterford shore walk: A free rocky shore walk along the sands of Garrarus Strand in Waterford will be taking place today at 2.30pm.

 The event, organised by the Irish Wildlife Trust, will teach participants how to identify local edible seaweeds, Irish marine life, and the biodiversity of the copper coast. More info can be found on the Irish Wildlife Trust webpage.

 10) Wexford seal release: Animal and sea lovers are encouraged to join Seal Rescue Ireland in Wexford tomorrow to release seven rehabilitated seals back into the ocean.

 The release will be at 2 pm on the Main Beach in Courtown, Co. Wexford, but attendees are encouraged to arrive early to visit the centre and chat to volunteers about the seals still in care.

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