This weekend our family availed of some pretty fantastic free events held around South Dublin, that I'd like to share with our Pies and Gents friends!
Saturday was the first of dlr County Council's "Exploring Nature" Biodiversity Events taking place from June through August. This particular event just so happened to be on in our local Cabinteely Park. "Life in a Pond" was a family event run by the OWLS organisation, a club for kids and families to learn more about nature. Approximately 40 children and adults of all ages, arrived to have some fun and get a little dirty. Using the nets that the OWLS leader, Clare, provided for us, we scooped water, grasses, sand, rocks and lots of tiny creatures from the duck pond. As we inspected the gatherings from our nets, we'd add any live specimens to white basins situated around the site, forming a collection of inspection areas. For the hour and a half, we happily scooped, inspected and attempted to identify our findings- with a little help from Clare and her handy pocket identification guides.
There are several more Biodiversity Events being held over the upcoming summer months and after seeing how well organized this particular event was, I'm really looking forward to attending a few more. The "Discover Rock Pooling", "Mini Beast Hunt" and "War of the Beach Sculptures" events all sound perfect for the kids, but there are other events organized through BirdWatch Ireland and Bat Conservation Ireland that also sound pretty interesting! I'm really impressed by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County's biodiversity event efforts.
|Figuring out how this net works!|
|She was determined to find loads of creatures!|
|The OWLS leader explaining the discoveries|
|A Damselfly floats above it's picture in the identification guide|
Many of the events require pre-booking so be sure to check out the dlr events page for more information.
|Peeking in the basin to see more creatures|
Sunday we got in the car and drove towards Rathfarnham to Marlay Park. You really don't need a special reason to visit the 247-acre Marlay Park, as it's a fabulous park with two playgrounds, walking trails, tennis courts, duck ponds, football pitches and so much more on offer. On Saturdays and Sundays, Marlay hosts an open farmer's market in the house's courtyard as part of the dlr County Council CoCo Markets program.
|Marlay House in the background hosts the CoCo Market in its courtyard|
For this sunny weekend day though, we went in search of some friendly, furry creatures that were set up as part of the Wooly Wards mobile petting farm. Lambs, ducks, guinea pigs and more animals were all on display for a hands-on experience. The kids could sit and hold a rabbit, groom a goat or watch the llama, as it kept a watchful eye on the kids! With plenty of Wooly Wards staff within the enclosure, the supervised area provided much enjoyment for all the families.
|Thanks Wooly Ward Farms for a great experience!|
|Grooming a goat|
|Harry was delighted to get so close to the animals|
|Guinea Pigs and Bunnies are held by children|
After about 30 minutes of animal fun, we headed towards the market area to grab lunch and enjoy a picnic. A kick around with the football and some bike riding and scootering for the kids rounded out the afternoon just in time for a nap.
|Plenty of space and a beautiful backdrop for a picnic|
If you haven't checked out Marlay Park yet, you should definitely get over there! And luckily, it's not too late to enjoy the Wooly Wards petting farm. There are still 4 more upcoming dates in June and August. For more information on the Wooly Wards dates, check out the dlr events page.
Hope you all enjoyed a fabulous weekend too and feel free to comment below with any upcoming events that might be of interest to me or my family! I love hearing your recommendations and appreciate all suggestions!