While some people dispute whether the true start of spring is astronomical or meteorological, I always feel it starts with the green of St. Patrick’s Day and the closely followed ‘spring leap’ when the clocks move forward.
The National Holiday on Friday is a welcome opportunity to meet up with extended family and friends as we look to enjoy the longer days to come.
This weekend is also extra special as Mother’s Day also falls on the long weekend break while many outdoor venues reopen offering fun days out for all the family.
Below are some suggestions from around the country.
It really feels like St. Patrick’s Day is back this year with the return of many city and local parades throughout the country featuring what must be a cast of thousands from every local community and volunteer organisation.
However, Dublin is still the one the world looks to and this year promises another spectacular show to thrill the national and international spectators. Let’s hope any rain doesn’t put a damper of things.
2. Newgrange Farm | Lambing Live
Spring is the best time on any farm as it is the time for regrowth and cute baby animals! Newgrange Farm reopens on March 17th for their popular annual Lambing Live event where you can see their flock of sheep lambing and their herd of cows calving.
The Discovery Park has a brand new activity for this season, The Skywalk Challenge; an aerial ropes course spread over three levels, with 40 games and ziplines included that can take over 2.5 fun hours to complete!
On St.Patricks’s Day, your little dinosaur fan can also enjoy Dinosaur Crafts with pre-booked slots from 11am - 1pm.
4. Nore Valley: St Patrick’s Day Snake Hunt
Not only will you have a fun family day out on a working farm with all the extra fun activities on offer but you can also help finish the job that St. Patrick started with the annual Snake Hunt on March 17th.
This is a free extra event included in your normal admission.
5. Wild Ireland
Take a walk on the wild side this weekend with a visit to the spectacular Wild Ireland in Donegal to enjoy the return of wolves, bears and more to Ireland after hundreds of years. Also, on Sunday, all mums go free with at least one other paying guest.
6. Laser Quest | Kidspace Rathcoole
Book your tickets and head down to Kidspace Rathcoole this Thursday for an opportunity to experience their NEW Laser Quest.
After dark, the play centre comes to life with a neon glow for a fun evening... and their is no school the next day! Grab your laser gear and dash through their 10,000 sq ft multi-level venue, scoring points as you go and avoiding the opposite team, who could be lurking around any corner.
It can be described as a high-tech combination of tag and hide-and-seek, making it a big hit with kids.
7. Secret Valley Wildlife Park
Perfect if you fancy something fun and outdoors this weekend in the (hopefully) sunny, south east, Secret Valley Wildlife Park will have a fun packed day on offer including bottle feedings, story time, animal handling, interesting feeds and talks and lots more.
Fresh from starring in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Gorey, staff and animals will be raring to go as the new season on the farm really kicks off. Now open daily from St. Patrick’s Day, there is plenty for the family to enjoy on the award-winning farm including diggers, cuddly animals and the every popular fire truck!
10. Birr Castle
A self-guided adventure of endless discoveries at Birr Castle Demesne where you can try the Gallery Challenge, wander through the seven Science Galleries and discover the answer, visit to the oldest darkroom in the world, Ireland’s tallest treehouse or the world-famous Great Telescope (1845).
This weekend you can also follow the slithering snakes which will lead you through the gardens and Treehouse Adventure Playground. If you find all the snakes that St. Patrick left behind, you will discover secret message to claim your sweet treat.
11. Festina Lente St. Patrick’s Day Fun Day
Green fun and activities for children with a jam-packed day full of hundreds of ways to become green and celebrate a magical day full of greenery including green crafts, green adventures, and green stories! Parents go free and very child booked will also have a pony ride!
The long weekend is perfect for some outdoor adventure in SkyPark on land or in the air. Anyone wearing green gets 20% off on St. Patricks’s Day too!
AquaZone is back with a raging waterpark adventure for the bigger kids and pirate play areas for the younger ones including the FlowRider, the Master Blaster, the Green Giant and the Dark Hole; there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Open for the full day on March 17th to warm you up and run off some steam after the parade!
Treat the special mother in your life with local harpist Fiachra Guihen playing in the café for Mother’s Day between 1pm and 4pm in the Woodland Café.
There is no charge, simply enjoy your Mother’s day in the beautiful Strokestown Park.
15. Teddy's Bear Picnic | Lime Tree Theatre
As we come to the end of Seachtain na Gaeilge, you can still drop into the National Museum of Archaeology and challenge yourself to their worksheets in Irish? Choose from Viking Ireland, My Favourite Object, Stone Age Ireland or the Treasury Trail and don’t forget to bring your pencil!