Glenroe Farm (maybe Austin’s a bit too young but I loved it!)

Biddy's cottage, apparently, for anyone who remembers the show.
Biddy’s cottage, apparently, for anyone who remembers the show.

Today was cloudy and a bit drizzly. Yesterday was the same and we spent the day snuggled indoors, only venturing out to walk the dog. I love those lazy days inside – sneaky movies, a bit of cooking (more on that this week) and lots of learning to crawl and pick things up with this elusive pincer grasp I keep reading about.

But we had enough of the house today and decided to head out to Glenroe farm for an hour or two of fun before nap-time. Because it was a bit chilly, I wrapped Austin up in his warmest hoody and double-socked him so he couldn’t kick them off (literally his favourite thing to do!).

 

No Factor on the baby so of course it blasted sunshine while we were there!
No Factor on the baby so of course it blasted sunshine while we were there!

Glenroe is a farm in County Wicklow that was the set of an Irish soap opera some years ago. I only have vague memories of the show but the farm itself is just gorgeous. There is a small shed for the littlest animals; bunnies and chickens and even a little field-mouse that didn’t make me want to scream and run away. (Believe me, when you find one eating the dog food in your kitchen, they are significantly less adorable).

Austin having a staring match with a chicken on our last visit.
Austin having a staring match with a chicken on our last visit.

There are two area’s for the larger animals and a huge pen for some beautiful deer that Austin absolutely loved…

Huh? Who's Bambi?
Huh? Who’s Bambi?

Once you have seen all the animals and tried to sneak them old fridge carrots on the sly (don’t tell on me!) there is a massive playground with a huge array of different slides and swings and monkey bars. Austin can only use one of the little bucket swings at the moment but I really can’t wait to see him running around the place with the other kids when he gets a little older.

After the playground we had lunch at one of the twelve or so picnic tables, which was perfect because it suddenly brightened up so we felt like we were on holidays for our spagbol and fromage frais. Then we went back around the pens again so Austin could have a chat with the donkeys and Mama could nearly pee herself laughing as they actually brayed at each other!

Give me Carrots! No! You give ME carrots!
Give me Carrots! No! You give ME carrots!

Just before nap time we got a yummy latte to-go in the Glenroe cafe, which was a lovely little shop that, crucially, only charged 2.50eu for a frothy coffee instead of the fiver I pay at Starbucks.

As this is only around the corner from where I live, I’ll be heading here often in the future. If you’re a little further away, it’s still well worth the trip for a lovely family day out, especially if you’re on a budget. Entry is 6eu for anyone over two and a family ticket will set you back 22eu. Here’s a link to their website if you’d like to take a look.

I’m still finding my feet in terms of lovely places to take Austin while he grows up so if you know of other good days out in Wicklow and South Dublin, I love to hear your comments.

PS. This is not a sponsored post – we just really liked it and thought we’d share!

Fun with Spaghetti

In keeping with yesterday’s post about distracting Austin from his frustration at not being able to crawl or walk around just yet, today we decided to play with coloured spaghetti for some fun.

Here he is, not knowing what to make of it, at all.

It's floppy and stringy and red - am I playing with worms??
It’s floppy and stringy and red – am I playing with WORMS?

All you do is over-cook a little spaghetti in water, with a drop of food colouring, if you like. Then drain and run it under the cold tap to cool it. I waited until it was dry (about five minutes) and I fluffed it two or three times in case it stuck together. Then, I plonked it into his lap – and on his head, and on my head and on the dog – whatever got a laugh.

You put the worms on my head?
You put the worms on my HEAD?
Wait, that's pretty funny!
Wait, that’s pretty funny!

It’s cheap as chips (you don’t even need the food colouring), it’s great for their fine motor skills and it’s good for at least ten or fifteen minutes of MT (“Mama-Time”) so we will definitely be doing this again!

If you have any similar games you’d like to share, please feel free to comment…