Ages ago now I had a post on my Facebook page where lots of other Mum’s suggested places to hit for with kids around Cork. Suggestions came for near and far, from model railways to beaches, parks to playgrounds. My aim this summer is to discover them all. When the big lady started school I think I had underestimated the commitment involved in a child going to primary school and really felt I hadn’t made the best of our free time last summer. Granted I was akin to a sweaty whale for the majority of the summer, but there’s no baby on board this summer instead another lady to help us discover the simple pleasures there are in a day trip out. My aim is for it not to cost the world, I want to keep it simple!So last weekend was one of those weekends, with 6am starts and the three ladies to myself, where the days were beginning to feel pretty long. So by the time Sunday lunch rolled round I almost had a day done at that stage and in order to shake of the cobwebs we hit for Fitzgeralds Park right in the heart of Cork city. So first things first, it cannot go without saying that the playground is honest to god a NIGHTMARE! Correct me if I’m wrong but it had to have been designed by a man with no kids because it is not in the least bit buggy or toddler friendly. All a child has to do is go through a little archway and they are gone out of sight and because the woodchip in the main part of the playground brings a buggy to a grinding halt you have to race around the long way all the while dodging the millions of children/other frantic parents/buggies there are. Also the swings, if there are two children on there that are more than about 2.5 foot in height they end up battering the legs of each other. So while the playground may look amazing be warned, bring one adult per child if they’re lively like mine and don’t bring a buggy if you have a baby and a toddler to mind. The playground is also ridiculously close to an open gateway onto a road, albeit a sideroad, but still, you get my drift. If you can manage to prise the kids away from the playground with your sanity intact the rest of the park is genuinely beautiful. There is a lovely, old fashioned pond with a fountain, plenty of open green space, there’s also a museum which we didn’t get into so I haven’t a breeze what’s in there. There’s also a coffee shop and beside that is the famous/infamous ‘hanging garden’ originally a gold medal winning garden at the Chelsea Garden Show designed by Diarmuid Gavin but obviously in Fitzgerald’s Park, its not hanging so I think he distanced himself from it altogether. Anywhoooo it’s still cool and unusual and gives a lovely view of the river. There are all manner of nooks and crannys to discover around the park. There is one toilet beside the playgound and there are portaloos over near the main entrance, that is vital information if, like me, you have a toddler who is always ‘bursting’! Parking, in my opinion, is a balls, perhaps I’m wrong but I believe the bulk of the parking is the on the street parking that surrounds the park itself on two sides so there is not much and it’s often tight, but it’s free. If you got there on a Sunday morning/afternoon the Cricket Club is right next to the grounds, a game which I actually really enjoy, and it’s something different to watch so be sure to check it out. All in all, it is worth a visit but I know from my own experience it’s worth knowing about the playground, the parking and the toilets. It is a lovely spot to spend any number of hours wandering around and there is a lovely happy atmosphere there always.
The girls are wearing outfits from Jojo Maman Bebe which we were kindly sent to us. I went for pinafores for the girls mainly because they are easy for small kids to get into by themselves in the morning time! I also love the print on them, playful and age appropriate The small lady is wearing this one and the big lady is wearing this one, both cost €26 which is really good for the quality that they are. All the pictures were taken by the incredibly talented Brid O’Donovan.