8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Bank Holiday Weekend
Hallelujah: there's another bank holiday on the way. The last three-day weekend of the summer, it's a final chance to pack in all those activities you had earmarked for holidays 2015 but haven't quite managed to get around to yet.
These eight tricks to getting more out of your weekend will help you make the maximum number of memories in a short amount of time... just don't forget to pack the camera.
1. Get out of the house
Even if you can't stretch to a weekend away, a bank holiday is enough time to plan at least two fun-packed day trips. Explore a new town, ramble through a forest or run down a beach and plunge into the sea - adults benefit from a change of scenery just as much as kids do, you know. Do not get stuck indoors with the children for more than an afternoon... unless you want a make-over. And a headache.
2. Expand your usual route
Check out events, activities and attractions less than 30 minutes away from your usual Saturday stops. Then, once you're done with the swimming lesson or football practice, you can swing by another local spot on the way home, then go for ice cream or a movie, making three fun activities out of one journey.
3. Pack for every eventuality
If everyone's wearing t-shirts as you set out in the morning, pack cosy sweaters for later in case a trip to the zoo turns into a picnic on the beach. Light, foldable parkas, a towel or two and some wellies will protect little adventurers against the inevitable showers, plus having rain wear to hand means your fun can't be dictated by the weather.
4. Stock your iPod
Decent music will create a fun atmosphere in the car. Newsflash: Morning Ireland doesn't scream 'fun day out!' to a five year old.
5. Take your meals outdoors
Picnic lunches are great, but have you ever considered a picnic breakfast or an al fresco dinner? Keep an eye out for park benches and scenic spots to stop. Then stuff a cooler with a healthy, tasty meal (or two) to be enjoyed outside. Tip: This is a great way to break up a longer drive too.
6. Prep for a snack attack
A necessity for fueling all those activities, healthy snacks are also handy for keeping little passengers occupied as you ferry them from one spot to the next. These filling Clean Treats are ideal for taking on the road.
7. Investigate your local area
Ireland is full of unusual sights, from dolmens to Iron age fairy forts, ring forts and holy wells, to explore. Do a little research online, then set out on a fact finding mission with the kids and a hand-drawn map.
8. Invite family and friends
Need to fit a visit to Granny and Grandad into a hectic long weekend? Why not invite them to a picnic lunch in the park? Godparents, aunties and uncles and other friends with kids will all appreciate an invitation to chill out in a lush green field or a quiet beach. They might even bring dessert...