As E’s grandparents were over for a couple of days we decided to make a trip to the Irish National Stud and Gardens in Kildare. It’s nice to make an effort to do something different when we have visitors and I don’t think 2 days of chasing E around the play centre would have felt like much of a holiday…
The weather was a bit temperamental but we knew that was going to be the case. I’ve got a bit obsessed with the weather app on my iPhone so we were well prepared with waterproofs and sensible shoes.
When we paid for our tickets we were informed that there were newborn foals that we could go and see so with much anticipation we headed off to the stables.
I couldn’t believe that the foals were standing and walking within hours of being born; they show our children up considering that it normally takes them 12 months! They were absolutely adorable and E was thrilled that he got to stroke one.
We decided to head over to see the older foals frolicking in the fields however as with anywhere we walk with E he decided he was in no rush. On the way he got distracted by jumping up and down on a drain cover, riding his broomstick (any stick that is a good size has the potential to fly) and debating whether to throw his coin into the fountain (lots of other people had made wishes and dropped theirs in but he eventually decided that he couldn’t bare to part with his 5 cents).
Just before we reached the pasture we spotted the amazing new playground that the Irish National Stud has built. However as I’m a mean mummy I successfully managed to distract him so that he didn’t notice it. The rain was on its way and I wanted him to enjoy seeing the horses rather than spend our precious few minutes left of the sunshine going up and down a slide. Fortunately he loved watching them grazing and tentatively walking around and after a few minutes the first drops of rain fell.
It was a great excuse to check out the coffee shop and we relaxed with tea and scones until the sun came out again. It is unusual for E not to need his own snack but the scones were so big that he happily helped himself to large chunks off ours. He’s always so pleased when our days out involve a pit stop at a cafe and it’s no wonder why; it’s a chance to sample the baked goods as well as trying to entertain the other customers with his constant chattering and funny faces.
Next up was the Japanese Gardens and the first decision was whether to take the easy or difficult path. We decided on the easy one as we had the buggy with us (more so we could load it up with bags, drinks, umbrellas etc as there was no way E would stay in it). It was lovely wandering around looking at the pretty plants and features but we decided that we wanted more of a challenge. The buggy was abandoned and E went off on an ‘adventure’ with his Grandad exploring a cave, a little house and climbing the steps to get to the top of the ‘mountain.’ Though we didn’t let him near the stepping stones, I successfully conquered them and was pretty chuffed although a little traumatised… Yes the water’s shallow but it’s very fast moving!
With all the excitement E was getting tired so we headed home, I’m sure he had some interesting dreams after all the excitement.
I’d highly recommend the Irish National Stud for a family day out, has anyone else been?