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5 things to do at Bloom this weekend


By Sarah Finnan
31st May 2024
5 things to do at Bloom this weekend

With five stages, countless exhibitions and hundreds of food stalls, there’s lots to see and do at Bord Bia Bloom this weekend so planning ahead is key.

Originally created to promote plants, garden design, horticulture and gardening, the festival has grown way beyond that and is always a fun day out for the whole family.

Below are some of our highlights – there’s also a handy Plan Your Day feature, designed to help you get as much out of your visit as possible.

Wander through the gardens

The show gardens are the heart and soul of Bord Bia Bloom, bringing some of Ireland’s most talented designers together to create something truly spectacular. Showing us all how to make the most of our outdoor spaces, while simultaneously shining a light on some of the most important issues of our time, this year’s offering features 22 different creations. Standout entries include a commemorative garden in honour of Saint Brigid and a Despicable Me 4-themed garden, amongst others.

Elsewhere, you’ll find the Postcard Gardens – one of the most popular visitor attractions at Bord Bia Bloom each year. Created by amateur gardeners from communities, schools, and training groups across Ireland, they showcase their locality while drawing attention to the issues that matter most to them. 

John Dooley’s Back to the Future Super Garden

For a real treat, be sure to check out Super Garden winner John Dooley’s Back to the Future design before you go. Low maintenance and easy to maintain, John created this bio-diverse garden for Daija and her two daughters, Amanda and Amelia, ensuring it accommodated Daija’s scoliosis while still being a beautiful space the whole family could enjoy.  

Browse the food stalls

Seibhe Little, Ballymaloe Foods. Photo by Fennell Photo.

As a festival dedicated to nature, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Bloom is only about the plants. It’s not and there will be plenty of good food on-site to keep you going – from the Garden View Restaurant, a full-service, sit-down restaurant overlooking the show gardens at which you can reserve a table, to the Food Village, home to 70 of Ireland’s top food and non-alcoholic drink producers, there’s lots to see, do and eat. 

BBQ lovers are advised to head down to the dedicated grill zone where you’ll find the likes of Pitt Bros, Kinara, Hongkong BBQ, Smoke’N Grillhouse, Sugar Mama BBQ, Swing Grill, Hell’s BBQ, Bad Boys BBQ and Farm Hog Roast. There will also be a dedicated picnic area, numerous food trucks and live cooking demos throughout the day so you definitely won’t go hungry!

Check out the Craft Village 

Supported by the Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI), the Irish Craft Village at Bord Bia Bloom will showcase an exciting selection of work from some of Ireland’s most creative designers and makers. Spread across 38 different tents, each exhibitor is a member of DCCI and has been specially selected to illustrate the incredible talent of local artisans. Always a popular feature, there will be workshops and demonstrations running all weekend with drop-in craft activities for all the family. 

Pick up some plants

For those of you looking to add some more greenery to your life, the Plant Emporium is the perfect place to get some inspiration. There you’ll find a selection of plants grown in Ireland to the highest quality standards in the Irish climate, making them ideal to grow and thrive in your own garden.

If you end up buying more plants than you can carry, fear not as you can store them safely in the on-site Plant Crèche while you explore. When you’re ready to leave, staff will even help you transport your plants to the car park via one of their ‘wheelbarrow taxis’. More info on that here.

Try out some of the family-friendly activities

Families looking to keep little ones entertained (and tire them out) are in luck as there are plenty of child-friendly activities at Bloom. Children under the age of 12 get in free (up to two children per adult, additional child tickets are priced at €5) so it’s a great excuse to get out the door and make the most of the long weekend.

Photo courtesy of Bord Bia Bloom

The Budding Bloomers area has an action-packed programme of events for tots such as the Westland Potting Shed where you can sow a pumpkin seed and decorate a pot. Take good care of it and by Halloween, you’ll have your own home-grown Jack-o’-lantern to carve! You’ll also find two face painters stationed in this space;. 

The sandpit is open to children up to the age of five while older kids might enjoy the Dublin City Libraries tent where there will be books, games, competitions, bubbles and more. For a front row seat to some live music, head over to the picnic area where various groups and solo acts will be giving it their all. You can see the full list of performers and timings here

Bloom runs at the Phoenix Park in Dublin May 30 – June 3.

Feature image: Pexels by Anna Shvets.