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Drive-in cinemas and heritage sites: 6 family activities to do as phase two begins

by Shayna Sappington
07th Jun 2020

Phase two starts on Monday and with an expansion of the five kilometre radius to 20 kilometres, there is a lot more families can do together.

When Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced the start of phase two from tomorrow, we were delighted that more restrictions are being lifted than previously planned. 

Not only do we get to travel further, but children’s summer camps, outdoor sports, nonessential shops and libraries are reopening as well.

Here are six fun activities you can do with the family this week.

See a film at a drive-in cinema


Take a trip to your local Retro Drive-in Movies and you’ll be able to watch a favourite film outdoors. Adhering to strict safety precautions, Retro has sanitation stations, frequently cleaned toilets and a designated Covid-19 officer. The cinemas are a safe entertainment space to take members of your household out for a trip to the movies.

Currently, a maximum of four people are allowed per vehicle and are encouraged to bring their own snacks and stay in the car as much as possible. Retro locations are in Leopardstown Racecourse, Fairyhouse Racecourse, Kilkenny’s Castleinch venue and Galway Racecourse (Ballybrit). This week’s feature films include How to Train Your Dragon, Secret Life of Pets and Mamma Mia!

Treat yourselves to a takeaway ice cream cone

A fun trip out of the house could be going for an ice cream cone. Now that we can travel a bit farther, you can head to Gino’s Gelato, Scrumdiddly’s, Teddy’s Ice Cream and more. Various locations are open around the country and many more are opening soon.

Whether it’s a handspun milkshake, a customised cone or a classic 99, ice cream is a summer must. For a list of open locations around Dublin, see here.

Become tourists in your own county

Phase two allows for travel throughout your entire county. This is a great opportunity to explore local tourist spots without all the pesky tourists buzzing about. A number of parklands, castles and heritage sites have reopened.

Gov.ie recently posted a full list of opened or partially opened locations, including Kilkenny Castle, the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin and Fota Arboretum in Cork.

Organise a friendly game of football

Groups of up to 15 people can meet for outdoor sporting activities. Small groups can meet at a nearby park for a friendly game of football, hurling or even frisbee. It’s a fun way to exercise and have a bit of craic with the whole family.

Tip: Bring along a picnic and drinks to refuel afterwards. Here are some great picnic baskets for sale right now.

Take a trip to your local beach 

If the weather permits, drive down to your local beach to build sand castles or go for a refreshing swim. It’s a great way for kids to explore and play in new surroundings. 

And, if the weather is a bit too cold for swimsuits, some beaches, like Duncannon Beach in Co Wexford and Benone Strand in Co Derry, will let you drive up to the water’s edge, so you can experience the view from inside your warm and toasty car.

Visit the library to replenish your book collection

Public libraries may reopen this week with social distancing measures in place. Limited capacity will be implemented, so it would be best to check out any good books you find and take them home to read.

You can even pick out a book ahead of time online and reserve it. Visit https://www.librariesireland.ie/ to see which libraries have your favourite books in stock.


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