Family camping in the garden

Are you and the kids bored of lockdown life?  Have a mini-Outdoor Adventure camping trip,  just a wee hop, skip and jump from your own back door.  

Camping in the back garden (or front garden, or balcony or under the stairs) can be a lot of fun and a great way to break up the monotony of home life at the moment.  We might not be able to go far, but we can still have a camping experience to rival the best of them!  When the weather is good and the skies are clear and bright, a night camping at home will give the whole family a taste of the things to come when movement restrictions end and we gain back the freedom we once enjoyed. You can think of it’s the ultimate staycation and a perfect way to check all your camping equipment for the wonderful outdoor adventures that lie ahead.

What you will need:

  • Tents
  • Sleeping Bags (or duvets)
  • Fire Pit
  • Goodies to roast, toast and munch on
  • Torches or head sets for the ghost stories and the stumblings in the dark
  • Buckets of enthusiasm and a determination to have the craic together!

The classic pop up tents are perfect for nights in the garden campsite and we have special offers on a whole range of tents in a variety of prices to suit all needs on our website.  But this may well be the time to splurge our on a deluxe tent like the Vango range.  These tents are super easy to erect, durable and comfortable and they could provide an extra outdoor room for the family, even when you are not all sleeping al fresco.  An investment tent such as these is a joy to behold.  They almost put themselves up and are so classy that you may never go back in the house again!

Lockdown ideas with kids

Sleeping bags are never wasted in a house full of kids.  Even when not snuggled up in the great wilderness of your urban garden, the comfy sleeping bag has been a mainstay of every Saturday morning chilling on the couch watching cartoons and eating cereal.  Buy a good brand that does both this luxury past time and then comes into its own when you and yours can finally get out to the big wide world, to camp once again. If you haven’t camped in a while (since your days of crazy music festivals and mad long hikes), then you should consider air mattresses or sleeping mats for your older and more fragile bones!

Fire Pits are fantastic for making the evening glow with the warmth of outdoor fun and the best place to toast marshmallows, squash them between biscuits and declare Smores to be the greatest outdoor food ever!   Again, the investment in a good fire pit is a great addition to outdoor living both for home and away that will pay back in the days and night ahead

Family camping in the garden

There isn’t a child in the world that doesn’t love a good torch or head torch. Rechargeable torches make good sense when little folk forget to turn them off or use them constantly for hiding under beds and finding insects in the hedges.  We stock a fantastic extensive range of torches for all uses.  Even when not camping  at home, a young child can spend daylight hours  exploring the world with a torch, and who knows you might even get a quick cup of undisturbed tea while they are distracted.

There are lots of reasons for taking the tent to the garden at the moment. We all agree that it might break the potential tedium of lockdown life.  It’s also a good way to check your equipment in advance of all those camping holidays that we will eventually enjoy again.  For the little people who have never camped before, the positives about introducing them to the ‘wilderness’ so close to home are multi-fold.  The magic of waking up in a tent, with the sun light filtering through and the sound of birdsong is the same whether you are a million miles away or just a few feet from your own shower, TV or fridge.  If you need something, the house is just a shout away!

The special experience of gathering around the lit fire pit to chat and watch the shooting stars is no less wonderful when you don’t have to drive miles to enjoy it. 

The Covid-19 pandemic might have put a stop to our gallop, but we have learnt to enjoy the small things.  Make some wonderful memories in your own home camp site and enjoy your outdoor adventures no matter how the world is turning!

Safe and fun Outdoor Adventure’s for children

Go out and Play!!

Hiking, Hill walking and buggy pushing through nature

You are never too young to appreciate the joys of hillwalking and hiking.  A good pair of walking shoes and suitable clothing is essential to happy trekking trails for younger humans. Just as it is for older hikers! Explore the map and plan the route together before you go, marking the stopping points where treats and drinks can spur their little legs to go a bit further along the way.  Remember that younger hikers may not have the same stamina as you do and therefore you should choose achievable goals.  The Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wicklow, for example, is an accessible trail for most levels.  Check online for medium and easy treks in your own area. For tiny tots, there are many forest walks that will bring adventure and excitement to an afternoon walk.  The Gruffalo Trail in Belfast is an incredibly cute and engaging walk, with carved characters from the iconic story marking the way.

For simple buggy pushing walks and longer hikes check out: 20 family walks  and 5 easy mountains to climb

Rock Climbing and Mountaineering.

Rock climbing and mountaineering are excellent for adventurous children of all ages and abilities. Climbing on real rock is actually very accessible for young climbers. It is a thrilling activity which can be accessed with the expertise of qualified outdoor instructors, making it both safe and fun, in a number of centres and clubs.  Rock climbing and mountaineering can increase a child’s confidence and foster that sense of adventure that makes life worth getting out of bed for. Outdoor rock climbing is available for younger folk at a variety of venues including Carlingford Adventure Centre in County Louth. For suitable mountaineering possibilities for kids, follow this link:  mountaineering.ie & Outdoor rock climbing

Zip Lining and other adventures

Birthday treats and summer holiday adventures may even see you, the willing adult, shelling out some money for outdoor adventure experiences.  Zip lines and aerial walks are super popular with children and best experienced as a team activity.  Safe enough and yet scary enough for the more timid child, zip lines are a wonderful memory making activity. Trip advisor have a comprehensive list of outdoor adventure parks and zip lines in Ireland.  Consult before you go and leave a review when you come home. Delphi Adventure Resort

Water Play with a boost

Forget the large water parks of Europe and check out Ireland’s new craze of inflatable water parks. Somewhere near you in the lakes and sea inlets are large inflatable slides and bouncy castles which are awaiting childish laughter.  Check out the links below and plan a day of splashing and playing in a well supervised outdoor water park. 

Inflatable Water Park

Blue Way Water Park

Bay Sports

Surfing and stand up paddling

Young people can take to surfing like ducks to the proverbial water!  Surf schools have popped up all over the coastline offering affordable surfing lessons for young enthusiasts. Be warned though, a taste of the trills of surfing can lead to a life of outdoor adventures, riding the waves from Brittas to Bundoran.   Surfing builds up a child’s confidence in the water and in their own ability.  They usually take place in waist deep water with qualified instructors with them at all times but are often standing up on their surfboards with big smiles in no time!

A more gentle and sedate fun can be had on a stand-up paddle board.  An afternoon paddling down a quiet river with the family is perfect for enjoying all the nature which thrives along our riverbanks. Supping was unheard of in Ireland a decade ago, but has taken on huge popularity with young and old and makes a wonderful outdoor activity for your bored summer holiday kids.

Paddle Boarding Dublin

SUP Shop Clonakilty

Back garden fun

Being outdoors doesn’t have to be a planned activity every time.  Encourage outdoor play with bed-sheet tents and impromptu picnics.   All you need to provide is pots, pans, water and lots of imagination. With making tiny fairy houses and insect hotels from moss, twigs and whatever you can find.  Lie on the grass. Make daisy chains. Climb trees and swing on gates.   The winter is long enough. Make the best of the long days, the summer sunshine and showers and for heaven’s sake, go out and Play!!