Leitrim Mammy Diaries: Re-discover Leitrim with the kids this summer

Fiona Heavey


Fiona Heavey



Leitrim Mammy Diaries: Re-discover Leitrim with the kids this summer

Keep the kids entertained with a Summer Bucket List of places to see and things to do in Leitrim and around the north west. Cycling the Blueway Drumshanbo is one of our must-dos this summer

And just like that school holidays are here, routine is a bad word, lunch-boxes and school bags are buried into closets and ten weeks stretch out in front of us as we try to entertain the kids in unpredictable Irish weather.

With bright evenings, bed times are expected to drag out a bit longer, meals are replaced with 20 snacks a day, laundry increases along with demands for stuff to do and places to go.
Some parents will have the school holidays mapped out and organised since Easter, every day planned, week long camps and events paid for and no time for the dreaded “bored” word. I admire them. It is good to have a plan, especially working parents who need to continue in their routine, but I do not have a structured timetable because for me summer always allowed for some spontaneity.

I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm, so summer was never quiet and the word bored was never uttered because it would be met with plenty of ideas from my parents … otherwise known as jobs. And although there was a lot to do with turf on the bog and hay to be made and sheep to be dipped and weeding and cleaning, there was always the spark of “anything could happen.”

A trip into town for supplies could mean meeting cousins or friends and spending the rest of the day paddling in a lake, watching the weather after the RTE Nine O Clock news could push my father to declare tomorrow we would head to the beach in Bundoran. Rambling with the neighbours on a wet day could bring about an unknown adventure, there were also picnics in the freshly mowed meadow, a hike up the mountain for that lost sheep, helping someone paint … those were the memories that made my summer.

This year I am hoping to bring some unusual spontaneity to the school holidays, with the ‘baby’ now a toddler it is easier to make a quick decision and pack up and head off in the car for an adventure.
As our family holiday is behind us we will be keeping it fairly local this summer and to ensure we do get out and about and to help excite the four year old we have compiled a Summer 2019 Bucket List. This piece of paper has been bejazzled with stickers and is posted to the front of our fridge ready to be checked off.

Here is a sample of some of our must-dos this summer:

  • Cycle the Blueway, Drumshanbo
  • Have a water fight with cousins/ friends
  • Visit Glencar Waterfall
  • Cinema date
  • Look for bears at Sliabh an Iarainn
  • Massive family BBQ
  • Feed the ducks at Lough Key Forest Park
  • Surprise day away
  • Picnic at Garadice Lake
  • Shake our guts out at Jump Street, Carrick-on-Shannon
  • Camp overnight in the garden
  • Visit Manorhamilton Castle
  • Cousin/ friend sleepover
  • Paint the fence together
  • Bring the dog to the beach
  • Day at Marble Arch Caves / Cavan Burren
  • Ride the amusements at Ballinamore Family Festival
  • Back to school shopping day

Get everyone to contribute an idea, open your google maps and start from here, or follow the brown sign to the places of interest around the county, you might be surprised what adventure awaits.

Also read: Keep it simple with a bucket and spade