The great outdoors
With summer well and truly here, (not that you would notice) it's time to get planning your summer holidays. If you're fortunate enough to get out of the country for a week or two, brilliant! But for those of us who will stay here for the duration of the summer, don't fret, it's not all doom and gloom.
Quad biking is a great family day out. If it rains, no big deal, as most quad biking facilities will provide water proof gear for your cross country adventure. If you have kids under eight years old, this won't be the ideal family day out.
The zoo never fails as a fun day out for all the family, especially for the little ones. Fota Wildlife Park in Carraigtwohill features animals ranging from giraffes to meerkats. The park also has two cafés located on the trail.
Camping is a great way to get back to nature and can be a great bonding experience for families. This outdoor adventure is a great way to get the kids away from the TV and the computer, even if its just for a night. While camping, the family can do an array of activities such as fishing or even just hiking to explore the surrounding area.
In Cork there are plenty of places to go camping. A popular spot for campers is West Cork which has many camping sites. The added advantage of the west are the beaches. Also, if you do decide to go down the west coast of Cork, take a trip to Union Hall, it's famous for whale watching!
Having fun outside isn't just child's play. There are plenty of things for adults to do in Cork and within an hour's drive of the county bounds.
Fancy a spot of golf? There is a huge range of golf courses in Cork for you to choose from. The list is practically endless. So no matter what part of the county you're in there's always a club near by.
If you're looking for something a little more quick paced, how about some horse riding? Most towns and villages in Cork have equestrian centres and many of them will take you out on a trek through scenic areas such as beaches and woods. Don't worry if you haven't got much experience, there's no rule that you have to gallop across any fields. If you're planning a day trip with the family, head to Kenmare in Kerry, to the Eclipse Equestrian, Adventure and Activity Centre.
If you have a young family that are not quite ready for horses and golf, they are sure to love the Stonehall Visitor Farm in Limerick. The pet farm at Stonehall is suitable for all ages to visit and is both enjoyable and educational.
If you fancy yourself a bit of an adrenaline junkie, Cork has all the adventure you need. If you fancy giving yourself a challenge, give climbing a go. The Old Head of Kinsale is a popular spot for abseiling, but obviously, only go with trained guides from an outdoor pursuits centre - this isn't an activity to try by yourself!
If heights aren't your thing, try paintballing. Paintballing is tonnes of fun with a group of friends. Men and women, young and old will love this. It's a good chance or the boys to play out their dream of being a soldier and the girls will have just as much fun.
Kayaking is surprisingly relaxing and can be done in the centre of Cork city with Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking - you'd be surprised what you can find in the Lee, including otters and even, sometimes, dolphins! There are numerous kayak centres in West Cork also and if you fancy going further afield, there are well-known centres in Waterford, Kilkenny and Limerick.
Surfing is not just for the Australians, why not give it a try? Oceanics surf school in Tramore is less than an hour and a half away from Cork city. With a range of lessons to choose from, catering for ages from six years upwards. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at their newly launched Surf Art Gallery and Coffee Shop while you make the most of your Oceanics Experience.
So, there you have it. Make the most of your summer, come rain or shine.