Last Sunday we were visited Airfield Estate in Dundrum. We received a complimentary family pass which we were only delighted to accept. As it happened for the bank holiday weekend there was a sheep festival creatively called Woolapalooza. I’m sure I mentioned it before, I am married to a sheep farmer and my 3 year old is very interested in farming spending many days with his dad out with the sheep. I won’t lie – expectations were high!
Airfield Estate, comprising of 38 acres of farmland is Dublin’s only working farm which is open to the public. The farm itself is a charitable trust, a legacy of its owners the Overend Family. The farm itself keeps a number of types of animal from hens, to cows, to sheep, to goats. The farm supplies the restaurant with everything from meat to milk to eggs. The ultimate in fresh, “farm to fork”.
The original house is still there and open to the public and also quite remarkably the vintage cars owned by the family which are immaculate. The 1920s Rolls Royce is just wow!
We arrived around 11 and it was busy enough even though it hadn’t been open long, we headed straight for the sheep dog trials (The Dada Fairys request) however we were distracted along the way be the lovely little kids maze and the toddler play area which is located in one of the sheds. The Mamma Fairy had a lovely coffee while the big man played.
The sheep dog trials were a big hit all around with the crowds gathering for each display. They were performed by Denis Birchall, who has represented Ireland many times. From there we headed towards the “green barn” for the barn dance or in the words of the 3 years “the disco”! The barn was decked out with straw couches and three young lads played some traditional tunes. Very entertaining, there was also a small craft fair at the back where I fell in love with a sheep wool duvet!!
Next stop was the milking, the boys really enjoyed this, the highlight for them being able to taste the milk (its pasteurised on site). The three year old got up close to the new calves and was so excited. Just beside this was the sheep shearing demonstration. This was very popular with a large crowd looking on.
After another coffee pit stop we headed to the field near the house itself for the farm games. We loved the old school farm games – sack races, egg and spoon race, toss the wellies, wheelbarrow race.
We spent a thoroughly enjoyable 3 hours here. I know there were extra activities on with Woolapalooza however irrespective of this we would have still enjoyed as much. Some huge positives for me – it’s really well laid out, immaculately kept, lots of well-kept toilets spread out amongst the estate, including baby changing facilities! (essential with a potty trained toddler and a baby!), plenty coffee stations (yep im a total addict!) and tonnes of parking.
See www.airfield.ie for information on family ticket prices and directions.