By Judy Buckley, Natasha Fitzmaurice, Maiken O’Byrne, Siobhan Cullen
There has been a huge increase in multiples being born in Galway recently and being a mum to Cathal who is 5 and twins, Emma and Lara who will be 3 after Christmas, I’ve tried and tested a lot of places for ‘multiple friendliness’. Having a side by side double buggy is great but it’s also very hard to get in and out of places. There are a lot of outlets that claim they are wheelchair friendly and as my buggy is the width of the standard wheelchair, I always find it interesting that I still can’t fit my buggy in!
So with the help of some mums of multiples, here are a few of the places we’ve come across and highly recommend for bringing twins, triplets or more.
Monkey Business, Knocknacarra.
Monkey Business is a great place for multiples. Our local multiples club meets here every 2nd month and the reason I chose the venue, was that the staff are very nice and helpful, the kids can run around and ‘wear’ themselves out and I could have a cup of coffee at the same time. There is a changing and nursing room which is great but no toilet which is a pity. There is no problem getting the double buggy in and out of the main door and also inside, there’s loads of space so it’s not in the way. They offer Irish Multiple Births Association members a discount too which is great. (www.imba.ie)
Busy Bees, Oranmore, Galway.
This is another place our club meets, I find Busy Bee’s better for smaller kids, there’s more for them to do. Staff here are also great and again they offer IMBA members a discount. Again the double buggy can fit through the front door and there is ample space inside for it also.
The Fun Shack, Loughrea
I was so impressed with this new activity centre. Unlike the others in Galway, this has no time limit which I think is excellent. The food is very nice and very reasonable. There is a large open space where the adults can sit and so there’s loads of room for the double buggy. It’s very clean and the staff are lovely. I think it’s better for children aged 2 and up. Again IMBA members can get a discount here Monday to Friday.
Turoe Pet Farm, Bullaun.
This is an ideal place to bring multiples. The buggy fits everywhere and the kids adore being inside and outside. There are lovely walks outside, 2 playgrounds, the farm animals that you can feed and of course the inflatable city inside. Again they offer IMBA members a 10% discount.
Boots, Shop Street.
I used to find it hard to get around in Boots with the double buggy but after being at a market research night with other mums, they made the width of the aisles bigger and now it’s much easier to get the double buggy around. You can bring the buggy right up to the tills now which is great. They do great 3 for 2 offers which, when buying for multiples, is a godsend. Every little helps! Again Boots offer a 10% to IMBA members.
Brigits Garden, Roscahill.
This is one of my favourite places to bring the kids. They adore running around the gardens and then having a picnic or a scone and a cup of tea in the Garden Café after. The double buggy can easily fit in and there is a baby changing station that has a toilet in it and is wide enough for the buggy which is invaluable. Again, they offer IMBA members a 10% discount on entrance to the gardens.
Kellys, (formally known as The Living Room), Galway.
This bar is extremely child friendly. The staff are very nice and they welcome children. There is a baby changing station in the wheelchair accessible toilet on the ground floor which is great. The double buggy can easily fit through the front door and there is plenty of room inside to store it.
The Connemara Lake Hotel, Oughterard, Co. Galway.
This hotel is only opened about 8 months but we’ve visited it many times with the kids. The staff are great and the buggy fits through the front door, again when both doors are open. There is plenty of room for the buggy inside also and the food is amazing.
The Omniplex, Oranmore.
The Omniplex in Oranmore does reduced rate cinema tickets on Saturdays and Sundays mornings for children and adults for €3 and there is also the bowling alley at City Limits next door.
The Galway Multiple Births Club has been up and running for over a year now and we meet the 1st Tuesday of every month at 3pm alternating between Monkey Business and Busy Bees. It is run in association with the Irish Multiple Births Association www.imba.ie who provide support from parents of multiples to parents of multiples. If you would like more information on the IMBA, please see our newly designed website www.imba.ie You will see a list of our many discount providers which all help keep the costs down when you have or are expecting multiples.