30 May 2018
By Bryan Smyth
Fota Wildlife Park celebrates turning 35 years old with a Summer Series of Events this coming season
The stage is set this summer at Fota Wildlife Park for a series of fun and educational events to celebrate the Park’s 35 years in existence as one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions. Fota Wildlife Park, a not for profit organisation, opened its gates in June 1983 as a zoological Park serving the core values of conservation, education, research and entertainment. The summer programme of events will feature outdoor concerts, educational weekends, art workshops, yoga and a Blue Playground – all the events are free with your admission; however, the art workshops and yoga require a pre-registration which can be found on www.fotawildlife.ie/blog. These events are in addition to a programme of wildlife talks, feeding times, arts and crafts and face painting held seasonally throughout the Park.
The summer kicks off in style with Music in Community presenting a Summer Concert Series in Fota Wildlife Park featuring a quartet of players from the Brandy Lane Orchestra with either Aine Whelan or Keeva O’Mahony taking up the vocals for the final set. The quartet will perform a range of genres from well-known pop to rock anthems all of which have been given a classical twist in the relaxed atmosphere of the Park. Feel free to bring a picnic or a coffee, or drop by if you are in the Park that day. Music in Community is a Cork-based organisation founded in 2014 to bring communities closer together, they deliver regular programmes in the Westgate Foundation and Marymount Hospice.
Each concert takes place from 12 noon to 3 pm. Weather permitting the concerts will take place outdoors at Cypress Lawn and promises to be a wonderful musical treat for all visitors to the Park, bring your picnic basket and make a day of it at Fota Wildlife Park this summer.
Concert dates are:
Sunday 10th June
Thursday 12th July
Thursday 9th August
Fota Wildlife Parks’ Education Department will run themed weekends across summer 2018, commencing with the Mad Scientist Weekend which is run in conjunction with UCC and even features a walk-through inflatable digestive system! You can meet a selection of Ireland’s terrestrial and aquatic inhabitants in the fun and interactive Native Species weekend or join the Park’s educational team in getting up close and personal to learn all about insects and how important they are to us all during the Bug Bonanza. These fun weekends are held in the main Marquee from 12 to 4 daily and will also feature themed arts and crafts -the dates are:
Mad Scientist Weekend 14th and 15th July
Native Species Weekend 28th and 29th July
Bug Bonanza Weekend 11th and 12th August
Bikram Yoga Cork returns to Fota Wildlife Park to bring a flowing and gentle class of Yin inspired Yoga suitable for all levels on four Sundays in July and August – the classes are suitable for all of the family however under 16’s must be accompanied by a guardian at all times. Mats and all equipment will be provided. The classes are including in the entry price; however, booking is essential – go to www.fotawildlife.ie/blog to register. There is a choice of 12 noon or 2 pm class – each class is 1 hour in duration and it will be held outdoors at Cypress Lawn.
15th & 29th July
12th & 26th August
Visual artist John Flynn has devised a series of animal and bird themed Summer Art Workshops suitable for children from 5 to 12 years of age. Each workshop is approximately 45 minutes long and is included with entry or admission however booking is essential – visit www.fotawildlife.ie/blog to register. The workshops will be held in the main Marquee, materials will be provided and there is a choice of the 12 noon or 2 pm workshop. Children must be supervised by their guardian always.
Summer Art Workshop dates:
Sunday 24th June
Wednesday 25th July
Wednesday 22nd August
The Blue Imagination Playground, a breakthrough playspace concept designed to encourage child-directed free play will come to Fota Wildlife Park for three weekends over the summer. The premium quality big blue foam blocks of various shapes – squares, channel chutes, connectors and more – enable children to have hours of fun. The Blue Playground will be based outdoors on Cypress Lawn from 11 am to 5 pm and is suitable for children aged 2 – 12 years of age – however, children must be supervised by a guardian at all times. The dates are:
16th and 17th June
21st and 22nd July
18th and 19th August
For a full list of events and details on registration for the Art Workshops and Yoga@Fota please visit www.fotawildlife.ie.