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Water lot of fun at Dublin's Docklands

Wakeboarding, rubber duck races, kayaking, paddle boarding and boat tours – just some of the things going on down at the Grand Canal Dock during the Waterways Ireland Docklands Summer Festival next month on May 17 and 18. This event, which aims at highlighting a host of activities and fun to be had at the city’s regenerated Docklands area is all located around the original and historic 1790s canal dock.

And visitors to the area will find that plenty has changed over the past few centuries. The new Grand Canal Plaza and neighbouring quaysides host a variety of trendy cafes and lively bars, for instance. There is also plenty of welcoming and family-friendly restaurants offering a variety of rather yummy cuisines at reasonable prices.  And the best bit about it all? Most of these entertainment venues have a cracking waterside view – which means you won’t miss out on anything during the two day long festival if you time it right. Having said that, there is also plenty to see and do on dry land too.

Take the fun fair, for instance, or the face painting (which is sure to keep the under 5s enthralled for hours). Then there are the kooky balloon artists and the award-winning street performers. An Irish Farmers food market is sure to keep mum and dad amused for a happy hour or two while they browse and samples some of Ireland’s finest fayre. Then there is the open air art gallery which has something to appeal to most ages, young or old. The most difficult part of attending this festival folks is actually have to choose where to go first, we’d have thought. For those who fancy a touch of radio fame then it might be idea to get talking with the crew from 98FMs Big Red who’ll be attending throughout the festival and handing out goodies.

We’ve checked out the programme and some of our highlights for the festival here at the Sandymount Hotel would have to be: Saturday and Sunday: (Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre/Inner Basin) •    11am-4pm  Children’s Workshops/ Decorate Your Duck! •    11am-2pm  Come Try it Sessions (Kayaking & SUP) •    11am-5pm  Canal Barges & On-Water Tours (Grand Canal Square/Hanover Quay) •    11am-5pm  Art Exhibition •    11am-5pm  All day seafood special in participating eateries •    11am-5pm  Celebrity DJ Daragh O’Dea •    12pm-5pm  Street Performance World Championship Acts (Grand Canal Dock – Outer Basin) •    12pm          IUSRU Raft Race (Sunday) •    4.30pm       Gibson Hotel Duck Race •    12pm–5pm  International Wakeboarding Competition and Displays •    3pm-4pm    Coast Guard Helicoptor Flyover (Saturday) Docklands festival market

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If you’re keen on attending the festival and looking for a place to stay for the whole family then why not take a look at some of our special rates here at the Sandymount Hotel? We’re a family-friendly hotel right next door to the world famous Aviva Stadium and just minutes away from the centre of Dublin. The DART Station is just a few minutes walk from the hotel and Grand Canal Dock is only two stops away.

Book online or contact us on +353 (0)1 614 2000 or at  


Digital Media & Marketing Manager

Susan is super passionate about hotels and in a past life was a travel writer and hotel critic. As a Dublin native she also loves everything about the city and wants to share her knowledge on all the best bits.