Galway and the Oyster Festival

Galway Seafood and Oyster Festival

On the second day in Galway, we went to the Galway Seafood and Oyster Festival

We only stayed in Galway for the long weekend so we had to make the most of our last day to roam around. On our first day, we took a leisure stroll around the city center and visited a number of attractions around. And in case you missed it, you can read my entry here.
The next day, we woke up to a really gloomy weather. I even checked my weather app to see if things will get better. But to my disappointment, that day was expected to receive showers and gray clouds. That didn’t stop us from stepping out, though. We just prepared ourselves by wearing the appropriate outdoor gear to protect us from the rain!

Galway Seafood and Oyster Festival
We woke up to this view. Ugh.

The moment we decided to go to Galway, we made plans to go to the Galway Oyster and Seafood Festival. I am not a fan of oysters (not my thing) but wanted to see what the event is all about. We booked the ticket the day before so we just need to be there at the venue when it opens at 12 in the afternoon.
We got ready earlier than the start of the festival (around 10-ish) but didn’t want to wait inside our apartment. So we took off and went back to the city center, hoping to find something open to grab a decent cup of coffee. Unfortunately, since it was a Sunday, it seemed most shops are not open until 11 AM. We were so close to settling for a McDonald’s coffee when we stumbled on this trendy cafe called Coffeewerk + Press. I intend to write more in detail about this place in the coming days!

Galway Coffeewerk + Press
Such a cute door!

My friend visiting us from Singapore bought some souvenirs while we were drinking coffee. After that, we decided to head towards the festival venue. The weather wasn’t looking great either so we thought it was better to seek shelter from the festival tent.
The festival just opened when we arrived. Shortly after arriving, we noticed there were still a lot of empty seats available. We initially wanted to grab a seat closer to the food stalls but there were other prams “parked” around the area.
As always, we grabbed our drinks before thinking about food, LOL. I ordered our drinks and the friendly bartender even helped to carry the 3 pints to our table. He shared some tidbits about Guinness on how to do the proper “pour” as we walked!
My friend ordered fresh oysters since that’s the highlight of the event anyway. I didn’t taste it but it looked plump and fresh! I also bought more food to share – that was our lunch, too. We enjoyed some squid calamari and chips as well as mussels! Everything tasted great. Especially the mussels – it was so fresh it tasted naturally sweet!

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While we were eating, more people arrived and a band started playing. My son loved the band! He’s always on the dance floor hopping and dancing to the music. The other kids followed his lead so the dance floor was filled with kids hopping around, HAHA!
I thought my son would spend the entire time on the dance floor. But the kids were slowly outnumbered with a dancing group. They were only disappointed for a very short while, though. Not entirely sure, but it seemed it was a group of professional circus troupe setting up close to our table. They had juggling balls, balance rope, face painting sessions, and hula hoops to keep young kids entertained!
My son was definitely having a blast. We were sitting comfortably while watching him when we noticed he started doing his “thing”. We confirmed our suspicions when we smelled something as we approached. My husband is the person in-charge of nappy changing when we are outdoors and he wasn’t too pleased with it. The festival only had portable toilets and no diaper changing facilities for kids. He was so close to leaving (our AirBnb apartment was nearby) when we tried talking to one of the people in-charge of the event. She admitted they don’t have a designated facility for babies but offered the boot of her car as an alternative. To be honest, I am still in shock how a complete stranger would be so accommodating to us like that. I politely refused initially but seeing as there was no other alternative (and she made the offer a lot of times already), I gave in.
My son was not too happy with the diaper changing experience, though. But that genuine act of kindness towards complete strangers (like us) really left a mark for me! Unfortunately, I did not get the lady’s name or took a photo with her. But meeting people like her while on vacation makes the place so memorable in a positive way.
In general, I genuinely felt the locals in Galway are friendly. I just hope the festival would cater for small children and babies in future, though. Especially if they allow them inside the area, having a designated diaper-changing facilities would greatly help parents like us, who don’t have a car or only there during the festival.

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24 thoughts on “Galway and the Oyster Festival

  1. Oh Galway – I was there last year but I am not aware that they have an oyster festival! That’s amazing. What a shame that I missed out. It sounds like your family had a lovely time!

    1. Oh that’s too bad! I was lucky to have had the opportunity this year since I had a friend coming over to visit. Otherwise, I would’ve forgotten about it again, LOL!

  2. Oh! Your post brought me so nice memories back! I was au-paring for an year in Ireland and definitely Galways was one of my favourite day-trips! Although I never went there during the Oyster Festival.. I spent St. Patrick there and it was just a BLAST!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience! Love it!

    1. Wow, that’s nice! 🙂 My son’s current nanny used to work as an au pair for a family from Galway, too. So I had a few tips from her for this trip 🙂 Ah, I think wherever you go in Ireland, Paddy’s Day will always be a blast!

  3. This looks like such a fun day and cool festival! I love that you guys travel with your son and expose him to different experiences from his young age. In my opinion, nothing better for a person! Great post 🙂

    1. We try 🙂 It can be challenging traveling with a toddler especially if we strap him back to his pram to prevent him running over a cliff! But yeah, I wanted him to experience traveling from a young age to see the world 🙂

  4. Those oysters look delish! How come you didn’t try it out? Are you not a fan? Just curious.
    I tried out oysters for the very first time a couple of months ago (the hubby pressurized me) & it was delicious!
    And about the kind-hearted lady … sometimes you find a guardian angel in the strangest of place.

    1. Hmm, I eat it (very rarely) but never enjoyed the taste. If it was slightly cooked (even just seared) I’d eat it. But it was RAW. Eek! HAHA. My friend said it was super fresh, though. Yeah, angels on earth really exists 🙂

    1. HAHA, yeah we can swap places, actually! I’d love to be in London right now. Are the markets around the Southbank area open already?

  5. Omnomnom, sounds like an amazing festival! It’s really weird that I’ve never had oysters, I guess 😂 Too bad there were no changing stations. Maybe after this experience they might implement some next year. It sounds like a festival that should accommodate guests of all ages 😄

    Jacky 🌞

    1. HAHA I am glad to know I’m not alone with the “not-eating-oyster” thing, LOL! Yeah, it seemed like a child-friendly event but then, probably most of the guests had cars so they can change their kid’s nappies on their own boot. I hope they’d have it implemented, even just a small one, in the future.

  6. Wow, that woman is amazing! I’ve also found that complete random strangers are so kind when I travel. That’s why if a person is in my town I try my best to accomodate them and be nice to them too. Glad you enjoyed the festiva! The pictures look good too!

    1. I am still in shock when I think about it – she was so accommodating and it was so natural for her to offer something so “personal” like that on a whim! My husband does the same and he often stop on his tracks when he sense there are tourists lost. I don’t do it not because I don’t care but because if they need directions – I might end up let them get lost instead of help them out! T_T

  7. Uhh I love seafood and would have a blast attending this festival. Great you guys had fun too and experienced random kind of kindness from a complete stranger. The lady is a hero!

    1. Yeah! Too bad shyness got the best of me. Would’ve been great to have asked for her name at least or took a photo with her!

  8. I know what a bad weather on a supposedly fun/eventful day means. The one thing I cross my fingers for when I visit a new place is good weather. The squid calamari looks yum! Detailed encounter of events there! 😊😊😊

    1. Thank you! For one, it’s hard to capture a nice photo – ugh! But the thing about Ireland is you can keep crossing your fingers but the weather can still be moody, LOL!

    1. Oh, that’s too bad! But I think you’d still love the festival if you like to spend the day with friends or watch a live band play music 🙂 There are lots of things to see around Galway city center and I am pretty sure you’d find an interesting restaurant around the area, too 🙂

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