Our impressive venue – O’Reilly Hall, UCD, Dublin
The story of Babytalk begins all the way back in 2011 when I began my adventure into the world of making babies.
Like most people, before the idea of having a baby stopped filling me with dread and fear, I had never given more than a few fleeting moments of thought to being a Mum and all that would involve. The most thought I had ever given to the idea of having a baby, was a list of names that I liked for the babies that I might have, one day in the very distant future.
So when the uncontrollable “want” began, I was quite overwhelmed by how all consuming it was. I suddenly went from not being particularly interested in babies and little people, to longing for my own little bundle of loveliness. And so it began… I started preparing myself for becoming a Mum. I’m a bit of a research nerd, so I delved into every book I could find, article I could google and advice I could get my hands on while we were trying to conceive. The thing that surprised me was that people don’t tend to talk a whole lot about this part of the journey to Mammyhood and Daddyhood. I know it involves jiggery pokery and that in Ireland we’re still a little afraid to talk about things like that, but still, I was shocked at how underground and difficult it was to find advice. So I began to reach out to people I didn’t know on forums and Facebook groups. I created a network of online friends that I could ask questions and bounce ideas off.
When we found out that we were going to have a baby, the penny really dropped. The reality of becoming a parent set in and I was scared. I had so many questions and I was given so much conflicting advice that I didn’t quite know what to do. I really just wanted somewhere I could go to chat with people that could offer good sound advice based on fact rather than hearsay, and even more importantly I wanted to meet fellow parents-to-be and make real life friends that I could hopefully share our parenting adventures with. That somewhere has become Babytalk Festival!
Well, mostly for very selfish reasons. We have designed Babytalk for us and our peers, we couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for so we decided to make it ourselves. We wanted to create something different, a fun experience where people can come together and celebrate little people and parenthood. It’s a big deal this parenting marlarkey – a life changing time full of excitement, joy, laughter, tears, tantrums, pooey nappies, dribble, worry, questions but most of all – love, and that’s what we want to celebrate. We also want to make it easier to access accurate information and to help connect people.
The nicest time of year of course! Spring begins in February – the days begin to stretch, flowers pop their heads up and stretch towards to sun, animals (us included) come out from hibernation and things just seem a little brighter! We chose to have the festival at the end of February to celebrate spring – a fresh time of new beginnings. So save the date and come help us welcome the spring! Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of February 2014.
We searched high and low, near and far to find our perfect venue. It took months of road-trips, site visits, meetings and scary decisions to find it. We had a lot to consider… from visiting other events we created a list of what we did want and what we didn’t.
Dream Venue List
Big, but not too big
Free car parking
Easy to find & good location
Good transport links
Nicely designed space
A blank canvas with potential
Reliable events team & staff
Lots of light
Unique & different
Green areas – we like trees!
We finally found everything we were looking for and then some in O’Reilly Hall, UCD in Dublin. It is a beautiful architecturally designed space set amidst the bustling UCD campus. The campus itself is well known, easy to get to and very green! There are lots of lovely woodland walks, a gorgeous lake that the hall overlooks, and plenty of green areas. Here is a link to a pdf of the woodland walks, why not make a day of your visit and take a stroll through one of the routes after Babytalk?
Looking forward to welcoming you, we hope you enjoy the festival as much as we have enjoyed creating it!