List in one hand, Starbucks coffee in the other, here’s how I managed to get all of our family’s back to school shopping done in one trip around Athlone Towncentre.
First stop Marks & Spencer to tick off the biggest item – the uniforms. I’m all about anything that will save me time and money so I love all their extra features like the adjustable lengths which means they won’t grow out of them as quickly, and the crease resistant fabric which means less ironing for me!
Next we headed down to level 0 to Clarks Shoes and Skechers to sort their shoes. Both stores have a good selection of classic black school shoes for boys and girls, and then more funkier colours & styles in their sportier kids shoes. (Clarks’ also have indoor shoes that some schools require for the classroom if they are on your list!)
The older kids in particular like to get their sports shoes in JD Sports so that’s where we went to next, and of course picked up a few other bits for their after school activities while we were there!
With footwear ticked off the list, it was on to search the sale rails in Regatta for their school coats. So many styles are half price right now, I even picked myself up a nice jacket – no more soggy school runs or getting soaked at the side of the pitch!
You can check out Name It for coats too, especially for the smallies as they have lots of fun designs and the quality is great! I know this from personal experience, – we’ve had hand-me-down jackets from Name It that have done the rounds with several cousins and are still perfect!
Right next to Regatta, we popped into McGorisks Pharmacy to pick up a couple of months supply of kids multivitamins, protecting them from the colder weather from the inside too!
After a quick visit with the toddler to the new nursing suite on Level A , we refueled with soup & sandwiches in Quigley’s Cafe, (and there may or may not have been some biscuit cake consumed too!) After our lunch, we went on the hunt for their school lunch bags; Eason, TK Maxx, Eurogiant all had a great selection of lunch ware , but it was the Hey Duggee Lunch Bag from Eason that was the winner for us on the day!
We left the best job until last – the stationery! We may have went a little over board as we were spoiled for choice in EuroGiant, The Works, Art & Hobby, and Eason but there’s just something very nostalgic about shopping for school stationery! Here’s just a few of the bits we selected in The Works…..
Job done, there was even time for a quick smoothie stop at Jump Juice Bar before home to enjoy the last few weeks of summer!
My Top Back to School Shopping Tips
- While Eason aren’t stocking school books in store, you can easily order school books online for home delivery so you’ll have one job ticked off before you even arrive.
- If you aren’t bringing the kids with you, try to take some measurements at home so you have a better idea of sizes, and if in doubt, size up!
- If you are bringing the kids, I always find leaving their favourite store (The Works) until last means they are more interested and cooperative during the day.
- When you arrive, follow the car park signage to park in the Long Term Parking section on Level B for €3 all day parking!
- All the food outlets in the Centre are open and following Government Indoor Dining Guidelines. Remember to bring your Covid vaccine cert with you if you are planning on sitting in somewhere to eat.
- You’ve smashed it by getting everything sorted for school in one day so why not pick up the Dine in Deal in M&S for dinner before you leave so you don’t have to cook dinner from scratch when you get home!