Sensory Christmas Shows, Santas and Pantos this Holiday Season


September 1, 2023

sensory christmas shows and santa

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While we all love a trip to a Christmas show or a panto or a visit to Santa, for some it can be overwhelming. We have rounded up a list of some sensory Christmas shows, Santas and pantos for this holiday season that the whole family can enjoy together.

Sensory Christmas Santa Experiences

You can check our round up of 50 fantastic places to see Santa around Ireland here!

Santa’s Magical Cabin – Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Clare & Laois

Santa's Magical Cabin things to do in Ireland around Christmas

Dates: From November 17th 2023 to December 23rd 2023.

Prices: €13.50 per child including gift, €6 per adult

The award winning and original Santa’s Magical Cabin returns for this 2023 Winter season! Upon check-in an elf guide will meet each family and take them directly to meet Santa Claus in his magical cabin.

Children will be amazed by what Santa knows about them, thanks to the Santa Needs to Know forms, filled in at the time of booking. Santa will also give each child a beautiful age appropriate gift.

Because of the changes made to Santa’s Magical Cabin there is not a specific autism friendly day because every day is autism friendly! As always, if your child has specific needs that may not be met at our event, please contact us ahead of time at, and remind the receptionist on the day so we can make your visit run as smoothly as possible! Book your visit now!


Dunnes Stores, Patrick Street, Cork City
Dunnes Stores, Ilac Centre, Dublin 1
Dunnes Stores, Ennis, Co Clare
Dunnes Stores, Kilnamanagh Shopping Centre, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Jetland Shopping Centre, Limerick City
The Kyle Centre, Portlaoise, Co Laois

Sensory Day at the Victorian Christmas Experience at Strokestown Park, Roscommon

Visit santa at Strokestown

Dates: November 26th to December 22nd 2023. Sensory Day on December 14th

The annual Strokestown Park Victorian Christmas Experience has lots of festive attractions for all of the family including;

  • A visit to the enchanted woodland.
  • Elves will accompany you through the magical tunnel into the secret underground rooms of Strokestown House. Here you will see the elves busy at work preparing for Christmas.
  • The highlight of the Victorian Christmas Experience is meeting Santa Claus by the fire in the traditionally decorated library of Strokestown Park House. to receive a Christmas gift.
  • Afterwards have a hot chocolate and take part in traditional craft activities.

Tickets can be booked on the Strokestown Park website.

Sensory Santa at Elf Town, Galway

Elf Town Galway

Dates: From November 24th 2023 with a Sensory Santa Experience on December 2nd at 11am and December 3rd at 8.30am.

Elf Town is fully accessible and offers a sensory friendly experience for those who may find a regular visit overwhelming. The experience is modified to allow for more movement and will be less bright and loud.

The sensory experience takes place on Friday, December 1st at 11am and should be booked in advance.

Sensory Santa Day with GAP Galway

Dates: Sunday December 10th 2023 from 11am

Galway Autism Partnership (GAP) are hosting a Sensory Santa Family Fun day on December 10th in the Human Biology Building of Uiversity Galway.

The sensory experience should be booked in advance.

Sensory Santa Express Train Rides from Mullingar to Longford

Santa train rides

Dates: December 9th & 10th 2023 (2 trains daily)

Santa, Mrs Claus and the elves will be joining all the families on the Santa Express, a real actual train!, from Mullingar to Longford for a fun festive train ride this December.

This train journey will be fully accessible and there will also be a sensory carriage for those with additional needs.

All proceeds raised will be going to the 9th Westmeath Scouts to support their fundraising for 2023. Kids under 3 go free.

For more details and to book your tickets, click here.

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Sensory Santa at Westport House, County Mayo

sensory santa visit

Dates: The Winter Wonderland Experience runs on dates from November 19th to December 23rd 2023. The Sensory Santa Experience takes place on December 6th 2023 from 2pm to 8.30pm

Westport House will host an annual Sensory Santa session at Winter Wonderland for children with autism and sensory disorders, allowing families to enjoy a magical Christmas experience.

The lights will be turned up and the Christmas tunes will be toned down. Santa will meet with families individually and numbers will be reduced to make for a more peaceful experience.

Aside from meeting the big man, there’s lots to do! Say hello to Mrs Claus, visit Tinsel Town where you will see the elves village, real snow, live crib and more.

Sensory Santa Workshop, Clare

sensory santa at ailwee cave

Dates: November 24th to December 23rd 2023

Santa will be in his workshop at Aillwee Cave in the Burren, Co Clare again this Christmas. His elves will guide you through the cave singing Christmas Carols and each child will have a personalised visit with Santa and meet Mrs Claus too. You will also get to meet Snowy the Owl in the birds of prey centre  and Santa’s train will be hard at work all day giving rides to everyone.

For accessible and sensory sessions email: or call 065 7077036

Fully Accessible Tree Top Night Lights Walk at Beyond The Trees Avondale, Wicklow

Best places to see Christmas Lights in Ireland

Dates: November 11th 2023 to January 21st 2024, daily from 4pm to 7pm

Experience the forest after dark in a completely novel way with the dazzling Treetop Night Lights spectacle. Travel the beautifully lit treetop walkway, tunnel and viewing tower and meet an array of lit up forest creatures that make Avondale Forest Park their home.

This is an experience that all ages and all abilities will enjoy together getting up close and personal with nature after dark. Less than one hour’s drive from Dublin city in the heart of the Wicklow countryside, Treetop Night Lights provides a family-friendly, age-friendly and truly accessible spectacle.

Running from Saturday 11th November 2023 to Sunday 21st January 2024 this is more than a Christmas experience, it’s a celebration of winter and an exploration of a night time forest fantasy. The perfect ‘together adventure’ for all ages and abilities this winter season.

How to Book: For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Sensory Ice Skating Wexford

Sensory Ice Skating at Wexford on Ice

Dates: 2023 dates TBA

Wexford on Ice will be on the Quays in Wexford with family tickets available. For those who aren’t feeling confident, there are stability aids to help you glide across the ice.

Sensory and wheelchair friendly skate sessions take place with music & lighting turned down and wheelchair users able to take their wheels directly onto the ice.

Don’t Miss…

Get wrapped up in the magic of Christmas with these fantastic family events and activities around Ireland – seasonal fun guaranteed!

Sensory Christmas Pantos and Shows

You can check our full round up of the best pantos around Ireland here!

Helix Christmas Panto – Treasure Island

Sensory Panto Best pantos in Ireland 2023

Dates: November 24th 2023 to January 14th 2024; sensory night on December 29th @ 6pm

Join the cast as they on their journey of intrigue and adventure for this year’s TheatreworkX panto Treasure Island

There will be a special performance with some adjustments for the sensory-friendly show, including:

  • House lights are left on
  • Sound levels compressed
  • Performers will be aware to contain any shouts or sudden movements
  • Any strobe lights removed

The Civic Christmas Panto – Cinderella

Sensory Friendly Christmas shows

Dates: December 6th to 31st 2023. Sensory performance on December 19th 2023

The team who brought you ‘Jack & The Beanstalk’, ‘Snow White’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty’ return for The Civic Panto 2023.

Cinderella lives a life of drudgery, bullied by her horrible Ugly sisters, Dottie and Lottie and her only comfort is her pal Tickles! Prince Charming is holding a ball to meet his bride to be. Could this be the chance that Cinders has been waiting for?

This is the classic tale of rags to riches with our usual magic of panto antics at The Civic.

For more information and booking details, click here.

Renmore Pantomime, Galway

Sensory friendly panto Best Pantos Ireland

Dates: 29th December 2023 to 14th January 2024 – Sensory Friendly Performance will take place on January 7th at 12pm.

When the Wicked Witch Bogzilla is rejected by King Barney, she transforms him into an Ogre and wreaks havoc on his beloved Kingdom. However, all may not be lost. With enough trickery and charm from an amazing talkative cat and the good services of the kind Fairy Cakes, watch the characters undertake their fight for justice to restore harmony to their haven and save their King.

For more information and booking details, click here.

Freezin The Panto, Draoicht, Dublin

Sensory friendly pantos and christmas shows

Dates: January 4th to 21st 2024; sensory show on January 11th 2024

Panto is back…oh yes it is!

Once again Coolmine Panto Group will be back in Draíocht with Freezin!

A story of true love and acceptance between sisters Princess Ella and Princess Hannah, Freezin. Ella has magical powers to freeze objects and people, which she doesn’t know how to control. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood.

For more details and to book, click here.

Jack and the Beanstalk, Cork Opera House

Sensory shows and pantos

Dates: November 29th 2023 to January 21st 2023 with Relaxed Performances on December 13th for families and January 11th for schools

Full of fe-fi-fo-FUN, join Jack, Nanny Nellie and a host of lovable companions in a spectacular show packed with amazing colour, spellbinding costumes, music, breath-taking dance, and a tonne of belly laughs – this production will be a magical musical rollercoaster ride for all the family to enjoy this Christmas.

For more details and to book, click here.

Jack and the Beanstalk, glór, Clare

Best Pantos in Ireland 2023

Dates: December 23rd 2023 to January 1st 2024; sensory show on December 22nd

Jack lives in a lovely little cottage, with his mother and his sister, Sara. They are very poor and are way behind on their rent. The Wicked Squire is about to evict them if they can’t pay their rent. Jack’s mother sends him to the local market to sell their only possession – their beloved cow Dave. On the way to the market Jack meets two Strangers and they convince him to exchange Dave for a bag of magic beans!!!

Join Pantaloons and find out how the story ends in another spectacular pantomime, packed with smash-hit songs, stunning sets, fabulous dance routines, lots of laughs and plenty of seasonal sparkle.

For more details and to book, click here.

Sensory Christmas Shows, Santas and Pantos this Holiday Season - Mykidstime

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