Fun and Festive Things to Do with Kids Around Ireland at Christmas 2022

Jill Holtz

November 1, 2022

things to do around Ireland at Christmas

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Get wrapped up in the magic of Christmas and all the seasonal fun with some fantastic family-friendly events and activities. If you are looking for things to do this December and Christmas break, check out our round up of seasonal events and things to do with kids around Ireland this Christmas 2022.

Things to Do in Dublin at Christmas

Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo

Wild lights 2022

Dates: October 28th to January 9th 2023

Wild Lights, the spectacular, night-time experience at Dublin Zoo, is back with an exciting brand new theme – The Magic of Life!

Over a thousand breathtaking, dazzling lanterns will portray a fascinating and important story by shining a light on biodiversity.

Travel through the illuminated and magical woodland scenes before encountering the wondrous pollinators including giant bees and bee-hives. See some of nature’s most amazing transformations from the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a stunning butterfly to the intriguing co-operation between ants in a colony.

Discover the abundance and diversity of life in the tree tops of our rainforests and then dive underwater and witness some of the most beautiful sea creatures and the mesmerising coral – all lit up through magical hand-crafted traditional Chinese lanterns.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Wonderlights ‘The Night Sky’ at Malahide Castle & Gardens, Dublin

Wonderlights christmas trail

Dates: November 4th to January 3rd 2023

Journey from the Irish Countryside, across the Northern Seas, through the Arctic Forests and discover the spectacular Northern Lights!

Wonderlights is an enchanting evening spectacle for all the family, taking you on an awe-inspiring walking trail through the illuminated gardens of Malahide Castle. Guests can expect a magical mix of lights, colour, nature and sounds.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Dundrum on Ice

Dundrum on ice for ice skating in dublin

Dates: November 7th to January 29th 2023

Dundrum on Ice at Pembroke Square in the Dundrum Town Centre is a popular family activity, surrounded by all that Dundrum Town Centre has to offer. Family tickets are available, and penguins for small kids.

For more information, click here.

Swords on Ice

Dates: November 8th to January 15th 2023

Bring on the festive season with a trip to Swords on Ice at Swords Pavilions this winter. With great music and atmosphere, this is a fun family activity with the benefits on the Pavilions on the doorstep.

For more information, click here.

Ice Skating Blanchardstown

Dates: November 18th 2022 to January 29th 2023

Ireland’s largest ice rink returns this year and very popular with families due to the dedicated rink for children, with penguin skating aids. With fresh ice every hour, the 1,000 sq. m. rink is found right next to Blanchardstown Shopping Centre.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

The Moving Crib

moving crib Dublin 2022

Dates: November 24th to January 8th 2023

The Moving Crib will be back in Parnell Square, Dublin from this year. Delighting families for free for 65 years, the crib will be open daily from 11am to 5.30pm, except for Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day and New Years Day.

Booking is essential. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast at Bord Gais

Dates: November 24th to January 8th 2023

Spectacularly re-imagined and re-designed in a completely new production staged by the original award-winning creative team, Disney’s beloved Olivier Award-winning stage musical comes to Bord Gáis Energy Theatre as part of a UK and Ireland Tour.

This beloved ‘tale as old as time’ will be brought to life on stage like never before!

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Polar Bear & Penguin at The Ark, Dublin

What's on in Ireland

Dates: December 1st to 18th; relaxed shows on Dec 8th and 10th

The tale of an unlikely encounter between a Polar Bear and a Penguin. This is the story of polar opposite characters meeting for the first time, how they get to know one another and how they learn to survive in a world that is melting beneath their feet … paws … flippers.

Paul Curley (THE DIG and Bake!) and John Currivan (The Bockety World of Henry & Bucket), bring this quirky new theatre play for young audiences to life.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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Peter McVerry Trust Christmas Carol Concert

Date: December 3rd

Peter McVerry Trust’s Christmas Carol Concert will take place in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin and features a fantastic line-up including Paul Harrington, Dublin Male Voice Choir and Dublin Youth Choir.

For more information, click here.

Dublin Gospel Choir Christmas

Dublin gospel choir

Date: Various

The Dublin Gospel Choir returns with a brilliant selection of festive favourites and gospel greats to give you all the Christmas feels!

DGC have long been a household name in Ireland – versatile, vibrant and uplifting with powerful voices and rich harmonies. They have performed with artists as diverse as John Legend, Take That, Duran Duran, Damien Rice, Outkast and Ennio Morricone and their annual slot at Electric Picnic is nothing less than legendary.

Show include:

  • December 3rd – The Civic Theatre, Tallaght
  • December 8th – Mermaid, Bray
  • December 9th – Roscommon Arts Centre
  • December 10th – Draoicht, Blanchardstown

Christmas Crafts Workshop at The Rediscovery Centre

Date: December 10th

Join The Rediscovery Centre for a fun, hands-on eco Christmas crafts workshop for kids, where you will make fabulous Christmas decorations from waste materials.

Crafts include creating Santa Claus figures using cardboard, to making plastic bottle penguins, fabric tree decorations and beautiful upcycled Christmas cards.

Suitable for children aged 6-12 years of age.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Embroidered Christmas Ornaments Workshop, Dublin

things to do at Christmas in ireland

Date: December 10th

Patterns and colours from the Chester Beatty are the inspiration for this Christmas craft event. Using embroidery threads, learn to hand stitch your own festive decoration.

Suitable for all ages, children need to be supervised and assisted by their parent or guardian.

Limited to 20 Participants. Free, no booking required. For more information, click here.

Dublin County Choir Christmas Family Gala, Dublin

Date: December 11th 2022

As traditional as Christmas turkey, kick start the festive period with the best variety show of the season. Don’t miss the big sound of the Dublin County Choir and the cream of Irish family entertainment in the company of your favourite soprano and presenter Niamh Murray at National Concert Hall.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

The Great Christmas Concert

Date: December 15th 2022

For over 25 years audiences have made The Great Christmas Concert at the National Concert Hall the start of their Christmas Season! Not only will you experience the joyful and uplifting sounds of the voices of children in Piccolo Lasso combined with their adult colleagues in The Lassus Scholars, all blended together with the Orlando Chamber orchestra, but you will also have the opportunity of uniting your voice with theirs as conductor Dr Ite O’Donovan invites you to join in the audience carols!

The programme of festive music includes Christmas favourites from O Holy Night to Jingle Bells; choruses and arias by Mozart, C. Franck, Durante and Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

This Way to Christmas, featuring The Snowman

things to do at christmas in ireland

Date: December 16th to 18th

This heart-warming Christmas spectacle is packed with fun and fanfares from the National Concert Hall Christmas Orchestra. Host Louis Lovett will bring some of your favourite things, including parading Nutcrackers, classic Christmas songs and festive dance.

Following these seasonal treats, sit back and enjoy the timeless Christmas family classic The Snowman with Howard Blake’s score performed live by the Christmas Orchestra.

For more information and booking details, click here.

A Christmas Carol, Dublin

things to do at Christmas

Date: December 18th

A Christmas Carol is a playful, physical storytelling, stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ much loved novella. The famous cautionary tale tells the story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by ghosts who take him on a journey through his past, present and future one fateful Christmas Eve.

Devised straight from Dickens classic text, the two award-winning actors play all the characters at break-neck speed!

This production is funny, slightly scary, utterly heart-warming and features a surprise special guest appearing as Tiny Tim…

For more information and booking details, click here.

Movie Screenings at Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire

things to do at Christmas

Date: December 18th to 22nd

Movies include:

  • Little Women (Dec 18th)
  • Frozen Sing-Along (Dec 20th)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (Dec 20th)
  • The Snowman and Stick Man (Dec 21st)
  • Home Alone (Dec 21st)
  • Room on the Broom and The Highway Rat (Dec 22nd)
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (Dec 22nd)
  • Elf (Dec 22nd)

For more information and booking details, click here.

Christmas Movie Screenings at Draíocht

What's on in Ireland

Date: December 19th and 20th

Come and enjoy your festive family favourites on the big screen!

  • Elf (December 19th)
  • Frozen Sing-a-Long (December 20th)

For more information and booking details, click here.

Christmas at the Movies

Date: December 20th

Don’t stay Home Alone this Christmas. Join the Dublin Concert Orchestra at the National Concert Hall for a magical evening of Christmas treats at this concert of timeless classics stuffed full of great music from your favourite festive films.

Programme includes: Elf, ET, Home Alone, White Christmas, Love Actually, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Polar Express & The Nightmare Before Christmas

For more information and booking details, click here.

North Pole Experience at Leopardstown

Date: 2022 Details TBC

Ireland’s original drive-in Christmas Experience is coming to Leopardstown Racecourse. Enjoy the Santa Experience from the comfort of your car with a special Christmas movie screening, a live link up to Santa’s Village in the North Pole, a Christmas sing-a-long Caraoke with Santa’s personal DJ, and a personal family message from Santa directly to your smart device!

For more information and booking details, click here.

Liberty Hall Panto – Aladdin

Liberty Hall Panto Aladdin

Dates: December 21st to 30th 2022, 2 shows daily

This December take a magical carpet ride to a whole new world! Join ‘Dame Nellie Twankey’, (Jake Carter) as Aladdin, Wishee Washee plus all the Liberty Panto gang in Peking for lots of fun and mayhem as they embark on a panto journey like no other, far across the orient!

When Aladdin meets the Princess Jasmine, it’s love at first sight. but an evil magician named ‘Abanazar’ comes calling, and things don’t seem what they are.

ut with the help of a Genie and some traditional panto fun and magic… there might just be a chance that love will find a way.

Will there be a happy ending? Only one way to find out!

For more information and to book your magical carpet ride, click here.

The Sound of Music

NCH The Sound of Music

Dates: December 27th to January 3rd 2023

The hills are alive this Christmas in the National Concert Hall for the musical of all musicals – the wonderful The Sound of Music.

This all-singing, all-dancing production of the classic Julie Andrews film, winner of 5 Academy Awards and much loved by generations, features a star-studded cast, spectacular costumes and sets, and the wonderful Festival chorus, dancers and orchestra.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.


Stuck for ideas? Don’t miss our free Elf on the Shelf cheat sheet that you can download with 24 fun and easy elf ideas!

Things to Do Around Ireland at Christmas

Ballet Ireland’s Nutcracker Sweeties

nutcracker sweeties for what's on

Dates: November and December

This holiday season, the curtain rises on Ballet Ireland’s Nutcracker Sweeties, a re-telling of one of the world’s favourite Christmas ballets.

It’s a magical Christmas Eve.  Ciara and her brother Fionn are on a shopping trip to a famous department store in Dublin. They wander off from their parents and the magic of Nutcracker and Christmas begins…

The two are rescued by the Nutcracker doll who comes to life before they are surrounded by a glorious blizzard of snowflakes.The Sugar Plum fairy greets them leading Ciara into the kingdom of the sweets where the beautiful Christmas windows come to life.

Choreographed by Morgann Runacre-Temple, this exciting production of the festive classic performed by a cast of world-class dancers will appeal to audiences of all ages with its fairy-tale magic, beautiful costumes and a re-imagined Tchaikovsky score. A tale of wondrous adventure that combines to form one of the most delectable Christmas confections imaginable.


  • Nov 4 & 5 – Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey
  • Nov 9 – Millennium Forum, Derry
  • Nov 12 – Market Place Theatre, Armagh
  • Nov 16-19 – Gaiety Theatre, Dublin
  • Nov 23 – Siamsa Tire, Tralee
  • Nov 26 – National Opera House, Wexford
  • Nov 29 & 30 – The Civic Theatre, Tallaght
  • Dec 2 & 3 – Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick
  • Dec 6 – An Grianan Theatre
  • Dec 9 & 10 – Draoicht, Blanchardstown
  • Dec 13 & 14 – Town Hall Theatre, Galway
  • Dec 16 – glór, Ennis
  • Dec 20 – Solstice Arts Centre, Navan
  • Dec 22 & 23 – Mermaid, Bray

For more information, click here.

Land of Light at Belvedere House, Westmeath

Dates: November 18th to December 28th

Land Of Light is an outdoor event that combines the use of nature and technology to provide a spectacle of lights, music and performance for attendees of all ages. Set in the beautiful grounds of Belvedere House, Gardens & Park in County Westmeath, the experience delivers thrills and excitement at every turn.

As you walk your way along the forest trail, the night sky, trees and buildings are lit up by a spectacular light show, with stunning atmospheric music to complete the scene. It’s like walking through another world!

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

An Enchanted Christmas at Johnstown Castle, Wexford

What's on at Christmas - Johnstown Castle

Dates: November 19th to December 23rd

Be part of something really special this Christmas at Johnstown Castle. On this traditional experience, guests will enjoy some fun activities with the team of merry elves. Every group will spend some time with Santa and children will then have the opportunity to pick their own gift in Santa’s workshop. There will be plenty of seasonal photo opportunities in the Castle – so don’t forget to bring your camera!

For more information, click here.

Castlebar Christmas LEGO Show

Castlebar LEGO Show

Dates: November 19th and 20th

The Castlebar Christmas LEGO show includes:

  • Original and hard to find LEGO models
  • LEGO play area
  • Free speed build competitions
  • Free face painting
  • Colouring table for younger children
  • Duplo play area
  • Treasure hunt
  • Vendors
  • and sensory cool down area.

Santa will also meet every child – keep an eye out as he gets up to have fun with the kids.

All children will also receive a LEGO polybag to take home.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Winter Wonderland at Westport House, Mayo

winter wonderland westport house

Dates: November 19th to December 23rd

Winter Wonderland at Westport House is a magical family experience brimming with Christmas cheer that will leave the kids starry-eyed and the whole family believing in fairy-tales – and 2022 is no different!

Westport House will be beautifully decorated and you’re invited to visit to see the giant Christmas tree, take a festive photo, get your faces painted, make your own decorations, meet Mrs Claus and enjoy a complimentary drink before heading to spend some time with the main man himself in his Grotto in Tinsel Town.

And don’t forget to hop on board Winter Wonderland Express Train for a spin around the estate!

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

A Victorian Christmas Experience at Strokestown Park, Roscommon

Visit santa at Strokestown

Dates: November 25th to December 23rd

Enjoy Christmas at Strokestown Park where you can meet Santa and a host of festive characters at the Victorian Christmas Experience.

Children will have fun and games at Strokestown this Christmas. Book a tour, find yourself on a wonderful journey, culminating in a special meeting with Santa who is resting up in the big house at Strokestown. All tours will begin at the Visitor Centre and end at the enchanted Woodland where festive fun is sure to be had!

For more information, click here.

Christmas Trail of Lights at Bunratty Castle, Clare

Bunratty trail of lights

Dates: November 25th to December 23rd

With a little sprinkling of magical fairy dust over this quaint little corner of County Clare Santa has created a magical illuminated festive trail for all to enjoy!

Spread across the park’s extensive 26 acres, take a wander along the park’s charming paths and enjoy an array of illuminated festive displays along the way. Meet a host of colourful festive characters, take a ride of the Bunratty Polar Express or a whirl on our magical carousels. And you never know you might even catch a glimpse of the big man in the red suit before he takes off to his workshop in the North Pole.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

The National Elf Academy, Laois

National Elf Academy

Dates: November 27th to December 22nd

Are you ready to spread Christmas cheer? It might be time to attend the National Elf Academy!

Did you know there’s an elf shortage and Santa’s in great need of recruiting new elves to spread Christmas cheer this holiday season?! He looked everywhere and found a nice new hub for some of his trusty friends to help train up some new recruits while he’s busy up at the North Pole sorting out all the gifts for all the wonderful children of the world!

This Christmas, Dunamaise Arts Centre will become home of the official National Elf Academy where your family will get to attend a fun-filled experience, learning all of the top-notch Elf requirements to spread Christmas Cheer!

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Cinderella at The MAC, Belfast

pantos ireland

Dates: November 30th to January 8th 2023

You shall go to the ball, and have a ball too at this enchanting show for the whole family (with a MAC twist on the original tale, of course).

Cinderella will be a heart-warming, poignant, fun family show packed with magical moments, incredible illusions, and stunning songs.

For more information and booking details, click here.

Hillsborough Light Trail, Belfast

Dates: December 1st to January 1st 2023

Following a successful first year, the magic is back at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, close to Belfast. Over a million twinkling lights and seasonal sounds will fill the air with festive fun!

Look forward to some time together with friends and family as you discover sparkling tunnels of light, then walk under giant baubles and beneath glistening trees drenched in jewel-like colour.

For a moment of reflection, pause at mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden, gaze at the larger-than-life illuminations and, to make a moment to remember, don’t forget to glimpse Father Christmas along the way.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Niall de Búrca – The Christmas Turkey & Other Tales at Riverbank Arts Centre, Kildare

Dates: December 3rd

Michael’s mother has sent him on an important errand. He must collect the Christmas turkey from the Butchers and come straight home. No Messing! Can Michael do what he’s told just this once…. or will he stuff it up?!

Join legendary storyteller Niall de Búrca for this cracker of a storytelling show that is perfect for all ages. A fantastic family experience to kick off the lead up to Christmas.

For more information and booking details, click here.

Old Mother Hubbard’s Crazy Christmas Show, Wexford Arts Centre

What's on in Ireland

Date: December 10th

Old Mother Hubbard, with her faithful dog Growler and her willing helper Little Jack Horner, owns a very posh BnB where Old King Cole is an annual visitor. Did you know Old Mother Hubbard bakes Santa’s Christmas Pudding as well? Growler’s bone, Santa’s Christmas Pudding and all the BnB food are stored in Old Mother Hubbard’s magic cupboard… until a sneaky witch with a passion for sugar turns up, and suddenly the cupboard is bare!

Maybe, with a little help from the children in the audience, Growler will get back his bone, Santa will get back his Christmas pudding, the Witch will get what she deserves, and Old Mother Hubbard’s Crazy Christmas might be a happy one after all!

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

The Knights Before Christmas, Galway

Date: December 10th 2022

The A Capella Knights presents The Knights Before Christmas, a festive evening of music and dance at Galway Cathedral supporting Hand in Hand Children’s Charity.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

The Big Christmas Sing Concert, Wexford Arts Centre

Date: December 10th 2022

Come along for some festive cheer and join in the fun with the Big Christmas singing group celebrating the end of series of workshops for the annual Big Christmas Sing Concert with a range of old, new and wacky seasonal favourites all led by Elizabeth Drwal. Also featuring the Wexford Festival Opera Children’s chorus 2022 and Parkinson’s Singing for Health Choir.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.


Are you looking for a fun and festive way to entertain your kids? Download your FREE Christmas word search which is perfect for keeping kids busy!

Kerry Christmas LEGO Show

Kerry Christmas Lego Show

Dates: December 10th and 11th

The Kerry Christmas LEGO show includes:

  • Original and hard to find LEGO models
  • LEGO play area
  • Free speed build competitions
  • Free face painting
  • Colouring table for younger children
  • Duplo play area
  • Treasure hunt
  • Vendors
  • and sensory cool down area.

Santa will also meet every child – keep an eye out as he gets up to have fun with the kids.

All children will also receive a LEGO polybag to take home.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Christmas at the Cathedral, Cork

Date: December 17th 2022

After a two-year pause, Cork International Choral Festival is thrilled to announce the return of this popular evening with acclaimed soprano Fiona O’Reilly and tenor Ryan Morgan for an evening of festive carols, song and poetry in the stunning surrounds of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral.

Fiona and Ryan will be joined on the evening by actors and singers fromCADA Performing Arts, The Carrigtwohill Gospel Choir, The Voices, Choral Con Fusion, and Scoil Mhuire Junior School Choir.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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