One of the nicest things about Christmas are all the twinkly Christmas lights. There are some fantastic Christmas Light Displays and Switching On events around Ireland. And they are all free to see! Here’s my pick of The Best Places to See Christmas Lights Events in Ireland:
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Galway City Christmas Lights
Shop Street is the main focus of Galway’s Christmas Lights and this year Light Up Galway City will see Santa make four stops on his magical train as he makes his way through turning the City lights on. With a host of activities including music and the annual Christmas Market at Eyre Square, it’s one not to be missed.
Light Up Galway 2017 event details
Where: Shop Street
When: 17th November
What time: 5pm – 8pm
Dublin Christmas Lights
A tradition for many families is heading out to see the Dublin Lights come on at the Christmas Lights Switch On Show. This year’s there’s a completely new format for switching on the street lights and the 40ft tree on O’Connell St. There will be a procession of light that will illuminate the entire city with one magical Christmas event. All of the festive lights across 30 city streets and O’Connell Street’s Christmas Tree, erected by Dublin City Council will be switched-on in one afternoon as part of this beautiful and radiant procession.
2017 Dublin at Christmas Switch On event details
Where: One procession starts at Grafton St and another procession begins on Mary St with performers LUXe leading both processions through the streets of Dublin before joining together in a beautiful celebration on O’Connell Street, where the Lord Mayor of Dublin will switch on the lights of the 40ft Christmas tree.
When: Sunday 19, November 2017
What time: starting at 5.30pm.
2017 Smithfield Lights event
Families can enjoy a wide range of children’s festive entertainment including face paints, workshops, a vintage carousel and an outdoor screening of classic Christmas movie The Snowman. There will be market stalls with a range of delicious foods, arts and crafts. The main tree lighting event will take place at 7.10pm, with VIP Santa himself in attendance.
2017 Smithfield Lights event details
Where: 1 Smithfield, Arran Quay
When: November 26th
What time: From 3pm, lights switched on at 7.10pm
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Light Up LauraLynn
The annual tree-lighting ceremony for LauraLynn – Ireland’s Children’s Hospice is a wonderful celebration of life and Christmas with supporters and the local community.
This year Light Up LauraLynn will be a ticket only event. Tickets must be booked online in advance to guarantee entry. Admission is €10 per adult or €25 per family and will include entertainment, festive activities and refreshments.
You will be entertained by a range of acts including The SuperTones Children’s Choir, Legato Singers and our very own LauraLynn Choir!
Keep refreshed with treats from The Crepe Box, Sweet Churro, Starbucks and The Leopardstown Inn. Festive fun and games await the children in their purpose built Elves Workshop. Their full Christmas Shop will be available for buying cards, wrapping paper and decorations. Remember precious loved ones with a visit to their Memory Tree.
Light Up LauraLynn event details
Where: LauraLynn, Leopardstown Road, Foxrock, D18
When: November 26th
What time: Festivities commence at 3.30pm with the main Light Up and fireworks taking place at 5pm.
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For festive fun for all the family head to Waterford for Winterval which includes Waterford Illuminates, a 3D illuminating light show taking place each evening. Winterval, one of Waterford’s biggest festivals, also has an ice rink, over 45 events (mostly free) and the Winterval Express Train.
Waterford Illuminates 2017 event details
Where: Cathedral Square
When: November 17th – 19th, 24th – 26th. December 1st – 3rd, 8th – 10th, 15th – 23rd.
What time: Every half hour from 5pm – 8pm
Gorey Christmas Lights
The Big Switch On in Gorey sees Santa arriving in his sleigh on the top of Main Street followed by kiddies disco and free reindeer food for all the smallies.
Big Switch On in Gorey 2017 event details
Where: Main Street Gorey
When: 25th November
What time: 6.45pm – 9.30pm
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Christmas Lights in Killarney
With a whopping eleven floats, Santa will take to the streets of Killarney five times before Christmas for everyone to enjoy. The big opening Magical Christmas Parade starts at 6pm on November 25th.
Christmas in Killarney Parade event details
Where: The parade starts at Beech Road and goes right up to Main Street.
When: Every Saturday from November 25th until December 23rd.
What time: 6pm – 7pm
Coca-Cola Truck Tour
Enjoy the Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour which is stopping off at 10 locations across Ireland between 30th November and 17th December. All locations start at 2 pm and finish up at 8 pm.
Mullingar Christmas Lights Switch On
This year The All Ireland Junior Camogie Champions 2017 will be switching on the Mullingar Christmas Lights.
Mullingar Christmas Lights Switch On event details
Where: Market Square
When: 24th November
What time: 5-6pm
Enchanted Winter Garden, Antrim
Antrim Castle Gardens gets transformed into a winter wonderland with an array of attractions including a 40m Ferris Wheel, Christmas Train, Wonderland Walk and spectacular light installations. The event runs from December 9th – 19th and tickets start at £1.
Where: Antrim Castle Gardens
When: 9th-19th December
Letterkenny Christmas Lights
Letterkenny’s light switch on takes place by Market Square and this year there’ll be a band live on the main stage and lots of free treats along the street from 6pm with an appearance from Santa too.
Where: Market Square
When: November 24th
What time: 6-7.30pm
Navan Christmas Lights
Navan Christmas Lights will be switched on with children of St. Marys School in Johnstown followed by a magic show. Santa will also arrive on November 19th and will entertain all the children between 10.45am – 11.45pm.
Navan Christmas Lights Switch On event details
Where: Main Street
When: 17th November
What time: 7pm followed by Magic Show.
Limerick Christmas Lights
The magic of Christmas will descend on Limerick’s O’Connell Street on Sunday 19th November when the Christmas lights are officially switched on by Skye, Marshall and Chase from the popular children’s TV show PAW Patrol! There will also be street performers and musical entertainment.
Limerick Christmas Lights Switch On event details
Where: O’Connell Street
When: 19th November
What time: Lights on at 6pm with entertainment starting from 4.30pm.
Cork Christmas Lights
Cork City Christmas Lights will be switched on this year on November 19th, part of the 2017 Glow – a Cork Christmas Celebration which takes place on weekends during December. Visit Santa’s Cork Workshop presented by Dowtcha Puppets in Bishop Lucey Park, soar high above Cork on a giant Ferris wheel, visit the festive market and enjoy the entertainment on the Grand Parade this Christmas.
Cork Christmas Lights Switch On event details
Where: St. Patrick’s Street
When: 19th November
What time: 6.30pm to 7.30pm
Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo
A must-see this Christmas are the brand new Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo, a spectacular nighttime display and production featuring an unbelievable 12,000 meters of silk, 19,000 bulbs, 5000 meters of LED lights, 48,000 glass bottles and 215,000 pieces of porcelain weighing over 9.5 tonnes.
Wild Lights runs every weekend until January 7th.
Over to you now. Have you got a favourite place to go and look at Christmas Lights with the kids? Tell us in the comments below.