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:
Sign up for our free monthly newsletter stuffed full of ideas, competitions and offers. PS Did we mention it’s free?
Galway City Christmas Lights
An iconic Festive Light and Colour Experience is coming to Galway again this Christmas for a family-focused evening of breath-taking sights and top-notch entertainment.
There will be an official light-up ceremony, large lighting installations and projections on iconic buildings launching from Eyre Square at 5.30pm on November 15th 2019. There will also be live entertainment from 5.30 to 7pm with Ronan Lardner as MC, The Tribetones, Gavin Dance Academy, face painting, a magician and balloon modelling.
Santa and Mrs. Claus, accompanied by their elves, will be joining in on the madness once they arrive on the Santa Express Train to officially turn on the city lights with the help of none other than Minnie and Mickey Mouse, Peppa Pig, Giant Elf and Snowman! And since Christmas is a time for giving, there will be a collection held in aid of Rosabel’s Room, a charity which helps to raise awareness and support for those suffering from the loss of a loved one.
Where: Eyre Square
When: Friday 15th November
What time: 5.30pm
You might also enjoy The Best Christmas Markets in Ireland
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. Last year in 2018, due to overcrowding at the annual switching on ceremony parade in 2017, it was decided that instead of having a switching on event, the city would have 12 iconic sites lit up with projections, animations and lights for 30 nights from sunset to the early hours of the morning. That way families could view the lights on an evening that best suits them.
This year’s details for Dublin Christmas Lights are still to be updated, but we do know that the Grafton Street Christmas lights will be turned on on Friday November 15th 2019 at 4pm and there will be free family entertainment.
Where: Grafton Street, Dublin
When: November 15th 2019
What time: 4pm
You might also like 50 Magical Places to Visit Santa in Ireland
Waterford Christmas Lights
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, with many free events and the Winterval Express Train.
Santa will arrive in Waterford on the 23rd of November, to celebrate the start of Winterval, Ireland’s Christmas Festival and to help the Mayor turn on the city’s lights. Santa will be ready to shake hands, pose for selfies, and meet all the boys and girls of Waterford, and beyond.
Where: John Roberts Square
When: Saturday 23rd November 2019
What time: From 4.15pm, lights switched on at 5pm
Gorey Christmas Lights
The Big Switch On in Gorey sees Santa arriving in his sleigh on the top of Main Street followed by entertainment for all.
Where: Main Street Gorey
What time: tbc
You might also like Things to do with kids around Ireland at Christmas
Christmas Lights in Killarney
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 23rd 2019.
Where: The parade starts at Beech Road and goes right up to Main Street.
When: Every Saturday from November 23rd until December 21st.
What time: 6pm – 7pm
Frostival Winter Festival, Louth
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Carnival of Light’ and promises to be an awe-inspiring celebration of arts, culture and Christmas fun, featuring beautifully lit floats, stilt and fire performers, an aerialist, dancers in breath-taking costumes and much more!
Where: The Carnival of Light parade takes place in Dundalk Town Centre
When: Friday 22nd November 2019
What time: Evening
Coca-Cola Truck Tour
Enjoy the Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour which is stopping off at locations across Ireland & Northern Ireland.
Enchanted Winter Garden, Antrim
Antrim Castle Gardens gets transformed into a winter wonderland with an array of attractions including a 35m Ferris Wheel, Christmas Train, Wonderland Walk, Festive Fayre and spectacular light installations. The event runs from Friday 6th to Sunday 22nd December from 4.30-9.30pm.
Where: Antrim Castle Gardens
When: Friday 6th to Sunday 22nd December 2019
Letterkenny Christmas Lights 2019 Switch On
Letterkenny’s Christmas light switch on takes place by Market Square and there will be music and entertainment and lots of free treats along the street with an appearance from Santa too.
Where: Market Square
What time: tbc
Limerick Christmas Lights Switch On 2019 event details
The magic of Christmas will descend on Limerick’s O’Connell Street on Sunday 17th November when the Christmas lights are officially switched on.
Bring the whole family for a fun evening of music and entertainment as they officially kick start the Christmas season in Limerick!
Where: O’Connell Street
When: Sunday 17th November 2019
What time: Lights on at 6pm
Cork Christmas Lights Switch On 2019 event details
This year the Switch On will take place on Sunday, 17th November 2019 on St. Patrick’s Street. Celebrations will run from 6.00pm to 7.30pm.
Where: St. Patrick’s Street
When: Sunday 17th November 2019
What time: 6-7.30pm
Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo
A must-see this Christmas will be the ocean of lights at Dublin Zoo as Wild Lights is back for 2019/20. This year the theme is Stories, Myths and Legends, with magical scenes from well-known stories like the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan and the Jungle Book…to best-loved nursery rhymes and characters from Irish Mythology – all brought to life by dazzling, giant colourful silk lanterns!
Where: Dublin Zoo
When: Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday during November, every evening (Monday – Sunday) in December and Wednesday 1st January – Sunday, 5th January.
What time: 5.00pm to 9.00pm (last entry 8pm)
Butler House Christmas Garden, Kilkenny
Every evening from dusk, the garden at Butler House will illuminate with toy soldiers, reindeer, winter pond, snowman and glittering trees. There will be a host of festive fun for families and Santa will be there too if children wish to visit him.
Where: Butler House Garden, Kilkenny
When: December 2nd until December 23rd 2019 with food & craft market at weekends
What time: Garden open daily from 9am-5pm (lights are best seen from dusk onwards)
Carlow Christmas Lights
A Festive Family Experience will be launched in early November with the kick-off event being the turning on of the Christmas Lights in the County Town on November 23rd 2019.
Where: Town Hall, Carlow
When: November 23rd
What time: tbc
Kildare Village Enchanted Christmas Lights
Vogue Williams together with her husband Spencer Matthew and their baby Theodore are set to switch on the Enchanted Lights experience at Kildare Village on November 1st at 6pm. The Enchanted lights will be switched on daily from 4pm for the entire festive season. It promises to be a bright, brilliant enchanting experience.
Where: Kildare Village, Kildare
When: November 1st 2019
What time: 6pm
Other Venues Around Ireland Including Private Homes
Decorating your home or business with festive Christmas lights is becoming more popular annually with many raising money for charities nationwide. Below is a list of some of those private homes & businesses who are making an effort this Christmas.
- House of Lights – Weston Cresent, Lucan, Dublin in aid of Temple Street.
- Josie’s Xmas Lights – Rathdrum Road, Crumlin, Dublin in aid of Hope for Ryan. Santa will be at Josie’s from 7 – 8.30pm every night from the 15th.
- Byrnes – Rathdrum Road in aid of Hope for Cian.
- Pearse Villa’s, Sallynoggin, Dublin.
- Winston Lights – Rossfield Grove, Tallaght, Dublin.
- Stoughairs Christmas Lights- Tamarisk Way, Kilnamangh, Dublin.
- Mr Tillys -Bath Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin.
- Ardburgh Road, Dalkey, Dublin.
- Anthony Doyle – Arklow, Wexford in aid of the RNLI and Arklow First Responders.
- Doyles – Bagnelstown, Carlow.
- McSweeneys – Drimoleague, West Cork.
- Tony Noonan – Templeglantine in West Limerick.
- Sheahan – Askeaton, Limerick in aid of Enable Ireland.
- Coolnagrane, Foxford, Mayo in aid of Bumbleance.
- Gibseys – Galway Road, Tuam.
- Tony Fitzpatrick – Green Road, Drinagh, Wexford.
- Carrolls – Bruree, Limerick.
- Hayes Christmas Lights – Shanagolden, Limerick.
- Árd Mhuire, Rathangan,Co. Kildare
- Bernie Carroll’s – Coolruss, Bruree in Limerick In aid of St Joseph’s Foundation, Pieta house and Carebright Dementia Centre Bruff.
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.