Are you looking for free things to do with kids around Ireland during the Christmas Break? Here are some free things to do with kids this Christmas 2017:
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#1. Get Out and About at Lough Key, Roscommon
Whether you take a stroll in the woods or join in a FREE Park Run on Saturdays from 9.30am, a visit to Lough Key will blow away the cobwebs this Christmas.
Lough Key Forest Park in Roscommon are have a Christmas Sunday for families on December 17th from 11am.
#2. Free Family Events at National Museum of Ireland, Dublin & Mayo
From Christmas Activity Trails to Christmas Craft Workshops to Christmas Carols, check out the Free Family Events at the 4 National Museum of Ireland sites, Collins Barracks, Merrion Square and Kildare Street and Country LIfe Mayo.
#3. Visit the Animals at Powerscourt Stables, Wicklow
Come along and visit the animals at the stables in Powerscourt House and Gardens, Co Wicklow. See Santa’s animals at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion from 25th Nov – 23rd December 2017. Kids will love the chance to meet some farm animals’ right up close including Santa’s deer, pygmy goats, miniature donkeys, rabbits and guinea pigs. Children of all ages and adults alike will enjoy a visit to the stables, which is free of charge. The Powerscourt Stables are located beside Powerscourt Garden Pavilion.
Check out our Christmas Fun Ideas, chock full of festive ideas.
#4. The Moving Crib Parnell Square, Dublin
The Moving Crib will be back in Parnell Square, Dublin from November 28th 2017 to January 7th 2018. This year they celebrate 61 years of delighting families for free.
#5. Free Christmas Events at Farmleigh, Dublin
Farmleigh has a host of free events running on weekends throughout December including:
- Christmas Food & Craft Markets 10am to 5pm
- Festive Crib from 10am to 5pm
- Christmas Puppet Show from 12 to 12.30pm, 1.45 to 2.15pm, 3.30 to 4pm*
- Storytelling for Children from 12.45 to 1.30pm, 2.30 to 3.15pm & 4.15 to 5pm*
- Christmas Carol Singing 1.30 to 3.30pm*
- Festive Barbershop Melodies Saturdays Only 2 to 4pm
- Horse & Carriage Rides Sundays only 1 to 4pm*
*These events are free but do require tickets.
#6. Visit a Christmas Market or Craft Fair, Nationwide
Soak up the Christmas atmosphere at your local Christmas Market or Craft Fair and support local traders and craftspeople. Here’s our pick of the Best Christmas Markets in Ireland.
#7. Christmas Cooking with Gary O’Hanlon, Galway
TV3 Chef Gary O’Hanlon will be at the Galway Shopping Centre from 12 to 2pm on December 9th for a FREE Christmas cooking demo.
#8. Christmas in Cork
Head to the Christmas Market on the Grand Parade which runs each weekend up to Sunday 17th December. Once again there will be a free festive installation in Bishop Lucey Park, the giant Ferris wheel returns, and there will be food markets and festive entertainment galore.
#9. Christmas Day Swim for Cope in Galway
Christmas Day Santa Swim in Galway. Brave the icy waters with your swim gear and Santa hat. Everyone welcome, although the children may prefer to watch! Event takes place from 10am to 1pm at Blackrock Diving Tower.
All the money raised goes to COPE Galway.
#10. Visit the Deer at Coole Park, Galway
Coole Park is perfect anytime of year for a family outing. At Christmas you can visit the Deer who live beside the visitor centre, enjoy a walk on one of the numerous trails around the woods, see if you can spot on a swan on the turlough and run around the Autograph Tree in the Walled Garden.
If you have any other favourite free things to do in your local area that you’d like us to share with other parents, let us know in the comments below
#11. Find The Stick Man!, Belfast
Take the Stick Man Activity Trail this December at Colin Glen and see what you can spot along the way. The trail is self guided and is aimed at children & families from aged 3 years+. The experience is completely free so bring the family and enjoy one of Belfast’s most beautiful parks.
You might also like Where to Take the Kids on a Gruffalo Trail
#12. Find Fairies in Erica’s Fairy Forest, Cavan
Erica’s Fairy Forest in Cootehill, Co Cavan was created by her parents Natasha and Ciaran to honour Erica’s memory and her unshakable belief in fairies and magical kingdoms. It is also a thank you to the people of Cootehill and surrounding areas whose love and support was never ending throughout Erica’s journey.
We have more Fairy Trail suggestions for you too on our 15 Places to Find Magical Fairy Trails Around Ireland.
#13. Wren Day in Dingle, Kerry
The people of Dingle, Co. Kerry are out and about early on St Stephen’s Day as they carry on the traditions of hunting the Wren for the annual Wren Day Festival which takes place on December 26th. Head along from 6am, when the streets are full of music, dance and the wrenboys are dressed in masks, straw and colourful clothing. A truly magical sight.
#14. Run a GOAL Mile, Nationwide
GOAL Miles are held at Christmas in villages, towns and cities right across Ireland. Now in its 37th year, the event sees tens of thousands of participants run, jog or walk a Mile and raise funds and awareness for GOAL’s programmes in the developing world. Find a GOAL Mile near you or organise one!
#15. New Years Festival Dublin
#16. Castlecomer Wellie Race, Kilkenny
In Co. Kilkenny, The Castlecomer Wellie Race takes place again this year on New Year’s Day, Jan 1st 2018. All are welcome to come along (in wellies!) and participate in the fun to help raise money for charity.