Free Things to do with Kids Round Ireland Christmas Break 2013


Are you looking for free things to do with kids during the Christmas Break?  Here are some free things to do with kids this year around Ireland:

#1. Castlecomer Wellie Race

In Co. Kilkenny, The Castlecomer Wellie Race takes place again this year on New Year’s Day. All are welcome to come along and participate in the fun.

#2. Pictiúr – Exhibition of Children’s Book Illustrations at IMMA

children-pictiurPictiúr is an exciting touring exhibition of 21 of Ireland’s leading children’s book illustrators. Co-curated by IMMA’s Education and Community Department and Laureate na nÓg, Niamh Sharkey, the exhibition comprises 42 art pieces, including illustrations from books written in English and Irish. Alongside the artwork will be a selection of videos exploring the world and practice of many of the illustrators, supplementary material such as sketchbooks and 3-dimensional works. Pictiúr will be complimented by a family friendly reading area for those who want to enjoy the featured books.

Illustrators included are Lily Bernard, Alan Clarke, Michael Emberley, Tatiana Feeney, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Adrienne Geoghegan, Olivia Golden, Chris Haughton, Paul Howard, Oliver Jeffers, Anita Jeram, Chris Judge, PJ Lynch, Oisin McGann, Mary Murphy, Donough O’Malley, Niamh Sharkey, Steve Simpson, Kevin Waldron, Olwyn Whelan, Andrew Whitson.

IMMA are delighted to be co-curating the final stage of this touring exhibition, which has previously been to Vienna, Bologna, Brussels, The Leuven Institute for Ireland, Belgium, Draíocht Arts Centre in Blanchardstown and the Babaró Children’s Festival in Galway.

Christmas Opening Hours are 23 – 26 December: Closed, 27 – 29 December: 12noon – 5.30pm, 30 December: Closed, 31 December and 1 January: 12noon – 5.30pm, Opening hours as normal from 2 January 2014. Last Admission 5.15pm. Admission is Free

#3. Christmas Day Santa Swim in Galway

Christmas Day Santa Swim in Galway.  Brave the icy waters with your swim gear and Santa hat on and help break the world record for the most number of people swimming with Santa hats on Christmas day. Everyone welcome, although the children may prefer to watch!  All the money raised goes to COPE Galway.

#4. Cork Christmas Celebration

Glow, A Cork Christmas Celebration, runs from 29th November to 23rd December, with the wonder of Tír na Nollag, a mystical ‘faery’ village for kids, at Bishop Lucey Park, Artisan Food Markets, a 30 metre Ferris Wheel and vintage carousel ride.

Other Fun Ideas: 50 Christmas Activities for Kids and Fun Christmas Crafts for Kids

#5. Hair Hurling Balls at National Museum of Country Life


HAIR HURLING BALLS: Earliest Artefacts of Our National Game is a new exhibition firmly establishing the antiquity of our national game of Hurling with radio-carbon dated hurling balls from 800 years ago! The hair hurling ball collection of the National Museum of Ireland is displayed with an ancient hurling stick. These hurling balls are of matted cow-hair with a plaited horse-hair covering. This exhibition looks at these bog finds in relation to where in the country they were discovered, how they were made and the scientific analysis undertaken by the Museum.

More events info for the Museum of Country Life, Museum of Decorative Arts, Museum of Archaeology and the Natural History Museum.

#6. Free Art Workshops at Lewis Glucksman Gallery

Bring the whole family along to the Lewis Glucksman Gallery in Cork on Sunday afternoons from 3-4 pm for a free art workshop! Led by practicing artists, these fun and interactive events invite children (and their parents!) to learn all about making art. There’s no need to book ahead and their Family Sundays are free of charge. Just come along at 3 pm, armed with your imagination and ready to make your very own artworks. Family Sundays explore different ways of making art, from painting to sculpture, drawing to collage, and are open to all ages.

Every Sunday until 23 March 2014, River Room, Lewis Glucksman Gallery. NB Places allocated on first come first served basis

#7. Gallery Tours at Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow

The Visual Centre for Contemporary Art in Carlow will re-open on Thursday, January 2nd at 11am. Admission to the galleries is free of charge.  Gallery tours on Sundays are also free of charge – they take place at 2.30pm & 3.30pm and last 30 mins. No prior booking needed for families and small groups.

#8. Galway Continental Christmas Market

Galway Christmas Market

The Galway Continental Christmas Market transforms Eyre Square in the heart of Galway City into a magical winter wonderland from 22nd of November to the 22nd of December this year.

The atmospheric market will be a gift for the senses featuring traditional Bavarian and Irish Stalls, selling quality goods and to be enjoyed by all the family. Food, beverages and goods from all over Europe and a Santa’s Grotto.  Read the Inside Scoop on last year’s Market!

Related : Christmas Markets around Ireland

#9. Out of the Shadows at Project 24

Come and experience something completely new and different for the whole family to enjoy! Awaken those nostalgic childhood memories and visit Project 24’s very first shadow theatre event between Christmas and New Year. From Friday 27th to Sunday 29th December we are thrilled to be hosting Out of the Shadows; a unique festival of shadow theatre featuring performances of well-known and loved children’s stories told through puppetry.

Be captivated by Mowgli and his Jungle Book tales, allow your curiosity to be sharpened by Alice and the White Rabbit and be charmed by Aladdin. You’ll be welcomed at the flaming entrance and led through a world of enthralling shadows, and you can also learn more about the characters and the art form in post-performance workshops. This is a free event, but places will be limited and tickets are now available through or through Look out for Golden Tickets which gives you a front row seat as well as a visit to the workshop!

Other ideas: 10 Great Family Walks and 9 Fun Outdoor Spots for Families

Geocaching is an activity which combines a love of the outdoors with the use of highly sophisticated modern technology. Basically geocaching is like a traditional treasure hunt, but instead of having a paper map with an X marking the spot, “cachers” use a handheld portable device, around the size of a mobile phone, called a Global Positioning System receiver (or GPS as it’s more commonly known) to locate their position on the earth’s surface. Another type of treasure hunt that doesn’t require a GPS is Letterboxing.

Have a great Christmas Break!

Related : More ideas in Christmas Fun including recipes, crafts and lots more! Also Things to do with Kids around Ireland Christmas 2013, and Christmas Markets in Ireland

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

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