Free Things to do with Kids Round Ireland Christmas Break 2016

Jill Holtz

October 31, 2016

Free things to do with kids

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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:

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#1. Castlecomer Wellie Race

In Co. Kilkenny, The Castlecomer Wellie Race takes place again this year on New Year’s Day, Jan 1st 2017. All are welcome to come along (in wellies!) and participate in the fun to help raise money for charity.

#2. Christmas in Cork

Head to the Christmas Market on the Grand Parade which runs each weekend up to Sunday 18th 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.

#3. 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!

All the money raised goes to COPE Galway.

#4. Free Family Events at National Museum of Ireland

Museum of ArchaelogyFrom Christmas Activity Trails to Awesome Ogham to Christmas Carols, check out the Free Family Christmas Events at the 4 National Museum of Ireland sites, Collins Barracks, Merrion Square and Kildare Street and Country LIfe Mayo.

You might also like: 50 Magical Places to Visit Santa in Ireland this Christmas

#5. Meet The Gruffalo!

the gruffalo trail

Follow The Gruffalo Trail at Colin Glen Forest from 26 November until 31 December.

The Mouse took a stroll through the deep dark woods…. Follow in the Mouse’s footsteps and meet the silly old fox, owl and snake on the way to an amazing 8 foot tall Gruffalo, complete with knobbly knees, turned out toes and a poisonous wart on the end of his nose.

The experience is completely free so bring the family and enjoy one of Belfast’s most beautiful parks.

#6. Find Fairies in Erica’s Fairy Forest, Cootehill

erica's fairy forest

Erica’s Fairy Forest 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.

Come along and see how many fairies you can find!

#7. The Moving Crib Parnell Square

The Moving Crib will be back in Parnell Square, Dublin until January 8th.

#8. Visit a Christmas Market or Craft Fair

Soak up the Christmas atmosphere at your local Christmas Market or Craft Fair and support local traders and crafts people.

#9. Visit the Animals at Powerscourt Stables

Santa at PowerscourtCome along and visit the animals at the stables in Powerscourt House and Gardens, Co Wicklow. See Santa’s animals at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion from 26th Nov – 23rd December. 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.

#10. Christmas at Farmleigh, Dublin

Farmleigh have a full Christmas programme with Horse & Carriage Rides, Christmas Storyteling, Puppet Shows, Festive Courtyard, Carol Singing and Special Guests. All events are free and can be attended on a first come served basis. Every weekend in December up to December 18th.

#11. Run a GOAL Mile


GOAL Miles are held at Christmas in villages, towns and cities right across Ireland. Now in its 36th 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!

#12. New Years Festival Dublin

Free things to do with kidsJoin in the fun as this 3 day NYF festival takes to the streets of Dublin with many free events for families. It runs December 30th, 31st and January 1st.

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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Published On: October 31st, 2016 / Categories: Ireland, Things To Do / Last Updated: July 18th, 2022 / Tags: , , /

About the Author: Jill Holtz

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls

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