Are you looking for things to do with kids(apart from Santa visits), this December and Christmas? From Christmas craft making to winter fairs, here’s our pick of Things to do with Kids Around Ireland Christmas 2014.
Christmas at The Ark
Four wondrous musicians and some light fingered animation will explore the magic and mystery of all things snowy at A Most Peculiar Wintry Thing at The Ark from 22nd November. Also their Christmas Workshop Winter Art studio for family runs on selected dates in Dec & Jan and is suited for 4+yrs.
Christmas at Dublin Museums
There’s a Feast of Free activities at the National Museum of Ireland, this Christmas. At National Museum of Ireland-Decorative Arts & History, see the Christmassy side of the Museum by taking the Angel Trail/12 Days of Christmas Trail from 1st December. Draw a picture of your favourite Christmas decoration at Drop-in Family Area, and on 21st see their Christmas and Hanukkah “Living Room” Light installation.
At the National Museum of Ireland-Archaeology experience the magical smells, tastes and sights of a Medieval Christmas. Discover how Medieval lords, Viking children and Stone Age farmers passed the time and celebrated feasts in winters past, and be inspired by the runic Christmas tree decorations workshop. Learn about ancient Winter Solstice traditions on 21st Dec and make your own viking house on 2nd & 3rd January.
Or head along to the National Museum of Ireland-Natural History and get up close to some of our old furry favourites– the Bear, the Lynx and the Wolf – and discover the magic tricks that nature can do to survive winter at the Winter Wipeout Christmas Tour.
Pine Forest Art Centre
The Pine Forest Art Centre is running their popular Art & Craft Day on 14th December, from 10am – 3pm for 5+yrs, with lunchtime mountain walk included. Perfect opportunity for you to get some Christmas shopping done.
There’s cracking Christmas fun throughout December at Imaginosity with a jam-packed programme of festive fun including Christmas Craft workshops, ‘The Grinch’ Story Performances, Elf on the Shelf Storytime, Festive Face Painting and Christmas Sing-a-longs. There’s so much to see and do. Booking required.
You might also like Where is Santa around Ireland this Christmas.
The Christmas Fair at the National Print Museum is back from 28th-30th November, with a winter wonderland of market stalls and self-guided Christmas crafts for the little ones. Also the Lambert Puppet Theatre presents Snow White at The Pavilion Theatre on 21st December.
You might also like our Christmas Fun ideas article, jam-packed with festive recipes, games & lots more treats!
A Powerscourt Christmas
On 6th December, popular Irish story-teller and actor Jack Lynch is back for Christmas Story-Telling at Powerscourt. Bring along your family and enjoy his repertoire of Christmas tales, from well-known stories to ones that may be new to you! Also, you can visit Santa’s animals at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion Stables including his deer, pygmy goats, miniature donkeys, rabbits and guinea pigs, from 29th November to 23rd December.
Christmas in Wicklow
There’s a family showing of The Polar Express at The Mermaid Arts Centre on 22nd December, and The Gingerbreadman, by Miriam Lambert is on 3rd January.
Christmas market runs at Killruddery, coinciding with Santa visits, starting 6th December.
Christmas Shows at Dunmaise Arts Centre
In Laois, Talisman Theatre presents The Three Little Pigs’ Night before Christmas for 3+yrs at Dunmaise Arts Centre on December 15th. This clever re-working of the classic tale is filled with fun and toe-tapping Christmas songs. The children will love it! Also there is a production of A Christmas Carol on 16th December and a family showing of The Polar Express movie on Dec 20th.
Christmas in Westmeath
The Multyfarnham Country Fair goes all Christmassy on 14th December, with food and craft stalls, turkeys for sale, art and crafts and carols. Dust off your Christmas jumpers and head to Mullingar’s winter wonderland from 19th -21st December, with a cinema showing Christmas classics, Santa in his grotto, and lots of family fun.
Christmas in Kildare
At the Riverbank Arts Centre, join Branar on 13th December as they take you on a joyful journey through to the most magical night of year in ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas. Scrooged is the Family Movie on 22nd December, and Joy to the World visual exhibition return throughout Christmas.
Elsewhere, it’s all about pantos at The Moat Theatre, Naas with Cinderella running from 3rd-13th December, and Smash and Grab and the Seven Dwarfs from 2nd-11th January.
Christmas Origami in Offaly
Try your hand at some Christmas origami at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre on 6th December, and on 7th there is a family screening of the movie Hook.
A Shadow over Santa in Monaghan
This Christmas, there’s a Shadow Over Santa at the Iontas Theatre, Castleblaney! This is an SOS to all Co. Monaghan kids: We need you to Save Our Santa! Santa Claus is fading away and soon he may no longer exist. Can you help Save Our Santa? Also at Iontas, Sleeping Beauty is the Pantomine this year and runs from 15th to 20th December.
Gingerbread & Teddy Bears in Cavan
If you’d like to nibble on your own creation over Christmas, the Bear Essentials Gingerbread House Family Christmas Workshop on Saturday 13th of December 2014 will be a real treat. Or on Dec 19th, build your own Christmas Teddy Bear.
Christmas Experience in Meath
Enjoy the Navan Christmas Experience and support local. There’ll be Christmas markets, live crib, traditional crib, and of course Santa himself makes an appearance. Also a Christmas Fair takes place at Dunboyne Castle on 7th December, with local produce and gifts, and of course the man in red himself!
Goldilocks in Louth
If you go down to the woods this December, you’re sure of a big surprise……well a fantastic show anyway at The Droichead Arts Centre Goldilocks and the 3 Bears panto on 19th & 20th December. Also the Drogheda Orchestra Collective Christmas show is on 21st Dec., and promises a show of music and enchantment for all the family. Celebration of a Christmas Carlingford returns to Ghan House on 14th Dec., with cookery demos, wine tasting, seasonal music, cupcake & gingerbread decorating for kids and of course Santa in his grotto.
A Country Life Christmas in Mayo
Get away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and celebrate the festive season with a crafty range of family activities throughout December at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life. From making Christmas Decorations and Cards to Carol Singing, and knitting Christmas decorations, there’s something for everyone!
Christmas at Westport House
Over at Westport House this December, teenagers and adults can unleash their festive creative flair at the wreath making & reindeer making workshops, and Westport Shop’n’Spraoi na Nollaig is back in town on 13th & 14th December, with lots of fun for all the family.
Lough Key Christmas
In Roscommon, get into the festive mood at Lough Key Forest Park where there’s a full range of Christmas activities lined-up for December 7th and 14th, including craft and baking classes, face painting and fFestive Music.
Christmas in Sligo
In Sligo, it’s panto time, with Jack & The Beanstalk running at The Hawkswell Theatre, from December 7th. Get into the festive spirit and support local, at the Winter Fest Craft Market taking place on 29th & 30th November, at the Yeats Memorial Building, with local craft & design, face painting and carols.
A Little Taste of Christmas in Donegal
In Donegal, A Little Taste of Christmas takes place on 30th November at The Abbey Hotel, with crafts and food stalls, live entertainment for all ages, and switch-on of lights in town at 7pm. A Most Peculiar Wintry Thing takes place on 7th December in Letterkenny, when four wondrous musicians and some light fingered animation will explore the magic and mystery of all things snowy.
Families can enjoy a guided trail under starlight, at the Celtic Garden Christmas Trail at the IOSAS Centre, Muff, and children can also take part in craft activities including cookie decorating.
Galway Christmas Market
The Galway Continental Christmas Market is back for 2014 from 21st November. Along with the stalls, the many popular features due to make a welcome return to the market, are the music stage hosting choirs and carollers, children’s workshops, amusements and of course Santa!
Ice Skating Galway
Wrap up warm and head to Galway City on Ice, for some ice-skating fun this Christmas, from 22nd November.
Christmas at Town Hall Theatre
For some “Oh yes he did, oh no he didn’t” head to the Town Hall Theatre for Renmore Panto’s Cinderella from 29th Dec to 11th Jan. Also in Town Hall Theatre, is Branar’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on 16th Dec at 7pm.
To support good causes and grab a Christmas bargain, the charity pre-Christmas gift grab takes place in Oranmore on 7th December.
Christmas at Bunratty
‘Tis the season to be jolly and there is nothing better than to celebrate Christmas surrounded by friends with good food, wine and entertainment. This year Bunratty Castle will host Christmas Evenings at the Castle on various nights from December 1st – 23rd.
Ballet Ireland at Glor
At Glor Theatre Ennis, there are plenty of family events to enjoy throughout December, including Ballet Ireland’s Swan Lake on 11th December, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs panto from 22nd to 28th December.
Christmas Spraoi in Kerry
The Christmas Spraoi takes place in Tralee throughout Dec with lots of family events including kids free entry to Kerry County Museum, Fun Runs, Crib, Carols, Fancy Dress Disco, and New Year’s Eve Family Fireworks. Little Red Riding Hood panto takes place in Kenmare on 15th & 16th December.
Christmas in Killarney
Experience the magic of the season at Christmas in Killarney, which starts with Children’s Parade on 28th November, and has lots of events for all the family throughout December.
A Taste of Roscrea
Experience a winter wonderland at A Taste of Roscrea Christmas market from 4th – 7th December at Roscrea Castle, with Christmas markets, Cookery demos, music and of course Santa.
There are some Christmas screenings of loved family movies over the holidays at The Source Arts Centre, Thurles. On 23rd there is a Matinee showing of Elf, and later on the 23rd you can watch the classic Miracle on 34th Street.
Lidl Christmas Market at The Hunt Museum
Experience the magic of Christmas at the Lidl Christmas Market at The Hunt Museum, from 4th to 7th December, where there will be food, a traditional carousel, mulled wine and even a chance to see Santa! There will also be a Christmas Courtyard Craft Fair running on 6th & 7th. Their Kids Art & Craft Class will run also run on 7th December.
King John’s Castle
If you haven’t yet been to visit King John’s Castle, go experience Limerick’s history as you never have before. Enjoy magnificent views and imagine a Norman soldier’s life in this medieval fortress. Reach out and touch the past through a wide range of new technologies and join in the living interpretation and re-enactment with costumed guides who reveal the secrets and scandals of castle life.
Panto in Limerick
It’s Panto season in Limerick this Christmas. Jack and The Beanstalk is the panto this year at the UCH, Limerick from 19th Dec to 4th January, with matinees and evening performances available. And Limerick Panto Society’s Cinderella runs at The Lime Tree Theatre from 27th December to 4th January.
Limerick on Ice
Head ice skating at Limerick Ice, at Arthur’s Quay, which makes a welcome return for it’s 11th year on 28th November.
The Milk Market Christmas market runs from 28th November, so drop by and experience Christmas in Limerick, with over 60 stalls, choirs, craft workers and music.
Glow, a Cork Christmas Celebration
For festive fun in the run up to Christmas, head to Cork City for Glow, a Cork Christmas Celebration, which runs from 28 November to December 21st. The festival has something for everyone, from a mystical fairy village for kids, to an authentic indoor Crafts Exhibition & Fair, local artisan Food Markets, a 30 metre Ferris Wheel, vintage carousel, fantastic shopping and entertainment galore including a number of Christmas pantos.
Winterval in Waterford
Winterval is back, and families will be thrilled to see Santa arrive into the City in a rather unusual manner on November 21st, along with the help of some jovial Elves and a rather large Ice-Berg! You can enjoy trips on Santa’s Horse Drawn Sleigh or the magical Winterval Express, the South Pole Enchanted Garden a snow fantasy in the Snowglobe, Toy Museum, Christmas markets, and lots more too.
A Very Kilkenny Christmas
Head to the city for A Very Kilkenny Christmas, which runs until Christmas Eve. There’s plenty of family fun – hop on board the Polar Express Christmas Train, visit Santa, or head to Kilkenny on Ice which includes Skyfall Zipline, mammoth Ice Slide, Bungee Trampolines, Rodeo Reindeer, Carousels for young kids, and of course the ice-rink.
Swan Lake in Wexford
Ballet Ireland brings Swan Lake to Wexford Opera House on 30th November, or catch the Nutcracker on 7th December.
Get you skates on and head to the Wonderous Wexford Winterland Ice-rink which runs from 29th Nov – 6th January.
Christmas in Carlow
Enjoy Christmas fun in the magical setting of Duckett’s Grove, for their Christmas Craft & Food Fair on 7th December, which includes Santa Grotto, live nativity scene, local artisan food and craft fair, traditional craft demonstrations, Christmas carols and lots more.
At the Visual Centre, catch Aladdin from 8th-14th December, Elf the movie on 23rd Dec, and Santa’s Magical Journey, a family musical spectacular from 18th – 21st December.
The Family Hoffman at The MAC
Roll Up! Roll Up to the MAC, Belfast this December! For the most marvellous, magical and mind-boggling spectacle for all the family – the extraordinary story of The Family Hoffman, a band of misfits, vagabonds and retired magicians who get back together for one last ‘Big Top’ spectacular. You can explore Christmas past at the Curious Christmas Workshop on 6th December, and on 20th & 21st, pop in from the cold and enjoy some free Christmas story-telling.
Belfast Christmas Market
The ever popular Belfast Christmas Market is back from 15 November offering a range of unique gifts, gourmet food and drink and don’t forget to pay Santa’s post-box a visit and send off your Christmas wish lists to the North Pole, as each child who posts their letter will receive an individual response from the ‘big man’ himself.
Afternoon Tea at Titanic Belfast
For something a little different, head to Titanic Belfast for afternoon tea by the Titanic staircase. You can also catch Father Christmas in residence from 22nd November.
Model Fairytale at W5
The exhibition of model fairytale sets returns to W5 for Christmas. Inspired by the worlds of classic children’s stories, there are six stunning model sets for this enchanting exhibition.
Or for something fun and different try some snow-tubing with Santa at Craigavon Golf & Ski Centre