Things to Do With Kids Around Ireland at Christmas

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things to do around Ireland at Christmas

Are you looking for things to do with kids (apart from Santa visits), this December and Christmas Holiday? From Christmas craft making to winter fairs, here’s our regional guide of Things to do with Kids Around Ireland at Christmas for 2019.

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Festive Family Fun at Leisureplex

Christmas events bowling at Leisurplex

Christmas is all about family and fun, and Leisureplex is bringing the two together to provide the perfect venue for the whole family this Christmas.

Whether it’s a parents-versus-kids game of bowling, a galactic family-versus-family battle in Quasar, or an adventure in the slides and ball-pools of the Zoo Adventureland, Leisureplex has everything you need for the perfect day out.

Open all over the Christmas season with locations at Blanchardstown, Charlestown, Coolock, Cork, Stillorgan and Tallaght.

On Sunday December 8th 2019, 11am to 1pm – Leisureplex are hosting a Brunch with Santa at Leisureplex event in all of the Leisureplex locations in Dublin & Cork from 11am – 1pm on Sunday 8th December. It costs just €12 for 1 adult and 1 child and all proceeds will be donated to Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

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Dublin

  • November 15th 2019 to January 26th 2020. South Dublin On Ice at Tallaght Stadium offers ice skating fun for all the family. The spectacular real ice rink at Tallaght Stadium will be the centrepiece of the South County Dublin Christmas Festival this year and is sure to attract thousands of skaters young and old to the town. 
  • December 2019 – Check out the Free Christmas Events at the 3 National Museum of Ireland museums, Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks, Natural History at Merrion Square and Archaeology at Kildare Street. Events include; Festive Craft Workshops, Family Christmas Trails, Festive Fossils and a pop up talk on Polar Bears.
  • Friday November 29th to Monday December 23rd 2019 – Have you ever wondered what it takes to become one of Santa’s trusty elves? This year, why not find out at The Elves in Training Santa Experience at Croke Park from November 29th.
  • Saturday November 30th, 9.45am to 6pm – With free entry and over 40 craft exhibitors, Christmas carols & DJ, outdoor food market and a very special guest the Christmas Craft Fair at the county library Tallaght promises to be a fun day out for all the family.
  • Friday December 7th 2019 to Sunday January 5th 2020 (selected dates) – Mill Productions return with another Christmas panto for all the family at dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum. Robin Hood tells the story of Robin and Maid Marion and the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham! The Mill Productions gang promise fun, songs, dancing, colourful characters and a little bit of audience participation!
  • Friday October 25th 2019 to Sunday January 19th 2020 – There’s plenty of Ice-Skating fun to be had around Dublin again this year, including South Dublin on Ice at Tallaght Stadium, Dundrum on Ice, Swords & Blanchardstown.
  • Friday November 1st 2019 to Sunday January 5th 2020 – Dublin Zoo has a spectacular themed light show Wild Lights, running on selected dates from November 1st 2019. The theme for this years show is stories, myths and legends.
  • Friday November 22nd to Monday December 23rd 2019 -The award winning Santa Experience is back at Dunnes Stores in the Kilnamanagh Shopping Centre, Dublin 24 from November 22nd. Children will be transported to the North Pole for a festive experience to remember.
  • Thursday November 28th 2019 to Sunday January 5th 2020 – The Moving Crib will be back in Parnell Square, Dublin from November 28th to January 5th. This year they celebrate 63 years of delighting families for free. The crib is open daily from 11am to 6pm except for Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day and New Years Day.
  • Saturday November 30th to December 24th Arnotts Dublin have a host of Free Christmas Events and Fun including Christmas Themed Workshops on November 30th & December 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd & 24th from 11am to 4pm.
  • Friday December 6th 2019 to Sunday January 5th 2020 – The Bord Gais Energy Theatre has a full line up for families this Christmas season with The Snowman Christmas Special from December 6th to 8th and Mamma Mia! from December 10th to January 5th.
  • Saturday December 7th 2019 to Friday January 3rd 2020 – The National Concert Hall Family Christmas Concert with the ECHO Band takes place on December 7th. There’s also a live screening in concert of The Wizard of Oz on Wednesday 18th December, This Way to Christmas! featuring The Snowman from Saturday 21st December to Monday 23rd and Oliver! from Friday 27th to Friday January 3rd.
  • Sunday December 8th 2019, 11am to 1pm – Leisureplex are hosting a Brunch with Santa at Leisureplex event in all of the Leisureplex locations in Dublin & Cork from 11am – 1pm on Sunday 8th December. It costs just €12 for 1 adult and 1 child and all proceeds will be donated to Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
  • Saturday December 14th – The annual Aware Christmas Run takes place in the Phoenix Park on December 14th 2019. Online registration is available at aware.ie/events for both 5K and 10K options.
  • Saturday December 14th to Sunday 29th 2019 – Escape into space at The Ark, Temple Bar, with an interactive theatrical experience for ages 3 to 5 years with Moon Woke Me Up by Little Bigtop in association with The Civic.
  • Thursday December 26th 2019 to Sunday January 12th 2020– Funderland is back at the RDS for the festive season.

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Magical Christmas & New Year Offers at The Mount Wolseley

Rathwood Christmas Train Experience with Mount Wolseley Hotel

Rathwood’s Santa Train Adventure is Ireland’s most popular Santa Experience.
Share in the magic of Christmas and take the Santa Express journey through the Enchanted Forest to visit Santa as he prepares for the most wonderful time of the year. Get tickets for this wonderful experience when you book a selected festive family break at the Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa & Golf Resort in Carlow. Or blow away the cobwebs and treat the family with a post Christmas family break.

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South East

  • Wednesday November 13th, 5pm to 8pm – Step into the magical wonder of Christmas at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion on their Christmas launch night. Visitors can check out the full Christmas range and enjoy a 20% discount for the night.
  • Saturday November 16th to Sunday December 23rd 2019 – Powerscourt Estate Wicklow is the place to be this Christmas 2019, enjoy a stroll in the gardens, a visit the Cool Planet Experience. See the animals in Powerscourt Stables before visiting Santa at Avoca and collecting some presents from the beautiful shops.
  • Saturday November 23rd to Sunday December 15th 2019Wicklow Christmas Market and The Santa Express will be in the magical Abbey grounds, in Wicklow town just 25 minutes from the M50. You will find plenty of craft stalls to get you in the Christmas mood. So why not come on down and try out some of our local artisan foods, buy some decorations or find a gift for a loved one family or friend. There is something for everyone so make sure you don’t miss out on this year’s fantastic Christmas Market.
  • Saturday November 23rd to Sunday December 22nd – 11am & 2pm every Saturday & Sunday – Crafty kids aged 6 to 12 years will love these festive Christmas lantern making workshops at the Cool Planet Experience in Wicklow. Children will make their Christmas lantern before decorating them and adding lights. The workshop will excite your kids and teach them about sustainable and low energy choices. All materials will be supplied and kids get to take their lanterns home.
  • November & December 2019 (selected dates) – Have a Wilde Christmas experience at Russborough House, Blessington, Co Wicklow with a Wilde Christmas House Tour, bringing the stories of Oscar Wilde to life in magically themed rooms. Suitable for all the family to enjoy.
  • Saturday December 7th to Monday December 23rd 2019 – Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny offers a Magical Winter Wonderland with an Elf & Fairy Village, Giant Igloo and a visit to Santa if you wish.
  • On December 10th you are invited to bring your pets along to meet Santa at the Nore Valley Christmas Experience at MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre, Kilkenny! Families are charged €5 per pet to have a photo with Santa and receive a small gift. No booking is necessary and all proceeds from this one-off event will be donated to Samaritans, helping to save lives in Ireland.
  • Saturday November 23rd to Monday December 23rd, 10am to 5pm daily– Bring the children along to meet some of Santa’s animals at Powerscourt stables including Santa’s deer, pygmy goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and miniature donkeys. This experience is free of charge and you will find the stables loacated next to the Garden Pavillion.
  • Saturday November 23rd to Monday December 23rd 2019 (selected dates) – Waterford Winterval is back with a host of events for families from November 23rd.
  • Saturday November 23rd 2019 to Sunday January 5th 2020 – Kilkenny on Ice runs at The Hub Cillin Hill.
  • Friday 27th to Monday 30th December 2019 – It’s Panto time at the National Opera House, Wexford from December 27th to 30th. Enjoy the magical pantomime Cinderella, with an all star cast.
  • December 2019 – Yulefest Kilkenny runs family friendly events in December, with delights for kids of all ages from music to puppet shows and Santa visits to workshops for children.
  • December 2019 – Carlow has a host of Christmas events taking place throughout December including a Christmas Fair at Delta Sensory Gardens and Christmas at Huntington Castle.
  • Saturday December 14th – Big House Tales Family Story Workshop with author Sarah Webb takes place at Russborough House, Blessington, Co Wicklow from 11am to 12pm.

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Midlands

  • Saturday November 30th Monday December 23rd 2019 – A visit to Belvedere House and Gardens, Westmeath is always great fun and during December can enjoy a Food & Design Winter Fair, an evening of Christmas Floral Decorations and you can meet Belvedere’s very own Green Santa on selected dates in December.
  • Saturday November 30th to Saturday December 21st 2019 (selected dates) – Enjoy a trail with the Elves, meeting Santa and the magical Treehouse at The Magic of Christmas at Birr Castle Offaly.
  • Friday November 22nd 2019 to Sunday January 12th 2020Winterfest Mullingar includes Ice-skating for November 22nd and the annual Christmas Market on December 6th to 9th & 12th to 15th.
  • December 2019 – The Dunamaise Arts Center in Laois have a host of Family Christmas Shows on during December including; Santas Fairytale Christmas by Talisman Theatre, Dec 14th, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Branar Téatar, Dec 17th, A Christmas Carol, Dec 18th and Elf on Dec 21st,
  • December 2019 – The Riverbank Arts Centre in Kildare have family shows including Heart of Winter on Dec 7th, Little Tiny Xmas on Dec 13th and The Greatest Showman Singalong on December 21st
  • December 2019 – The Moat Theatre in Naas, Kildare has Aladdin the Panto running from November 29th to December 14th & Santa’s Fairytale Christmas the Panto running on December 21st.

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North East

  • December 2019 to January 2020 – Iontas Castleblaney has several family shows for the festive season including; Heart of Winter on December 11th & Snow White The Panto from January 6th to 11th 2020.
  • Sunday November 24th to Monday December 23rd 2019 – The Causey Farm Christmas Experience in Meath runs from November 24th and offers the opportunity to see the farm in a festive light!
  • December 2019 – There are a number of Christmas Craft Fairs & Markets taking place in Louth including; Drogheda Christmas Festival from December 6th to 8th, Ardee Christmas Food Fair on December 8th and Frostival 2019 which takes place in Dundalk from December November 22nd 2019.
  • December 2019 – The Droichead Arts Centre in Louth will have their annual Christmas Panto on December 4th to 8th, this year it is The Piped Piper. They will show Scrooge (original 1951 version) on December 10th.

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North West

  • Sunday 1st to Sunday 22nd December 2019 (selected dates) -The Annual Strokestown Park Victorian Christmas Experience Roscommon is back for 2019. With lots of festive attractions for all of the family. It takes place on weekends in December from December 1st. And Strokestown Park will host a Christmas Market on weekends from Friday 29th November to Sunday 15th December 2019.
  • December 2019Lough Key Forest and Activity Park is perfect to visit during December with plenty of weather safe paths for walking & cycling and indoor activities such as Boda Borg. Santa will visit on December 15th and there will be a host of free activities to enjoy. In addition, throughout December & early January they will run fun festive workshops including; Christmas Crafts on December 1st from 12pm to 1pm, Kids Floral Class on December 8th from 11am to 1pm, Santa Science Lab on December 15th from 11.30am to 1pm, Make Your Own 2020 Calendar on December 30th from 12pm to 1pm, Science Lab with Planet Science Kids on January 3rd from 11.30am to 1pm. Pre booking for all workshops is essential and can be made by telephone 071 9673122 or by email – [email protected]
  • December 2019 – Enjoy a host of family friendly events the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life Co Mayo this December including: a Harness The Power Family Workshop on December 7th, Music Circle performance on December 8th, Crafty Christmas Carols session on December 13th, Crafty Christmas Weekend of workshops and festive fun on December 14th & 15th.
  • Friday November 23rd to Monday December 23rd 2019 – In Mayo, Westport House’s Winter Wonderland is a magical family experience brimming with Christmas cheer that will leave the kids starry-eyed and the whole family believing in fairy-tales!
  • December 2019 – The Hawks Well Theatre in Sligo has host of Christmas shows including Santa’s Fairytale Christmas on December 2nd, Aladdin The Panto from December 7th to 20th, Christmas Toons – Anything Goes on December 21st and Santa Babies on December 22nd.
  • December 26th – The annual St Stephens Day Treasure Hunt in aid of the Hospice in Boyle, Co Roscommon will take place at Lough Key Forest Park from 2.30pm. Answer sheets can be handed in at Clarke’s Bar & Restaurant on St Patrick’s Street, Boyle and winners will also be announced here.

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Book an Elf Town Family Package at The Connacht Hotel Galway

Christmas Breaks at The Connacht Hotel

Enjoy a festive family break in Galway this November or December and you will receive an exclusive 10% discount off Elf Town Tickets when you book an Elf Town Family Package at the award winning Connacht Hotel.

  • Choose from Bunk Bed Rooms, Family Rooms or Family Suites
  • Enjoy a full Irish breakfast daily
  • Receive 10% discount on Elf Town tickets
  • Complimentary parking & Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary use of the leisure centre with pool

Check availability for all Elf Town Family Packages.


Deck the Halls!

Get ready to sing along at these seasonal carol concerts and events taking place around Ireland this year!

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Galway

  • Friday November 29th to Monday December 23rd 2019 – Santa and his merry band of elves are looking forward to returning to Galway and meeting all the wonderful boy and girls at Elf Town. Elf Town is an interactive Christmas Experience with takes place at Ballybrit Racecourse Galway.
  • Sunday 8th to Monday 23rd December 2019 (selected dates) – Conjure up the real magic and wonder of Christmas with Santa’s Christmas Magic at Brigit’s Garden on various dates from December 8th to 23rd 2019 Santa and Elfie are back with lots of extra fun activities!
  • December 2nd to January 13th 2019 – The Town Hall Theatre Galway has a full line up of festive family performances including; A free Carol Service on December 8th, Over the Rainbow dance presentation of the Wizard of Oz on December 13th to 15th, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Branar on December 19th to 21st & Aladdin is the Renmore Panto for this year from December 29th 2019 to January 12th 2020.
  • December 25th – The Annual Galway Cope Christmas Day Swim takes place at Blackrock on Christmas Day from 10am to 1pm. This year is the 30th year for the swim!
  • Saturday November 16th to Sunday January 5th – Galway Skates are open for ice-skating in Salthill from November 16th 2019.
  • Friday November 22nd to Sunday December 22nd 2019 – The Galway Christmas Market is back in Eyre Square from November 22nd 2019 for five weeks.

Family Fun Guaranteed!

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South West

  • December 2019 – glór Ennis have a full line up of festive entertainment including; award winning musician Eoin O’Neill will be joined by special guests from the Clare music scene for this monthly family trad series on December 14th, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Branar on December 6th, The Speks family music show on December 7th, Ballet Ireland presents Swan Lake on December 12th & 13th, the family panto this year from Pantaloons is Mother Goose from December 21st to 31st 2019. Booking & further information: Box Office 065-6843103 or www.glor.ie
  • Friday November 22nd to Monday December 23rd 2019 -The award winning Santa Experience is back at Dunnes Stores in the Jetland Centre Limerick from November 22nd. Children will be transported to the North Pole for a festive experience to remember.
  • Friday November 22nd to Monday December 23rd – Enjoy a magical Christmas season in Bunratty Castle & Folk Park in Clare where you can go ice skating, enjoy a Christmas banquet and have breakfast with Santa.
  • December 14th & 21st 2019 – Santa’s Crafty Labs at King John’s Castle is a 1 hour festive science workshop for children aged 5 – 12 years. Children will engage in the awesome world of chemistry, explore Glittery Slime and be amazed by intriguing polymers. Children will be prompted to explore their creativity / artsy side using Slime to draw Christmas trees! Children will appreciate acid base reactions by launching Rudolph rockets & explore eruptions in our Erupting Christmas Ornaments experiment. One not to be missed!
    Book here: December 14th, 12.30pm & 2pm & December 21st 11am, 12.30pm & 2pm
  • December 2019 –  Christmas in Killarney organise a feast of events for families during December including ice skating, Killarney sleigh & The Magic Parade.
  • December 2019 – The Source Arts Centre in Thurles have a range of family friendly events taking place in December including: The Bockety World of Henry Bucket on December 12th, Frozen Singalong on December 15th & Sinbad Panto on December 29th to 31st 2019.
  • December 2019 – The INEC in Killarney have Home Alone in Concert on December 2nd 2019 & Cinderella the Panto from January 3rd to 5th 2020.
  • December 2019 – Limerick On Ice is back beside Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre for the festive season.
  • Monday 16th December 2019 to Sunday 5th January 2020 – The UCH Limerick annual Christmas Panto is back from December 16th. This year you can enjoy Aladdin!
  • December 2019 – The Lime Three Theatre Limerick has a host of festive family shows this December including; Swan Lake by Ballet Ireland on December 6th & 7th, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on December 13th & 14th and the panto this year is Beauty & The Best which runs from December 27th 2019 to January 5th 2020.

Cork

  • Friday November 22nd to Monday December 23rd 2019 -The award winning Santa Experience is back at Dunnes Stores in the Patrick Street from November 22nd. Children will be transported to the North Pole for a festive experience to remember.
  • Thursday 28th November 2019 to Sunday 19th January 2020 – The Cork Opera House Panto this year is Peter Pan, running on dates from November 28th.
  • Sunday 17th November to Sunday 22nd December 2019 (selected dates) – Enjoy Glow in Cork City on weekends from November 17th 2019. With a festive market, ferris wheel and entertainment for all ages.
  • Friday 1st November 2019  to Sunday January 26th 2020 – Cork on Ice will be back at Mahon Point until January 26th, and is open every day except Christmas Day. Penguins available for small kids and special kiddies skating area.
  • Saturday November 30th 2019 to Sunday January 12th 2020 – Enjoy Jack and the Beanstalk the Panto  at The Everyman Theatre Cork this Christmas.
  • Sunday 1st December, 18:30, doors 18:00.  Carols by Candlelight takes place at Fota House Cork on December 1st. Immerse yourself in the beautiful sounds of this award winning Cappella Lyrica choir in the resplendent surrounds of the magnificent Drawing Room. Tickets €20 include parking, complimentary glass of wine/soft drink and a mince pie on arrival! Book online now at www.fotahouse.com. Your ticket purchase helps to fund the continued restoration and conservation of Fota House, to help share this special place with future generations.
  • December 2019 – Enjoy a delightful retelling of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol by Ocean of Notions Theatre Company in Goldie Chapel at Nano Nagle Place, Douglas Street, Cork on dates from December 5th to 8th. On Saturday Dec 7th, 14th & 21st from 1pm to 3pm you can pop in to the Print Room make a FREE Christmas print/card  with Cork Printmakers. Finally on select dates in December there will be Kid’s 18th century Christmas guided tours of the heritage museum.
  • Sunday December 8th 2019, 11am to 1pm – Leisureplex are hosting a Brunch with Santa at Leisureplex event in all of the Leisureplex locations in Dublin & Cork from 11am – 1pm on Sunday 8th December. It costs just €12 for 1 adult and 1 child and all proceeds will be donated to Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
  • Sunday 8th to Sunday 22nd December 2019, 11am to 6pm (selected dates)An Enchanted Christmas at Fota House Cork takes you on a magical journey through Fota House. Along the way you will meet some enchanting and entertaining characters before your individual family visit to Santa.

Northern Ireland

  • December 2019 – Follow The Stick Man and Gruffalo Trails at Colin Glen Forest this December. The experience is completely free so bring the family and enjoy one of Belfast’s most beautiful parks.
  • Thursday December 13th to Sunday 16th 2019 – The Christmas Winterland Market  takes place in Guildhall Square, Derry with kids entertainment and festive treats for all. And on December 15th the Grand Christmas Processions leaves Guildhall Square at 6pm.
  • Saturday November 24th to Monday December 23rd 2019 – Step back in time and experience a Magical Christmas Experience at Titanic Belfast.
  • December 2019 – There are an array of Pantos taking place this festive season in Northern Ireland including: The Elves & The Shoemaker at The Mac, Belfast (November 27th 2019 to Jan 6th 2020), Cinderalla at The Waterside Theatre, Derry (December 7th to 19th 2019), Jack & The Beanstalk at The Grand Opera House, Belfast (December 1st 2019 to January 13th 2020) & Annie The Musical at The Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen, Fermanagh. 

For a comprehensive list of events at any time, check out our events calendar where events are added daily.

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If we have missed any Christmas Events taking place near you, please let us know in the comments box below.

things to do around Ireland at Christmas



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