Are you looking for memorable Santa experiences to enjoy with the children? Maybe doing something a bit different? Have some festive fun and meet the big man from the North Pole at these unusual Santa experiences in Ireland, all with something unique to offer!
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The annual visit to see Santa is one to look forward to, and if you want to try something different this year you will absolutely love these unique choices!
Our round-up of unusual Santa experiences include taking to the skies with Captain Santa, a festive Santa sleepover, training as part of Santa’s GAA squad, heading down a mine, or even bringing your family pet to meet the elves!
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Fun and Unusual Santa Experiences Around Ireland
Go Back In Time at The Green Santa Experience at Belvedere House, Westmeath
Treat your children to a magical traditional Christmas experience with Green Santa at Belvedere House, Westmeath.
Green Santa will arrive at Belvedere House on Saturday 7th December 2019 at 10.45am and will proceed to his magical grotto, along with his elves, where he will meet children from 11am. He will be there every weekend up to and including Sunday December 22nd 2019.
Green Santa at Belvedere offers a great value and quality Santa experience with a difference. Children booked in to see Green Santa will get a potted Holly Tree to bring home with their family to plant out and watch it grow with them over the years, as a lasting and fond memory of their visit to see Green Santa. Every child will also receive some reindeer food and the customary Victorian candy.
Online pre-booking for this event is essential and all Green Santa bookings will include entry to Belvedere House, Gardens, Park and Play Areas. For those who want to walk the outdoor trails after their Green Santa visit, please dress appropriately for the weather on the day.
Book your visit to Green Santa at Belvedere House when tickets go on-sale from November 8th 2019.
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Enjoy Igloos an Elf Village & The Santa Express at the Santa Experience at Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny
Embark on an enchanted journey to see Santa this Christmas at the Magical Woodland Christmas Experience at Castlecomer Discovery Park on selected dates from December 7th to 23rd 2019.
Start your adventure when you board the train at the North Pole Station, and journey to the North Pole aboard the Santa Express on a magical train ride through a forest winter wonderland of twinkling lights.
Once you reach the Christmas Village, you’ll have time to explore, make a Christmas tree decoration in the arts and crafts area or sit back and wrap your mittens around a steaming mug of hot chocolate from the Canopy Café. Children can also play in the elf and fairy village, where imaginative playgrounds feature bouncing nets and a Junior Woodland Adventure Course.
The igloos are cosy and warm and full of festive spirit, and it’s here that children will meet Mrs Claus to hear tales of mischievous elves and life in the North Pole.
Last but not least, it’s time to visit the great man himself, where each child will have the opportunity to spend time alone with Santa Claus, to whisper their wish list into his ear, and to receive a memorable gift.
The duration of the Christmas experience is approximately 90 minutes, at a relaxed and enjoyable pace, making sure you can take time to soak up every ounce of magic from beginning right through to the end. Families are welcome to return to the elf village to spend more time at play.
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Become Elves In Training at The Santa Experience at Croke Park
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 Friday, November 29th.
The Elves in Training Academy runs from Friday November 29th to Monday December 23rd 2019. Pre-booking is essential as places fill up fast! Each child will get to take part in Elf Training with Santa and his helpers in the specially designed elf camp at the GAA HQ. Every ‘elf’ will become a member of the North Pole Football, Hurling & Camogie Club, managed by Santa!
Each member of his elite Elf Squad will get to visit the mesmerising snow tunnel, the North Pole team changing rooms. While you’re there make sure you listen for banter in the shower room to see who’s made it to the naughty or nice list! You might also need to hold your nose as you leave the dressing room, as the trainee Elves’ don’t usually listen to Mrs Claus when she tells them to pick up their dirty gear!
One of the highlights of the magical trail is a visit to Santa’s Bainisteoir’s office, the heart of all the action, where Santa reviews tactics and selects his dream team for the big journey on Christmas Eve.
After this meet and greet with Santa, where every child will receive a gift and get their professional photo taken, your family can run out pitch-side, like their GAA heroes, and take their own Croke Park ‘Elfies’, making even more magical memories.
You will then get complimentary admission to the GAA Museum, where you can discover two floors of interactive exhibits. Marvel at the original Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy cups and test your hurling and football skills in the museum’s Interactive Games Zone!
Bottle Feed Santa’s Deer & Bring Your Pets To Meet Santa at The Nore Valley Christmas Experience at MacDonagh Junction, Kilkenny
Nore Valley Park brings you Kilkenny city’s newest Christmas Experience – a fully immersive festive delight! Located at The Courtyard in MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre, the purpose-built arrangement brings all of the joy of Christmas to your family, young and old.
The full Christmas Experience includes:
- The whole family is invited to write their greatest Christmas wishes to Santa Claus, who will be there, along with his mischievous elves to guide you to his enchanting grotto.
- Make magical reindeer food with the help of Mrs. Claus in her magical kitchen!
- Pet, stroke and cuddle some of Santa’s furry friends in addition to live deer.
As part of the full Santa experience you can also book tickets to bottle feed Santa’s baby deer and have your photo taken with the deer. These are extremely limited with only 10 per session and take place at the 6pm session on Tuesdays & Wednesdays in December.
On December 10th you are invited to bring your pets along to meet Santa! 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.
The accessible and pet-friendly grotto will accommodate all but the largest household pets; if in any doubt please contact Nore Valley beforehand!
This event is a one-off, so don’t let Rover or Fluffy miss out!
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Have a Sleepover With Santa at The Clanard Court, Kildare
Join Santa’s elves on a wonderful journey through Santa’s Magical Trail – a fun-filled and action-packed experience for children young and old held at the Clanard Court Hotel, Kildare.
The award-winning, leading Kildare Santa experience (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award for Families) is for anyone who really loves all things Santa. Look out for some fun characters along the way including Willy Wonka!
This year, Santa and his elves at The Clanard Court are planning their first ever Autism Friendly Trail and Sleepover which will take place on December 11th 2019.
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Take a Trip Through a Tunnel for a Victorian Christmas Santa Experience at Strokestown Park, Roscommon
The Annual Strokestown Park Victorian Christmas Experience is back for 2019. With lots of festive attractions for all of the family including;
- A visit with Mrs Claus at Santa’s Stables where you will meet the animals
- Elves will accompany you through the magical tunnel into the secret underground rooms of Strokestown House. Here you will see the elves busy at work preparing for Christmas.
- The highlight of the Victorian Christmas Experience is meeting Santa Claus by the fire in the traditionally decorated library of Strokestown Park House to receive a Christmas gift.
- Afterwards have a hot chocolate and take part in traditional craft activities.
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Visit Santa Underground at Arigna Mining Experience, Roscommon
Santa goes underground this Christmas at Arigna Mining Experience in Roscommon. He arrives in his underground cave on December 7th and will be there on selected dates up to December 21st.
Visitors can also enjoy entertainment from Fred the Party Professor, Joe Daly Magician and Custard Pie Puppet Show depending on the dates they visit.
Take to the Skies with Santa at Atlantic Air Adventures, Clare
You and your family could take to the skies on an unforgettable flight with Santa this Christmas at Atlantic Air Adventures, Shannon.
Meet Captain Santa Claus on the flight deck of his BAe146 before taking a simulator flight challenge on December 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th 2019.
Enjoy Elfercise: an Elfin Workout at The Enchanted Forest Christmas Experience, Meath
Visit Santa at the Enchanted Forest Christmas Experience at The Millhouse in Slane, Co. Meath on selected dates from November 21st until December 23rd 2019.
Enjoy a wondrous journey with magical elves to visit Santa, deep in the Enchanted Forest, where you and your family will have a truly extraordinary Christmas experience. The elves will meet you in Santa’s workshop and lead you and your family to visit:
- Santa’s extraordinary workshop
- The Elfin Kingdom within the Enchanted Forest where you can enjoy Elfercise: An Elfin workout, letter writing and festive crafts
- Mrs Claus’s woodland kitchen with festive treats for all!
- Santa in his study
- Santa’s sleigh
Each ticket includes five guided activities with the Elves, meeting Mrs Claus and receiving a beautiful gift from Santa.
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Visit Santa on The Bus That Stole Christmas
Find out if you have been naughty or nice on a storytelling adventure through good deeds and bad on Ireland’s only custom built Christmas bus, suitable for all ages. See if you can persuade the elves that your name should be on Santa’s good list this year!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…but wait, the letters are missing and Santa is sick! Join the elves on this puzzling adventure to save the Magic of Christmas. Help them to solve the clues, find the letters and prove you believe in all the good that Christmas can bring. If Santa is saved and Christmas Magic restored, there’s a spot on the good list for everyone on board!
Christmas Bus Tours run from Saturday December 7th to Monday December 24th. Tours take 45 mins and depart from 61 Upper O’Connell St (outside Flanagans Restaurant) and returns to the same spot.
Enjoy Brunch With Santa at Leisureplex Centres in Dublin and Cork
The fantastic Brunch with Santa at Leisureplex event, in aid of Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, takes place in all of the Leisureplex locations from 11am to 1pm on Sunday 8th December. The event includes:
- 1 hour playtime and visit from Santa after playtime
- Delicious pastries and refreshments for both adults and kids
- Lots of goodies and treats for the little elves!
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.
All places can be booked in advance so don’t miss out! To book please contact the Leisureplex of your choice by phone and book your family in for a fun morning! Don’t forget to tell them you found out about this event on Mykidstime!
Leisureplex Blanchardstown, Dublin – 01 8223030
Leisureplex Charlestown, Dublin – 01 8642642
Leisureplex Coolock, Dublin – 01 8485722
Leisureplex Cork – 021 4505155
Leisureplex Stillorgan, Dublin – 01 2881656
Leisureplex Tallaght, Dublin – 01 4599411
Enjoy a Helicopter Flight with Santa and Adventure 001, Waterford
You can enjoy a helicopter flight with Santa from Waterford Airport with Adventure 001 as part of the Winterval Festival. Santa’s elves will be at the airport to greet you and you can enjoy some hot chocolate. The kids will get a small gift before the safety briefing and the flights. Children must be 2 years + to participate. The Santa flights run on select dates from December1st to 15th.
Enjoy a Special Santa Flight Experience, Clare
Imagine boarding a very special flight bound for the skies, where Santa himself will visit all the passengers?
This year’s Shannon Airport’s Santa Flights 2019 will take place on Saturday 30th of November and Sunday 1st of December.
Over 2,000 children and their parents and guardians will be carried 15,000ft into the skies to meet Santa, in what has now become one of the most anticipated seasonal events for children around the country.
With demand for seats far outweighing availability, there is a lottery system in place for tickets. A €1.50 per seat application fee will apply to enter this year’s lottery, and if you win the lottery no other charges will apply.
The lottery for Santa flights is now open and will close midnight Friday, November 1st 2019. Make sure you apply here to be in with a chance for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Winners will be notified via text on 6th November.
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Have you visited any of these unusual Santa experiences around Ireland? Or maybe you have another one to you can share with us? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!