Christmas Events and Entertainment in Ireland

Christmas Events and Entertainment in Ireland


Christmas is a magical time in Ireland and there are a range of events and entertainments throughout the island of Ireland in celebration of the festive period.

Ireland's Christmas Events and Entertainments range from the traditional to the modern and encompass all cultural life from theatre and music to street life and sport and there are a host of events throughout the country over Christmas time.

Christmas in Dublin

Ireland's capital city of Dublin boasts a huge range of Christmas events, from markets to music, giving Christmas shopping in Dublin a touch of the festive spirit.

Kickstarting the Christmas season in Dublin is the ceremonial lighting of the Christmas lights, with the iconic Grafton Street lights being switched on, outside Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre on Thursday, 14th November, followed by the Henry Street lights being switched on Sunday, 17th November.

With more excitement throughout December as Santa and his helpers come to visit the Ilac Shopping Centre on Henry Street. It promises to be a magical journey through the Elves Post Office, Santa’s Stable and Sleigh Room, The Artic and finally Santa’s House! Here you will meet Elves, Polar bears, penguins and of course Santa Claus himself! If you are really lucky you might even get to ride in his sleigh!

The Traditional Christmas Market will take place each Saturday and Sunday in the Upper Courtyard at Dublin Castle from the 30th November until the 22nd December. Choirs will perform under the tree from 1.30 to 3.30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday with plenty of tasty treats on offer from the Christmas vendors, including mulled wine, hot chocolate, gingerbread cookies and traditional chimney cake.

There will also be craft fair will taking place on the 15th December between 10.00 a.m. & 5.00 p.m. inside the Bedford Hall. Some of Irelands’ best artists, designers and makers will be displaying and selling their work, from pottery to hand knitted scarves, beautiful ceramics to Irish chocolates.

Festive musical productions and other Christmas entertainment in Dublin includes:

  • Wicket - The HIt Musical at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre (27th November 2013 – 18th January 2014)
  • The Sleeping Beauty - The Pantomine at The Helix (29th November 2013 – 12th January 2014)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Gaiety Theatre (1st December 2013 – 12th January 2014)
  • Christmas Wonderland at the RDS (6th December 2013 – 12th January 2014)
  • Christmas Craft Fair at the Trinity Bar and Venue (7th December 2013 – 22nd December 2013)
  • Handel's Messiah at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre (9th December 2013)
  • Airtricity Dockland’s Christmas Festival at The IFSC (12th December 2013 – 23rd December 2013)
  • Three NYE Dublin Festival throughout Dublin (29th December 2013 – 1st January 2014)

Christmas Racing Festivals

Following the excesses Christmas, the Leopardstown Christmas Festival offers an exhilarating day out for sporting fans, socialites and thrill-seekers alike commencing on St. Stephan's Day. The Festival offers an impressive racing programme which guarantees the best of National Hunt racing with Leopardstown becoming the traditional hotspot for post-Christmas gatherings with the chance of bumping into a famous face!

The Limerick Christmas Racing Festival provides a fantastic festive feast of racing at the racecourse in Greenmount Park. The feature races are the Greenmount Novice Chase which was won last year by Sir Des Champs who went on to win at Cheltenham and the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase which was won by Seabass who went on to be third in the Aintree Grand National.

Christmas Markets & Fairs in Ireland

There will be plenty happening throughout Ireland including a whole host of Irish Christmas Fairs and Markets including:

  • Galway Christmas Market (22nd November - 22nd December)
  • Winterval in Waterford (29th November - 30th December)
  • Christmas at the Milk Market in Limerick (28th November - 31st December)
  • Glow - A Cork Christmas Celebration (29th November - 23rd December)
  • Ballincollig Christmas Market (22nd December)
  • A Taste of Carlow at Christmas (30th November - 1st December)

Other notable Christmas events are taking place throughout Ireland including the Believe at Fota Island Resort in East Cork which promises to provide the whole family with an enthralling winter wonderland amid the woodlands that surround the 5 star luxury hotel and golf club between the 30th November and 24th December. Santa will also be visiting Bunratty Castle & Folk Park on the 23rd December. So there is plenty planned for those planning group vacations to Ireland this Christmas.

For further information on visiting Ireland on vacation this Christmas or to discover more about our Self Drive Irish vacations, escorted coach tours or activity vacations please contact one of our Ireland based Guides who can provide you with a free quote.

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