65+ Best Christmas Events in Ireland for 2021

If you are based in Ireland or will be visiting the Emerald Isle for the festive season you might be wondering “what are the best Christmas events near me?”, then this guide will answer that question. Whether you are looking for Christmas light displays, Santa trains, or just a great place to visit the big man himself, this is a list of the best Christmas events in Ireland.

Whether you are based in the north, south, east, or west of the Emerald Isle, you are sure to find some of the best Christmas events Ireland has to offer within driving distance. The events featured are family-friendly and can be enjoyed by young and old alike.

For ease of navigation, I have created sections for the events in each province of Ireland. You can use the table of contents below to skip to the province which is relevant to you, or you can check out all the events taking place this festive season on the island of Ireland.

This is also by no means an exhaustive list of Christmas events taking place in Ireland. As we discover more, we will endeavor to update the list. If you yourself are aware of one that is not on our list, please let me know in the comments below and I will add it to the list.

A picture of the Ferris wheel by night at Winterval Waterford

Note: We highly recommend you contact the venue and secure your place/tickets for these events early. Many Christmas events are likely to have limited numbers and places will sell out quickly. To avoid disappointment, book your tickets asap.

Table Of Contents
  1. Best Christmas events in Ireland
  2. Best Christmas events in Ulster
  3. Best Christmas events in Munster
  4. Best Christmas events in Leinster
  5. Best Christmas events in Connacht
  6. Related Posts

Best Christmas events in Ireland

In this guide, you’ll find some of the best Christmas events in Ireland for this festive season. They are sure to get the excitement building and ensure everyone is getting into the spirit of the coming season.

Before we get into the province-only events, we have found two events that are taking place in various locations across Ireland.

Santa Experience Ireland (various locations)

Address: Cork, Dublin (Ilac Centre, Kilnamanagh Centre), Ennis, Limerick, Portlaoise

Book your visit to see Santa in person this festive season at one of six locations across the Republic of Ireland. Let the kids meet Santa, give him their lists, and receive an age-appropriate gift. Magical cabins and grottos await families. You can book your tickets through the website and even order a special Santa Gift Box, Letter from Santa, and a cute Christmas book.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Santa’s Snowglobe

Address: the comfort of your own home

Fancy having a private chat with Santa from the comfort of your own home. Then, check out Santa’s Snowglobe. This unique experience allows you and the kids to have a private video chat with Santa via a special portal that opens when they shake a magical snowglobe. Gifts and treats can be delivered to your home to enjoy, and you can also have online fun with Mrs Claus and the Elves.

For further information and to book your chat, CLICK HERE.

A picture of the advertisement for Santa's Snowglobe
Picture Source: Santa’s Snowglobe

Best Christmas events in Ulster

In this section, you will find some of the best Christmas events Northern Ireland has to offer, along with events taking place in County Donegal and County Monaghan.

Christmas Experience, Glenarm Castle and Gardens, Antrim SOLD OUT

Address: 2 Castle Lane, Glenarm, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, BT44 0BQ (UK)

The Christmas experience at Glenarm Castle and Gardens is one of the top Christmas events Northern Ireland has to offer. Enjoy a charming nativity scene with real animals, story-telling, gingerbread making, and their hugely popular, Polar Express.

Father Christmas is ready to greet children alongside his Elves, and each child who visits Santa will receive a gift. There is lots to do and plenty of things included in your ticket.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE. SOLD OUT – Contact the venue to see if any cancellations become available.

Christmas movies at the Ulster Museum, Antrim

Address: Botanic Gardens, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT9 5AB (UK)

During Christmas Fest 2021, Christmas movies will be shown for children in the Ulster Museum every Saturday. Movies include the Muppet’s Christmas Carol, the Santa Claus Movie, Elf, and The Polar Express. There are three screening times with the first dedicated to families with children with autism or sensory disabilities.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Gruffalo and Santa Guided Walk, Colin Glen, Antrim TBC

Address: 163 Stewartstown Rd, Dunmurry, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT17 0HW (UK)

The Gruffalo and Santa Guided Walk is expected to return to Colin Glen Forest Park this year. Enjoy Northern Ireland’s only official Gruffalo Trail before meeting Santa to have a chat with him.

Keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates.

Enchanted Winter Garden, Antrim Castle Gardens, Antrim

Address: Randalstown Rd, Antrim, Co. Antrim, BT41 4LH (UK)

Classed as Northern Ireland’s premier Christmas event, the Enchanted Winter Garden at Antrim Castle is a Christmas event in Northern Ireland not to be missed.

As well as a stunning Christmas lights display, there will be a Ferris Wheel, festive friends in the form of Elves and Fairies, and a Wonderland Wood amongst other things.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Weekends with Santa, Galgorm, Antrim

Address: 136 Fenaghy Rd, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, BT42 1EA (UK)

Enjoy a festive lunch at the Castle Kitchen and bar at Galgorm Castle before experiencing the magic of the Galgorm Castle Fairy Trail. Santa Saturdays will see visitors navigate their way through a 2km Christmas-themed woodland trail, along which you’ll meet characters and solve riddles and clues as you go. Along the trail, Santa will meet your family when each child receives a gift.

Super Sundays is a fully loaded Christmas character trail where visitors can meet all the Christmas characters along a seasonally decorated woodland trail. Kids can collect Christmas loot along the way and meet Santa as well, who will be giving gifts to children.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

For more information about Christmas at Galgorm, CLICK HERE.

Bright Lights, Belfast Botanic Gardens, Antrim

Address: College Park Ave, Botanic Ave, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT7 1LP (UK)

Bright Lights Botanic is an amazing new illumination show brought to the Botanic Gardens in Belfast by the same people who create the “Wild Lights” in Dublin Zoo each year (see further below).

The Botanic Gardens are transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland, and the magical winter trail lights up the evening skies this festive season. With plenty of tree lights, colourful lanterns and more, this is a Belfast Christmas event not to be missed. There will be plenty of vendors along the route for you to pick up some hot drinks and tasty festive treats.

For more information CLICK HERE, and to book your tickets CLICK HERE.

Santa Experience at Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory, Antrim SOLD OUT

Address: 64-72 Castlereagh Rd, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT5 5FP (UK)

Enjoy a Santa Experience at Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory in Belfast this festive season. Enter a magical world of Christmas where each child will get to make and decorate their own Christmas chocolate before making their own bauble and writing a letter to Santa. Then families will get a personal meeting with Santa where kids will receive a gift along with their chocolate and bauble.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE. SOLD OUT – Contact the venue to see if any cancellations become available.

A picture of a Christmas tree mould on a plate with chocolate inside being held up by a lady in an elf costume
Picture Source: Aunt Sandra’s

Christmas Wonderland, The Jungle NI, Derry

Address: 60 Desertmartin Rd, Moneymore, Magherafelt, Co. Derry, BT45 7RB (UK)

If you are looking for a great festive day out in Northern Ireland, head to The Jungle. Visitors can enjoy a giggle with the Elves, the exciting adventure activities, a story with Mrs Claus, as well as grabbing a cuddle with the creatures in the Woodland Petting Farm. And of course, not forgetting a meeting with Santa where photos can be taken, and a gift will be received by the kids.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Christmas at Hillsborough Castle, Down

Address: The Square, Hillsborough, Co. Down, BT26 6GT (UK)

For one of the best Christmas light displays in Northern Ireland, head for Hillsborough Castle. Twinkling lights and seasonal lights fill the air. Visitors can discover sparkling tunnels of light, walk under giant baubles, and beneath trees drenched in colour. Complete your festive walk with a hot chocolate, spiced winter warmer, or toasted marshmallows.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of a family walking through the Christmas light tunnel at Hillsborough Castle
Picture Source: Hillsborough Castle

Santa’s Cottage, Newry, Down

Address: Sandbank Rd, Newry, Co Down, BT34 5XX (UK)

Located in Newry, Santa’s Cottage is Ireland’s Official Residence of Santa. Santa’s Cottage is housed in a cottage that dates from the 19th century. You can also visit the Elf Workshop, Santa’s Post Office, Santa’s Wood Cabin, his Igloo, and enjoy lots more on-site. Families get a personal meeting with Santa in his cottage beside the fire and children will also receive a gift from him. It’s the perfect opportunity for some lovely festive family photos.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

The Polar Express, Slieve Donard Resort, Down

Address: Downs Rd, Newcastle, Co. Down, BT33 0AH (UK)

For an unforgettable Christmas event in Northern Ireland, head to the Slieve Donard Estate and hop on board the Polar Express. Take a magical journey to visit Santa and his Elves in their busy workshop as they prepare for Christmas Eve. Children will journey around the magical grounds of the Slieve Donard Resort, place their Christmas wishes on the special Wishing Tree, enjoy the magnificent Winter Wonderland, and of course, meet Santa who will have a gift for each child.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Christmas events at the Ulster Folk Museum, Down

Address: 153 Bangor Rd, Holywood, Co. Down, BT18 0EU (UK)

There are a few Christmas events taking place at the Ulster Folk Museum in Cultra. These include

  • Christmas at Cultra – See how Christmas was celebrated in the past, stroll the cobbled streets and enjoy the traditional Christmas decorations and more.
  • Satan Paws – Treat the family dog to a visit with Santa, get a picture with him and a certificate too.
  • Christmas Evenings at Cultra – Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a traditional Christmas from over 100 years ago during special winter evenings at the museum.
  • Visit Santa – Enjoy the festive setting of the museum and a special visit from Santa himself. For those on the good list, there will be an early present.

For information about these events and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of a ladies hands making spiced oranges at the Ulster Folk Museum Cultra
Picture Source: Ulster Folk Museum Cultra

Christmas in the Country, The Spirit of Christmas Past, Ulster American Folk Park, Tyrone

Address: 2 Mellon Rd, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, BT78 5QU (UK)

Discover the preparations of Christmas past for 19th century Ulster and Pioneer America at the Ulster American Folk Park.

See what 19th and 20th-century preparations for the home and dinner table for Christmas entailed, see Christmas cards and letters from emigrants, marvel at the decorated Christmas tree, and more at this festive Christmas event in Northern Ireland.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Winter Wonder Trail, The Argory, Tyrone

Address: 144 Derrycaw Rd, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT71 6NA (UK)

Join Percy the Park Keeper on a winter wonder trail in the grounds of The Argory National Trust property in County Tyrone this festive season. Have fun with Percy and his animal friends and give nature a helping hand. There will be games, activities, winter tasks, and a note from Percy to help kids along the way. At the end, kids can claim a prize. This is a Santa-free event in Northern Ireland.

For more information, CLICK HERE. Note: prior booking is not essential.

Winter Wonderland, Castle Adventure Open Farm, Donegal

Address: Wardtown Castle, Ballymacaward, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal

Castle Adventure Open Farm in County Donegal are holding their Winter Wonderland. Join Mrs Claus in her cosy cottage for some songs and get one of her special biscuits to take home. Then visit the post office to send off your letters to Santa before visiting the magical Elf village, school, and workshop. Then it’s time to visit Santa and receive a gift from him.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE. Make sure to scroll to Nov/Dec to book your tickets.

Wild Ireland, Donegal

Address: Dundrain, Burnfoot, Co. Donegal, F93KN7X

Wild Ireland’s Arctic Experience is back this year. This popular Christmas event allows visitors to see Arctic animals, visit Santa who will give a gift to each child, and enjoy the Wild Ireland Park with lots of fairy light trails. There is a Santa Grotto and toy workshop. If you are based in Ireland and your kids love animals, this is a Christmas event not to be missed.

To book your tickets, CLICK HERE. More information can be found via the Facebook page.

Donegal’s Lapland, Doagh Famine Village, Donegal SOLD OUT

Address: Lagacurry, Co. Donegal

Enjoy a magical live Christmas show, a visit with Santa in which kids will receive a gift, and more. Snow effects, smoke, and special lighting create a special Lapland experience to remember. Explore Santa’s village with the Post Office, toy factories, Santa’s House, and more. This is a unique Christmas event in Ireland.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE. SOLD OUT – Contact the venue to find out if there are any cancellation places available.

A picture of some of the Christmas illuminates at Donegal's Lapland, Doagh Famine Village
Picture Source: Donegal’s Lapland

The Santa Express, Oakfield Park, Donegal

Address: Oakfield Demense Oakfield Demense, Raphoe, Co. Donegal, F93 XY1R

This magical Christmas event is a Santa train in Ireland not to be missed. Families get their own train compartment and during the journey, you will meet Father Christmas, children will receive a wrapped present and there will be entertainment and a hot drink for everyone.

For more information and to book your Santa train ride with the Santa Express at Oakfield Park, CLICK HERE. Note, 5 and 6 person compartments are already sold out.

Best Christmas events in Munster

If you are based in Munster and are wondering are any Christmas events near me, then this is the section for you. With ideas for Christmas events in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and more, there is bound to be somewhere close to you to get you in the festive spirit.

Socially Santa, Cork

Address: Your home in Cork (10km radius of Cork City)

Socially Santa is an event being held in Cork where you can enjoy a magical Christmas show in the comfort of your living room. Lasting for 45 minutes, Santa and his helper will delight the kids with presents and treats included. While this is not a cheap experience, it is a very personal one that families can enjoy without the crowds.

For more information visit the Facebook page. To book your private Christmas show and Santa visit, CLICK HERE.

Bunratty Castle Trail of Lights, Clare

Address: Bunratty West, Bunratty, Co. Clare

With a sprinkling of magic fairy dust, Bunratty Castle Folk Park is transformed into a magical illuminated festive trail for all to enjoy. Enjoy an enchanted walk through the winter wonderlands and twinkling lights of the Folk Park.

Follow the festive trail where you might see a Snowman, Nativity scene, and more. Colourful Christmas characters may be encountered around the village including Scrooge, the Grinch, and more. There will also be a Polar Express train ride, carousels, and puppet shows. Note that this is a Santa-free event this year.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of the advertisement for Trail of Lights at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
Picture Source: Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Cork North Pole Experience, Cuskinny Court, Cork SOLD OUT

Address: Cuskinny, Cobh, Co. Cork, P24 R623

An imaginative and fun theatrical production, the Cork North Pole Experience brings to life the true spirit and real-life values of a good aul Cork Christmas. Discover what Christmas was like in days gone by, delve into the world of the Elves in the woods, and enroll in Elf training.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE. SOLD OUT – Contact them to see if any cancellations become available.

The Polar Express, West Cork Model Railway Village, Cork

Address: Inchydoney Road, Desert, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, P85 HR26

Santa and his Elves are visiting the West Cork Model Railway Village this festive season.

Discover the miniature villages of light and find Dasher in a magical interactive torch experience.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Alpine Skate Trail, Fota, Cork

Address: Fota Island, Co. Cork

Run by Cork on Ice, this year the traditional ice rink has been swapped for a 450m ice trail through the enchanted forest of Fota. Enjoy a winding route through the trees, which is even more magical at night when the enchanted forest is illuminated. This new event is sure to be popular, so book your tickets early.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A Fairytale Christmas, Fota House, Cork

Address: Fota Island, Fota, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork, T45 Y642

A Fairytale Christmas is being held at Fota House in Cork. Visitors can explore the charming, seasonally decorated rooms during a journey through the regency house before meeting Santa. As part of this traditional Christmas event, each child will receive a gift from Santa.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of the Christmas at Fota House advertisement
Picture Source: Fota House

Santa in the Barn, Leahy’s Open Farm, Cork

Address: Dungourney, Midleton, Co. Cork, P25 KW14

Santa returns to the Barn at Leahy’s Open Farm this festive season. Families can have a chat with Santa, get pictures with him, and kids will receive a present from him. Afterward enjoy yourself on the farm, visit the animals and have fun in Digger Park and other attractions.

For more information, visit HERE, and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Killarney Sleigh Rides, Kerry

Address: Kenmare Pl, Killarney, Co. Kerry

Take a ‘sleigh ride’ on one of the Killarney jaunting cars this festive season and enjoy a Christmas sleigh ride with the family. There are two sleigh rides to choose from, one through the streets of Killarney Town and one through the Killarney National Park.

In Killarney Town, feast your eyes on the seasonal displays and delights as you enjoy a 20-minute ride. In the National Park, jingle your way over an hour through festive trails while you try to spot Santa’s deer. This is a Santa-free Christmas event in County Kerry.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Santa’s Grotto, Castle Oaks House Hotel & Estate, Limerick

Address: Stradbally, Castleconnell, Co. Limerick, V94 EH94

Santa’s Grotto returns to the Castle Oaks House Hotel this festive season. On select weekends days, children and their families can visit the grotto where they can do some cookie decorating with Mrs Claus, enjoy a hot chocolate, and meet Santa who will give each child a present. There will be lots of photo opportunities too. There is also a lunch option where you will receive a main meal as part of your package.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Supper with Santa, Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel & Spa, Limerick

Address: Knockanes, Adare, Co. Limerick

Book in for one of the best Santa sleepovers in Ireland and as part of your package enjoy supper with Santa at the special Christmas dinner. Santa and his Elves will be on hand for family photos, there will be a Christmas gift bag for kids, and more Christmas surprises during the evening. For a truly unforgettable Christmas event in Ireland, book into the Woodlands House Hotel for supper with Santa.

For more information and to book your stay, CLICK HERE.

Winterval, Waterford

Address: Various locations across the city

Waterford City is transformed into Ireland’s Christmas capital with lots of both free and ticketed festive events and activities. As well as live performances, food and craft stalls at the continental markets, there will be a family festive quarter, cultural quarter, and more. The Waterford Eye, an illuminated Ferris wheel will be in the city and of course, families can visit Santa. This is a huge Christmas event with lots on offer for those who visit.

For more information and to book tickets for individual events, CLICK HERE.

Santa’s Grotto at Winterval will be a magical one, where children can have a chat with the man himself, get pictures taken with him, and children will receive a special gift and book.

For more information about this event at Winterval and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of the Ferris wheel at Winterval Waterford
Picture Source: Winterval

Santa Express, Waterford Suir Valley Railway, Waterford

Address: Train Station, Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford

The Waterford Suir Valley Railway is welcoming Santa back to the Kilmeaden Station. Set off on the Santa Express beside the Waterford Greenway and meet Mrs Claus and friends in the Magic Woods. The journey takes 25-minutes as you make your way to Santa’s Cottage. Families can have a private chat with Santa before the kids receive a present from him.

For more information and to book tickets, CLICK HERE.

Winter Wonderland, Treacy’s Hotel, Waterford

Address: 1 Merchants Quay, Waterford, X91 AV9W

Treacy’s Hotel in Waterford are holding their magical Winter Wonderland this year. Visitors will be greeted by Mrs Clause who will escort families around the wonderland. Meet Marty the Elf at the arts and crafts station, meet Santa’s head Elf, Polly who will help children post their letter to Santa, and then meet Santa himself. Each family can take pictures and children will receive a gift from Santa.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Santa Experience, Kringletown, Waterford,

Address: The Courtyard, The Workhouse, Union Road, Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford, X42 VY33

The magic and spirit of Christmas is brought to life in a special Christmas event called ‘Kringletown’ in Waterford. This is a magical indoor/outdoor Christmas event that includes market stalls, a Christmas Emporium, and the Kringletown Santa Experience.

The Santa Experience at Kringletown is a contactless meeting with Santa where families have a short private meeting with Santa. There will be a small gift for families and one photo with Santa.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of Christmas decorations for sale at Kringletown, Waterford
Picture Source: Kringletown

Best Christmas events in Leinster

This section is dedicated to the province of Leinster, with ideas for the best Christmas events Dublin has to offer as well as outside the capital including Kildare, Wexford, Westmeath, and more.

Santa Visit’s Big Top, Rathwood, Carlow

Address: Rath East, Tullow, Co. Carlow

Rathwood is home to Ireland’s most popular Santa Train Experience, and you are invited to hop on board the train and journey through the Enchanted Forest to Fossett’s Big Top where you can enjoy a spectacular show from Santa, Mrs Claus and the Elves. This is a great family-friendly Christmas event in Ireland.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Santa’s Enchanted Forest Christmas Experience, Luggwoods, Dublin

Address: Crooksling, Co. Dublin

Fairytale Christmas characters will guide you through the magical enchanted forest at Luggwoods as you make your way towards Santa’s Log Cabin.

Twinkling lights and Seasonal Magic fills the air.

Luggwoods

Meet Santa, have a chat and see if the kids have made the naughty or nice list, and get memorable festive family photos. Christmas treats and more await you at Luggwoods.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of a post box and sign at the Christmas experience at Luggwoods
Picture Source: Luggwoods

Wonderlights/Castle of Lights, Dublin

Address: Malahide Demesne, Malahide, Co. Dublin, K36 C432

Wonderlights is taking place at Malahide Castle this year after first taking place in 2019 at Palmerstown House Estate. This year’s theme is ‘Castle of Lights’ and visitors will enjoy an immersive Christmas light display in the castle grounds on a 1.8km route through the woodland gardens. This is an evening event so wrap up well and prepare for an evening of sensory pleasure.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Wild Lights, Dublin Zoo, Dublin

Address: Dublin Zoo, Saint James’ (part of Phoenix Park), Dublin 8

Wild Lights, the hugely popular event held at Dublin Zoo in the Phoenix Park is back with an extravaganza that families will love. This year, take a journey ‘Around the World’ where you will see iconic sights and landmarks in lights. From the Great Pyramids of Giza to the Eiffel Tower and even outer space, enjoy

A stunning display of colourful silk lanterns.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A graphic of Wild Lights Ireland
Picture Source: Wild Lights Ireland

The Christmas Experience, Airfield Estate, Dublin

Address: Overend Ave, Dundrum, Dublin 14, D14 EE77

The Christmas Experience at the Airfield Estate is one of the best Christmas events in Ireland taking place this festive season. 5 acres of the estate are transformed into a twinkling world, where visitors can ‘walk through’ twinkling Antarctica, peek inside Santa’s Alpine workshop and get a picture on his sleigh, and journey with Ida, Flick and Myrtle the turtle to meet Santa who will have a gift for each child.

Also included in tickets are origami art, rides on a vintage carousel, cookie decorating, access to Santa’s mailroom for posting your letters, and more. This is one of the best Christmas events in Dublin for families.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Retro North Pole, Leopardstown Racecourse Dublin

Address: Leopardstown Racecourse, M50 Exit 15

Ireland’s original drive-in Christmas Experience takes place at the Leopardstown Racecourse on select dates in December. Enjoy a unique Santa Experience from the safety of your own car.

Enjoy a special Christmas movie screening, see a live link-up to Santa’s Village in the North Pole and get a personal family message from him direct to your smart device. There will also be a Christmas sing-along Caraoke with Santa’s personal DJ.

There are also other movie Christmas screenings taking place during the festive season.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Visit Santa, EPIC, Dublin

Address: The Chq Building, Unit 32 /33, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1

Santa will be in his grotto at the EPIC Museum in Dublin this festive season. Each family group will have a private meeting with Santa, kids will receive an age-appropriate gift, and a photo will be taken. Families will also receive a Christmas museum trail pack and entry to the museum. You can also enjoy a hot chocolate and sweet treat at the Bakehouse, and there will be a post box for children to post their letters to Santa. And if that is not all, you will also receive a ticket to return to the museum in 2022.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of a Santa greeting a girl in the advertisement for EPIC Museum Christmas
Picture Source: EPIC

Little Mermaid Pantomime, Gaiety Theatre, Dublin

Address: South King St, Dublin 2

Enjoy a pantomime extravaganza with a rescheduled production of The Little Mermaid at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. The theatre will be transformed into an underwater kingdom and children and adults alike can enjoy a Christmas panto with lots of singing, dancing, and laugh-out-loud oceanic fun and adventure.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Olly, Polly and the Beanstalk Pantomime, Olympia Theatre, Dublin

Address: 72 Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 K135

Enjoy a fun-filled panto at the Olympia this Christmas with Olly, Polly, and the Beanstalk. With big laughs and lots of surprises, this is a Christmas panto for the whole family. Expect an action-packed spin on the classic Jack and the Beanstalk tale with lots of singing dancing and audience interaction.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

The Moving Crib, Dublin

Address: 42 Parnell Square W, Rotunda, Dublin, D01 P5R7

The Moving Crib returns for its 65th year. This free Christmas event in Dublin has been a family tradition at Christmas time for many families. This is a historical and entertaining experience and a hidden gem in Dublin at Christmas time.

For more information and to book your free tickets, CLICK HERE.

Family Festive Meal and Santa Visit, Clanard Court, Kildare

Address: Dublin Road, Shamrocklodge, Athy, Co. Kildare

Enjoy a family festive meal and visit Santa afterward at the Clanard Court Hotel. This replaces Santa’s Magical Trail for 2021. With 5 mealtimes to choose from, Santa’s Crafty Workshop, Make-a-Teddy, and a visit to Santa in his log cabin, this is a great family festive experience to enjoy this December.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Santa’s House Express, Kildare

Address: Johnstown, Co. Kildare

Enjoy a magical drive-thru experience as you visit the Elves in Elf town, awe at the inspiring Twinkle Avenue, and be amazed at the Enchanted Forest before visiting Santa himself at his grotto. There will be a gift for each child.

Tickets include entry to the funfair in the North Pole Village where hot food and festive treats will be available to purchase. There is also the chance to get a professional photo on Santa’s Sleigh.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of the Christmas tree entrance to Santa's House Express, Kildare
Picture Source: Santa’s House Express

Snow White, Longford Traditional Panto, Longford,

Address: St Mel’s Rd, Templemichael Glebe, Longford

Enjoy a festive panto with Longford’s Traditional Panto, taking place at St Mel’s College. This year’s production is Snow White and the audience can expect lots of singing, dancing, and quite a few “he’s behind you” opportunities.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Christmas at Center Parcs, Longford (guests only)

Address: Center Parcs Longford Forest, Newcastle Road, Newcastle, Ballymahon, Co. Longford

Guests at Center Parcs in Longford will be able to enjoy festive treats during their stays this November and December. The village will be transformed into a Christmas playground with snow, lights, and lots of festive decorations.

Guests can enjoy a stroll through Santa’s Woodland Village, see the Elves enjoying some festive fun in the Toadstool Cabins, and enjoy a visit with Santa where children will receive a gift and a souvenir photograph. There are lots of things to see and do on a festive break at Center Parcs.

For more information and to book your stay, CLICK HERE.

TLT Christmas Wonderland, Louth

Address: East Coast Business Park, 12 Matthew’s Ln, Lagavooren, Drogheda, Co. Louth, A92 NF77

Enjoy a Christmas Wonderland at the TLT in Drogheda. The theatre will be transformed, and visitors can enjoy an hour-long guided tour through the wonderland. Explore the chills of the Arctic Circle, enjoy tales of old from Mrs Claus and end your experience with a meet and greet with Santa himself.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

The Christmas Experience at Tayto Park, Meath

Address: Kilbrew, Ashbourne, Co. Meath, A84 EA02

Enjoy a Christmas event like no other at Tayto Park. Join Jingles the Elf as he guides you and your family through the Christmas Experience. See behind the scenes and find out what Christmas means for the Elves that work for Santa.

The Christmas Experience goes through a series of rooms, lands, and stables before you will meet Santa Claus himself to let him know what you want for Christmas. Santa will have a gift for each child that visits.

The Christmas Experience also includes all-day entry to the park and zoo and unlimited access to the Junior Adventure Zone, which has a steam train, playgrounds, carousel, and more.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of the advertisement for The Christmas Experience at Tayto Park
Picture Source: Tayto Park

Causey Christmas Experience, Meath

Address: Girley, Fordstown, Co. Meath, C15 P83R

One of the best Christmas events in Ireland for families is the Causey Farm Christmas Experience in County Meath. The farm comes alive with festive spirit and atmosphere with lots of Christmas-themed events in decorated sheds.

Visit Santa’s house and help Mrs Claus pack his bag for the big journey. Have fun in the toy workshop. Visit the Christmas Cottage to stir the Christmas pudding. And have a visit with Santa who might just have a present for the kids. It’s a magical Christmas experience where you can also see the animals.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Christmas Fun at Navan Adventure Centre, Meath

Address: Proudstown Road, Navan, Co. Meath

The Christmas event at the Navan Adventure Centre includes 4 fun activities as well as a meeting with Santa. Visitors can

  • Curstomize your own Christmas hat or stocking
  • Make a Christmas decoration
  • Have fun at the life-size Christmas-theme buzz game
  • Design your own Christmas mug.

At your private meet and greet with Santa, you can show him what you made and still get a gift from him. There will also be a carousel and coffee shop available.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

The Enchanted Garden, Loughcrew, Meath

Address: Loughcrew Estate, Loughcrew, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, A82 X4Y1

An amazing Christmas event to attend this year is the returning Enchanted Garden at the Loughcrew Estate in County Meath. The theme is Alice in Wonderland and visitors are invited to travel down the rabbit hole and enjoy a Christmas lights display with sound in a magical interpretation of the dreamlike world of Alice.

This is a Santa-free Christmas event in Ireland and outdoors, so dress appropriately and bring cash to enjoy some hot drinks and refreshments afterward.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Christmas Cracker Jack Challenge, Birr Castle, Offaly

Address: Townparks, Birr, Co. Offaly

Included in the general admission ticket this festive season is a chance to join the Christmas Cracker Jack Challenge at Birr Castle in County Offaly. Have festive fun searching for Christmas crackers that Cracker Jack has lost in the gardens. There is a treat for those who find them all. This is a Santa-free Christmas event in Ireland.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Santa’s Grotto, Athlone Spring’s Hotel, Westmeath

Address: R362, Monksland, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 F9T3

Santa’s Grotto returns to the Athlone Spring’s Hotel. Visit Mrs Claus’ kitchen, decorate some freshly baked cookies, and then meet Santa in his Grotto where you can also post your letter to him. Each child that visits Santa will receive a gift.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Andean Alpacas Christmas Experience, Westmeath

Address: Culleen Beg, Cullionbeg, Co. Westmeath

If you are looking for a great Christmas event in Ireland and something a bit different, head to Andean Alpacas. Their Christmas Experience includes visiting Santa and his Elves, storytime from Mrs Claus, a gift for each child, and a chance to feed to alpacas.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Christmas with Santa, Clonard House, Westmeath

Address: Dublin Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Clonard House is holding a Christmas with Santa event that is an interactive family experience in the grounds and courtyard of the house. Visitors will meet the Elves, have a photo on Santa’s house, chat with the big man himself through the window, and finally visit the crib. There will also be a Victorian Christmas market at the house. Note that this is a Causey Farm production and is separate from the Christmas Experience at their site in Meath.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of Santa advertising Christmas at Clonard House
Picture Source: Clonard House

Green Santa, Belvedere House, Westmeath

Address: Belvidere, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, N91 EF80

Green Santa, so-called because he is in a green suit rather than a red one, returns to the boathouse at Belvedere House this year, the beautifully festive-lit venue at the house. Upon arrival, guests can enjoy movies, art, and face painting before going to have a chat with Santa. Children will receive a gift, a seed shaker (for reindeer food), and Victorian Candy. If you are based in Westmeath and looking for a fun Christmas event near you, head to Belvedere House.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

The Amber Express Santa Train Experience, Wexford

Address: Wexford St, Knockmullen, Gorey, Co. Wexford, Y25 FY07

This Christmas event is a 1- or 2-night stay at the Amber Springs Hotel in County Wexford that includes a great Christmas train experience. Hop onboard the Santa Express and follow the glimmering lights and sparkling trees to the Amber Christmas Village where you can explore the village, see the Elves at work, and enjoy a festive treat before your personal visit with Santa.

Stays include a full Irish breakfast each morning and dining credit to use in one of the three dining outlets. If you are looking for a great Santa sleepover in Ireland experience, book your stay at the Ember Springs Hotel now.

For more information and to book this experience, CLICK HERE.

Kia Ora Magical Christmas Experience, Wexford

Address: Courteencurragh, Gorey, Co. Wexford, Y25 RX60

Visit the animals at the Winter Wonderland at the Kia Ora Mini Farm and see Santa at the same time. Enjoy an enchanting musical light show and visit Santa in his cozy home. You can also visit Santa’s bedroom, kitchen, workshop and post office. Post your letter in his post box and once you’ve seen Santa, choose your gift from the huge present room.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of the Christmas lights tunnel at Kia Ora Farm
Picture Source: Kia Ora Farm

Santa’s Enchanted Castle, Riverside Park Hotel, Wexford

Address: The Promenade, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Y21 T2F4

This is a Santa sleepover in Ireland that combines a luxury stay at the Riverside Park Hotel & Leisure Centre in Enniscorthy with entry to Santa’s Enchanted Castle Experience.

The Enchanted Castle is located in Enniscorthy Castle and each room is filled with exciting themed experiences. Meet Mrs Claus, the Elves, and Santa who will give each child a gift.

Guests at Riverside during this experience can join in with the Elf Treasure hunt and post their letters to Santa as well. If you are looking for a great festive break this December, book into the Riverside Park Hotel.

For more information and to book your stay, CLICK HERE.

Land of Light, Wells House & Gardens, Wexford

Address: Ballyedmond, Gorey, Co. Wexford

Set in the beautiful grounds of the Victorian Mansion, Land of Light is one of the best Christmas lights displays in Ireland. Travel through a forest trail and enjoy a spectacular light show with atmospheric music. From fairies to trolls, magical butterflies and more, this is a Christmas light event not to be missed. Just be aware there is no Santa at this event.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of tree lit up at the Land of Light at Wells House and Gardens
Picture Source: Land of Light

Christmas Island, Hidden Valley, Wicklow

Address: Lower Main St, Glasnarget North, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow

The Christmas Island Santa Experience is a wonderful event to go to this festive season. Taking place at the Hidden Valley Resort in County Wicklow, you can enjoy a train ride through the fairy forest, meet the Elves, have a personal visit with Santa and receive a present, and lots of other festive treats and activities.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE. You do not need to be a guest to book tickets.

Santa Express, Wicklow Christmas Markets, Wicklow

Address: Leitrim Place Wicklow Town, Wicklow

A great Christmas event taking place in Leinster this year is the Santa Express at the Wicklow Christmas Market in Wicklow Town. Oribel the Elf, the naughty conductor, will help you as you journey to the North Pole home of Santa and Mrs Claus.

Once you reach the Claus’ home, you can enjoy a story with Mrs Claus before it is time to visit Santa himself. Each child will receive a gift from Santa once their visit is over. And you can also post those all-important letters to Santa.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Best Christmas events in Connacht

If you are looking for Christmas events in Galway, Mayo, and the rest of Connacht, then this section is the one you need.

Christmas Spirit, Slieve Aughty Centre, Galway

Address: Kylebrack West, Loughrea, Co. Galway

The Christmas Festival at the Slieve Aughty Centre offers families a festive day out without Santa. Enjoy a special Christmas Nature activity in the Enchanted Forest, a make-your-own rustic face craft stand, and more. Each child will receive an Enchanted Forest Pack with a wishing tree tag, fairy dust, pencil, and fairy guide.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Winter Wonderland, Turoe Pet Farm, Galway

Address: Turoe House, Turoe, Loughrea, Co. Galway, H62 A432

Winter Wonderland returns to Turoe Pet Farm. Enjoy a visit to Santa where children will receive a present and enjoy all that the pet farm has to offer as well. You will receive a three-hour time slot to enjoy.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of Santa's post box at Turoe Pet Farm
Picture Source: Turoe Pet Farm

Winter Wonderland, Loughwell Farm Park, Galway

Address: Loughwell, Moycullen, Co. Galway

Enjoy a wonderful family Christmas event at Loughwell Farm Park in Galway. The Barn Yard Theatre will be transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland where visitors can enjoy

  • Cookie decorating with Mrs Claus
  • Snowball fights with Elf Snowball
  • Stir magic reindeer food
  • Make a wish at the magic wish door
  • Visit Santa and tell him what you want for Christmas.

Children will receive a Golden ticket from Santa to exchange for a gift of their choice from Santa’s Toy Shop. There will also be face painting, animal balloon making, singing, dancing, and lots of festive merriment.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

Elf Town, Galway

Address: Galway Races, Co. Galway, H91 V654

Set in three buildings, Elf Town is a Christmas event in Ireland you cannot miss. Four floors have been expertly designed and decorated by the Elves to delight visitors, young and old.

This 2-hour fun-filled journey will travel through the enchanted forest, pass by a wishing well, and even give children the chance to post their letters to Santa. The journey culminates with a visit to Santa who will give each child a special Elf Town toy Coin to exchange for a gift in the shop afterward.

For more information and to book your tickets, CLICK HERE.

A picture of Santa's hands opening pages on the book of naughty or nice, an advertisement for Elf Town Galway
Picture Source: Elf Town

Winter Wonderland, Westport House, Mayo

Address: Quay Rd, Westport Demesne, Westport, Co. Mayo

Enjoy a magical Winter Wonderland at Westport House with one-to-one family meetings with Santa in his Grotto in Tinsel Town. Face painting, decoration making, and more will be available at the Winter Wonderland. There is also a cool train and there are also some Sensory Santa Days available for families with children with autism or sensory issues.

For more information and to book your ticket, CLICK HERE.

So, if you have been wondering “what are the best Christmas events near me?” I hope this post has answered your question and you’ve found somewhere great to visit this festive season, with or without kids in tow.

A picture of the Ferris wheel lit up at Winterval, Waterford with text overlay saying Christmas Events in Ireland
A Christmas scene with inflatable white snowman with text overlay saying Amazing Christmas Events in Ireland
A close-up picture of Santa's hands holding presents and text overlay saying Best Christmas Events in Ireland

Cath is an Irish expat now living in Portugal. She regularly returns to Ireland to explore more of the wonderful island with her family.

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