It’s the most wonderful time of the year for events, pantos, concerts, markets and plenty more besides!
Winter Warmers at The King’s Head, Galway: Throughout December
There’s nothing quite like stepping into a warm pub, tired and hungry, after a day on your feet. Luckily, The King’s Head has launched its new Winter Warmers Drinks Menu, to ensure that Galwegians and those visiting have a festive treat when shopping or meeting up with pals or family this Christmas. This carefully crafted menu is packed with signature hot whiskies, ports, and mulled wines all to be enjoyed beside the roaring open fire in this 800-year-old pub.
The Winter Warmer menu features a Hot Apple Cider, Candy Cane Hot Toddy, Homemade Mulled Wine, Coole Swan Coffee, Glüh Gin and of course Hot alcohol-free Apple Cider. Fans of cocktails can enjoy a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini, The Connemara Pony, The Galway Girl and The Executioner’s Old Fashioned.
Christmas at Mount Congreve Gardens, Co Waterford: Until 7 Jan
The award-winning Mount Congreve Gardens in Waterford has a Christmas programme of occasions and events filled with gourmet deliciousness, fun, crafting and more. Visitors can expect festive afternoon tea and jazz, Christmas movies, cookery demos, tablescaping tips, guided tours of the gardens and even calligraphy and candlemaking workshops!
The spectacular Mount Congreve House and Gardens recently underwent a €7 million redevelopment with a brand new visitor centre and The Stables Café being purpose-built for the new experience. Tickets for all of the festive fun events are available in advance at mountcongreve.com.
Christmas Experience at the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin: Until 5 Jan
The Guinness Storehouse has launched its Christmas festive spectacle, featuring a state-of-the-art cinematic experience and eye-catching installations, including the 8.5 metre tall Guinness Storehouse Christmas tree featuring an inviting tunnel to welcome visitors to the Home of Guinness. This year, visitors can interact with a cinematic experience that uses cutting edge technology to breathe new life into stories and photography from the Guinness Archives. Curated by Nigerian Irish multi-disciplinary artist Farouk Alao, each scene uses motion technology to invite visitors to explore, capture and share unforgettable moments of festive celebration with friends and family during their tour.
One of the first visual installations that consumers will see is a dramatic tunnel, which sits beneath the Guinness Storehouse Christmas tree featuring 1759 lights as a nod to the year Guinness began, and reframes the 9,000-year lease signed by Arthur Guinness. Book early to avoid disappointment at guinness-storehouse.com.
Other Voices, Dingle, Co Kerry: 1 – 3 Dec
Other Voices has announced six incredible new headliners to the St James’ Church bill for #OV2023, this month. Kae Tempest, Griff, The Murder Capital, Villagers, BC Camplight, Catrin Finch & Aoife Ní Bhriain will join CMAT, ØXN, Gurriers, Mick Flannery, Julie Byrne and The Joy in beautiful West Kerry from 1 – 3 Dec.
On top of that thrilling news, the artists set to perform live and online in the IMRO Other Room are Irish homegrown talents KhakiKid, Qbanaa, Niamh Bury and Lucy McWilliams. This is a sold-out event but you can join the waitlist for tickets here. All Church and IMRO Other Room performances will be streamed to the world via the Other Voices YouTube over the weekend. See othervoices.ie for more details.
Santa Breakfast at AVOCA, Kilmacanoge, Co Wicklow: 2 – 3 Dec
On Saturday and Sunday, 2-3 December, Santa Claus will be stopping by AVOCA Kilmacanogue for a magical breakfast in the beautiful surroundings of the Fernhouse Café. Taking place from 9:00am to 11am, this is an event that you certainly won’t want to miss!
With tickets priced at €32.50 for adults, who can choose from a full Irish AVOCA breakfast or a delicious stack of blueberry and lemon buttermilk pancakes served with a choice of tea or coffee, and €24 for kids, who can enjoy a mini Avoca breakfast with fresh orange juice, and a visit with Santa. It’s the perfect treat for your little ones to get them in the Christmas spirit. Click here to find out more about Christmas at AVOCA.
Jack and the Beanstalk, Co Cork: 2 Dec – 21 Jan
The stage is set for yet another Cork Opera House pantomime extravaganza, with the venue’s outstanding production team set to reach new heights this festive season with another cracking pantomime! Opening on December 2, Jack and the Beanstalk will dazzle and delight audiences over a 70-show run that will continue right through the New Year period.
Fans of all ages are already booking online to ensure they can join Jack, Jill, Patsy the Cow, Rancid, Spit Snot, a magical golden harp, an enchanted golden-egg laying goose, and everyone’s rollicking favourite Nanny Nellie, live at Cork Opera House. There will also be two Relaxed Performance of the panto this year, giving families and schools the opportunity to bring children with autism and sensory differences to see the show in a way that is accessible to this important audience. See corkoperahouse.ie for more information.
Library Week Ireland: 3 – 9 Dec
Library Ireland Week will take place from Sunday 3 December to Saturday 9 December with a huge host of events, activities and fun taking place in libraries around the country. The theme for the week is ‘Libraries are for Everyone’ and it is a time to celebrate the joy, entertainment and education libraries bring to our communities and highlight the work of library staff. Use #LIW23 in any social media posts and click here for more information.
A Festive Evening with Sing Ireland, Dublin: 3 and 10 Dec
This Christmas, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is delighted to partner with Sing Ireland and its member choirs for a fun-filled festive experience. On two Sundays in December, come and visit the museum and enjoy pop-up performances from the singers as you take in all that EPIC has to offer.
Sing Ireland represents choirs of all genres and backgrounds from around Ireland. During this Christmas season, EPIC Museum will play host to these singers, showcasing the joy of group singing. Christmas is synonymous with choirs and group singing and EPIC is delighted to work with Sing Ireland to showcase their range of talent and to share the Christmas spirit throughout the museum. Click here to book tickets.
Christmas at Le Pole Square, Dublin 8: 6 – 19 Dec
This festive season, Radisson Blu Royal Hotel is pulling out all the stops to create magical memories at Le Pole Square for guests of the hotel and their local community in Dublin 8.
Le Pole Square’s Old Town Café and Velvaere spa will be open until 9pm from 6 -19 December, alongside Dublin Castle’s Christmas Market’s opening hours, so make sure to continue through the arches to Le Pole Square to indulge in some festive fare, or continue the Christmas shopping and pick up a gift from Velvaere Spa. From the 15 – 16 December from 12 noon – 6pm, The Old Town Café is hosting a complimentary Christmas wrapping service with donations welcome for local charity, The Alice Leahy Trust.
Gifted – Contemporary Craft and Design Fair, RDS, Dublin: 6 – 10 Dec
The iconic Christmas Craft Fair is back, featuring hundreds of designers, makers and artisan food producers with everything you need for gifting and entertaining this month. There is a fabulous range of goods on offer and it is the ultimate destination for anyone interested in shopping unique designs and supporting independent brands.
Tickets can be booked online and will also be available from the box office at the fair. If you can’t make it to Dublin on those dates, you can also shop a selection of gifts here.
You Belong To Me, Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin: 6 – 21 Dec
If you’re in the mood for a trip to the theatre, You Belong To Me is a savage new romantic comedy by Rory Nolan. It is an unflinching look at two people who haven’t agreed on a single thing since they said “I do”. To really make a night of it, why not take in the pre-show supper as well?
You can enjoy a light supper comprising sharing platters of charcuterie, cheese and vegetables along with a glass of wine in the stunning and beautifully ornate Banquet Hall at the theatre. €80 includes a shared platter comprising, meat, cheese, bread and antipasti, vegetarian options available, along with 2 drinks (choice of wine, beer or soft drink) and 2 tickets to the show! See smockalley.com for more details.
Sonas by BEO, Co Limerick: 7 Dec
BEO are decking the halls of University Concert Hall, Limerick as they return with their sell out show Sonas by BEO on Thursday 7 December 2023. This intimate evening event will see honest conversations, soulful music, fun and above all JOY at the University Concert Hall Limerick.
The illustrious lineup of guests include OBE awarded activist and author Katie Piper, broadcaster Doireann Garrihy, BEO co-founder and best-selling author Aoibhín Garrihy, Dancing with the Stars judge and author Arthur Gourounlian, singer songwriter and presenter Una Healy, singer songwriter Susan O’Neill, lip sync star and content creator Kayleigh Trappe and aerialist Kate Finnegan. For more information check out beowellness.ie.
Jingle & Mingle Midleton, Co Cork: 8 – 9 Dec
Residents and visitors to Midleton are in for some festive magic this month as the town transforms into a winter wonderland of local delights. You can your creativity with hands-on workshops, crafting beautiful wreaths with Paper Daisy, or painting ceramic decorations with Susan Herlihy. Or you can just revel in the sounds of carol singing and choirs fill the air, creating a truly Christmas atmosphere.
For the little ones, a whimsical Santa experience awaits on the Saturday, promising happy memories and treasured moments. Families are also encouraged to embark on delightful trails to see the Christmas lights, highlighting the town’s hidden gems adorned in festive splendour.
Book signing with Noel Fitzpatrick aka. The Supervet, Dublin: 9 Dec
Renowned Irish veterinary surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick’s new book ‘Keira and Me’ tells the tale of the journey he shared with his dog Kiera in this beautiful new Christmas tale. This story is both inspiring, heartwarming and beautifully illustrated to teach us about the importance of embracing life’s ups and downs as well as the joys and sorrows life has to bring.
The second of Irish supervet Noel Fitzpatrick’s new books ‘Superpets and Me’ tells the captivating true stories of incredible animals and real-life scenarios Noel has been presented with throughout the three decades he has spent as a veterinary surgeon. This tale gives readers an insight into the kinds of super animals Noel has treated throughout his career from bionic cats to hero hedgehogs.
Copies of both books will be available to purchase and have signed at this free event, which takes place at Easons, O’Connell St, Dublin.
Saol Beo – An evening of skincare ritual and restorative yoga, Co Dublin: 11 Dec
We all need a bit of downtime before the excesses of the festive season and if you’re into yoga, you’ll love this event. It promises to give you time for you in like-minded company to invite a subtle stillness as you are guided through gentle yoga themed practice. This will be followed by a divine elemental ritual with the potent botanicals, earthy and heart-warming ingredients of Nunaïa Skin Care.
The evening is completed with a restorative yoga candlelit relaxation practice. The workshop includes a Nunaïa Ground mini ritual set – retail value €29. Click here for more information.
Pop-up Shops and Christmas Markets
Click here to see some of the best pop-up shops and Christmas markets taking place around the country.
Pick up the December edition of Irish Country Magazine to find lots more information about what’s happening around Ireland this month