Things to do in Dublin and the surrounding areas in December

Things to do in December in Dublin and surrounding areas!


I have put together a list of things to do with your family in December in Dublin and surrounding areas. I find sometimes when you are looking for things to do you totally forget what is on so this is a handy guide that you can keep coming back to. Some events are a little drive outside Dublin but I have linked all events so you can see where they are and what suits you best. Hope it gives you some ideas of things to do!


wild nights



Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo!


Wild Lights opens on Friday, 3rd November 2017 and runs until Sunday, 7th January 2018


Wild Lights is a must-see experience for family, friends and couples this festive season, where they will embark on an enchanted trail and discover a dazzling array of beautifully crafted, giant colourful lanterns inspired by wildlife.


Visitors will be treated to an awe-inspiring display of lanterns which includes a pride of lions, orangutans, tigers, giraffes, monkeys and much more!


Other highlights include a 16-metre high porcelain elephant tower and a 30-metre long Chinese dragon. At the event, visitors will also be wowed by Chinese performers before browsing at the Chinese craft market, all in one unforgettable setting. There will also be a selection of Chinese foods and warm drinks available for visitors to purchase.


Tickets for Wild Lights are on sale now. Tickets must be pre-booked online.


Please note: Admission to Wild Lights is from 5 – 9pm. Last entry to the event is strictly 8pm.


Wild Lights ticket prices


Adults: €20

Child: €15

Under 3s: €0

Student: €16

OAP: €16


Wild Lights Dublin Zoo Annual Pass Holder Prices


Adults: €18

Child: €12


christmas market


Dun Laoghaire Christmas Market 2017

Saturday, November 18 – Saturday 23rd December

Friday from 12.30 – 19.00

Saturday and Sunday from 11.00 – 19.00

Dún Laoghaire

Co. Dublin




Rathwood Santa Train

November 18 – December 23


€16 per Child/baby

€10 per Adult Duration:

1 Hour




Co. Carlow,

Ireland’s Best Santa Train Experience

Rathwood’s Santa Train Adventure is Ireland’s most popular Santa Experience.

We invite you to share in the magic of Christmas and join us on a journey through the Enchanted Forest to visit Santa as he prepares for the most wonderful time of the year.

What’s included?

Join in the Christmas story with Mrs. Claus and Trixie the Elf

Take a magical journey on board the Rathwood Santa Train

Watch out for Rudolph and the other Reindeer along the way

Walk through the enchanted Forest that leads to Santa’s Woodland home

Each family will meet Santa individually & each child will get a special gift from Santa

Post your letter in Santa’s official Post Box

FREE Hot Chocolate & Rathwood Activity Book for every Child booked in to visit Santa

For the Big Kids: 20% OFF Christmas Items in our Christmas shop (T&C)

You can also:

Have your photo taken on board Santa’s Giant Sleigh

Enjoy Christmas carousels and so much more!







Arnott’s – Santas Grotto  –  Free

Sunday 19th November – Sunday 24th December


Henry St

Dublin 1

Santa has arrived at Arnotts! The festive season has officially begun at Arnotts as Santa Claus arrived to a huge welcome outside Arnotts on Henry Street on 19th November.

You’ll find Santa’s Grotto on the Second Level of the store beside the magical Wonderland Christmas market. Visiting Santa Claus is a complimentary service we offer every Christmas. The team of elves will be happy to help you and your family during your visit.

Whether it’s an old or new tradition, visiting Santa Claus at Arnotts has been a family favourite for years and everyone who visits the Grotto will get a collectable I’ve Seen Santa at Arnotts 2017 badge. There will be a professional photographer at the Grotto available to capture a photograph of your visit, which can be purchased afterwards along



santa house express


Santas House Express

Friday 24th November – Saturday 23rd December

Palmerstown House



Jump off the Santa train at Santa’s magnificent Manor Home and enter into the stunning, glistening hallway. In Santa’s house, you will be invited to step inside a magical fun filled room before visiting Mrs Claus in her sitting room where she will tell you all the stories about looking after the main man himself. Venture up the magnificent staircase and visit Santa in his reading room. Santa will greet & spend some time with you all & of course, have a special present for all the boys and girls who were very good throughout the year!! Don’t forget to bring your letter!

A warm festive welcome awaits you back at the Lodge. Enjoy a hot chocolate and some festive treats. Join us for lunch or dinner at the delicious carvery and be entertained by special guests and costume parades, where the kids can join in and get their picture taken with them! Mum & Dad can relax and enjoy some mulled wine while the kids chill out in the cinema area. Visit the stables where you will meet the Reindeer, our resident Turkey and their friends! Make sure to explore our new enchanted Fairy Forest and our extended carnival play area before you say your goodbyes. It will truly be a magical journey from start to finish!


dunnes santa


Santa Experience – Dunnes Stores

Friday, 24th of November 2017 to Saturday, 23rd of December 2017

Times:12:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Santa Experience

Dunnes Stores, The Ilac Centre, Henry St., Dublin 1.

The Santa Experience has proved very popular in Dublin last year and across Ireland. One of the keys attractions besides the 2,000 sq.ft “Experience” itself is the option to book ahead to secure a specific time (within 30mins) and date. “BOOKING OPEN NOW” This allows people to plan their day and get the date they want.

Also the photographs which are extra (but worth it!) come in a professional 8 x 10 format with a black silver trim card frame. The quality is fantastic and it provides families with a timeless memento. You choose and collect your photos immediately after your journey through the Santa Experience.

Take a tour of the North Pole visiting 5 fun filled festive rooms including:

The Elves Post office

Santa’s stable

The Sleigh Station

The North Pole

Santa’s House

Family Fun Tip:- Fill out the Santa needs to know forms – Santa knows some personal information about each child which enhances every child’s experience


santas journey


Santas Journey

Saturday 25th November – Saturday 23rd December


Co. Wicklow

As Christmas approaches, Santa, with the help of his industrious elves and Mrs. Claus have created a magical journey in the foothills of the Wicklow mountains. This enchanted train journey sets off from Winter Wonderland Station stopping to see Santa’s Runway, The Talking Trees, Candy Cane Land, Elves Village and many more incredible attractions along the way before going to a very special audience with Santa himself. Santa’s Journey kicks off on the 25th of November and runs every weekend until Christmas in the beautiful grounds of Djouce Golf Club, Roundwood, Co Wicklow.

Guests will be invited into the warmth of Wonderland lodge where the journey continues with a visit to the elves quarters (shhhh) before stopping off at North Pole Post Office and the elves bedrooms, then onto seeing how the amazing elves are preparing all the letters for Santa Claus to read. Have your letters stamped by one of Santa’s elves to ensure you get first priority this year. The journey comes to an end as guests are invited into the Winter lodge Cafe where hot drinks and festive treats will be available for purchase.

Tickets cost €12.50 for adults and €18 for children which includes a free gift from Santa.

Santa’s Journey opens on Saturday the 25th of November and runs every Sat/Sun until the 23rd. 


santa croke park

The Santa Experience goes Polar at Croke Park

Saturday, November 25th – Saturday, December 23rd

Adults: €10

Children (2 years and over): €16

Children (1 – 2 years): €8

Children (under 1 year): FREE

The popular Santa Experience returns to Croke Park from 25th November, and this year Santa is bringing along his good friend ‘Stitch the Snowman’.

Stitch comes from a long line of GAA sporting legends and has a puck out so good that he can send a sliothar flying to the North Pole in just one swing!

Your family will wander through the Polar Palace in search of Stitch the Snowman, following a series of clues around the stadium. Along the way, you will visit Santa’s Grotto, where every child will receive a gift, the Ski Patrol Room which is manned by Santa’s elves, and go pitchside for a special surprise!

This wonderful new winter experience for families is sure to be a hit, especially those with a passion for Gaelic games. There will be plenty of beautiful festive family photo opportunities with Santa and Stitch during the tour, and a professional photographer will also be on hand to capture the moment.

Croke Park’s new Santa Experience also includes free admission to the GAA Museum, where families can discover two floors of interactive exhibits. Children can pick up their Junior Explorer passport and follow the special route which highlights some of the most fascinating and famous exhibitions, including the original Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy cups. A highlight for many is the museum’s Interactive Games Zone, where you can test your own hurling and football skills – see how fast your family can react, check your passing skills and practice a fingertip save or the art of the high catch!

And you can finish off the perfect day with light refreshments and a festive snack in the museum’s Blackthorn Café.  Or you could pick up the perfect stocking fillers for the GAA fan in your life from the GAA Museum Shop!

The event is both wheelchair and buggy accessible, and there is free parking adjacent to the GAA Museum which is located in the Cusack Stand of the stadium.




Airfield Estate Christmas Experience

November 25 – December 23rd

Nov 25 at 10 AM to Dec 23rd at 6 PM

Overend Way, Dundrum, Dundrum, Dublin Dublin 14


€22.50 per Child

€12.50 per Adult

There ticket price includes a booking fee of €1.50 per ticket.

Airfield Estate Members receive a discount on up to 6 tickets per membership. Additional tickets can be purchased at normal retail price.

Face painting and letter writing with Santa’s Elves

Visit Santa in Airfield House for story time and gifts

Warm up with a hot chocolate or mulled wine

Decorate a delicious festive treat in the Elves’ Kitchen

Craft a Christmas decoration

Board the Santa train and enjoy a magical trip

Take a family picture on Santa’s sleigh


christmas Island

CHRISTMAS ISLAND – The Santa Experience

From Saturday, 25th of November 2017 to Saturday, 23rd of December 2017

Times:10:00 am to 8:30 pm

Venue:Christmas Island

Address:Hidden Valley Holiday Park, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow

Tel.:+353 86 727 2872

Only Santa Experience in Ireland with Both a Train and Boat!

  • Enchanted Train and Boat Journey
  • Meet the Elves & Get Creative – Kid’s receive Rudolph Wrist Buddy
  • Sing & Dance with Santa’s Elves & receive Elf Medal
  • Visit Santa (all kid’s receive a present & sweet treat)
  • Colouring Competition & Letters to Santa
  • Festive Christmas Cinema Room
  • Kid’s Playground & Santa’s Mini Golf
  • Food, Drink and Professional Photo (extra fee)
  • Thousands of Twinkling Lights & Much More
  • Magical Photo Opportunities Throughout

Make this holiday a special time for your friends and family and join in on the festive family fun all here at Christmas Island.

Children €18.50 (1 to 12 years old) – receive present from Santa, a medal and Rudolph wrist buddy

Adults €14.50

Babies €7.50 (under 12 months) – receive present from Santa


Christmas Lullymore



Lullymore Winter Wonderland

Santa will arrive Saturday 25th Nov 2017 @ 10am!


Open 10am – 6pm weekends/2pm – 6pm Wednesday – Friday

Late opening 2pm – 8.30pm Wednesdays & Thursdays in Dec.



€20.00 per Child / €10 Baby (includes gift under 2 years) / €7.50 per Adult.

Early arrival advised at weekends – especially from 9th Dec. – 23rd Dec.

OPENING TIMES: Weekends 10am – 6pm / Wednesday – Friday 2pm – 6pm LATE OPENINGS Dec. 6th & 7th / Dec. 13th & 14th / Dec. 20th & 21st 2pm – 8.30pm

Maximum stay 1.5 to 2 hours.

Photos not supplied. Visitors welcome to bring their own cameras.

Last admission 1.5 hours before closing (4.30pm daily or 7pm for Late Openings).





Magic Memories at the Butlers Chocolate Experience

Saturday 25th November – Sunday 24th December

Clonshaugh Business Park, Dublin 17

Times:  10.00am, 12.30pm and 15.30pm

Admission: Child €15.00/Adult €13.50

Making Magic Memories this Christmas at the Butlers Chocolate Experience

Butlers Chocolate Experience has Christmas all wrapped up this November and December, with 5 weekends of festive fun for all the family.

On arrival, feast your eyes on the Butlers Chocolate movie and then jingle all the way through the interactive Chocolate Museum.
causey farm


Causey Christmas Experience

Sunday 26th November – Saturday 23rd December

All the sheds have different Christmas-themed events and everyone moves from place to place to sample each new experience.

Causey Farm comes alive with a festive atmosphere – as we celebrate Christmas with all the traditional charm and magic you’d expect. There’s a chill in the air. The farm animals are in for the winter and the baby lambs will soon be born. We hear laughter and “Wows” across the old farmyard – the time has come to celebrate and we do it in style here at Causey Farm.

Christmas at Causey Farm Includes:


Children (aged 2-12 yrs)    €22.00

Toddlers (1 year olds)        €8.00

Adults €14.00

Babies (0-11 months)         Free

Note: All booking changes are subject to a €5 administration charge

Visiting Santa’s house and help Mrs Claus pack his bag for the big journey.

Slide down into the toy workshop and play with the toys Santa has ready for packing.

Make your way through the Elves’ door to Santa’s Parlour.

Listen carefully, is that a noise on the roof? You’d never know who might arrive down the chimney – and of course he has a gift for all the children – Hope your name is on one of his parcels!

Follow the Bethlehem Trail to the stable where Mary and Joseph take care of their new arrival, watched over by the cows, donkeys, sheep and lambs.

Visit Christmas Cottage to experience an old Irish Christmas; Make a wish as you stir the pudding!

And of course don’t forget to Visit the reindeer as they relax before their big night.

Causey Christmas Experience lasts one and a half hours!





Rapunzel Pantomime

26 November 2017 – 7 January 2018

The Gaiety Theatre, South King Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Tickets priced from €19.50


A pantomime extravaganza with singing, dancing and laugh out loud shenanigans – hair, there and everywhere!  Join us as we follow Rapunzel on her hair-larious and hair-raising adventures as she tries to escape her Evil-Stepmother who has locked her away in the secret tower.

Legendary panto dame Joe Conlan, who celebrates his 28th year in the industry, will play “Nanny Ninny Noonah” and is joined by Ciara Lyons as “Rapunzel”, Johnny Ward as “Johnny B Goode” and Nicholas Grennell as the King “Larry Lilly Loolah”.

The Gaiety Theatre has hosted the annual Christmas Panto each year since 1873.  Today, families come from far and wide to experience the Gaiety Christmas Panto and for many it has become as much a family Christmas tradition as Santa himself!




Malahide Castle Christmas Experience

Friday 1st December until Saturday 23rd December

Malahide Castle and Gardens

Malahide Village, Malahide North Co. Dublin

This year we continue the tradition of our wonderful Christmas experience to be shared with old and young alike

Santa & Mrs Claus are preparing themselves for the arrival of all the wonderful families who treasure family time and tradition.

Visit Santa, Mrs Claus and special guests

Child €18 Adult €8


christmas at birr castle


Christmas at Birr Castle Gardens

December 1 – December 23

Birr Castle Gardens

Green Street, Birr

Co. Offaly

Come and enjoy the magic of Christmas at Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre this December. Be greeted and entertained by the Castle elves, before taking a trip to the enchanting Birr Castle where you will find Mrs Claus in the drawing room beside an enormous roaring fire and be read a magical festive story. Your visit continues to the elegant dining room where you will meet the man himself… Santa Claus!

Santa will visit Birr Castle Demesne over 9 dates this year kicking off on December 1st up to Saturday 23rd December.

Tickets are priced at €18 per child and €8 per adult, pre-booking is essential. Each booked child will receive an age appropriate gift from Santa as well as a sweet treat and hot chocolate. The Santa visit experience lasts for 45 minutes, but there is plenty more to see and do at Birr Castle Gardens.

Pre-booked adult and children tickets also include general admission to the Treehouse adventure playground and gardens. (T&C apply) for further details please visit or T. 057 9120336

Payment required at time of booking.





Luggwoods Santas Enchanted Forest

Friday 1st – Saturday 23rd December




Republic of Ireland

The magical journey begins when you enter the beautiful enchanted Luggwoods forest. Wrap up warm because you are in the majestic rustic foothills of the Dublin mountains!  Before your journey to meet Santa Claus, you’ll be greeted by our fairy tale characters.  You can write your letter to Santa before you board Santa’s tractor drawn carriage which takes you to meet Santa at the Luggwoods Big Red Barn.


terenure christmas


Terenure Christmas Festival 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 11 AM – 7 PM

Please come an join us for the traditional Terenure Christmas Festival and Bumper Village Market on 3rd Dec from 11am – 6pm in Terenure Car Park. Over 40 Market stalls, live entertainment all day. Catch Santa arriving on his open sleigh at 4pm and the traditional Tree Lighting from 4-5pm. Free goodie bags for the kiddies plus free mulled wine for the adults afterwards. Perfect place to pick up some additional specail Christmas presents. All Welcome. Free Event! We Love Terenure!


santa at clonfert


Santa at the Clonfert Pet Farm

2nd, 3rd, 9th, 16th, 17th December

Time:-  16.00 –  19.00

Maynooth, Co Kildare

Discover Clonfert Pet Farm in Kildare this Christmas as it is all dressed up this year for the exciting Christmas Winter Wonderland .

Santa’s arrival into his new Grotto on the farm at 12 pm and the Christmas lights will be switched on in the traditional crib. A day of Christmas Magic, visiting Santas Workshop, Cowshed theatre and of course Santa and Mrs. Clause.

A visit to Santa must be pre booked and you can book by calling 087766029

A spectacular family day out with something for everyone’s taste Clonfert Pet Farm in Maynooth

€15 per child this includes a Santa gift

Adults €5

2yrs and under €5



Meet and adopt your own Elf on the Shelf!

Saturday 2nd December Time: 11am-5pm

Hamleys Dublin

Enjoy a magical day at Hamleys toy store, an official Elf on the Shelf adoption centre!

To celebrate the festive season and the start of your very own Christmas tradition, come and enjoy a fun-filled day of storytelling, selfies, arts and crafts and all things Elf-tastic for the entire family to enjoy!

Not only will you be able to meet the Elf on the Shelf character, but you will also be able to get your hands on some Elf goodies*.

About The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition

This magical tale was co-authored by mother and daughter Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, and is based on their own family’s Christmas tradition. The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition launched in early 2005. Twelve years on, millions of families have adopted the Scout Elf and the book continues to top multiple bestseller lists.

Additional Information: All Hamleys customers should expect queues at free events; customers should arrive early to avoid disappointment. Queues will be cut to ensure the event finishes on time. Activity times and dates may vary. Character appearances will take place for 30 minutes on the hour each hour (11, 12, 1, 2, 3 & 4pm). Goodies will be available to the first 250 customers who visit the event. Strictly one giveaway per customer. Standard Hamleys T&C’s apply.

newmarket market


Newmarket Christmas Fair

Sunday, December 3rd at 11 AM – 7 PM

The New Market Collective

Newmarket Square, Dublin, Ireland 8

We are delghted to announce our Wonderful Christmas Fair, Sunday 3rd of December on Newmarket Sq, Dublin 8.

The New Market Collective & Purevintage Fair are delighted to join forces for a one off Pop Up Christmas Market, with over 100 market Stalls, Artisan Baked Goods, Hot Food, Live Music, Christmas Carols, Santa and lots more..

Get your Stocking Fillers, Christmas Gifts, Unique Christmas Decorations & Crafts and Christmas Party Outfits!!

The Market will be in The Green Door Market & Dublin Food Co-op, Newmarket..

Hope to see you there.

Emma & Andrew

This is a Family & Dog friendly event.

There is Free Parking on the Sq.


cheerios panto


Sleeping Beauty Pantomime – The Cheerios Pantomime

Sunday 7th December – Sunday 14th January 2018

Tivoli Theatre

135 – 138 Francis Street

Dublin 8

Ticket from €15






Friday 15th December  2017 to Sunday 7th January 2018.

Olympia Theatre

Dame Street

Dublin, Ireland 1

Featuring an all singing, all dancing cast, tickets for the Applegreen Christmas Panto POLLY AND THE BEANSTALK are on sale now from or in person from the Olympia Theatre box office.


coca cola truck


CocaCola Christmas Truck Tour

16th December 2017

2:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Smithfield Square, Smithfield, Arran Quay, Dublin 7

It’s that time of the year again! Come down to the Coca-Cola truck tour for your chance to have your picture taken with the world famous truck. Soak up the festive spirit with seasonal music and a complimentary Coca-Cola.

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Hope you like our suggestions!

Have a great December and Santa is good to you!

Eimear x



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