Christmas markets, Santa Claus, Christmas lights, and hot chocolate all bring Christmas time to mind. Where can you find them this year?

We all love to get outside to visit Christmas markets and events around the country. This year we welcome back the Wild lights at Dublin Zoo, the ever-popular Galway Market, Glow in Cork, Yulefest in Kilkenny, and many more.

Here are some great events taking place around Ireland.

Christmas Ireland 2021 1

Wild Lights 2021 at Dublin Zoo-Around the World

This wonderful nighttime event is back at Dublin Zoo this year with a magical experience for everyone. The theme for 2021 is Global Landmarks and this takes you on a superb trip around the world without ever leaving the zoo.  If this is your first visit, then you will experience the true magic of the lights and see some famous global landmarks and iconic symbols. This is a ticketed event and all tickets must be booked in advance.

Here are some of the displays that you can experience:

  • See the Pyramids in all their glory.
  • Gaze up at the Eiffel Tower
  • Experience the USA or Spain which are just two of the countries to be seen.
  • Continues until 9th Jan 2022.

All of the displays are illuminated with over one thousand colourful lanterns. This is a wonderful adventure for all the family at the zoo. There is a one-way system in operation for this event. The website has a clearly marked map showing all the facilities available.

All tickets must be booked in advance. Here is the website:

Christmas Markets Ireland 7

Christmas at the Castle, Dublin Castle

Here is an exciting open-air Christmas market right in the centre of the historic Dublin Castle.  So, wrap up well against the winter weather and enjoy all that the castle has to offer with this seasonal market. This is a free ticketed event and booking must be made online.

This wonderful Christmas Market runs from the 8th to 21st Dec.

Here are some of the items to enjoy:

Festive food.

  • A steaming hot chocolate, some delicious crepes or even some of the best burgers in the country are on offer here in the castle along with specialized Irish BBQd foodstuffs. Not forgetting the Corn tacos which always have a real Mexican flavour
  • The Beanery Barista, a cute vintage van, hails all the way for the south of France and offers visitors the best in artisanal coffee.

Artisan crafts.

  • The castle has lots of choices for last-minute shopping for wonderful hand-crafted gifts.

Festive music.

  • The market will be lit up with the voices of several choirs to keep all the visitors in the Christmas mood and includes the Dublin Gospel Choir.

Irish Designers Market.

  • In the upper courtyard, you can buy directly from these designers.

There is also a Vintage Carousel and a Neapolitan Crib.

Here is the website to book tickets for the Christmas Market at Dublin Castle.

Christmas Ireland 2021 6

Galway Christmas Market

Galway Christmas market is a top event for the city with more than 600,000 visitors in the past.  The market is located in the city centre, Eyre Square, and has in excess of 50 traditional wooden chalets.

This market runs from the 12th November to 21st December.

Entry to the market is free but tickets are required for the big wheel and carousel.

These are just some of the exciting attractions.

  • The Big wheel.
  • Santa’s Express train.
  • Puppet Shows.
  • Storytelling and school choirs.

If you fancy a snack, the market has plenty of choice from Bratwurst and pretzels to waffles.

Here is the web address for Galway Christmas Market:

Christmas Ireland 2021 5

Bishop Lucey Park Experience, Cork

Close to the famous English Market and right in the centre of Cork City we have Bishop Lucey Park. In this beautiful location, the 12 days of Christmas are displayed as part of Glow Cork. The event is open at weekends and entry is free but booking is essential.

Here are some of the attractions:

  • Drummers and dancers will provide fun for everyone.
  • Festive trail through the park.
  • Community groups and performers with art installations.
  • This is a lovely family event for weekends of fun.
  • You might catch sight of Santa’s elves at the end of the trail.
  • Runs until 19th

This is the website for further information:

Christmas Ireland 2021 4

Waterford Winterval Festival

Waterford has a fantastic Winterval festival planned for everyone to enjoy this year. Don’t miss Ireland’s tallest Christmas tree which is over 50 feet in height. Waterford hosts a myriad of Christmas events spread throughout the city.

Here are some of the great events which run at weekends and a final week-long up to 23rd December.

Continental Christmas in the Market Quarter.

  • The market is spread over several streets in the city centre including John Roberts Square and Broad Street.
  • Local craft and food stalls to keep you in the festive spirit.

Elfstival Festive Family Quarter.

  • This is the children and family destination.
  • Remember to post your letters to Santa in the giant post box
  • Enjoy the amusement rides.

There are lots more to see and do at this festival.

Here is the website for further information:

Christmas Markets Ireland 8

Yulefest Kilkenny city

Santa kicks off this wonderful festival with his arrival in Kilkenny city, by boat and bicycle, on 27th November. This wonderful medieval city has plenty to offer visitors even at Christmas time.

Here are some of the events planned for Yulefest:

  • Yulefest Movie nights every Wednesday night during the festival and the fun starts at 7pm. Don’t forget to wrap up well warm and take a chair for yourself on these wonderful nights.
  • Mayor’s Christmas Concert, a showcase for local talent which is always very popular, raises funds for local charities and takes place in the Watergate Theatre. The concert takes place on Wednesday 8th Remember to book your ticket.
  • Medieval Mile Run takes place on Fri 10th December and there is also a free mile run. There will be live Samba music and festive treats on sale. Registration is necessary for both races.
  • Yulefest Winter Market every Saturday and Sunday-please check the website for opening times.

Here is the link for full details on Yulefest and information to book for the movies, concert, and races:

Christmas Ireland 2021 3

Limerick Milk Market in Limerick City

Christmas at the Milk Market 2021, which is a very popular market destination, dates back to 1852 and emphasises in-season food from local producers. It holds Christmas-themed events for their festive shoppers. This year, it is a very varied Christmas event and the Milk Market has a calendar of events on their website.

Here are some of the planned events:

  • Famous Christmas food.
  • Christmas Art Fair.
  • Christmas outdoor café.
  • Transition Year Enterprise Market.
  • An antique and vintage fair.

Here is the link for more information:

Christmas Ireland 2021 2

Christmas at Strokestown Park, County Roscommon: A Winter Garden Wonderland

This is a delightful children’s tour that begins and ends on the wonderfully named Christmas Street with mobile café, food stalls and local crafts.

Here are some details of the tour:

  • Tour takes about 60 minutes and children meet Santy and the Snow queen.
  • Puppet theatre and stories for the children too.
  • All outdoors event on a gravel path.
  • Tours must be booked in advance.
  • Remember to arrive in the walled garden 15 minutes before your tour.
  • Tours are on Saturdays and Sundays until 19th

Book your places in good time for this Christmas event. Here is the website link:

Enjoy these events and a very happy Christmas to you and all your family.

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