The Best Places to See Christmas Lights Events in Ireland

Kellie Kearney

October 30, 2020

Christmas lights events

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One of the nicest things about Christmas are all the lovely twinkly Christmas lights. There are some fantastic Christmas light displays, illuminations and switching on events around Ireland – and many are free to see! Here’s our pick of the best places to see Christmas lights events in Ireland:

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Twinkling, sparkling and glowing lights are a huge part of seasonal and festive decor. There is something magical about sitting in the glow of fairy lights at home, but going out to see big displays can be really amazing!

While 2020 may see lighting ceremonies happening quietly, without an audience, you can still enjoy visiting the Christmas lights and soaking up the atmosphere safely. Some events have also moved online! We have a round up of the best Christmas Lights events in Ireland this year.

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Christmas Lights Events to Discover in Ireland

Galway City Christmas Lights

Photo by Andrew Downes

Unfortunately the traditional Christmas Market and lighting ceremony that takes place in Eyre Square has been cancelled for 2020. Galway City Council has said however, that it will fund the Christmas lights which adorn the city streets and bring festive cheer to the heart of the city.

If you happen to be in Salthill be sure to check out the Santa Sleigh and Reindeer light installation on the Prom. It really is amazing.

Where: Galway City Centre/ Salthill
When: December 2020
What time: Evenings

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Dublin Christmas Lights

A tradition for many families is heading out to see the Dublin Lights come on at the Christmas Lights Switch On Show. This year the lights were switched on in early November by 11 year old Simone, who is a patient at Temple Street, from the safety of her hospital bed. The switching on lighting ceremony was live streamed on social media. Families and visitors can view the lights on an evening that best suits them.

Where: Dublin City Centre
When: November & December 2020
What time: Evenings

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Waterford Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights Waterford

For festive fun for all the family head to Waterford for Winterval which includes Waterford Illuminates. Winterval, one of Waterford’s biggest festivals, with many free events will take place this December 2020 but with reduced events.

Where: Waterford City Centre
When: From December 4th to 23rd 2020
What time: Evenings

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Gorey Christmas Lights Wexford

gorey christmas lights

The Big Switch On in Gorey usually sees Santa arriving in his sleigh on the top of Main Street followed by entertainment for all. However this year the event will not go ahead. However the town will be decked out in festive lights and everyone is encouraged to come and visit and shop local.

Where: Main Street Gorey
When: December 2020
What time: Evenings

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Christmas Lights in Killarney

Christmas in Killarney

This years lighting ceremony and parade will not take place. But Killarney will be open for business and the town will have many light displays and some spectacular floats around the city for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to visit the Christmas Tree of Light in the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral and post your letter to Santa in his post box on main street. There is also an opportunity for a selfie next to Santa’s Sleigh!

Where: Killarney Town Centre
When: December 2020
What time: Evenings

Frostival Winter Festival, Louth

Frostival may not take place this year but Dundalk town centre will be illuminated for shoppers and visitors to enjoy a festive stroll through the town centre.

Where: Dundalk Town Centre
When: December 2020
What time: Evening

Coca-Cola Truck Tour

coca cola christmas truck

Sadly the iconic Coca Cola Truck Tour has been cancelled for 2020. They are hoping to return in 2021.

Enchanted Winter Garden, Antrim

Antrim Castle Gardens usually gets transformed into a winter wonderland with an array of attractions including a 35m Ferris Wheel, Christmas Train, Wonderland Walk, Festive Fayre and spectacular light installations. Sadly with the current government restrictions, they have reluctantly decided to cancel this year’s event.

Where: Antrim Castle Gardens
When: Returns December 2021

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Letterkenny Christmas Lights

Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce are asking for help to fund this years Christmas lights to ensure the town has some festive cheer this Christmas 2020.

Where: Main Street, Letterkenny
When: December 2020
What time: Evenings

Limerick Christmas Lights limerick christmas lights 2019

The magic of Christmas will descend on Limerick’s this November when the Christmas lights are officially switched on by Limerick teenager Amy Mulcahy who magically switched on the lights from her home.

The city centre will be twinkling during November and December.

Where: Limerick City Centre
When: November & December 2020
What time: Evenings

Bunratty Castle Christmas Lights Trail, ClareBunratty Trail of Christmas Lights 2020

This Christmas enjoy an enchanted stroll through the winter woodland and twinkling lights in Bunratty Folk Park. And although Santa won’t be in his grotto this year to meet all the boys and girls, do keep a look out for him on the drawbridge of the castle!

Where: Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
When: December 2020 (Select dates)
What time: During opening hours (closes at 9pm)

Cork Christmas Lights

This year there was no big Switch On event for Cork. Lord Mayor, Cllr. Joe Kavanagh and Lady Mayoress, Stephanie Kavanagh switched on nearly 7km of lights, including over 30 Christmas trees to bring festive cheer to the streets of Cork.

Where: St. Patrick’s Street and Cork City Centre
When: From November 18th 2020
What time: Evenings

Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo

wild lights dublin zoo 2019

Usually a must-see event for many at Christmas Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo will not go ahead this year. Organisers are hoping that the event will be back bigger and better in 2021.

Where: Dublin Zoo
When: Cancelled for 2020 back for 2021
What time: Cancelled for 2020

Butler House Christmas Garden, Kilkenny

butler house gardens

This event has been cancelled for 2020 but staff at Butler House are hoping to have this event back for 2021. Every evening from dusk, the garden at Butler House will illuminate with toy soldiers, reindeer, winter pond, snowman and glittering trees. There will be a host of festive fun for families and Santa will be there too if children wish to visit him.

Where: Butler House Garden, Kilkenny
When: Cancelled for 2020 back for 2021
What time: Cancelled for 2020

Carlow Christmas Lights Switch On

As with many towns around Ireland this year, there will be no switching on ceremony in Carlow. But the town will be lit up for the festive season.

Where: Carlow Town Centre
When: December 2020
What time: Evenings

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Tullamore Christmas Lights Switch On

The Tullamore big Christmas Lights switch on takes place virtually this year on Sunday, November 22nd at 5pm. The event will be live streamed by People are asked not to come out to watch the lights being switched on but to enjoy it online from the comfort of their homes.

Where: Virtual Event from Tullamore Town Centre
When: November 22nd
What time: 5pm

Kildare Village Enchanted Christmas Lights

The Enchanted lights will be switched on daily from 4pm for the entire festive season. It promises to be a bright, brilliant enchanting experience.

Where: Kildare Village, Kildare
When: November & December 2020
What time: From 4pm daily

Other Venues Around Ireland For Christmas Lights Including Private Homes

Decorating your home or business with festive Christmas lights is becoming more popular annually with many raising money for charities nationwide. Below is a list of some of those private homes & businesses who are making an effort this Christmas.

  • Illuminated Forest Walk at Marlay Park, Dublin is open from 4pm to 8pm Monday to Friday and is fully accessible. It is 1km in length.
  • Christmas Lights Display at the home of Mr William Tilly, 19 Bath Avenue Gardens, Dublin 4. All proceeds from this long time fundraiser will be given to Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services.
  • House of Lights – Weston Crescent, Lucan, Dublin in aid of Temple Street.
  • Josie’s Xmas Lights – Rathdrum Road, Crumlin, Dublin in aid of Jigsaw.
  • Carrick Family Light Show in aid of Galway Autism Partnership (GAP) daily from 7pm to 7.30pm until Jan 4th 2021 at 167 Lurgan Park, Galway.
  • Byrnes – Rathdrum Road in aid of Hope for Cian.
  • Pearse Villa’s, Sallynoggin, Dublin.
  • Winston Lights – Rossfield Grove, Tallaght, Dublin.
  • Stoughairs Christmas Lights- Tamarisk Way, Kilnamangh, Dublin.
  • Ardburgh Road, Dalkey, Dublin.
  • Anthony Doyle – Arklow, Wexford in aid of the RNLI and Arklow First Responders.
  • Doyles – Bagnelstown, Carlow.
  • McSweeneys – Drimoleague, West Cork.
  • Tony Noonan – Templeglantine in West Limerick.
  • Sheahan – Askeaton, Limerick in aid of Enable Ireland.
  • Coolnagrane, Foxford, Mayo in aid of Bumbleance.
  • Gibseys – Galway Road, Tuam.
  • Tony Fitzpatrick – Green Road, Drinagh, Wexford.
  • Carrolls – Bruree, Limerick.
  • Hayes Christmas Lights – Shanagolden, Limerick.
  • Árd Mhuire, Rathangan, Co. Kildare
  • Bernie Carroll’s – Coolruss, Bruree in Limerick In aid of St Joseph’s Foundation, Pieta house and Carebright Dementia Centre Bruff.

Have your Say! Have you been to any of these Christmas lights events? Do you have a favourite place to visit each year? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!


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Published On: October 30th, 2020 / Categories: Ireland, Things To Do, Things To Do Mobile / Last Updated: March 30th, 2021 / Tags: , , , /

About the Author: Kellie Kearney

Award-winning blogger Kellie Kearney is a mammy of six. Kellie spends her days bribing her kids, counting to three and making memories, whatever the weather, finding free or cheapish family-friendly days out just so they will sleep through the night! (She also hosts a series ‘Adventures of Eire’ over on her award-winning parenting blog

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