Things to Do with Kids Around Ireland at Christmas

Jill Holtz

November 11, 2020

things to do around Ireland at Christmas

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Are you looking for things to do with kids (apart from Santa visits), this December and Christmas Holiday? This year will be slightly different with many events moving online. But here’s our regional guide of Things to do with Kids Around Ireland at Christmas for 2020.

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We have created this regional guide for families to find out what’s on in their area this Christmas. Many of the events mentioned are taking place virtually, which means that you can enjoy them from the comfort of your own home no matter where you live.

Things To Do Around Ireland at Christmas


  • December 2020 – Check out the Free Christmas Visits at the National Museum of Ireland museums, Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks and Archaeology at Kildare Street.
  • Tuesday December 1st 2020 to Sunday January 10th 2021 – The Moving Crib will be back in Parnell Square, Dublin from December 1st to January 10th. This year they celebrate 64 years of delighting families for free. The crib is open daily from 10.45am to 5pm except for Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day and New Years Day. Booking is essential.
  • Tuesday December 1st 2020 VIRTUAL EVENT – Enjoy the gift of FREE music from Draíocht this December. They have teamed up with Dabbledoo Music to bring you 2 great interactive shows, Quest for a Jingle and Making Music to Save Christmas, that can be streamed live into your classroom or living room. Find out more and reserve your slot here.
  • Saturday December 5th 2020 – Enjoy a FREE outdoor Christmas Treasure Hunt at Griffeen Valley Park. Book tickets in advance to get your treasure map.
  • Friday December 11th to Sunday December 13th 2020 VIRTUAL EVENT– The annual Aware Christmas Run takes place virtually this year. Online registration is available at for the 5k event which you can do close to home. Each participant will receive a special participation medal, which doubles as a Christmas tree decoration.
  • Friday December 11th 2020 to Tuesday January 5th 2021(select dates) – Alan Hughes and Karl Broderick present Peter Pan Drive In Panto at Malahide Castle on select dates from December 11th. The panto will be shown on a big screen at the venue. Book here.
  • Saturday December 5th and Sunday December 6th VIRTUAL EVENT – Enrol in Elf School at Gaiety School of Acting and learn how to spread the Christmas cheer. Santa will be instructing elves online from his virtual hub in the North Pole!
  • Saturday December 19th 2020 to Tuesday January 5th 2021 (selected dates) VIRTUAL EVENT – The Helix are taking their annual panto online this year. Audiences can enjoy The Sword and the Stone from the comfort of their own home live or on demand. 
  • December 2020 – Enjoy a family Christmas Movie at Drive In Cinema events in Dublin this December. Movies will be screened at Leopardstown Racecourse, RDS and Red Cow Moran Hotel on various dates during December.
  • Saturday December 19th 2020 – Enjoy a free Christmas Themed Family Scavenger Hunt at Collinstown Park from 10.15am on December 19th. Tickets must be booked in advance. 
  • Wednesday December 23rd 2020 to Sunday January 3rd 2021 Virtual Event – Experience the magic of the panto from a front row seat in your living room! Once Upon A Panto has a star studded cast to entertain all ages with a hilarious original script and lots of surprised along the way. The show has been recorded live at the Olympia Theatre and you can book your on demand streaming into your home.

Don’t Be Stuck For Ideas!

No more last-minute panic – just download our FREE Elf on the Shelf Cheat Sheet for plenty of fun ideas!


Magical Christmas & New Year Offers at The Mount Wolseley, Carlow

Mount Wolseley Christmas Offers

Enjoy a fun and safe Festive Family Break at the Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa & Golf Resort in Carlow. Or blow away the cobwebs and treat the family with a post Christmas family break. Alternatively you could treat the family to a Resort House Family Break with 20% discount on select dates during the winter season.

Whatever break you opt for you and the family can enjoy complimentary use of the Leisure Centre Facilities with a 20m Pool and Children’s Pool, Woodchip Outdoor Playground with Zipline, Teen Games Zone* and Soft Baby Play Room*

(*currently unavailable in line with Covid-19 related HSE guidelines)

You May Also Enjoy Elf-tastic Events To Enjoy In Ireland

South East

  • Tuesday December 1st 2020, 9.30am to 4.30pm daily – Step into the magical wonder of Christmas at Powerscourt in Wicklow. Visitors can enjoy a stroll around the gardens and can visit the Powerscourt Garden Pavilion Christmas Shop open daily from 9.30am to 8pm for festive and unique gifts, treats.
  • Friday December 4th to Tuesday December 22nd 2020 (select dates)Wicklow Christmas Market and The Santa Express will be in the magical Abbey grounds, in Wicklow town just 25 minutes from the M50. You will find plenty of craft stalls to get you in the Christmas mood. So why not come on down and try out some of our local artisan foods, buy some decorations or find a gift for a loved one family or friend. There is something for everyone so make sure you don’t miss out on this year’s fantastic Christmas Market.
  • Saturday December 13th 2020 – Glenroe Farm Wicklow host a drive in movie experience with 3 movies to enjoy, Elf, Santa Clause The Movie and Home Alone.
  • December 2020 – Enjoy an outdoor Christmas walk at Russborough House, Blessington, Co Wicklow from 9am to 5pm daily. The tearooms are open for takeaway treats from 10am to 5pm daily.
  • Saturday November 28th 2020 to Sunday January 3rd 2021Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny have twinkling Christmas lights to enjoy a stroll and finish off with a hot chocolate at the Canopy Cafe, open until 8pm.  And families can book The Junior Woodland Adventure on select dates.
  • Friday December 4th to Wednesday December 23rd 2020 (selected dates) – Waterford Winterval is back with a host of events for families to enjoy.
  • Saturday November 23rd 2019 to Sunday January 5th 2020 – Kilkenny on Ice runs at The Hub Cillin Hill.
  • December 2020 – Yulefest Kilkenny runs family friendly events in December, with delights for kids of all ages from a Christmas Market to Festival in a Van and a Virtual Christmas Tree Festival!
  • December 2020 – Carlow has a host of Christmas events taking place throughout December including Festive Lights at Delta Sensory Gardens and Christmas at Huntington Castle where you can pick your own Christmas Tree.

These Elf Jokes Are Hilarious!

Don’t miss these FREE elf jokes and notes – pop one in your child’s lunchbox, hide it under their pillow, or use for Elf on the Shelf antics!



  • December 2020 – The gardens at Belvedere House Westmeath are open to public daily and include 10km of trails, play areas, walled garden and fairy garden. Usually at this time of year, they would be running their Green Santa visits but as this is not possible for 2020 they have launched a Downloadable Christmas Activity Booklet with a colouring comp and letter to Santa along with other activities
  • Saturday December 19th to Thursday December 31st 2020 (selected dates) – Enjoy safe and festive family fun throughout the Christmas season at Birr Castle, Offaly. Kids of all ages will delight in searching for the missing Christmas crackers that Cracker Jack has lost in the gardens, where there is plenty of open space for social distancing. Each child will have a pencil and checklist to make sure that all the Christmas crackers are found and ticked off. There will be a sweet treat awarded for all completed Cracker Jack Challenges!
  • 14th to 20th December 2020 – The Dunamaise Arts Center in Laois have a special online Christmas treat Rockin’ Christmas Rhymes by Branar Téatar which will be streamed into your home for you to enjoy.
  • December 2020– The Riverbank Arts Centre in Kildare have family shows for streaming to your home including The Gift of Winter and interactive family show by Lyngo Theatre Company and Rockin’ Christmas Rhymes by Branar Téatar.
  • Wednesday 30th December 2020 to Sunday 10th January 2021 – The Moat Theatre in Naas, Kildare has a family show Smash & Grab and The Big Bad Wolf. Tickets on sale with safe booking limits in place.

Looking For More?

Sign in (or create a free account) to download more FREE printables, like this Christmas word search!


North East

  • November 19th to December 23rd 2020 – Causey Farm in Meath are going online with some Causey Christmas Cookies. Book your cook along with Mrs Claus and you will receive a shopping list to produce tasty cookies and a personalised video to cook along with Mrs Claus. Santa will of course be making an appearance to be sure the cookies are going to be laid out for him on Christmas Eve!
  • From December 5th 2020 – Navan Adventure Centre, Navan. Enjoy a socially distanced Family Christmas Event at Navan Adventure Centre on various dates from December 5th 2020.
  • December 4th to 31st 2020 (various dates and shows) – The Droichead Arts Centre in Louth bring you Leanbh @ Christmas a mini magical celebration for children and families in Drogheda and the North East Region made possible with sponsorship from Flogas. There are a variety of shows that can be booked to enjoy virtually.

You May Also Enjoy Free Things to Do With Kids Around Ireland This Christmas

North West

  • December 2020Strokestown Park and House Roscommon have advised us that the parklands are open 7 days a week to enjoy a family walk but the House, Gardens and National Family Museum will remain closed for Chiristmas 2020.
  • December 2020Lough Key Forest and Activity Park is perfect to visit during December with plenty of weather safe paths for walking & cycling. This year they are offering a Winter Trivia Trail for families to enjoy when they visit.
  • December 2020 – Enjoy a host of free family friendly events both online and in the grounds of the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life Co Mayo this December including: online crafts, Greenway family days, Fairy Trail and more.
  • December 5th to 23rd 2020 – In Mayo, Westport House’s Winter Wonderland is a magical family experience brimming with Christmas cheer that will leave the kids starry-eyed and the whole family believing in fairy-tales!
  • December 2020 – The Hawks Well Theatre in Sligo has host of Christmas shows and events which will be live streamed to your home for you to enjoy.

You May Also Enjoy Best Places in Ireland to See Christmas Lights

Family Package at The Connacht Hotel Galway

Christmas Breaks at The Connacht Hotel

Enjoy a festive family break in Galway this December or New Year at the award winning Connacht Hotel.

  • Choose from Bunk Bed Rooms, Family Rooms or Family Suites
  • Enjoy a full Irish breakfast daily
  • Complimentary parking & Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary use of the leisure centre with pool

Check availability for all Family Packages.

Deck the Halls!

Get ready to sing along at these seasonal carol concerts and events taking place around Ireland this year!



  • December 2020 – Santa and his merry band of elves are looking forward to chatting virtually to all the wonderful boy and girls at Elf Town. Elf Town is an online interactive Christmas Experience.
  • December 2020 – The Town Hall Theatre Galway has some online events for families taking place this Christmas that can be live streamed to your home to enjoy including; The Nutcracker Family Concert by the Whistle Blast Quartet, Rockin’ Christmas Rhymes by Branar.
  • December 21st to 30th 2020 – The Annual Galway Cope Christmas Day Swim can’t take place this year so they are asking people to register to swim safely between December 21st to 30th.
  • December 2020 – If you are in Galway this December be sure to check out the large Santa and his Sleigh and Reindeer on the prom in Salthill!
  • From December 10th 2020 – The historic outdoor courtyard through the arch of Áras na nGael on Dominic St has been transformed into a magical winter wonderland and Santa AKA Daidí na Nollag will be there from Thursday December 10th.

Family Fun Guaranteed!

Don’t miss our round-up of 101 Christmas activities for kids for making festive memories!


South West

  • December 2020 – glór Ennis have some online virtual festive family events for youto enjoy this December including; A Christmas Caroly by Aaron Monaghan and Bryan Burroughs, Rockin’ Christmas Rhymes by Branar and The Nutcracker by Whistleblast. Booking & further information: Box Office 065-6843103 or
  • December 4th to 23rd 2020 – This year enjoy a magical Christmas Lights Trail in Bunratty Castle & Folk Park in Clare, you never know who you might see in the distance!
  • December 12th 2020 – Enjoy a family Christmas science party online with the Nutty Scientists. The show promises to be live, fun, interactive with science demonstrations the whole family will love. You can book online via the website.
  • December 2020 – Take to the skies with Santa on your very own helicopter flight from Waterford AirportAdventure 001 are offering special flights on dates from December 5th to 13th as part of this years Winterval Waterford Festival.
  • December 2020 – Drive Through Santa Experience at Curraghchase Park Limerick. Arrive at the Enchanted Forest and drive past the Gingerbread Houses on an adventure to see Santa in his living room. No presents will be given out but organisers suggest you hide some in the boot and after leaving the experience get the children to see if anything has magically arrived!
  • Saturday 26th December to Thursday 31st December 2020 – The UCH Limerick annual Christmas Panto is back with a difference this year! Jack And The Beanstalk is the UCH Panto in association with producer R C Kelly this year and for now all shows will be streamed online through Dice FM. Get your PJ”s on, treats at the ready and prepare for some magic panto fun direct to your living room! Book your tickets here. 
  • December 2020 – The Lime Three Theatre Limerick has a some online festive family shows for you to book and stream to enjoy from the comfort of your home including; Play@Home with Lyngo Theatre and Rockin’ Christmas Rhymes by Branar.

Festive Family Breaks at The Clonakilty Park Hotel, Cork

Clonakilty Park Hotel Family Rooms

2020 has been a long, challenging year, so the Clonakilty Park Hotel have designed a two night package so that you and your family can relax and unwind, while adhering to all government guidelines to protect your health and well being.  They have a wide range of accommodation available from double rooms to large family rooms and interconnecting rooms. 

  • New Year package for the adults – €250pps – 2 nights bed and full Irish breakfast, Gourmet, four course dinner on both evenings, Complimentary glass of bubbles, say an early goodbye to 2020 at 11pm
  • New Year package for the children – €40 per child – 2 nights bed and breakfast, Children’s buffet with dessert on both evenings, One family Adventure Golf pass, Indoor Playzone pass for both days

Book Your Family Break To Cork.


  • December 22nd to 30th 2020 – The Cork Opera House Panto this year is Nannie Nellie’s Panto Telly and it will be streamed online on the dates above. Nanny Nellie to take you on on a trip down memory lane with a brand newe show Nanny Nellie’s Panto Telly! The show will be filled with recordings from past pantos and Nanny Nellie will regale audiences with magical stories, comedy caper and wonder memories. Book your preferred date here.
  • Monday November 23rd to Friday December 18th 2020 -The Everyman Theatre  Cork will not run their annual panto but have teamed up with BrokenCrow and Garter Lane to bring a new audio version of the much loved fairytale The Snow Queen. Told over 8 parts each lasting 8 minutes, you can order your audio pack online.
  • Tuesday 8th to Tuesday 22nd December 2020 (excl. Monday 14th) – Christmas at Fota House will run from Tuesday 8th – Tuesday 22nd December (excl. Monday 14th). It will be an indoor event and there will be obvious restrictions on the normal format and as a result the experience will differ from previous years. This Santa Experience is subject to the conditions of the Failte Ireland Safety Charter of which Fota House and its staff are accredited. We ask for your understanding & co-operation to make this a memorable event for all concerned.

Northern Ireland

  • December 2020 – Follow The Stick Man and Gruffalo Trails at Colin Glen Forest this December. The experience is completely free so bring the family and enjoy one of Belfast’s most beautiful parks.
  • December 5th to 23rd 2020 – Enjoy storytelling and winter wonderland shows at the MAC, Belfast this December.

For a comprehensive list of events at any time, check out our events calendar where events are added daily.

You May Also Enjoy Round Up of the Best Pantos for a Family Trip to the Theatre

If we have missed any Christmas Events taking place near you, please let us know in the comments box below.

things to do around Ireland at Christmas

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