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5 Fun Family Things To Do At Christmas & New Year

There’s no better time to get together with family and friends than over the Christmas and New Year period. Hopefully, you will have some freedom from work and other commitments, and the kids are on holidays, so you should have great opportunities to catch up and have fun.

Sometimes it’s good to get out and try something different—especially if you’re contracting a touch of cabin fever! Here are some suggestions:

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1. Beauty & The Beast

Venue: NEC, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Date: 2pm & 8pm; January 2nd to January 4th
Cost: €25 adult/child; €80 for 2 adults + 2 children
Contact: 0646671531
ceara.scanlon@inec.ie 

Oh no, it’s not! Oh yes, it is panto season! Make your way to Killarney for the beloved classic Beauty and The Beast, with a stellar cast featuring comedian Karl Spain as the castle keeper Bertie, Red Rock star Adam Weafer as the misunderstood Beast, and RTE Junior’s Twigin, Clara Murray, as the aptly named Beauty. Expect a spectacular set, hit songs, and stunning costumes. 

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2. Budding Scribes

Venue: National Museum – Archaeology Department, Kildare Street, Dublin City Centre
Date: 11am-12pm & 2.30pm to 3.30pm; January 3rd
Cost: Free
Contact: educationarch@museum.ie
+353(0)16486334 

Too many screens in the house this Christmas? Escape to the National Museum on Kildare Street, and travel back to a time when books were crafted by skilled calligraphers. Two educational workshops will fill your children with awe at the Faddan More Psalter, a book preserved in a bog for more than 1,000 years. Exquisitely preserved, the book is a unique treasure from a fascinating time, which your family can learn about and even try out some of the calligraphy techniques displayed.

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3. Enchanted Garden Winter Light Festival

Venue: Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, Pond Road, Tramore, Waterford
Dates: 8th – 31st December
Cost: Adults €5; children €2; Family (2+2) €12
Contact: +353 87 0960013
info@lafcadiohearngardens.com 

Feeling a bit tired and jaded after all the Christmas excess? Discover a winter wonderland at the Enchanted Garden Winter Light Festival in Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens. The night gardens are transformed into an enchanted world of sparkling lights, glowing beams, and soft candlelight. See the Waterfall of Light at the gleaming grotto and the dramatic laser display projected onto Tramore House. You’re never too old to be spellbound by the Enchanted Garden Winter Light Festival at Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens.

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4. Hook Lighthouse Arrow Ceremony

Venue: Hook Lighthouse, Fethard, Co. Wexford
Dates: Monday, January 1st
Cost: Free
Contact: +353 51 397055
info@hookheritage.ie

You won’t forget New Year’s Day 2018 if you go to see the Hook Lighthouse Arrow Ceremony, a centuries-old tradition staged in the oldest working lighthouse in the world. Dating back to 1687, this unique tradition involves archers from all corners converging on the Hook for a spectacular ceremony. Don’t miss the Dunbrody Archers accompany the Mayor of New Ross as he casts his arrow into the sea. It promises to be an interesting year!
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5. Liffey Lights Midnight Moments - Matinee

 Venue: Dublin City Centre
Dates: December 31st
Cost: Free
Contact: Website

New Year’s celebrations with kids? It wasn’t always possible. Now, however, you can ring in the New Year and still have everyone tucked into bed nice and early. New Year’s Festival Dublin has added Liffey Lights Midnight Moment – Matinee to its schedule of events. Performed against the dramatic backdrop of the Custom House and the River Liffey, the event is an aerial, aquatic, and street spectacle suitable for families of all ages. Entertainment begins at 6.30pm, culminating with the countdown celebrations at 7pm.

Are you heading to any of these events? Let us know how you get on in the comments section below.


About the Author

A separated mother of three, juggling self-employment, two teenage boys, a tween girl, a needy dog, and ever-expanding grey roots.

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