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5 Fun & Festive Family Things To Do This December

It’s easy to get carried away with the pressure to create the perfect family Christmas and lose sight of the important things. This year, why not use the run-up to Christmas Day to make time for the most important people in your life? Start a new family tradition, whether that’s a trip to your local Christmas fair or a Yuletide evening of fun. Here are some suggestions to inspire you:

1. A Victorian Christmas

Venue: Ardtara Country House, 8 Gortreade Road, Upperlands, Derry, BT46 5SA
Date: Thursday, December 14th
Cost: £39.95 for adults; £24.95 for children
Contact: Nicola Ferson, Front Office & Reservation Manager at info@ardtara.com Or call +44 (0) 28 7964 4490

Nestled among eight wooded acres near the village of Upperlands in Derry, Ardtara House is the perfect venue for a Christmas straight out of the pages of Dickens. For a special night out with the family, enjoy the Victorian-themed Christmas dinner on December 14th. You will be entertained by a live choir and pianist, with mulled wine and cinnamon coffee for the grown-ups and mince pies and gingerbread men for everyone. Leave room for a delicious Christmas dinner—with no need to ask “Please, Sir, I want some more.”

2. Galway Christmas Market

Venue:  Galway City Centre
Date: Until December 22nd
Cost: Free
Contact: See Facebook page

You don’t have to fly to Germany or Eastern Europe to soak up the atmosphere of an authentic Christmas market. The Galway Christmas Market in Eyre Square has all the ingredients for a wonderful day of festive fun. Wander among the wooden huts, selling everything from affordable art and creative crafts to delicious baked treats and warming gluhwein.  Don’t miss Santa’s Grotto, the 32-metre big wheel, carousel, storytelling, choirs and lots more.

3. Carols at Christ Church Cathedral

Venue: Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin 8
Dates: Throughout December
Cost: From free
Contact: See website 

Cranky and tired from the pressure of Christmas shopping? Take a break and enjoy the true spirit of Christmas with one of the lunchtime carol services at Christchurch Cathedral. Led by local schools, these carol services will give you a lift from what can be a stressful time in Dublin city centre. Check the website for a full schedule of Christmas events at this deeply historic venue in the heart of Viking Dublin.

4. GLOW

Venue: Grand Parade, Cork City Centre
Dates: December 1st – December 22nd
Cost: Free
Contact: +353 21 4924344
christmascelebration@corkcity.ie 

Cork City has been turned into the capital of Christmas, as the annual GLOW festival returns to the Grand Parade. Take a spin on the big wheel and admire the city lights, nibble on baked goodies, and enjoy the enchanting Christmas carols filling the crisp winter air. Whether it snows or not, it will start to feel a lot like Christmas once you get to GLOW.

5. Christmas Panto Tour

Venue: Dublin City Centre
Dates: December 3rd – December 24th
Cost: €15
Contact: Book online 

Oh no, it’s not! Oh yes, it is! It’s Christmas panto on a bus! The people at Hidden Dublin Walks have organised special Santa buses for the Christmas season, with 45-minute tours of the city taking place six times a day. You’ll be helping the elves to solve the mystery of the bus that stole Christmas, picking up clues along the way. If you do, your names go straight onto the “nice” list. A wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit!

Are there more festive events happening in your area? Let us know in the comments!


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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