THE countdown to Christmas 2022 is well and truly underway, with the country already buzzing with dozens of ways to get in the festive mood.
With just weeks to go until the big day, here’s how to journal for the holiday season this year.
Christmas in the Yard – Dublin
Taking place for the very first time at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin, Christmas in the courtyard will offer one of the most unique dining experiences in the countrywhile foodies feast under the stars.
A giant glass pavilion is currently being built, with the historic 17th century courtyard as a backdrop, in time for the launch of the event on November 24.
The festive atmosphere will be immediately set up with a glass of bubbles and live music on arrival.
And foodies won’t want to miss this gem, with a six-course menu curated by Michelin-starred chef Danni Barry, and expert wine pairing with every course.
Until December 18, tickets start from €45 per person. See christmasintheyard.ie
Wild Lights – Dublin
DUBLIN Zoo popular night light show is back with an exciting new theme – The Magic of Life.
With over 1000 dazzling lanterns, this year’s goal is to highlight the importance of the plant and animal kingdoms of the world.
Open to the public until January 9, the exhibition is open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening this month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
It will then be open seven days a week from December.
Admission is €23 for adults and €19 for children, while annual pass holders can benefit from discounted tickets at €21 and €17. See www.DublinZoo.ie.
Winter on Dublin Express – Galway, Cork and Waterford
CHILDREN can pretend to be in the polar express film this Christmas with an exciting new rail experience launched in Ireland.
Failte Ireland and Irish Rail are behind the Christmas-themed rail service linking Galway, Cork and Waterford to Dublin’s Heuston station.
And it looks just as magical as the Tom Hanks animated film.
From now until December 10, The Winter in Dublin Express will see a number of bespoke, specially chartered carriages traveling Irish Rail’s busiest routes.
To add to the magic, passengers will enjoy live entertainment and festive delicacies on board during their trip to the capital.
Tickets are not available for purchase, but for a chance to win seats on board, go to VisitDublin.com
The Galway Christmas Market – Galway
THIS popular festive market is back in full force after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Eyre Square event is heavily influenced by Christmas markets on the mainland and is a staple during the festive season.
This year, visitors can enjoy 50 stalls offering the best of Irish crafts and delicious treats, as well as the Ferris wheel and carousel.
The market runs from now until December 22, so there’s plenty of time to catch the festive action.
Coca-Cola Real Magic Experience – Dublin and Belfast
FANS of the legendary Coca-Cola Christmas Truck will now have the opportunity to pose for an iconic photo – with a festive experience kicking off in the capital this year.
The event will make its first stop at RDS Dublin from December 8-10 before heading to Belfast on December 16-17.
Visitors will have the chance to have their photo taken with the iconic truck and can also enjoy a round-up of a free Christmas market offering delicious Irish food and crafts.
The festival is FREE but is a paid event, with passes available at eventbrite.com
The Waterford The Christmas festival has officially started and will continue until Friday, December 23.
Highlights this year will include a Santa Claus experience, magic mirrors, free workshops for children, as well as a light show, ice rink, vintage carousel and the Winterval Mini Express train.
Plus, there will even be a special Christmas experience available for dogs.
There will also be live music every weekend in Waterford’s cultural quarter, serving as the perfect backdrop to Winterval’s beautiful wooden chalets.
Visit winterval.ie for more information
The Magical Titanic Christmas Experience – Belfast
From next week, November 23, you can visit Mrs Claus in her cozy kitchen in Titanic Belfast, then stop at the bustling post office to write and post your Christmas letter, before unleashing your creativity with handicrafts.
And those on the “beautiful list” will even be able to meet Santa Claus himself. The experience lasts until December 23.
Winter Family Fair – Louth
There will be lots of family fun at Ardee’s new Winter Family Fair, taking place on December 4th.
Children will have the chance to meet Santa Claus and flex their creative muscles at the craft corner.
There will also be a live nativity scene and live music, with Christmas craft stalls offering a ton of Irish-made gifts and designs.
Admission is free, with the event taking place at John Street Church in Ardee.