Insider Tips

The Top 10 Christmas Activities You Need to Experience in Dublin

By Visit Dublin

28th November 2019

It’s almost our favourite time of the year and we’re getting a little giddy with festive cheer. To make the most of the Christmas season, there's lots going on in Dublin to entice you into the city.

To truly experience the buzz of an Irish Christmas, you need to head to the capital where the lights and sights will get you in a festive mood. Here are our top ten things to do this holiday.

A Christmas panto at the Gaiety or the Olympia Theatre

This year’s Gaiety panto treats its audience to songs, slapstick and laughs; as boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy meets a genie – and wins the girl’s heart. Running from 24 November to 5 January, the tale of Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie and crew is sure to be epic.

Meanwhile, at the Olympia Theatre (from 20 December to 4 January), we are transported by pumpkin carriage to a fairy tale almost as old as time: Cinderella. Billed as "The Story of Cinders and Her fella", there are sure to be some truly Dublin twists in the tale to keep your sides splitting with laughter.

View of Brown Thomas storefront and Christmas lights on Grafton Street

Christmas shopping at Brown Thomas

Dublin's landmark department store, Brown Thomas on Grafton Street, is renowned for their Christmas window display, and this year they have truly outdone themselves. The theme for 2019 is the "Golden Age of Travel". It features glamourous scenes from the age to enchant and inspire, including some of Maureen O'Hara's Hollywood costumes – sure to provide ideas for your seasonal party outfits.

The magical Christmas shop stocks everything you need to make your home a winter wonderland, while the rest of the store is packed with perfect gifts to spoil your loved ones this season.

A hot whiskey and a pub lunch in L. Mulligan Grocer

To take the weight off your feet and replenish yourself before tackling more shopping, nip over to one of Dublin's most celebrated pubs, L. Mulligan Grocer in Stoneybatter, to indulge in a delicious lunch of locally sourced, fresh food. Look out for their special Christmas fare too.

Their menus come with drink pairing recommendations, but as it’s Christmas time and cold season, we suggest you warm your insides with a hot whiskey – purely medicinal, of course!

Festive huts at dusk at Dun Laoghaire Christmas Market

A stroll around Dublin's Christmas markets

Take the DART out to Dun Laoghaire to wander through little huts and stalls selling gifts and gorgeous food, including German Glühwein, gingerbread and gourmet sausages. Or go north to Swords Castle and check out the local crafts and goodies on sale at their market. Alternatively, check out the mouth-watering selection of warming winter drinks and nibbles at Yuleyard, Eatyard market’s Christmas offering at Cross Guns Bridge in Dublin 9.

Eco-conscious gift givers will love The Sustainable Christmas Market being held by Native Events in their studio on North Great Clarence Street in the inner city.

Catch a Christmas show at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

What better way to get into the mood for the festivities than to catch a musical extravaganza? The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre is running a series of shows and concerts in early December to get you singing along.

With Love Actually in Concert on 4 December, the Snowman Christmas Special from 6–8 December and numerous other shows too, there’s something for everyone.

Ice skating

Dundrum on Ice opened their doors at the end of October and skating fun continues until 12 January, while Blanchardstown opens their rink from mid-November until mid-January.

The Tallaght Stadium will also be frozen until 26 January, so get your skates on and don't let this fun slip by.
   Stained glass windows at St Patrick's Cathedral

Christmas carols at St Patrick’s Cathedral

As a musical city, Dublin always has impressive concerts and performances. Still, few beat the transcendent experience of listening to a choir of angelic voices in one of our stunning churches.

St Patrick's Cathedral begins their calendar of events with an Advent Procession (1 December) followed by Carols for All (15 December), in addition to a number of other Cathedral Choir events.

A Christmas film at The Stella

Christmas is a great time to check out the latest movies or watch some old favourites, and the Stella cinemas in Rathmines and Ranelagh give you the option of both. A range of Christmas classics will be showing from 8–23 December.

But that’s not all. The Stella is not just your average cinema experience. With plush old-theatre style décor, fantastic food choices and bars, these cinemas are a movie buff’s heaven.

Winter Funderland

For those seeking some adrenaline-fuelled thrills and family-friendly entertainment this holiday season, the massive travelling amusement park, Funderland Dublin, will be open from 26 December to 12 January. From rollercoasters and waltzers to traditional amusement park booths like ‘Hook-a-Duck’, the park caters for both children and adults for a jam-packed day of fun.

Enjoy a nightcap in the Library Bar

Unwind with a festive nightcap in one of Dublin's finest pubs. Close to Grafton Street, the relaxed, cosy interior of the Library Bar at the Central Hotel is the perfect port of call after a bustling day of gift buying.

This gorgeous hotel bar will give you a warming glow to send you home feeling like all your Christmases are merry and bright.

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