1 | GLOW, County Cork
The whole of Cork City gets a festive glow-up once again this year as Glow, a Cork City Council initiative, lights up the county capital. A magical trail inspired by the Twelve Days of Christmas weaves through the Bishop Lucey Park. You can watch the lights of the city below as you take a ride on the Ferris Wheel, before heading out to enjoy a spot of carol singing.
Across Cork City; November 25 - January 08.
2 | Cork Cultural Craft Makers Market, County Cork
Nano Nagle Place on Douglas Street in Cork hosts many markets throughout the year, but their Christmas market for craft makers provides a unique opportunity to browse the best Cork creators have to offer and pick up some fantastic gifts. Peruse the outdoor stalls with a hot drink, stay for a live gig or talk, take the kids on a treasure trail and grab a bite to eat across two weekends in December.
Douglas Street, Cork; December 10-11 and 17-18.
3 | Milk Market at Christmas, County Limerick
The bustling year-round Milk Market in Limerick is the oldest of its kind in the country. In the run up to Christmas, each weekend takes on a different theme, from a record fair and an antique event to a ‘Famous Food’ market and an epic outdoor café. But whenever you visit, there will be the market’s usual selection of local crafts, produce and baked goods for sale, as well as vintage clothes and antique jewellery in the permanent shops around its edges.
The Milk Market, Limerick; December 3-5, 10-12, 17-19 and 22-24.
4 | Christmas in Killarney, County Kerry
You'll find a balance of markets, parades and other fun at Christmas in Killarney, a festival taking place at different venues across the city through December. The first two weekends of the month, cosy up at the Arbutus Hotel Killarney and browse through their craft fair of skincare, candles, Christmas ornaments and vintage clothes. Or head out with the family and wonder at the big Christmas parade that runs through Killarney starting at 6 pm every Saturday over the course of the festival.
Killarney, Co Kerry; November 24 - December 23. Arbutus Hotel Market December 3-4 and 10-11.
5 | Ennis Christmas Village, County Clare
Soak in the festive atmosphere at the Ennis Christmas Village in early December. Bring the kids to the fun fair during the day, or catch the Illumination show after dark. Local arts and crafts vendors set up shop for the market’s duration with rows of stalls selling Clare-made goodies. Chow down on some fresh churros from Pipers Café and Churro Bar while you’re there, one of the market’s most popular stands.
Abbey Street Car Park, Ennis, Co Clare; December 1-4.
6 | Galway Christmas Market, County Galway
Join the whopping quarter of a million people expected to visit the Galway Christmas Market in Galway’s Eyre Square this year. Peruse 50 wooden chalets stocked up with everything from local crafts to treats like fresh crêpes, pretzels, bratwurst and mulled wine. Soak in some live music, delight in the giant Ferris Wheel and grab a brew at the Christmas Market Beer Tent. Santa will also be seeing visitors – and he might just have a gift for you.
Galway City, November 11 - December 22.
7 | Cavan Christmas Craft and Gift Fair, County Cavan
The Slieve Russell Hotel once again plays host to Cavan’s Christmas Craft and Gift Fair on December 4. The ideal activity for a windy, rainy December day, this whole fair is held indoors in the cosy surrounds of the Woodford and Erne Suites in the hotel. Featuring around 60 vendors, there’ll be everything from quirky greeting cards and scented soaps to needlepoint quilts and more, ideal for those looking for artisanal Christmas gifts.
Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, Co Cavan; December 4.
8 | Strokestown Christmas Market, County Roscommon
Explore over 50 stalls at the Strokestown Christmas Market in Co Roscommon, where you can pick up candles, knitted scarves and ornaments, as well as homemade cupcakes and vegan treats to keep you going. Enjoy live music, street theatre, and a carol service, or pop by with the kids for an outdoor Christmas movie. You might even catch an appearance from Santa and Mrs Claus turning the Christmas lights on.
Strokestown, Co Roscommon; December 2-4.
9 | Yulefest Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Kick off your festive season in a medieval city with Yulefest Kilkenny. Gear up in your Christmas best for the Medieval Mile Run, or take things easy at the Christmas Markets in Callan and Graiguenamanagh, where you can pick up everything from home baked treats to affordable art. Santa makes his big arrival for the little ones on November 26.
Kilkenny City, Co Kilkenny; November 26 - December 24.
10 | Wicklow Christmas Market, County Wicklow
The grand Wicklow Christmas Market will be decked out with over 50 chalet vendors selling artisan woodcrafts and handmade ornaments every weekend until Christmas. Grab a bite to eat, whether you fancy a freshly griddled bratwurst or a chocolate cupcake. Take in fire shows, stilt walkers, and live music, bring the kids abroad the Santa Express train or head to the Eco Ice Rink for an environmentally friendly skate session.
Leitrim Place, The Murrough, Co Wicklow; weekends from November 19 to December 18.
11 | Dublin 8 Christmas Market, County Dublin
Dublin 8 is known for its makers, creators and small businesses, and this year their wares will be shown in the Stillgarden Distillery in Inchicore. Browse the market’s stalls of artists, jewellers and other designers for creative Christmas gifts, or visit charity stalls and the NCBI pop-up stand. Grab a veggie snack or delicious dessert at one of the food trucks and stick around for the fashion show – just make sure to book your free ticket online in advance.
Stillgarden Distillery, Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8; December 10-11.
12 | Gifted Fair, County Dublin
Billed as the biggest craft and design fair in Ireland, Gifted is back again for another year with over 400 independent retailers and 100 artisan food producers. Browse organic beauty products and vintage pieces in the sustainability section, or stop by one of the specialty pet supplies vendors for a gift for your furry friend.
RDS, Dublin 2; November 30 - December 4.
If you're looking for more ways to spend time with the family this festive season, check out our family friendly guide to Christmas events.