Christmas Market Galway
Now in its 11th year and ready to celebrate the Yuletide season, the Christmas Market is back in Eyre Square. With dozens of wooden chalets featuring goods from luxury home spa hampers to original artwork, this is a one stop shop for presents. Go for a spin on the 32 metre Big Wheel, listen to live music and visit the Christmas Market Beer Tent. For foodies there are pretzels, bratwurst and sweet things to nibble while walking through the magically lit square.
Enjoy an evening of Yuletide entertainment at 15th century Bunratty Castle. Begin with a mulled wine reception as the resident harpist and violinist play, then sit down for a four course candlelight dinner. You’ll be treated to classic and contemporary carols by the Bunratty Castle Entertainers, along with theatrical performances and poetry.
With ever changing events at The Milk Market over the holiday season, you’ll be drawn back again and again. There’s a record fair, a series of yummy food themed days and an antique mart. Once you’ve flipped through racks of vinyl and explored the one of a kind gifting possibilities, you can pause and revive at the Christmas Outdoor Café.
Toast your hands with a cup of hot spiced wine at Kerry’s largest festive market. The open air stalls sell items like jewellery, Peruvian ginger products and handmade tote bags. You’ll want to fill up on ethical street food from Fire & Feast or tuck into freshly made Dan’s Donuts as you shop to your heart’s content.
Feel your spirits soar in Bishop Lucey Park as GLOW returns to light up the night. Follow the park’s trail inspired by The Twelve Days of Christmas, then head for the Grand Parade. You can hop aboard the iconic Ferris Wheel and watch the twinkling scene receding below as you enjoy spectacular views of the city centre and beyond.
Take a trip to the Rebel City for an independent shopping spree. Thanks to a community of over 100 talented Cork craftspeople, the stalls at the Made in Cork Market feature unique items guaranteed to be made or designed locally. The ‘close to home’ theme continues with food from local vendors like sourdough pizza, toasties, cakes and plenty of hot drink options.
The streets are alive with loads of music including the Calypso Trio playing jazz and an appearance by the High Hopes Choir. Browse the Continental Christmas Market and graze your way through a global selection of savoury and sweet goodies in the Cultural Quarter. Top off the experience with a ride on the Waterford Eye and rise high above Merchants Quay and the River Suir.
Visit markets from Callan to Graiguenamanagh and find everything from homebaked goods to affordable art. You can also take in a movie with Kilkenny Castle in the background or hit the dance floor at the rousing Christmas Céilí. There are live gigs, cooking demonstrations, crafts workshops, tours and more in a packed programme running until the 9th of January.
Time to wrap up warm and get your skates on. As part of Wexford Winterland, visit the pop up ice rink on Wexford Quay for an exhilarating spin. You can hire brand new skates, with stability aids available for those less confident on the ice. You’ll be gliding along like a pro before you know it.
Tour the market and savour tastes from all over the world. Experience local live entertainment as you browse the likes of artisan woodcrafts and handmade ornaments . Enjoy the party atmosphere with fire shows, stilt walkers and music performances. If you fancy a greener version of skating, try the Eco-Ice rink with all the fun of the real thing and less of an environmental impact.
Christmas at the Castle
If you’re on the prowl for gifts, the historic Upper Yard at Dublin Castle is filled with stalls selling Irish crafts, while the Irish Designers Market takes place next door in Bedford Hall. Get in the Christmas spirit with performers like the Dublin Gospel Choir and the nostalgic music of the vintage carousel in your ears as you make your way around the courtyard.
When it’s time to get serious about Christmas shopping, head to the RDS. As Ireland’s biggest craft and design fair with 400 designers, makers and independent retailers as well as over 100 artisan food producers, it’s the ultimate destination for anyone looking for that special something.
Christmas brings early evenings made for crisp walks after dark. The Castle of Light takes over Malahide Castle and Gardens, as the grounds are painted in vivid colours by light displays and projections. Ideal for a romantic hand in hand stroll along paths guarded by illuminated creatures.
A full schedule includes choices from a classical recital by pianist Young-Choon Park at the Mullingar Arts Centre to a Nathan Carter concert. You can let your hair down at an anything goes evening of Bingo Loco or hum along at the ABBA tribute. Check out the Artist & Crafter Christmas Markets at Yogaheads Studio for creations from talented local makers and festive food and drink.
At this outdoor market, wander over 50 stalls for candles, knitted goods and more as you seek out gifts for everyone on your list. You can grab a gourmet burger or a vegan snack to stave off the hunger as you browse away. Keeping the atmosphere lively are sets from acts like Donal Brady, Blacksticks, and Rakish.
Visit the Slieve Russell Hotel on the 5th of December for all things handmade. With nearly 60 stands indoors, it’s perfect for comfy Christmas shopping on a chilly winter’s day. From needlepointed quilts and crocheted items to quirky greeting cards and scented soap, you’ll find a smorgasbord of original goods to choose from.
Check out our What’s On guide for even more inspiration on what to do this holiday season.