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Christmas events to fill your festive calendar in 2023
Discover a fantastic selection of festive events this Christmas.
If you celebrate Christmas, you probably have a specific event that signals the start of the season to you each year. For many, the beginning of the festive season is marked by heading to a Christmas market, seeing the festive lights or strapping on a pair of ice skates.

However you like to get into the spirit of the season, there’s an event on to fit the bill. Here are some ideas to make the most of the festivities in 2023.

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1Christmas Market Galway

Galway’s Eyre Square has been transformed into a festive wonderland in the run up to Christmas. Over 50 wooden chalets are set up for the Galway Christmas Market, stocked up with everything from local crafts to treats like fresh crêpes and mulled wine. There’s also live music, a 32-metre Ferris Wheel and a Christmas Market Beer Tent. It's on most days from November 10 to January 7.

Enjoy the Christmas Market at Eyre Square, Galway.
Enjoy the Christmas Market at Eyre Square, Galway.
2A Winter's Tale Christmas Show

A Winter’s Tale Christmas Show returns to the 15th century Bunratty Castle, combining a four-course candlelit medieval feast with a live performance of classic and contemporary carols by the Bunratty Castle Entertainers along with theatre and poetry. The event kicks off with a mulled wine reception as the resident harpist and violinist play. Tickets are available for select nights between December 2-20.

3Strandhill People's Christmas Market

Set in a giant hangar in Strandhill Airport, the People’s Market is a regular stomping ground for Sligo residents on a Sunday. But their Christmas markets up the ante even further. Running every Sunday from November 26 to December 17, these markets will see the hangar decorated to the hilt, and all the regular stalls selling gifts like artisan gin sets and natural cosmetics. When you feel peckish, you can grab some vegan curry or a cannoli to nibble on.

4Christmas at the Milk Market

In the run up to Christmas, each weekend at Limerick’s Milk Market takes on a different theme, from a record fair and an antique event to a festive food extravaganza 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 Christmas markets are running Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 1 to 24, as well as a special Santa Paws event on November 26.

Friends tasting samples at the Milk Market.
Discover all the vendors at the Milk Market.
5Christmas in Killarney

You'll find a balance of parades, delicious dining and other fun at Christmas in Killarney, a festival taking place at different venues in Killarney town through the festive season. The final two Thursdays of November, you can 'Dine in Killarney' at participating restaurants and enjoy a festive three-course menu for €35. Bring the family to meet Santa at Deenagh Lodge in Killarney National Park, or head out and wonder at the big Christmas parade that runs through town every Saturday evening over the course of the festival.

Christmas decorations in Killarney, Co Kerry
Appreciate the dazzling Christmas lights in Killarney, Co Kerry.
6GLOW Cork

Running from November 18 to January 7, the GLOW Christmas celebration in Cork is taking over Bishop Lucey Park. Head down a magical trail inspired by the Twelve Days of Christmas, warm your hands on a hot beverage and watch the lights of the city below as you take a ride on the Ferris wheel. You can even catch a spot of carol singing. 

Get your glow on in Cork this Christmas.
Get your glow on in Cork this Christmas.
7Marina Market Cork

There are a few great Christmas markets in the Rebel County, from the Made in Cork Market highlighting locally made items to the Ballymaloe Craft Fair. The Christmas takeover at the Marina Market is one of Cork's finest. Held in a separate space to the traditional market, the festive version kicks off on November 17, with vendors selling all kinds of artisan gifts. There’s also a stage for live music and loads of food offerings available, so you can tuck into wood fired pizza or Nashville fried chicken when you’re finished shopping.

8Waterford Winterval

Over 100 wooden chalets make up the spectacular continental Christmas market at Waterford Winterval, which are laid out along the spine of the city’s medieval centre. Expect live music and performances on the Main Stage on O’Connell Street, with over 40 events scheduled. There’s also a nod to the heritage of the city with Déise Medieval, a recreation of a Viking settlement with actors who bring the spirit of a historical Christmas to life.

Winterval at night- The Waterford Eye
Take a ride on the Waterford Eye for a view over Winterval.
9Yulefest Kilkenny

Catch a film, take in some glittering lights and get in the festive spirit medieval style at Yulefest Kilkenny from November 25. The fitness-minded can sign up for the Medieval Mile Run, which sees participants dress up in their Christmas finery for a festive jog. Things are a little less strenuous at the Christmas Markets in Callan and Graiguenamanagh, where you can pick up everything from home baked treats to affordable art. 

The lights at night at Yulefest Kilkenny.
Browse the market in the medieval city of Kilkenny.
10Wicklow Christmas Market

The Wicklow Christmas Market is running weekends from November 18 to December 17, with stalls selling artisan woodcrafts and handmade ornaments. There are also plenty of spots where you can grab a bite to eat, whether you fancy a freshly griddled bratwurst or a chocolate cupcake. Catch fire shows, stilt walkers and live music and visit the Eco Alpine Skate Trail for an environmentally friendly skate session. 

Wicklow Christmas Market 2022
Shop for artisan crafts at the Wicklow Christmas Market.
11Strokestown Christmas Market

There are over 50 stalls to explore 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. There’s live music too, as well as festive movie screenings. This year's market takes place the weekend of December 15-16.

12Gifted Fair

Fancy ticking off all of your Christmas shopping under one roof? Ireland’s biggest craft and design fair, Gifted is heading back to the RDS this Christmas, with over 400 designers selling their wares. You can find everything from herringbone blankets to sheepskin slippers and leather wallets – and premium chocolate and sea salt fudge from artisan food producers. It’s on from December 6-10.

Gifted, The Contemporary Art and Design Fair, RDS, Dublin
Bring home a unique gift for someone special.

While the winter evenings draw in early, that doesn’t mean you can’t head out for a stroll. And there’s no walk more magical than one through the grounds of Malahide Castle during Wonderlights, running until January 2. Illuminated creatures are displayed throughout the forest, the trees are brought to life with projections, and there’s an epic light display at the end depicting the Northern Lights. Afterwards pop into one of Malahide’s cosy pubs for a pint by the fireside.

Wonderlights - a galaxy of light awaits!
Take an evening stroll through the magic of Wonderlights.
Discover Christmas events for the whole family

Make new traditions together and bring the kids to the best Christmas events for families this year.

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