Limerick really does come to life over Christmas, between the beautiful lights along the streets, to once-a-year traditions such as ice-skating and seeing the Panto, or going to the Christmas markets, there’s plenty of things on over the holidays.
Santa’s Post Box
The kids will be thrilled to hand deliver their letters to Santa this year. On the 9th and 10th of December, Santa’s Elves will bring his Post Box to Bedford Row so he can add their names to his list and check it twice! Not only will the kids be able to send their Christmas lists, but also enjoy carousel rides, music, street performances, and festive food stalls. Photo booths will be there to help capture the memories with Rudolf and the Elves, and for those feeling charitable, the Elves will be collecting gifts for St Vincent De Paul.
Festive Musical Treats
As Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to bring Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”. On the 2nd & 3rd of December and again on the 9th and 10th , Festive Musical Treats will bring carol singers, bands, and choirs out to entertain Christmas shoppers. Make sure to stop by Thomas Street to catch the musical event from a quirky caravan stage. It’s the best way to get into the Christmas spirit.
Festive Craft Fair
Craft fairs are the perfect spot to pick up gifts for loved ones this Christmas. On the 2nd and 3rd of December the Festive Craft Fair will transform Bedford Row into a winter wonderland. Pick up gifts, for loved ones, or to treat yourself while enjoying delicious seasonal treats. There’s also going to be all sorts of traditional carnival rides and a vintage carousel to make for a fun-filled day out.
Limerick on Ice
The beloved ice-rink returns to Limerick for another year of ice-skating fun from the 1st of December until the 7th of January. The family friendly venue is a perfect day out, and the kids will be happy to see Arty Arctic and his friends for a fun-filled experience. Family tickets are €50, and students can still join in on the fun with tickets costing €10 when a valid student ID is presented and from 7-8pm every night only.
Cinderella – The Spar Panto
The panto is always a Christmas highlight, this year the University Concert Hall will be hosting Cinderella. Tickets are from €18.50 and the star studded cast features Dancing with the Stars finalist Dayl Cronin as Prince Charming. The show promises everyone’s favourite fairy tale packed with lots of laughs. Cinderella is running in UCH from the 18th of December until the 7th of January.
If Cinderella isn’t your favourite fairy tale, you can also catch Aladdin this year. The Limerick Panto Society will be back for its 6th year running to present the story of Aladdin. The Limerick Panto Society will be hosting the show from the 28th of December until the 7th of January. Aladdin will take the Lime Tree theatre on a magic carpet ride with family tickets (2 adults & 2 children) for €66.00.
New Year’s Eve Extravaganza
End 2017 and the holiday season with a bang at the New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. The event will be held at Clancy’s Strand at 8:30pm with the fireworks beginning at 9pm. There will also be musical entertainment to keep the crowd occupied. There’s no better way to celebrate the end of another year, and the beginning of a new one than to watch the fireworks light up the sky.
Watch The Muppets Christmas Carol
Nothing quite sets the mood for Christmas like watching Christmas movies. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is perhaps the most well-known Christmas story, and has the most adaptions from the Muppets to All Dogs go to Heaven. While there’s nothing wrong with curling up on the couch with some hot chocolate, seeing your favourite Christmas films on the big screen sometimes feels more satisfying. The story of Scrooge and the three ghosts of Christmas is a classic and this year the University Concert Hall will be screening it on the 3rd of December at 3:00 pm for the whole family to enjoy. Tickets are €5 online and €6 / €7.50 at box office.
Have a Wonderful Night in Bunratty
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is known for its Santa Experience and Christmas village, as well as banquets for the holiday. This year, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park brings “It’s a Wonderful Night”. The night will feature classic Christmas songs, performed by the Shannon Castle entertainers. The extravagant evening will begin in a candle lit courtyard with mulled wine, and then a 3-course dinner. “It’s a Wonderful Night” will be running in Bunratty Castle from December 1st until the 23rd.
Nothing makes the kids happier than getting to meet Santa before Christmas. Meet Santa events also provide a great opportunity for family photos with St Nick himself. There’s usually several different Meet Santa events popping up the closer it gets to Christmas, and he often visits schools. However, the Santa Experience in the Jetland Shopping Centre looks promising, costing only €10 per child, and €3 for adults. Santa and his Elves will be meeting kids up until the 23rd of December before he has to get back to the North Pole.
Breakfast with Santa
The wonderful dog friendly arts café Chez le Fab will be hosting a Breakfast with Santa event every Saturday throughout the month of December. Fresh pancakes, hot sausages and creamy hot chocolate will be served for a delicious fun filled morning with Santa Claus. Children can get their photo taken with Santa and receive a selection box. This will be my first year bringing my kids to this particular event and I am very much looking forward to it. Places are limited so bookings should be made to avoid disappointment.
The Coca Cola Truck Event
The Coca Cola truck will visit Limerick on Friday December 1st at the Parkway Shopping Centre between 2pm and 8pm. Children will have the opportunity to have their photo taken with the truck and will enjoy a selection of fun filled festive activities, music, games and some free coke samples! This event is sure to entertain the whole family and suitable for all age groups.
Christmas lights drive
A popular Christmas tradition is to go on a drive and look at the Christmas lights and decorations in your surrounding area. Before exploring neighbouring estates, the Christmas lights in the city centre are worth a gander, as they seem to get better and brighter every year. You might find some inspiration on the drive for your own Christmas lights display at home or spark some friendly festive competition with neighbours to light up the estate.
This December Santa and his reindeer will visit Stonehall Farm. On arrival adults will be able to enjoy tea, coffee, mulled wine and a mince pie while the children can enjoy the play area, and a variety of birds and animals. Following their visit to see Santa the children can collect their framed photograph and then proceed to meet Rudolph and enjoy more play time! Bookings can be made online at www.stonehallvisitorfarm.ie. This festive experience is top of my list for family friendly activities this December!
Article by: Aisling O’Connor & Jane O’Halloran
Photography by: Tarmo Tulit, Sean Curtin (True Media), limerick.ie.
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