Our ultimate guide to Christmas in Dublin. Discover the top things to do in Dublin at Christmas with kids, 2018.
Discover Christmas in Dublin with all the family. From Christmas Pantos, Family Christmas Shows, Children’s Workshops, Where to visit Santa in Dublin, Christmas Films for Children, Where to go Ice-Skating in Dublin and Christmas Markets – we have rounded up the very best of what to do in Dublin at Christmas with kids. See below for our top lists of the best of what’s on offer in Dublin. EDIT: **We’ve just added our Guide to Christmas gifts below and also have added our take on how big impact gifts don’t have to be expensive**
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1. Christmas Pantos & Family Shows in Dublin for Kids
It wouldn’t be Christmas without taking in a Christmas Panto in Dublin. From Fairy Tale Characters to star-studded shows for all the family, it’s a real treat for kids of all ages. If Pantos aren’t your thing we’ve added a few gorgeous Christmas shows for kids in too. We’re really looking forward to The National Concert Hall show this year where you can expect some lovely heart-warming treats from Ireland’s most amazing theatre-makers, Theatre Lovett, and the Christmas Orchestra. See details below.
- Olympia Theatre: Polly and The Magic Lamp Christmas Panto
- Gaiety Theatre: The Snow Queen Christmas Panto
- The Helix: Robin Hood Christmas Panto
- National Concert Hall: This Way to Christmas with Theatre Lovett, featuring The Snowman Film
- dlr Mill Theatre: Beauty and The Beast Christmas Panto
- Pavilion Theatre: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt LIVE on Stage
- Bewley’s Cafe Theatre: Little Red Riding Hood with Lambert Puppet Theatre
- National Concert Hall: The Wizard of Oz Live Musical
- The Ark, Dublin: How to Catch a Star (based on Oliver Jeffer’s Picture Book Book)
2. Where to Visit Santa in Dublin & Charming Christmas Experiences around Ireland
Meeting the big man himself, Santa and all his elves is a very special affair indeed. We’ve rounded up the best list of the most charming Christmas experiences and where to visit Santa. From an Enchanted Forest at Luggwoods to taking a train at Rathwood making your visit to Santa a special one for your little ones. We’ve also included a few places around Ireland to meet Santa that we adore. So if you nearby definitely check them out for a little extra special magic.
- Luggwoods Christmas Experience & Enchanted Forest
- Malahide Castle & Gardens Christmas Experience
- Santa Experience at Airfield Estate
- Dalkey Castle Chrismtas Tours + Meet Santa
- Rathwood Santa Train (Rathwood Co. Carlow)
- Santas Journey (Roundwood, Co. Wicklow)
- Foto Island Christmas Experience (Fota, Co. Cork)
Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo – while not quite your typical Christmas experience but for the Winter it’s a really magical experience for kids (and adults). The ocean theme this year is timely and we really hope this turns into an annual event every year at Dublin Zoo!
3. Where to go Ice-Skating in Dublin
Nothing like a twirl on the ice in Dublin as different ice-rinks pop-up around the city for Christmas. See our post on of all the dates, details and ticket prices of ice-skating in Dublin or check them out on the links below.
- Dundrum on Ice
- Swords on Ice
- Iceskating.ie @ Blanchardstown
- i-Skate @ Funderland
- Malahide Skates
- Liffey Valley Dublin on Ice
4. Christmas Films & Cinema for Kids in Dublin.
The Lighthouse Cinema have a really fab line-up of Christmas films in December for all the family.
Aaaaand, the one we have literally been waiting for all year! Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all-new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family.
- Mary Poppins Returns in cinemas Dec 21st
5. Christmas Markets in Dublin for 2018
Hot chocolate and Christmas Crafts! Here are our favourite Christmas Markets announced for Dublin so far this year.
- Botanic Gardens /Christmas at Glasnevin (Dec 9th)
- Dublin Flea Market (Dec 6th-19th & Dec 13th-16th)
- The National Craft & Design Fair /GiftedFair (Dec 5th – 9th)
- The Dún Laoghaire Christmas Market (every weekend from Nov 24th – Dec 23rd)
5. Our Christmas Gift Guide for Kids! 🙂
With a large extended family with kids ranging from 2 to 15, with cousins, nieces and nephews that seem to grow by the second it’s hard to keep up with all the different interests (that sometimes change daily!). So every year we seem to end up using our tried and tested strategy of you can’t go wrong with LEGO and mixing in some of the adorable kits and books below.
That said we always try to buy gifts that empower children’s creativity and inspire a sense of curiosity and wonder for the world while also being playful.
There are a few brands of kits and toys for children that we are really huge fans of, and for a lot of different reasons.
- Kiwi Box, we really couldn’t be bigger fans of this company. They create insanely well-crafted and very reasonably priced activity boxes for kids – from toddlers to teenagers, you can choose a different age and theme (craft, science, atlas explorers etc) that arrive to your door every month. They are kind of like the parenting fairies of the toy world! They also do lovely gift cards which are great for friends and family so they can customise their own. Highly recommend trying them out.
- Littlebits are amazing, not only have they won pretty much every Toy award for the last few years they make seriously gorgeous invention kits from music makers to rocket building! Our nieces and nephews alike love these kits. The good news is the kits come in all different sizes so if you’re looking for something to start out with try their Bubble Bot or The Creepy Crawley Machines (usually around the €20-30 price range). The beauty is that with each kit you add to your collection to create new things so they never go out of date. If you’re going for something a bit bigger (the €50-150 range) see all their hall of fame kits here.
- Ozobots these are magic little robots that are really great as a first introduction into coding but actually fun to use! If you have someone who loves colouring or drawing – these magic little robots will blow their minds! 🙂
But remember too that great Christmas gifts don’t have to be expensive to have a big impact.
Drawing pencils or an easel and a set of oil paints, modelling clay, some beautiful colouring books or a really great activity book (see our top 20 list here) — Something they can get their hands on and experiment with their own creativity and be playful with. If we had to pick one small gift, it would be this totally gorgeous Finger Art Painting book (kids of all ages and even adults love this book!) there’s really nothing like it and it will give hours of fun time and time again!
A new board game for all the family to play is always a treat and a great way for everyone to spend time together over the Christmas Holidays.
Remember it’s the playful days and the time we spend together that makes those precious happy memories 🙂
Looking for fun things to do in Dublin with kids?
- Our top recommended list of events in Dublin with kids (updated weekly)
- Check out all our top voted best places to go in Dublin with kids
- Get the inside track with our family newsletter
**Bear in mind we only ever link to things we really love ourselves or we consistently would recommend to our own family and friends (as you’ll guess from our event guide already). We started this blog as a way to find better quality events and experiences for parents. We try to take the thinking out of planning days out and only recommend what we would to our own nearest and dearest. We also don’t link to products unless they are really pretty great, but when we do it’s good to know that we sometimes get a small fraction of the sale price as a thank you for sending business to a particular website**