No booze, thanks: how to enjoy a more sober Christmas

Tired of seasonal booze-fest? Here’s some options for non-drinking holiday revellers

Discotekken on ice takes place on Saturday December 20th at the Point Village and features disco and ice-rinks rolled into one yuletide experience.

Discotekken on ice takes place on Saturday December 20th at the Point Village and features disco and ice-rinks rolled into one yuletide experience.


The season of Christmas encompasses a range of things for all who celebrate it.

However, for those less inclined to ring in the end-of-year festivities with the almost obligatory alcoholic beverage of choice, socialising “on the dry” during the holiday season can prove a frustrating experience.

It sounds bleak, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

If you’re of a mind to put down the pint this December, there’s plenty of cool stuff going on throughout the country that doesn’t carry the prerequisite of having a few jars.

Choral Evensong, Christ Church Cathedral

Nothing gets you in the festive mood quite like a rousing choral rendition of some age-old yuletide favourites. Thursday evening’s performance offers holiday revellers the opportunity to swap the din of the pub for the spectacularly atmospheric surrounds of Christ Church Cathedral- a fantastic venue right in the heart of Dublin city.

The Christmas Concert, Featuring The Snowman- National Concert Hall

A children’s classic that truly transcends generational barriers, author Raymond Briggs’s story about a young man and his ill-fated snowman friend is brought to life by the Orchestra of the National Concert Hall from Friday 19th December to Sunday December 21st.

Any outing to the NCH is a special occasion, but this one promises to put the sprig of holly atop the proverbial Christmas pud.

Discotekken on Ice

If there’s one thing better than a discotekken (whatever that is), it’s a discotekken on ice. If you can overcome the paralysing fear of repeatedly falling flat on your behind amidst riotous laughter from a crowd of strangers, then this is just the event for you.

To be frank, hell will probably freeze over this Christmas before Ireland does, so you might as well pay a visit to the ice rink while you’ve got the chance. It takes place on Saturday December 20th in the Point Village, and for those vintage music lovers among you, we’re reliably informed that the music policy is strictly ’70s and ’80s. Groovy.

Open air screening of Frozen

The winter-themed flick that just keeps on giving, Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square plays host to a screening of Disney’s phenomenally successful film, Frozen.

If ever a movie has belied the notion that animated features are just for kids, it’s this one, and if it’s good enough for the Irish Ladies rugby team, then it’s good enough for the rest of us.

Doors open at 5:30pm on Sunday 21st December, and given the insane scramble for all things Frozen-related this year (illustrated by the unedifying spectacle of punches being thrown over the sale of Elsa Snow Glow dolls in Smyths last month, it’s probably advisable to turn up early.

Christmas Eve busking on Grafton Street

The aroma of mulled wine may be alluring, but it just can’t compete with the ambience of Grafton Street of a Christmas Eve.

Ah yes, the chilly winter air infused with the impromptu serenading vocals of some of Ireland’s most celebrated musicians; a scene of merriment and joviality tinged with anticipation for the arrival of the big man on the big day.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch a performance from seasoned campaigners like Glen Hansard or Damien Rice, and all for free save the price of the bus.

Funky Seomra New Year’s Eve Bash

Who says a trip to the nightclub has to involve the obligatory bevy? Not these guys, anyway.

Removed from its usual location of the RDS, the Funky Seomra folk will be ringing in the New Year in a way that won’t leave your head ringing the next morning. They’ve organised an alcohol-free, drug-free over-18s dance night in Filmbase Temple Bar.

There’ll be one floor dedicated to dancing, and there’ll also be space set aside for those who want to annex themselves away from all the fuss that invariably accompanies New Year celebrations and just chill out.

The Power of Love

If you’re out Wicklow way, the good people over at have organised the Power of Love New Year’s Eve party in the Greystones Theatre complete with DJs, fire rituals, spoken word performances and even meditation. Again, a strict no-alcohol policy applies.