Christmas markets across Ireland this festive season

Get in the Christmas mood and do some last-minute shopping at a market near you

Night view of Galway Continental Christmas Market

Night view of Galway Continental Christmas Market

 

In a very short space of time, Christmas markets have become an integral part of the season’s festivities. From this weekend, all across the country artists and craftspeople, cooks and food producers, butchers and bakers will come together for such gatherings, making lots of tasty goodies for our tables and presents. The man himself, Santa Claus, will be making appearances with his elves across the country.

Dublin Flea Christmas Market

The well-known Newmarket flea market is leaving its usual home to move to the Point Square in Dublin 1 from December 8th-10th, with the following opening times: Friday 1.00-8.00pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11am-6pm. The market is sponsored by Dublin City Council and showcases Irish contemporary design, handmade crafts, art, books, antiques, collectables, furniture, jewellery, clothes, and much more. It is a great gathering for bargain hunters. A full list of stalls is available on dublinchristmasflea.ie/market/

Shoppers browing at the Belfast Christmas Market.
Shoppers browing at the Belfast Christmas Market.

Après Dublin at CHQ

Meanwhile, the CHQ building at George’s Dock will be transformed into a giant ski lodge, with social activities, street food options and an in-house DJ and band for nights out for friends. During the day, the village area will be full to the brim with family fun, including a Santa’s Grotto, carousel rides and snacks. In the evening it is strictly over-21s, with Après band and DJ. There will be snow machines and food, and fancy dress is encouraged too. It is open to book on apresdublin.com, with tickets from €15.00, plus €1.29 fee.

The Mendicity Institution Christmas market

If you are looking for a unique and heart-warming Christmas gift, come to 9 Island Street, Dublin 8. Dublin’s homeless have been working hard all year to produce Christmas gifts which will be on sale at the market. All proceeds of sales will be used for frontline services. The sale is from 11am-7pm, Sunday, December 10th.

Farmleigh House

Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park will open its doors to the public for the weekends throughout December. Each of the rooms will be decorated in traditional Edwardian Christmas style and there will be a selection of activities and entertainment for the family, including food markets, storytelling, flower-arranging and carolling. See farmleigh.ie for more details.

Galway Continental Christmas Market

The Galway Continental Christmas Market has settled in well to its spot on Eyre Square. The organisers do a great job of giving the square a real continental feel. Little wooden huts, beautifully decorated, sell all types of arts, crafts and artisan food products. There will also be music and the scent of pine to get you in the Christmas mood.

This year’s market features amusement rides, including a Big Wheel, Helter Skelter and traditional carousel, along with puppet shows, storytelling, school choirs, carol singing, and charity and community events. Santa’s Grotto and a bierkeller also feature. A taste of European food at the market includes crepes, bratwurst, French pastries, pretzels and waffles. The market is open until December 22nd, Monday-Wednesday noon-8pm, and Thursday to Sunday 10am-10pm. galwaychristmasmarket.ie.

Christmas at Limerick’s Milk Market

Limerick’s Milk Market is a perfect spot for enjoying a Christmas fair as it is all indoors, so if there is inclement weather you can still go. This year’s Milk Market event will host Santa, as well as themed stalls, competitions, choirs, games, food, promotions and much more. It is a great location to find that special gift or food item. The Milk Market is not open every day and mostly closes at 3pm. Check the dates and times on milkmarketlimerick.ie

Cork is aGlow

Presented by Cork City Council, Glow is the Christmas festival in Cork. The theme this year is Santa’s Cork workshop. Glow will run every weekend in the run-up to Christmas, and also Christmas week up until Friday, December 22nd.

For Glow, Bishop Lucey Park has been magically transformed into a winter wonderland by Cork’s own Dowtcha Puppets, open from 4.30pm-8.30pm. Meanwhile, on the Grand Parade there is the Christmas food market, choral performances and a 30m Ferris wheel, open noon-9pm. corkchristmascelebration.ie

Waterford is Winterval

The biggest Christmas event is in Waterford, where the Winterval programme means more than a month of festive events and things to do, including the Christmas markets at Broad Street and John Roberts Square until December 24th. We’re talking horse-drawn sleigh rides, a trip on the Winterval Express Train and a giant postbox – where those all-important letters to Santa can be dropped off.

A traditional carousel will be on site for the kids to ride and the Santa Express Train will bring all the good boys and girls to meet the elves and Santa. A free carol service in Christ Church Cathedral will take place on December 19th. See winterval.ie for opening times.

Strandhill People’s Christmas Market

Up to 20,000 people are expected to visit the annual Christmas celebrations at Strandhill People’s Market in Hangar 1 at Sligo Airport, which take place on the Sundays until Christmas from 11am-4pm. The hugely popular night markets are also making a return this year and will be open from 5pm-9pm on the Fridays until Christmas, with artisan food and craft producers from all over the west .

The man in the big red suit will also be visiting every Friday and Sunday throughout December and be based in the terminal building. All funds raised from the Santa’s Grotto will go towards an all-inclusive centre for children and young adults with special needs, through local charity Our Voice Their Future Northwest. http://strandhillpeoplesmarket.ie/

Belfast Christmas Market

The Belfast Christmas Market guarantees a real welcome for all of its visitors, thanks to the culinary delights and bustling stalls on offer. Located at Belfast City Hall, the market offers guests a taste of the best of the festivities from countries across the world, such as Germany, Spain and France, with its themed stalls. The market is open until December 23rd, Monday to Wednesday 10am–6pm, Thursday-Saturday from 10am–10pm, and Sunday from noon-6pm.

Try some exotic meats at the Belfast Christmas Market, like kangaroo or wild boar.
Try some exotic meats at the Belfast Christmas Market, like kangaroo or wild boar.

Killarney Christmas Market

Killarney’s Christmas Market returns to Main Street over the first three weekends in December, with a wide selection of handmade craft and food products made locally. Handmade ceramics, stained glass, candles and jewellery are for sale and local cheesemakers and bakers are selling their wares. The highlight of the festivities is the Killarney jaunting sleigh ride, which costs €10 for two adults and two kids. Visit www.christmasinkillarney.com

Lisnavagh Christmas Fair

The garden wing of Lisnavagh House will host a Christmas fair on Saturday and Sunday December 9th and 10th, from 12.30pm-5.30pm. Local suppliers will be offering artisan foods and handmade goods and giftware, including wood crafts, jewellery, art, greeting cards, soap, candles and textiles. Lisnavagh fair is also a chance to pick up a Christmas jumper, stocking fillers, as well as a Christmas tree. Lisnavagh.com

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