What’s on: Something for the Weekend

Christmas season kicks off with Santa visiting many cities across the country

I Believe in Santa

I Believe in Santa is among the first of the Christmas season events, moving the former Clery's Santa to a new home in Dublin's Custom House Quarter and running until December 23rd. Part of the broader I Believe festival, the Santa experience places festive singing, story-telling, letter-writing, other entertainment and shopping around the elves workshop. Tickets from €20.

Film festival

The SUBTITLE European Film Festival concludes on Sunday following a final weekend of foreign language films not readily available in conventional cinema schedules. It includes films that have never been screened in Ireland before as well as recent releases. The Gambler, Leviathan and Les Intouchables are among the weekend's line-up. The festival runs at various venues around Kilkenny with tickets for individual films priced between €7 and €10 over the weekend.


Mini farm

The Kia Ora Mini Farm in Gorey, Co Wexford has begun its annual Christmas Festival which sees a visiting Santa Claus entertain with the help of reindeer, live crib and animated musical light show. Guests can also tour the inside of Santa's house, operate real diggers and enjoy a ride on a fire engine. Entrance from €7.


The National Museum of Ireland will hold an open day on Sunday with special talks and activities focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. Set in the Collins Barracks, the day will feature holiday music and song, and talks on history of yuletide food. Admission is free.

The North Pole

The Cork North Pole Outpost Experience begins from Sunday. The family theatrical production focuses on Christmas in Cork. The interactive event includes a ride on the Elf Express Train from the hidden Elf Station, witness the activities of an elf’s life and, of course, visit Santa Claus. The event lasts for an hour and a half and costs €12 for adults, €20 for children and €10 for toddlers.


The Seamus Ennis Arts Centre in Dublin will launch an exhibition of work by Irish artists Henry McGrane and Norman Teeling on Sunday to run until January. Both artists began as animators before reverting to traditional painting and other work. Their exhibition launch is open to members of the public who make contact beforehand. Admission is free.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times