With the weather getting colder by the day and the tree finally up in Front Square, it’s safe to say the festive season has arrived. Dublin at Christmas is a wonderful place; full of twinkling lights and Christmas spirit.
One of the best ways to truly soak up the Christmas spirit around Dublin is visiting the various Christmas markets which pop up around the city. Last year there was a wonderful christmas market by Stephens Green, however due to the on going road works and LUAS extension, it has proven unfeasible to host again. Therefore the main Dublin Christmas market is the I Believe Christmas festival. This market will run for 28 days in the lead-up to Christmas from Thursday, 26th November until Wednesday, 23rd December at the exceptional setting of Custom House Quarter in Dublin, which includes George’s Dock, The chq Building and its surrounding area. It will comprise of the usual festive market stalls as well as a 50 foot Christmas Tree. The festival will also have a Scandinavian themed pop up Bar, Après Ski, which will provide the ideal location for an apéritif, corporate functions, or as the perfect party starter for you and your friends this festive season.
Christmas in the streets
Yet the Christmassy feeling is not solely restricted to the market stalls. Walk anywhere in Dublin City in December and you’ll no doubt be walking under dazzling lights and Christmas decorations. Some shops, such as Brown Thomas on Grafton Street, have massive Christmas themed window displays which are a must see. Simply take a walk down Dublin’s main shopping streets (such as Grafton Street, O’Connell Street and Henry Street) and you’ll be fully immersed in that Christmas feeling.
One of the most popular crazes of recent winters is going from strength to strength each year. There are now 5 ice skating rinks located around Dublin; two within easy reach for Trinity Students.
Firstly, iSkate at the RDS is Ireland’s largest rink. iSkate is Ireland’s coolest ice skating event running until 10 January 2016 at the Winter Funderland in the RDS in Dublin. iSkate is not just Ireland’s newest ice rink, it is also the largest with over 1,000 square metres of real ice! Ice Skating sessions at iSkate last for 50 minutes and it is essential that you arrive at the rink at least 20 minutes before your session is due to begin. More information can be found here.
Secondly, Dundrum on Ice is located at the Dundrum Shopping Centre, only 20 mins away from Stephens Green on the Green Line LUAS. Similar to iSkate, sessions last for 50 minutes and you should arrive at least 20 minutes before your session starts. More information can be found here.
The Christmas Panto
A staple tradition of many Irish childhoods is a trip to the Christmas Panto. From singing songs to screaming “He’s behind you!”, the Christmas Panto is an entertaining and fun filled night out in Dublin. Check out here for a list of Pantos on in Dublin this Christmas
Crib On Dawson Street
A stone’s throw away from Trinity College is a traditional nativity scene set with live animals in a specially constructed life size stable. The Mansion House on Dawson Street will host this event, one which has become a beloved Christmas tradition among Dubliners as it brings a bit of the countryside straight into the heart of the city.
Sing along with Bono
Last, but not least, if you are still in Dublin city on Christmas Eve you may get a chance to see Bono from U2 singing live on Grafton Street. He doesn’t show up every single year but he does more often than not pop up with celebrity friends in and around Grafton Street in the evening. Keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook on the evening of the 24th and wait to see if he shows.