Free Things to do at Christmas in Dublin 2021

Christmas is a magical time of year but it’s also expensive. I love the build up, all the fun events and festive cheer. I am so grateful to be invited to different Press events and delighted my kids get to experience all these things. However, recently I have noticed on Instagram there is so much drive for sales for Christmas events, light experiences etc and it got me thinking that not everyone can afford all of these things. There is so much pressure to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas. That mom guilt is real but honestly your child is not deprived if they don’t get the magical Santa experience or the lights but nobody wants their child to miss out. Christmas is about spending time with family, not money! I’ve compiled a list of FREE events to ease some of that pressure and still be able to enjoy the festive build up without out breaking your bank balance.

  • The Moving Crib: has confirmed it will be opening it’s doors for it’s 65th year! My Grandparents brought my Mam and her siblings to this and then myself and my cousins as children and it appears this tradition is continuing as my Mam plans to bring my little ones again. Located off Parnell Street in a Georgian building basement. It’s a lovely experience where historical and fun scenes are on display to tell stories such as Noah’s Ark, The Nativity and Wise Men. There is as an illusion wall and small interactive area. If you’re not sure check out the virtual tour before you book online.
  • Rediscover Christmas Fair: will take place on the 3rd December from 5pm to 9pm and on the 4th December from 9am to 5pm.This sustainable Christmas experience will have independent retailers, sustainably made products and other businesses that focus on reuse, quality and local production.  Alongside the market stalls this family friendly event will include seasonal workshops for both adults and children. There will be free childrens’ games, Arts and Crafts and Christmas movies. See rediscoverycentre.ie for more details and times.
  • Christmas lights and Shop windows: There is something magical about walking around Dublin City Centre admiring the lights and shop window displays. Arnotts on Henry Street have a circus theme this year whereas Brown Thomas on Grafton Street have a sparkly display entitled those who shine.
  • Dublin Winter Lights: 21 locations, in the form of 2 walking trails around the city, have been transformed with colourful projections and lighting displays. Five new locations have been added this year including the historical Liberties area, and Merrion Square Park. See Dublin.ie for map and more information.
  • Christmas Markets: Maybe you still have Christmas shopping to do, or you just like to browse and soak up the festive atmosphere. Dublin Castle will be hosting a Christmas market from the 8th-21st of December this year it’s free but most be prebooked, IOMST have a list of nationwide markets that happen all year round and Dublin Christmas Markets on Instagram are beginning to showcase upcoming markets too.
  • Nutgrove Shopping Centre: will have fun Christmas characters and balloon modelling every Saturday from 27th Nov until 18th Dec.
  • Christmas light Houses: For as long as I can remember we would visit the “Christmas House” in Kilnamanagh. It became a tradition and every year it is bigger, brighter and better. Many houses do the same and has now become a great way to fundraise for different charities. There are other houses in Lucan, Finglas, Kingswood, Crumlin to name a few places that I know of. I will try to compile a list and link here soon so you can do a Christmas lights drive by and donate to charity if you wish.
  • Dundrum Town Centre: has a free Christmas pop-up storybook experience where you can take a journey through the enchanted forest at the Town Square and visit Santa’s Storytime Set where he will be every Thursday to Sunday from 3-6pm.
  • The Square Tallaght: are having Christmas launch day on Sunday 21st for the opening of their Santa Grotto, Adventure trail, Panoramic Wheel & Kid’s Funfair (charges apply). There will be a DJ, entertainers including magicians, puppet show, balloon makers and more!

  • Reindeer spotting: Take the kids to meet Rudolph’s relatives at Phoenix Park. Previous years the gate keeper gave talks but no confirmation of it going ahead this year. Remember deer are dangerous and wild animals, so never feed or approach them.
  • Christmas Music Class for babies: Cusack Lab Christmas Concert by Cusack Lab, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. Prebooking essential. Tickets Free.

Christmas Carol Concert: Swords Baptist Church: 12th December at 4pm and 7pm prebooking required.

  • Christmas event at scientology Community Centre Firhouse: on Satruday 18 & Sunday 19 December 2021 from 12 to 6pm. Tickets are free but required can be booked on Eventbrite (links on days). I’ve been to previous family events here and they are always 10/10 and the Scientology bit is never forced on you either! On the SATURDAY there is a variety show including Elsa and Paw Patrol and on the SUNDAY there is a meet and greet with Santa’s Reindeeer from 2-4pm. There are lots of other fun things to enjoy such as;
    • Santa Gift Giving & Photo Booth
    • North Pole Express Post Office for Santa’s letters
    • Kids Carousel & Trampoline (extra charge)
    • Elves workshop with Arts and Crafts
    • Face Painting. ✨CANCELLED due to rise in C* cases 😲✨
  • Magical Grotto at Stillorgan Village: Santa is coming to Stillorgan on Thursday 25th November at 1.30pm until Christmas Eve. Entry is free but slots must be pre-booked.
  • Still waiting on some events to be confirmed in places that usually have events such as Aras Chronain in Clondalkin, Rathfarnham Castle and The mansion house on Dawson Street usually have live cribs. Hope you found this post useful, if you have any other suggestions or are an event organiser and would like to be added to the list I will happily edit and add it in, just send me a DM or email. Don’t forget to share this with your friends and followers and tag me of course!

Happy Christmas!

Love Bróna xox

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