Irish Christmas Markets 2015

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. So why not get into the full festive spirit of things and have some fun at a Christmas market? No need to head off to the Continent to drink Gluhwein in a winter wonderland, we have some cracking Christmas markets right here in Ireland and these are just a few of them:

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Belfast: The Belfast Continental Christmas Market is held at Belfast City Hall and offers a traditional mix of local crafts and shopping stalls as well as some great food and drink stalls. The market is like a culinary tour of Europe with stands selling paella from Spain, bratwurst from Germany, nougat from Italy, pancakes from Holland and crêpes from France. There is, of course, live entertainment and music as you walk around this most traditional style market. There is also a Santa’s Grotto and if you post a letter in Santa’s box by the 18th of December, you get a letter back from him, a nice touch for the little ones.

Dates and times:

  • 14th November – 20th December
  • Market times (Santa’s Grotto times differ)
  • Monday to Wednesday: 10am – 8pm
  • Thursday to Saturday: 10am – 10pm
  • Sunday: 1pm – 6pm

Cork: ‘Glow’ – A Cork Christmas Celebration is family friendly and completely designed with kids in mind, especially the fun-filled Santa’s Workshop. There is a great range of stalls including those selling handmade jewellery, wood carvings, soaps, woollens, leather goods, knitwear and artisan crafts. For foodies, there are plenty of carts selling burgers, hotdogs, fish and chips as well as well crepes, confectionary, cakes and the best of Cork produce. There will also a number of singers and choirs performing and plenty of entertainment for the kiddies. There is also a 30-meter Ferris wheel to enjoy and take in all the sites of Cork at Christmas.

Dates and times:

  • 4th – 6th December (10am – 8pm)
  • 11th – 13th December (10am – 8pm)
  • 18th – 20th December (10am – 8pm)

 

Carlow: Delta Sensory Gardens Christmas Fair and Outdoor Lights Display

  • 5th – 22nd December (11am – 7pm)

Carlow: Duckett’s Grove Christmas Fair & Fireworks Spectacular

  • 6th December (noon – 6pm)

 

Clare: The Lodge in Doonbeg Christmas Market is on the grounds of this five-star resort.

  • 7th December (4pm – 8pm)
  • 8th & 9th December (11pm – 6pm)

Cork: The Goldiefish Festive Market will be held on Emmet Place.

  • 19th – 22nd December (10am – 7pm)

Dublin: The I BELIEVE Christmas village is billed as “Ireland’s Largest Ever Christmas Market”. At the heart of this village is a 53 foot Christmas tree lit with 20,000 lights. The market has 56 individual traders selling 100% Irish food products. So there is no excuse not to shop and eat local. There are loads of craft stalls too and seasonal pop-up shops, including Bord Bia’s Christmas Box Shop; Lidl’s first all Irish produce shop, and Kilkenny Shop’s inaugural pop-up shop. On sale at the market are Christmas trees from Irish Christmas Tree Growers, with smaller trees being made available to suit apartment living. Kids, as always are at the heart of this Christmas experience and they can have a 30-minute group session with Santa and his elves in a custom-built workshop, where they can hear Christmas stories from Mr. Claus himself. Adults are well catered for too with a traditional Scandinavian lodge Aprés Ski pop-up bar. Prost! This year the Christmas village is in the gorgeous Custom House Quarter beside the CHQ Building and George’s Dock.

 

Dublin: The Christmas Kingdom in Malahide, located in Malahide Village Green and Malahide Castle Demesne, has a lot going on this year, including Santa’s Grotto, an animal farm and an ice rink. There is a craft market that showcases a variety of festive and winter gifts and food market selling delectable donuts, hamburgers, pizza, crepes, popcorn, Chinese food and hotdogs. There is a lot of choice from mulled wine to mince pies, hot chocolate and food to suit all tastes. There are some fairground rides too, but these are mostly for the younger children.

Dates and times:

  • 4th – 6th & 11th – 13th December
  • Friday (2pm – 8pm)
  • Saturday & Sunday (10am – 8pm)
  • 18th – 23rd December (10am – 8pm)
  • 26th December – 3rd January (10am – 8pm)

Donegal: Donegal Designer Makers Christmas Presence Craft & Design Fair in Rathmullan House.

  • 12th & 13th December (noon – 5pm)

Galway: The Galway Christmas Market is Ireland’s largest and longest running festive market. This year, the hub of market activity will be at Spanish Arch, near Quay Street. The traditional wooden huts have loads of gift ideas from crafts, toys, jewellery, cosmetics, decorations and little trinkets. Food lovers are in for a treat as European market favourites tempt you, including German bratwurst and pretzels (smear them in mustard) and French pastries, which can be washed down with a stein of beer, luscious hot chocolate, mulled wine or all three. Of course there is also live entertainment and some fun vintage carousels and amusements. You can even board the Santa Express to explore the city. To me, this market is one of the most magical and romantic with all the twinkling lights and decorations and it’s in a pretty setting two, right by the river.

Dates and times:

  • November 20th – December 22nd
  • Monday noon – 8pm
  • Tuesday noon – 8pm
  • Wednesday noon – 8pm
  • Thursday 10am – 10pm
  • Friday 10am – 10pm
  • Saturday 10am – 10pm
  • Sunday 10am – 10pm

Kerry: Tralee: As part of the Tralee Christmas Festival there will be a Christmas Market in Tralee Town Square. At the market will be local food producers and local craft makers. At the previous Christmas markets, choirs from Kerry and Germany performed in the square so expect more of the same this year. So start brushing up on your carols and sing along.

Dates:

  • 17th – 23rd December
  • (Times tbc)

Kilkenny: Christmas 2015 in Rothe House & Garden.

  • 12th & 13th December
  • (Times tbc)

 

Limerick: The Milk Market Christmas Market takes place in the heart of Limerick city and features nearly 60 stalls and shops. The market is delightful at any time of the year but it is extra cool at Christmas. The usual wide range of artisan food, crafts and gifts will be on offer as well as Christmas themed gifts, collectables, bric-a-brac, toys, books, fashion, seasonal decorations and festive and speciality foods. The real draw here for me is the food. It has mainly local and family businesses and producers with some top quality and really exciting food products. It was here I first tried chocolate infused cheese and the most wonderful real bread. There is also a choir competition taking place and Santa is scheduled to pay a visit. Bands will be playing in the Big Top including Walking on Cars who play on the 20th of December. This particular gig is a ticketed event but there are still some tickets available. Get them fast.

Dates and times:

  • 4th – 6th December
  • 11th – 13th December
  • 17th – 24th December

Times vary so please check out https://www.milkmarketlimerick.ie/christmas-market-opening-times-2015/

Louth: Carlingford: A Celebration of Carlingford at Christmas will be held in Ghan House.

  • 13th December (noon – 5pm)

Louth: Carlingford: Carlingford Christmas Shopping Day & Craft Fair will be on in St Michaels Hall.

  • 4th – 6th December (11am – 6pm)

Offaly: Tullamore: The Tullamore Food and Craft Fayre Christmas Market is an indoor market that takes place every Saturday in December in Kilcruttin Business Park, Spollenstown. It showcases the best local food producers and products as well as craft designers. This market is wonderful for picking up individual items like honey, tea, coffee and chocolates to make gift hampers. You can also get beautiful Christmas wreaths and candles.

Dates and times:

  • 5th, 12th & 19th December (10am – 2pm)

Sligo: StrandHill People’s Market Christmas Markets takes place in Hangar 1 and Hanger 2 at Sligo Airport, how cool is that? Stalls sell a variety of local crafts, foods and textiles as well as Christmas gifts and decorations. There will be lots of festive cheer with live music and entertainment provided by local musicians who take to ‘Buskers Corner’ and belt out the tunes. The market is one of the friendliest in the country and it is in such a unique venue that this is certainly one of the more interesting ones to check out.

Dates and times:

  • 4th December (6pm – 10pm)
  • 6th December (11am – 4pm)
  • 11th December (6pm – 10pm)
  • 13th December (11am – 4pm)
  • 18th December (6pm – 10pm)
  • 20th December (11am – 4pm)

 

Tipperary: The Tipperary Town Christmas Market will run again this year in The Marian Hall.

  • 6th December (10am – 4pm)

Waterford: The Waterford Winterval Market takes place along many of the city’s streets and in Cathedral Square, Bishop’s Palace and Arundle Square. There are quite a few events going on as part of the Christmas festival but at the markets themselves are stalls serving warming foods and drinks as well as an array of handcrafted items from local craft designers, so you are bound to find a unique Christmas present. The streets really do come alive and there is a fantastic atmosphere around the whole city, but during the bigger events it can get quite crowed.

Dates and times:

  • 20th – 22nd & 27th– 29th November
  • 4th – 6th & 10th – 13th & 17th – 23rd December
  • Friday 10am – 8pm
  • Saturday 11am – 8pm
  • Sunday 12 – 8pm
  • Thursday 10th & 17th December 11am – 8pm

 

Written By Melanie May

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