Fun, Festive and Low-cost Family Events


As the school break for Christmas approaches, you may be trying to think of some activities that you can do with the family over the festive season. We wanted to help spread some festive cheer and share a list of ideas that are both fun, and more importantly, low cost! 

The below Christmas Events for children are located in Dublin and around Ireland and include Christmas festivals, tree lighting and the best venues to visit Santa Claus. We have categorised these family fun ideas into Free, Festive and Low-cost. 


Family Christmas Festivities Free of Charge 

Visit a free Santa, nationwide 

A visit to Santa this Christmas doesn’t have to empty the wallet. 

There are a wide variety of Santa experiences this festive season and they are free to attend. The below are just some of the locations hosting free meet and greets with Mr. Claus during the month of December: 

  • Arnotts, Co. Dublin  
  • Lough Key Forest Park, Co. Roscommon 
  • Manor West Retail Park, Co. Kerry 
  • Ikea, Co. Dublin 
  • Perks Entertainment Centre, Co. Cork 
  • Kildare Farm Foods and Whitewater Shopping Centre, Co. Kildare 



Who doesn’t love a Christmas market? 

A Christmas market with the kids is a great way to spend the weekends leading up to Christmas. Wrap-up, bring the kids along and visit your local Christmas market. These are also a great way to support local businesses selling items such as baked goods, homemade gifts, jewelry, art and much more. 



There are plenty of Christmas Fairs and Markets happening throughout Ireland over the festive season, including: 

  • Galway Christmas Market (22nd November – 22nd December) 
  • Winterval in Waterford (29th November – 30th December) 
  • Christmas at the Milk Market in Limerick (28th November – 31st December) 
  • Glow – A Cork Christmas Celebration (29th November – 23rd December) 
  • Ballincollig Christmas Market (22nd December) 
  • A Taste of Carlow at Christmas (30th November – 1st December) 

For more information on Christmas events around Ireland, you can visit Discovering Ireland or Family Fun. 


Festive Ways to Spend Time and Make Memories 

Spending Time 

Christmas can be a time of increased spending, but that doesn’t mean emptying your pockets or bank accounts. Spend time instead and make memories with the ones you love. Christmas can be about spending more time together.  

You might have the Christmas tree up and decorated for weeks, but there is still an opportunity to get the kids involved in decorating the house. Why not try out some of MABS DIY Decoration tutorials and spread the Christmas cheer around your home. 



Get out into nature! 

Over the Christmas break, you may want to get some fresh air with the kids and brush off the cobwebs. Wintertime can bring very scenic conditions and you can capture some beautiful family photos and memories. From a frosty morning in your local park or a brisk walk in a nearby woodlands, there are plenty of ways to enjoy nature this festive season. 



You can visit Coillte Ireland to find your local woodland. Bring a camera, some warm clothes and take the opportunity to take some family snaps. You can fill some flasks with hot chocolate and enjoy a walk with the kids. 


Low Cost 

Get pedaling to find Rudolph 

Phoenix Park, located in Parkgate Street, Co. Dublin, is filled with activities, such as Dublin Zoo, Cafes and Visitor Centres. But when it comes to the festive season, there is one particularly ‘red-nosed’ activity…Phoenix Park Bikes – Search for Rudolph. 

In a bid to find Rudloph, Phoenix Park has asked for you and your family’s help. When you arrive at the Phoenix Park Bikes office, you will be provided with all the equipment needed to try track down Rudloph, including bikes, a downloadable map for the children to follow and in return for your help, each child receives their own gift for participating. 



Visit Phoenix Park Bikes for more information. 


All board the Polar Express in Co. Cork! 

West Cork Model Railway Village is the venue for The Polar Express Christmas Train.  Your family can visit Santa and the village of light in Clonakilty, Co. Cork this December. 

Visit the Polar Express Clonakility for more information.  


Have we inspired you? 

This is just a short selection to get the ideas flowing. Get the phone out and Google similar events and festive ideas near you. We’ve included some links for ease and convenience. MABS does not have any affiliation to any of the commercial suggestions provided nor should the reference be seen as an endorsement.   

We hope you enjoyed this week’s blog and learned of some festive activities that you can do with the family this Christmas! Have you got your own Christmas activities or events to share? Let us know at @MABSinfo on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. 

You can call the MABS National Helpline on 0818 07 2000 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm, or find the contact details for your local office.