Saturday, 29 December 2012

Tradfest 2013, templebar whats on, templebar tradfest, templebar hotels, Dublin hotels, Dublin guesthouses, special offers

Tradfest 2013, templebar whats on, templebar tradfest, templebar hotels, Dublin hotels, Dublin guesthouses, special offers
Featured Accommodation Dublin
This week’s featured Guesthouses on Dublin Hotel Guide are The Town House and Anchor House Dublin, if you are coming to Dublin for TradFest 2013 both The Town House and Anchor Guesthouse are within walking distance, these family run guesthouses offer luxury, comfort and above all else a very personal service.

The Temple Bar TradFest began in 2005. Prior to this Dublin City had been lacking a festival which celebrated Traditional Irish Music and Culture for over 20 years.  A voluntary membership based organization, Temple Bar Traders, which is made up of business, cultural organizations and services in the Temple Bar area came together to start the Temple Bar TradFest . Since that time the festival has continued to grow in size, recognition and quality.
The Temple Bar TradFest has gained a reputation as the one of the biggest and best traditional Irish music and culture festivals in Ireland. It is now a firm fixture on the National and International festival calendar. The TradFest attracts visitors from all over Ireland and all over the world. In 2012 we had visitors from as far as Japan, Australia and New Zealand come to Temple Bar for the festival.
The festival takes place over six days and six nights with over 200 events. The festival has been recognised for its contribution to Irish traditional music and culture with several awards including Best Traditional Music Festival in the 2008 and 2009 Festival Awards. Temple Bar TradFest is one of the key festivals taking part in The Gathering organised by Fáilte Ireland that aims to bring the Irish diaspora home. Numerous iconic venues are used to host concerts featuring talented and beloved musicians from Ireland (and further afield) such as The Dubliners, Clannad, Moya Brennan, and Ralph McTell. These venues include Christ Church Cathedral, Dublins City Hall, The New Theatre and the Button Factory.
It is an important part of the festival to support upcoming Irish talent, each year we host IMRO showcase and give upcoming bands the opportunity to partake in headline concerts.
Of course each year the programme only gets bigger so there will be new additions to TradFest 2013, one being the Irish Stock Exchange. We also have a Music Trail with live Irish musicians performing throughout the pubs of Temple Bar.
Our family programme features a Children’s Hub in the Ark, 2 outdoor stages of free music, street performers, Irish dancers and much, much more.
The Temple Bar TradFest is organised and project managed by Temple Bar Traders, the local traders group in Temple Bar as a non-profit venture. We pump every cent into presenting musicians and performances of the highest calibre at the lowest feasible ticket price, thus opening up the festival to as broad an audience as possible.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Dublin whats on, Christmas Special, The Irish House Party, FREE tickets, Christmas dinner, Christmas ceili, irish dancing, Christmas party, Christmas draw

Dublin whats on, Christmas Special, The Irish House Party, FREE tickets, Christmas dinner, Christmas ceili, irish dancing, Christmas party, Christmas draw
The Irish House Party is offering 4 FREE tickets for their spectacular Christmas Ceili, Dinner and Show, what an unbelievable recession beating Christmas making special. The Irish House Party at 19 Francis Street, Dublin, is Ireland’s leading traditional Irish session venue with Ireland’s leading musicians, singers and dancers performing shows that are unequalled anywhere else in Ireland or further afield.

This is your chance to join The Irish House Party for their Christmas spectacular, the 4 FREE tickets include a sit down Christmas dinner in the tastefully decorated Irish House Party pub and restaurant at 19 Francis Street Dublin, followed by a short walk across the street to the fantastic Tivoli Theatre where you will enjoy the greatest traditional Irish session ever. When you have been blown away by the music and the crack in the Tivoli you can return to the Irish House Party bar to enjoy the music of good old fashioned foot stamping pub session with Ireland’s greatest musicians, singers and dancers. This is a session you won’t want to leave and a traditional Christmas you will not forget.

Meet Gerry, Declan and all the Irish House Party team, chat about Irish culture and tradition, the Irish House Party team are world class performers, but down to earth people, who want you not only to enjoy Irish culture and tradition but to share their knowledge of music and culture so that your experience is one of learning as well as enjoyment.
You can see The Irish House Party Christmas dinner and show on their website and you can view the Tivoli Theatre with their fantastic Christmas Panto, Snow White, also advertised.
To enter this draw for 4 FREE Tickets to The Irish House Party Christmas Ceili, dinner and show, simply LIKE Dublin Hotel News   on Facebook. All of the LIKES on Dublin Hotel News will be entered into an open and FREE draw, 4 FREE tickets for the Christmas Ceili, dinner and show, remember the tickets may only be used on Saturday the 15th December 2012 or Friday the 21st of December 2012, the tickets cannot be exchanged for money, or any other product or service, if you do not take up the offer as presented then the tickets are void.
The Irish House Party Dublin Ireland Review 2012

For those of us who were reared on the finest of Irish traditional music, dance and folklore there can be nothing more disappointing than the often ‘plastic’ portrayal of those fine traditions by commercially centred enterprises to pander to a less than patriotic version of our traditions and nationhood. However, that is all about to change, and for the good.
Often, as I have reviewed the hospitality industry in Ireland, I have been pained by scratchy CD representations of Irish music, I have been unhappy to watch tired Irish dancers ‘perform’ their third ‘tourist’ show of the day. Finally, there is Celtic light at the end of the dark tunnel of gross commercialism.
On Thursday the 20th of September 2012, The Irish House Party nestled at 19 Francis Street, Christchurch, Dublin and twinned with the Tivoli Theatre, launched the revival of traditional Irish music and dance in all its glory. Gone are the big blasts and fads of the Riverdance era and its substitutes, and returned are the soft furnishings, and cosy surrounds of a Traditional Irish House Party.
The launch of the Irish House Party kicked off with a food and drink reception in the newly refurbished Irish House Party bar and restaurant at No. 19 Francis Street, Christ Church, Dublin 8. Parking is available both at the Tivoli Theatre Car Park in Francis Street, and on-street parking is also available (FREE after 7pm).
The Irish House Party Bar and Restaurant have been renovated to a high standard and presenting guests with an ambiance that is both welcoming and traditional, in the finest sense of the word traditional, the glowing charm of soft tones and traditional furnishings make the Irish House Party Bar and Restaurant a unique home from home experience. The Irish House Party staff are professional, courteous and offer all that is so often lost in our once famous Cead Mile Failte.
Unlike the often stand offish performers one fines at large commercially driven venues, at The Irish House Party, Ireland’s champion musicians and performers casually introduce themselves around the tables and sit for some banter if so invited to do so. The Irish House Party presents as one thing above all else, a labour of love, it is clear that this is a partnership born out of love for all things Irish, a passion to wrestle Irish culture and tradition back from the grasp of brute commercialism.
As dozens of guests filled out the restaurant on the first floor, the air filled with an aroma of traditional Irish food, Dublin Coddle tickled at the nostrils, as beef and Guinness stew titillated the very soul of all gathered. The food was of the highest standard and would have sat easily on the menu of Dublin’s finest Restaurants. While this was a night of all things Irish, the wine connoisseur was not to be disappointed, with Findlater (wine supplier of choice) providing such suburb choices as Tocornal Sauvignon Blanc and Tocornal Cabernet Sauvignon, just to mention two.
And what would an Irish night be without Murphy’s Irish Stout, Murphy’s Red Ale, Beamish Irish Stout and so forth, all of which combined to make a great meal, a world class experience.
Following food, drink and banter in the Irish House Party Bar and Restaurant, it was time for the 8.30pm show in the Tivoli Theatre. Many will know the Tivoli Theatre for its long service to theatre and music in Ireland. As I walked along the tunnel entrance, I was moved by the diligence of the Tivoli owners to maintain nostalgia with what was clearly a ground breaking partnership between the Irish House Party and the Tivoli Theatre. Once inside the Tivoli, the bar area is nicely set out with traditional seating and a home from home atmosphere, again, staff are both helpful and courteous.
The real surprise comes when one steps through the curtain as it where, and enters what at first glance appears to be someone’s sitting room, that has allowed, friends and neighbours to drop in for a session. The stage replicates a traditional Irish sitting room, with pine dresser and couches setting the scene.
The main body of guests are seated directly in front of the stage, the stage meets guests at head height while seated, making the guest feel as though they are part of a traditional Irish session rather than part of a concert audience. The line-up of musicians and dancers is a ‘Who's Who’ list of the best Ireland has to offer. The casual stage setting makes the audience feel relaxed and at home, the banter, folklore and organic conversation between the session musicians and dancers adds an authenticity rarely if ever seen in modern representations of the Irish traditional session.
Soon the Theatre echoed with the haunting sounds of hundreds of years of all that is good about Irish Culture and Tradition, music and song were not only played but explained, instruments were not a mystery but visualisations used to explain their time and place in our long rich history. Three hundred year old tunes, that made Leonardo De Caprio and Kate Winslet famous in the great epic Titanic, captured the hand and foot stamping mood of the guests gathered, Bono and U2 echoed from the traditional instruments as easily as the lyrics written by 1916 Patriot and Irish hero Padraig Pearse. A straw poll was taken before the bouzouki and its player told a strange story about a well-meaning rugby player, and this was followed by Gerry telling a story in song, about a yellow haired girl, who may not have been all that she first appeared.
This session with the Irish House Party was as much about music appreciation as it was about concert and performance; time was taken to explain the instruments, the songs, the dance and the music. The dancers stepped up from the couch causally and periodically, to perform what can only be described as dancing Gymnastics, the dancers reminded the audience, that one does not have to be on a big stage with multi-million Euro backing sets to perform and transcend the very essence of Irish Dance.
Following rapturous applause from the guests gathered, many from America, New Zealand, our own Fair City and other parts of the world it was time to return to the Irish House Party Bar where yet more musicians had gathered to beat out a crescendo of tunes that seen even the most restrained, foot-tapping, hand clapping and singing along with the memories stoked by a timeless echo of ancient tradition.
The Irish House Party has returned Irish music, dance and culture to its true home, that is home is built from the passion and the love of the few, to be shared with the many. The Irish House Party, above all else offers guests a truly traditional experience, that experience is captured in the ambiance, the food, the service, the passion, and most importantly a true Cead Mile Failte has been returned to the Irish session by world class musicians and dancers.
Tivoli Theatre Panto 2012/2013

Snow White and the Adventures of Sammy Sausages BOOK DIRECT
“Fantastic” “What a treat for the family” “Better than ever expected” “Mammy can we come back again”……
Just some of the parting comments of last year’s visitors to The Tivoli Theatre Snow White Panto last year, and no matter how mature we get, we still get a real buzz out of the traditional Christmas Panto at The Tivoli Theatre… much has changed in our world……yet the one constant is our Christmas traditions…..thanks to The Tivoli Theatre the next generation can carry on the annual pilgrimage to worship theatrical Gods such as Sammy Sausages AKA Alan Hughes and Goddesses such as the world famous Niamh Kavanagh as the Good Queen.
After his fantastic performance in Snow White last year, Alan Hughes returns to The Tivoli Theatre, Dublin, as the lovable Sammy Sausages ... Whatever you do, don't miss this fun-packed Tivoli family pantomime 2012.
One might ask if there is no end to the talent and vision of those associated with The Tivoli Theatre as only a couple of weeks ago The Tivoli teamed up with The Irish House Party to bring a new dynamic to the world of traditional Irish music and dancing.
This year’s Christmas Panto at The Tivoli Theatre is already being billed as the best show in town by those who love theatre and the annual serving of all that is great about the traditional Christmas Panto in Dublin. Starring Alan Hughes as the lovable Sammy Sausages, Brian Dowling as Bridie the Mirror, Niamh Kavanagh as the Good Queen and Niall Sheehy, finalist in ITV’s Superstar, this is one Panto not to be missed!
12 December 2012 – 12 January 2013
TICKETS: €21.50 (Preview) / €100 for Family Ticket (2 x Adults & 2 x Children) / €29.50 Adults & Children
BOXOFFICE: 01 454 4472 (No Booking Fees Apply)
Limited number of Family Tickets available per performance
The Tivoli Theatre, 135-138 Francis Street, Dublin 8, Ireland.
Telephone: +353 (1) 454 4472/Email:

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Panto, pantomime, snow white, sleeping beauty, panto Dublin, Cinderella, panto clare, panto cork, panto meath

There’s plenty of festive fun to be had around the country for all ages from now until January

Panto, pantomime, snow white, sleeping beauty, panto Dublin, Cinderella, panto clare, panto cork, panto meath
Whatever Panto you decide to see if you need a hotel ensure you get value for your money
Best Hotel Rate BOOK NOW

Snow White and the Adventures of Sammy Sausages

This not-so-traditional pantomime written by Karl Broderick stars Alan Hughes (aka Sammy Sausages), singer Niamh Kavanagh, model Nadia Forde and, new this year, Molly Lynch as Snow White. Tivoli Theatre, Dec 12-Jan 13 €21.50-€29.50 01-4544472,

Sleeping Beauty
Traditional pantomime from the Ulster Theatre Company. Market Place Theatre, Armagh Until Dec 23 various times £8-£12.50 (€9-€15.40) 048-37521821

Sleeping Beauty
Journalist and former UTV reporter Ivan Little takes on his first role as panto dame Lady MaMa in this traditional pantomime from Lana Productions. Waterfront Hall, 2 Lanyon Place Until Jan 5 various times £14-£17 (€17.26-€21) 048-90334455


Northern Ireland’s queen of pantomime May McFettridge stars alongside Basil Brush and Jayne Wisener in this very popular pantomime. Grand Opera House, Great Victoria Street Dec 8-Jan 26 various times £12.75-£25 (€15.70-€30.80) 048-90241919
Goldilocks and The Three Bears
Carlow Club Players present this traditional pantomime. George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Old Dublin Road, Carlow Dec 14/17 8pm; Dec 15 2.30pm, 8pm Dec 16 2.30pm, 7pm €15/€12, 059-9172400

Little Red Riding Hood
Pantaloons and BreakThrough Dance Company present this traditional pantomime. Glór Irish Music Centre, Ennis Dec 22, 23, 27-31 various times €15, 065-6843103

Alice in Wonderland
Traditional pantomime starring Claire and Eva O’Leary as Alice, Michael Joseph as the Mad Hatter, Declan Wolfe as the White Rabbit and Michael Grennell as the Red Knave. Cork Opera House, Emmet Place Dec 10-Jan 20 various times €25-€30,

Red Riding Hood
Stars of this pantomime include Dame Jim Mulcahy, West End star Michael Sands, Fionula Linehan and Marcus Bale. Everyman Palace, Cork City Dec 8-Jan 6 various times €23-€26, 021-4501673

Red Riding Hood
A traditional pantomime from C21 Theatre Company. An Grianán, Letterkenny Dec 18-22 various times €8.50, 074-9120777

Beauty and the Beast
This 10th anniversary show from TheatreworX Productions stars Kyle Kennedy, Lauren Nevin, Eoin Cannon, Aidan Mannion and John Lovett. The Helix, Dublin City University, Glasnevin Until Jan 13 €21-25 01-7007000

Starring Stephanie McKeon as Cinderella, David Glynn-Crowley as Prince Charming, Joe Conlon and Gary Mountaine as the Ugly Sisters. Directed by Daryn Crosbie. Gaiety Theatre, South King Street Until Jan 13 €25-35, 01-6771717 or 0818-719388

Jedward and the Magic Lamp
Jedward (John and Edward Grimes) are back again this year with Linda Martin and Alan Porter in this pantomime written by Fiona Looney. Olympia Theatre, Dame Street Dec 19-Jan 6 €22-€36, 0818-719330,

Humpty Dumpty
Holding Court Theatre Company presents this family pantomime. Axis, Ballymun Jan 4-27 various times €6-€12, 01-8832100

Coolmine Panto Group presents this popular pantomime. Draíocht, Blanchardstown 01-8852622 Jan 6-20 various times €16/€20

The Lambert team puts its puppets in pantomime mode for this festive show. Lambert Puppet Theatre, Clifton Lane, Monkstown Dec 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 27-31, and Jan 2-6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 €11-13 01-2800974
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Renmore Pantomime Society presents its annual traditional pantomime, written by and starring Peter Kennedy with Brian and Sean Power and the Renmore Smurfs. Townhall Theatre, Galway City Dec 29-Jan 13 €14-€16 091-569777

George McMahon, Richie Hayes, Leanne Moore, Dustin the Turkey, Twink and Myles Breen star in this traditional pantomime. University Concert Hall, University of Limerick, Limerick City Dec 21-Jan 6 various times €27.50 adults; €22.50 children 061-331549

Jack and the Beanstalk
CentreStage Productions is back this year with a show written by Mike Finn and directed by Richie Ryan. Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick City Dec 13-30 various times €13.50-€18.50, 061-319866

Dick Whittington and his cat
Coolera Dramatic Society includes circus acts in its pantomime this year. Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo Dec 9 -22 various times €16 071-9161518
Musicals, dance, storytelling and circuses
Hansel + Grettel
Paul Boyd directs this musical adaptation of this classic children’s tale with Lyric Players. Lyric Theatre, Belfast Until Jan 13 various times £8.50-£17.50 (€10.50-€21.50) 048-90381081
The Nutcracker
Glór, Ennis, Co Clare Dec 14 8pm €12, €20, €25, 065-6843103 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              065-6843103      end_of_the_skype_highlighting;
Cameron Machintosh’s hit musical comes to town. Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Grand Canal Square, Docklands Dec 12-Jan 12, €20-€60, 01-6777770 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              01-6777770      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
The Snowman
Raymond Brigg’s animated film with live music from the Orchestra of the National Concert Hall and narration by Shay Byrne National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace Dec 15 and 16 noon, 2.30pm, 5pm and 7.30pm €20 adults; €15 children 01-4170000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              01-4170000      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
The Sound of Music
Festival Productions stages the musical. National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace Dec 27-30 and Jan 2, 3 various times €18-€34, 01-4170000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              01-4170000      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
The Nutcracker Suite and A Christmas Tale
The Irish National Youth Ballet’s festive performance. Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, Dec 14, noon and 8pm; Dec 15 3pm and 8pm; Dec 16 2pm and 7pm €20 adults;€15 children 01-2312929 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              01-2312929      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Storytelling, Puppet Shows and Magic Shows at
The extensive Christmas family programme includes storytelling in the Old Kitchen and puppet shows in the Cowshed Theatre. Farmleigh, Phoenix Park adm free, no booking necessary Dec 8, 9, 15,16, 22,23, 01-8155900 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              01-8155900      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fossett’s Christmas Circus
Traditional two-hour circus shows in the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, featuring a new Russian swing act. Royal Kilmainham Hospital, Dublin Dec 5-Jan 6 various times €5-€15 087-7978518
The Nutcracker
Ballet Ireland’s touring production Draíocht, Blanchardstown, Dublin Dec 4 8pm €12-€20 01-8852623; Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin Dec 6-8 8pm €16/€20 01-4627477; The Helix, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dec 20 7.30pm €22.50-€25, 01-7007000

The Nutcracker
Siamsa Tíre Theatre, Tralee, Co Kerry Dec 15 8pm €21/€23, 066-7123055

A Hippo for Christmas
A musical for families adapted from the children’s book of the same name. LIT Millennium Theatre, Moylish Park, Limerick Dec 17-20 various times,

The Nutcracker
Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick Dec 13 8pm €15-€20, 061-774772

The Nutcracker
Royal Theatre, Castlebar, Co Mayo Dec 11 8pm €12.50, €15, €20, 0818-300000
The Nutcracker
Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Co Meath Dec 21,22 8pm €16-€20, 046-9092300

The Nutcracker
Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Co Wicklow Dec 18 8pm €18/€20, 01-2724030
Theatre shows
A Christmas Carol
A playful adaptation of Charles Dicken’s classic story on the 200th anniversary of his birth. The Ark, Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dec 8, 15, 22 2pm and 4pm €8/€10 01-6707788

Santa’s Cracking Christmas Adventure
An in-house seasonal offering. Mill Theatre, Dundrum Town Centre Dec 8-23 various times €10/€40, 01-2969340

The Ice Witch
Ofegus Theatre Company presents this Christmas show full of adventure. Mill Theatre, Dundrum Town Centre Dec 27-31, Jan 2-5 2.30pm €10/€12.50, 01-2969340

Tromluí Phinocchio/Pinocchio – A Nightmare
A bilingual show about the boy who feels trapped between childhood and adulthood (aged 11+). Smock Alley Theatre, Exchange Street Lower, Temple Bar Dec 13-22 various times €10/€15, 01-6770014

Old Mother Hubbard’s Magical Christmas
A funny festive tale for all the family, Civic Theatre, Tallaght Dec 14 7pm Dec 15 3pm (sold out) and 7pm; Dec 16 3pm (sold out) €10, 01-4627477
On ice
Cork on Ice
Ice rink in the Mahon Point Shopping Centre. Various times until Jan 6 €14/€12 adults, €10/€13 children peak/off peak 021-4217641

Dundrum on Ice
Now in its third year, the ice rink in Dundrum Town Centre gives people an energetic alternative activity. €12/€14 adults; €11/€13 children peak/off peak Mon-Fri 3pm-9pm; Sat/Sun 10am-9pm Until Jan 6 01-5242101
Galway Bay on Ice
This ice rink overlooks Galway Bay at Spanish Arch. €16.50 adults, €13.50 students, €11 children Until Jan 9 091-556609
Christmas workshops
Christmas Family Art Holiday at the National Gallery
This event gives children a welcome opportunity to sketch (bring your own art materials), along with tours of the exhibitions for adults and musical performances in the atrium. National Gallery, Merrion Square West, Dec 29 3pm-4pm adm free, no booking necessary. 01-6615133

Festive Fun at the National Museum
Experience the tastes, smells and sights of a medieval Christmas with Irish Arms historical re-enactors. Meet a candle maker and scriptor monk. Try on medieval helmets and taste foods of the era. Dec 9 2pm-4.30pm adm free, no booking required. Drop in and help decorate the Christmas tree, Dec 16 2pm-4.30pm National Museum of Ireland - Archaelogy, Kildare St, 01-6486453

Christmas Art Workshops at the Dublin City Gallery
Make origami snowballs (aged 10+ ) Dec 8 3.30pm-4.30pm €5. Children of all ages and accompanied adults can make stars and angels for the Christmas tree, Dec 15 11am-1pm, adm free. Free Sunday sketching workshops (aged 7+), Dec 9, 16, Jan 6 3pm Dublin City Gallery, Parnell Square North 01-2225564

Red Stables Christmas Workshops
Make Christmas tree decorations or create a winter wonderland at these drop-in art workshops. Learn how to make Swedish Christmas crackers, colourful angels, white Christmas doves and finger puppets with resident artists. Christmas Crackers puppet show with Custard Pie Puppet Company (Dec 15, 4pm) The Red Stables, St Anne’s Park, Mount Prospect Avenue, Dublin 3 Dec 8, 9 and 15 noon-4pm 01-2227377

Christmas Events at National Museum
Christmas Family Day with music, competitions and workshops in making Christmas decorations (aged 7+), National Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar Dec 15, 2pm-5pm adm free, no booking required 094-9031751

Visiting Santa
Babies, toddlers and school children up to aged 10 or so will be on the look-out for Santa Claus in the next few weeks. Many will already be cajoling parents into visiting his grottos in shopping centres, but consider making a family trip to a historic house or gardens to see Santa and you’ll have an altogether more memorable experience. Here are a few places to choose from.

At Dublin Zoo children can interact with Santa’s elves and pass through a winter wonderland on the way to meet him. Dec 8, 9, 15, 16, 22-24. €10 (in addition to admission price of €11 (children), €15.50 (adults) 01-4748900

Santa is also back this year in the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) on Mount Venus Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16. While seeing Santa, children can enjoy storytelling, hot chocolate and cookies, and catch up with animals at the refuge in the Dublin Mountains. Dec 8, 15, 16, 22 and 23 (few tickets remaining) €14 children; €5 adults. Advanced booking essential. 01-4994700

Santa will also take up residence at Fota Wildlife Park on Fota Island, Cork. Until Dec 8-23 Sat, Sun and Mondays. Visits to Santa free with admission charge €9 (children), €14 (adults), under twos free 021-4812678

Billing itself as Ireland’s Lapland, Glendeer Pet Farm in Curryroe, Drum in Athlone hosts Santa and his reindeer Dancer and Prancer, alongside a nativity crib with live animals. Until Dec 23; Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm Sat/Sun 3pm-7pm €16 (children), €8 (adults) 090-6437147

Belvedere House and Gardens near Mullingar, Co Westmeath will be hosting Santa in traditional Victorian green robes in the courtyard of Belvedere House this year. Dec 8, 9, 15,16, 22, 23 €12 children, under threes and adults go free with child bookings
044- 9349060

Glenroe farm in Kilcoole, Co Wicklow, gives Santa and Mrs Claus a homely thatched cottage for the few weeks before Christmas. Children can also see the nativity stable with live farm animals, visit the farm and watch puppet shows. Dec 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 10am-5pm €15 per child, one adult free per child (extra adults €5). 01-2872288

In Bunratty Folk Park, children can visit Santa, Mrs Claus, a troupe of elves and other Christmas characters in a specially designed street Until Dec 23. €13 (adults), €25 (children) pre-booking essential 061-360788

At the W5 in Belfast, children can walk through the pages of a giant book to discover some of Santa’s secrets. W5, Odyssey, 2 Queen’s Quay, Belfast Until Dec 23, Fridays-Sundays, various times £7.90/€9.70 (adults), £5.90/€7.30 (children). £5/€6 extra for gift from Santa 048-90467788