Stroll around the Dublin Winter Lights Festival
Since Christmas 2018 Dublin City Council started to light up some of our iconic locations around the city – and they have done a wonderful job this year.
And keep an ear out for us as Christmas FM is being broadcast each evening from Merrion Square Park and Georges Dock.
In Merrion Square Park make sure you should look out for “Rua” the red squirrel who features in the new Dublin Winter Lights story book available on the website, and in Dublin City Council Library branches.
This year Sixteen locations are dazzling bright until January 1, including the Spire for the first time, with colourful projections and lighting displays.
The Viking Boat in the Liffey and a new installation in the Liberties’ Bridgefoot St Park are also getting their lighting up debut this year.
There is a walking trail map and a QR code at each location providing a children’s story along the route.
Or the Dublin Winter Lights walking trail can be downloaded from the website.
And why not put on the gloves, get yourself a hot drink and visit the sights while listening to the terrific Dublin Winter Lights Walking Trail podcast produced by Donal Fallon.
Here are the sixteen locations that have got the Dublin lights treatment : Windmill Digital Hub in the Liberties, Bridgefoot Street Park, Smithfield Square, Wolfe Tone Square, the Millennium Bridge, the Liffey Viking Boat, Barnardo Square, the Spire , O’Connell Street monuments, Custom House, George’s Dock, the Triumphal Arch, Samuel Beckett Bridge, Seán O’Casey Bridge, the Mansion House and Merrion Square Park .
The online tickets for Merrion Square Park are sold out but it is worth showing up on the day as they will be providing some tickets at the door and if your name is not down and you are not getting in – you have got yourself into central Dublin so head off and take in some of the other installations.
Christmas Market at Farmleigh
The market at Farmleigh will guarantee to put you in the festive mood if, so far, you are not feeling the magic.
Farmleigh is accessed via the Phoenix Park from White’s Road and there is free parking.
All events are free but the storytelling sessions and puppet shows need a ticket.
These are not available online but you can pick them up in the Motor House in the Courtyard . It is first come, first served so pitch up early to avoid the scrum.
Here is what’s on offer :
Christmas Food & Craft Markets and Festive Crib, Farmyard 10 – 5pm
Horse & Carriage Rides, Outdoors 1 pm – 4pm
Festive Barbershop Melodies with The Mellowchords, Outdoors 2 – 4 pm
Ticketed events – Pick up in the Motor House in the Courtyard
Christmas Puppet Show with Yourmans Puppets, in The Cowshed Theatre
12 Noon – 12.30pm
1.45pm – 2.15pm
3.30pm – 4pm
Storytelling for Children with Jack Lynch, in The Old Kitchen
12.45pm – 1.30pm
2.30pm – 3.15pm
4.15pm – 5pm
Christmas Carol Singing with The Rejoice Choir, in The Ballroom
Dublin Castle Market
The Dublin Castle Market is roaring success, so much so that online tickets have disappeared but have no fear they are allowing some people in on the day.
Run by the Office of Public Works they allow 2,500 per slot, there is a line for those that have clinched online free tickets weeks ago, and for those that don’t and they let every in until they reach their quota.
This weekend check out The Atkinson Twins performing at 2pm and 6pm and the Esker Folk Group will be getting into full swing at 8pm.
On Sunday at 2pm the SuperTones take the stage, at 4pm Sea of Change sweeps in and at 6pm and 8pm the amazing sounds of the Maynooth Gospel Choir will delight the crowds.
The slots are 2 – 3.30 pm / 4 – 5.30 pm / 6 – 7.30 pm / 8 – 9.30 pm
Saturday and Sunday are going to be packed to the gills at 2pm but definitely worth it to pitch up at the other times.
And in the worst case scenario and you don’t get in you can always pop into the Dublinn Gardens and the current exhibitions in the Coach House Gallery and the Chester Beatty library.
Then head over to Moore street market – over the beautifully lighted up Millennium Bridge – a staple of the Dublin Winter lights experience, it’s dazzling to cross the river on this rainbow illuminated walkway.