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Christmas Events

The Moving Crib

21st November 2016 - 8th January 2017 at 42 Parnell Street, Dublin 1.

The Moving Crib is located at Saint Martin’s Apostolate, 42 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, just a 5 minute walk from The Castle Hotel. The Moving Crib has been running for many years and is one of the most memorable assets of Christmas in Dublin City. It has fascinated generations of families from Dublin and visitors from all over the world for over 50 years and reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas in an unforgettable and fascinating manner.

There are over 100 figures in the crib and all are made from Paper-Mache and dressed in miniature clothes. There are motors programmed inside to control the movement of their arms, head and legs. The Moving Crib is like an expanded Nativity Play which covers various episodes of the New and Old Testament going back to Adam and Eve and finishing after the crib scene with the young Jesus teaching the doctors in the Temple.The Moving crib is open every year from end November to the first week in January, it is a cost free event and well worth a visit.

The Snowman at The National Concert Hall

16th December 2016 - 18th December 2016

A magical concert designed for all the family, Raymond Briggs’s captivating film has established itself as part of the Christmas festivities for young and old, accompanied by Howard Blake’s score played live by the Orchestra of the National Concert Hall.
Suitable for young children, this is an opportunity for the whole family to share in the music and the magic of Christmas. Experience the magic of the remarkable friendship between James and his snowman and delight in this holiday tradition. Our narrator Simon Delaney will tell the story of James and the flying snowman as you watch the film on a big screen.

A phenomenally popular festive concert, early booking is recommended.

Santa's Grotto at Dublin Zoo

26th November 2016 – 24th December 2016

The festive season is upon us and Dublin Zoo is delighted to welcome a very special visitor, Santa Claus. 
Santa’s Grotto is open every weekend from Saturday 26th of November and on Thursday 22nd, Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th of December from 10am-4pm.
Experience the magic of Christmas at Dublin Zoo and enjoy a trip through the enchanting grotto where you will be greeted by Santa and his elves. 
Each child will take home a gift and photo key ring of them with Santa to keep as a special memento of the day after meeting Santa, children can explore the wonders of Dublin Zoo. 
Children can also take part in Christmas arts and crafts and festive face painting in the Meerkat Restaurant every Saturday and Sunday from 30th November from 12pm – 3pm. After sharing their list with Santa, children can then explore the wonder of Dublin Zoo, visit the elephants, tigers, gorillas, red pandas and swing by the new all-weather Play Forest!
For the ultimate Christmas experience visit Santa’s Grotto at Dublin Zoo.

The Nutcracker Ballet: Gaiety Theatre

16th November - 19th November 2016

Ballet Ireland is delighted to tour "The Nutcracker", one of the world’s favourite ballets, to audiences nationwide this season, and it will be showing in the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.
This timeless classic, with beautiful costumes and Tchaikovsky’s beloved & sumptuous score, takes audiences on a wondrous adventure of full of quintessential Christmas magic.
It’s Christmas Eve. A marvellous party is taking place where the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer brings gifts for all the children. When midnight strikes, very strange things start to happen … The Christmas tree grows to incredible heights and Clara’s magical Christmas gift, her Nutcracker, leads them into a fairy-tale world.  With her heroic Nutcracker at her side, Clara defeats the Mouse King and his army of mice, and they journey to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets together.
This holiday season, experience the beauty and magic of Ballet Ireland’s Nutcracker, performed by an international cast of world-class dancers, with the whole family. After all, Christmas only begins once you’ve seen Ballet Ireland’s The Nutcracker!

Christmas Racing at Leopardstown

26th December - 29th December 2016

This is where horse racing fans from Dublin and much of the rest of the country gather to work off the Christmas excess with a feast of excellent racing and most of all a great social gathering. The style and fashion, weather notwithstanding, will be as interesting to watch as the horses and there are loads of excellent bars and restaurants at the Leopardstown venue where a respite from the Winter cold is available.The featured races are the Novice Chase on St Stephen’s Day, the Future Champion Novice Hurdle the following day and the December Hurdle on Saturday, all hotly contested and prized events. All the races however attract good and very competitive fields and there will be plenty of Christmas money being wagered on the favourites. Going horse racing in Ireland is very much a family activity and there is lots for kids to enjoy as well as adults. A creche is available for those little ones who are not so keen on the horses.

The North Pole Experience 2016

26th November - 23rd December 2016

Take the Family to visit Santa at the North Pole Experience in the The Royal Liver Retail Park Naas Road, in association with Santa Hearth Cause for a truly amazing experience this Christmas. Ireland’s longest running Santa Experience is back with lots of features at the North Pole for all the family to enjoy. Santa will arrive @ 12 Midday on Sat the 26th of Nov.  
• Your magical adventure starts when your greeted by Jack Frost 
• Then it’s off for a spin on the Coca Cola Trucks, keep an eye for Kung Fu Panda, Buzz Light Year and the Crazy Minions.
• Have fun and snowball fight with Frosty the Snowman  
• Arrive at The North Pole Elf’s workshop where the Toys are made for all the good boys and girls. 
• Make a wish and Light the Magical Christmas Tree and help make some magic snow 
• Visit baby Jesus in the crib under the North Star. 
• Meet Rudolf at the reindeer pen were he will be resting for the big night ahead. 
• Have fantastic fun at Santa’s Garden on his Bouncy Castle and slide before you head to meet the man himself. 
• Bring your Letter and posted it at Santa’s Magic post box  
• Visit Mrs Claus & Santa in their magical grotto then tell Santa what you would like for Christmas. Also get your very own picture taken with Santa to bring home. 
• The Fun continues at Bounceland Playzone. (30 mins play time per child included in price)  
Fuel your child's amazing and unique imagination by visiting The North Pole Experience 

Santa Claus at Dundrum Town Centre

26th November 2016 - 24th December 2016

You’d better watch out, ‘cos Santa Claus is at Hamleys, Dundrum Town Centre.
Dundrum Town Centre has turned fabulously festive, just in time for Christmas! This year, a whole new collection of decorations and animations has been put in place to enthralled and entertain both big kids and small kids alike.  On every level, enjoy pop-up scenes of interactive musical animation, and take a trip down our red carpet as you arrive from each level of the car park. Join Father Christmas and his lovable elves at The Finest Toy Shop in the World! For fun, magic and theatre at this very special time of year, meet Father Christmas at Hamleys! is an extra special experience where children will take part in seasonal games and activities, enjoy delicious snacks, spend time with Father Christmas and receive an extra special gift bag to take home During this group session each little guest will hear magical stories of Christmas, enjoy Christmas games and activities, write their own Christmas wish list and have a special chat with Father Christmas himself all surrounded by the finest toys in the world