Blog Archive
6th December 2012


The Christmas season is upon us, so time it’s time to start thinking about what to do for the holiday!

Iarnród Éireann has great Christmas family ticket offers on offer throughout this festive seaon to help get you there!  All family tickets are valid for a return journey for 2 Adults and up to 4 children between 5 and 15yrs old.  Under 5's travel free on Intercity services and under 3's go free on DART services.

These tickets are available at the station on the day of travel.

Before you travel home the Christmas, be sure to check train times, as there are schedule alterations during throughout this busy period. Our Christmas Timetable is now available to view. Customers are advised to book your train ticket early to avoid disappointment.  


The Docklands Christmas Festival 2012

The Docklands Christmas festival makes a welcome return to the IFSC this December. Now in its 8th year and established as the Ultimate Christmas festival in Ireland. The festival promises to have something for everyone.

The festival will runs from 12 noon to 8pm Monday to Friday and Saturday and Sundays 10am to 8pm and  entry is completely free!

Why not bring family to experience a little bit of magic and Christmas cheer. With over 80 traders partaking in the event you are sure to find something to everyone’s taste. Be it hot chocolate with marshmallows for the children, roasted Chestnuts for Granddad or Mulled wine for Mum, this waterside haven is sure to have a treat for all.

Back by popular demand this year is the beautifully restored showpiece ‘Galloping Horses' Carousel and other Victorian fairground attractions to keep children of all ages mesmerized.

To keep the Christmas cheer flowing there will be carol singers and live bands on stage every day which is situated beside out 1950’s Airstream bar. The bar will be serving a wonderful mixture of Mulled wine, hot buttered rums and real hot Irish whiskey.

Santa's Grotto a free experience

Santa will be arriving in the docklands this December and will meet all the boys and girls the best part is its absolutely for free!To celebrate the true giving spirit of Christmas Santa will be asking boys and girls to bring a gift and leave it at Santa's Giving Tree for distribution to a leading children's charity.

Official Switch-on of Christmas Lights, on the 7th December.

So bring your little elves to Dublin Dockland Christmas festival this December to experience Christmas in Dublin with a difference.

Connolly and Tara Street Stations are a short, 2 minute walk from the market.

New Year’s Festival

NYE Dublin will be a two-day extravaganza of family friendly events around the city centre. Not only will there be a countdown concert at College Green on the 31st of December, but there will be an early evening torch-lit parade, a major fireworks display over Stephen’s Green and several festival zones throughout the city.


Cork Christmas Celebration

Following on from last year’s success, A Cork Christmas Celebration and  the Christmas Markets will return to Grand Parade this year, opening at weekends until the 23rd of December. Artisan food producers will showcase their locally sourced produce ranging from crepes and gourmet sausages to spiced beef and sushi. There will be a variety of crafts for sale which include paintings, jewellery and glass.

Bishop Lucey Park will once again become a glittering winter wonderland opening from 4pm to 8pm across the four weekends leading up to Christmas. This year’s theme is inspired by The Nutcracker so don’t miss the chance to bring the kids along to meet the Sugarplum Fairy.

Some of this year’s highlights will include choir charity performances, a full size vintage carousel and helter skelter, children’s workshops and free family entertainment on the outdoor stage.The Christmas Markets will showcase some of Cork’s best locally produced food and crafts and range from homemade fudge and hot chocolate to jewellery and art. This year for the first time the market will include a dedicated Gluhwein Bar.

The markets will be open from 10am to 8pm and up to 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Come for a mug of mulled wine and listen to choirs perform Christmas classics.


Galway Contintinental Christmas Market
The Galway Continental Christmas Marketmakes its return to the City of the Tribes until December 22nd. Running for five days longer than previous years, traders from all over Ireland and Europe will once again transform Eyre Square into a Winter Wonderland. A jam-packed entertainment schedule comprising of a host of different events is promised for the Market’s duration, including early entertainment from Galway’s top live bands and DJ’s, performers, puppet shows, storytelling, school choirs, a lantern parade, carol singing together with charity and community events. Once again, the Galway branches of the children’s charities ISPCC and Enable Ireland will take over the running of Santa’s Grotto this year – with all profits raised going to both charities. 

The popular German Bier Keller will be playing host to various events throughout the duration of the market. The 2012 Market will be the most visually exciting yet, with bedazzling lights and quirky Christmas installations and will be jam packed with festive treats, artisan food products and Christmas gift ideas from both local and European traders.

The Galway Continental Christmas Market will be open from 12pm – 8pm from Monday to Wednesday and from 10am – 10pm Thursday – Sunday.


The Kilkenny Christmas Markets are back by popular demand. The enchanting yuletide event will see the Parade in Kilkenny City transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland over the weekends of December The Christmas Markets will see a variety of traders selling a range of Christmas gifts, seasonal food and stocking fillers. 

There will be carol singers and musical entertainment on hand on selected days to perform a feel good selection of Christmas favorites. There will also be daily kids storytelling with Mrs. Claus, kids festive workshops, a Christmas choir and lots more! 


Winterval Christmas Festival

Winterval is a delightful Christmas festival which takes place until 23rd December and is packed full with seasonal events and activities set in unique heritage sites around Waterford City. Winterval takes its inspiration from the enchanting Christmas markets throughout Europe, bringing the collective sights, sounds and festive charms to Ireland’s oldest city.

From Santa’s Grotto in the Medieval Museum to a Georgian Christmas in the Bishop’s Palace, a toy museum, Winterval Express Train, Christmas market, ice-rink on the quay and an animal farm complete with reindeer, Winterval is set to be a highlight in the Christmas calendar that every family will want to experience. Look forward to Christmas craft making for children, the Ardkeen Artisan Food Experience, a Viking Christmas village, storytelling in Reginald’s Tower, a Polish Christmas, and Waterford Illuminates; a spectacular 3D sound and light show nightly in Cathedral Square. There’s also a full programme of seasonal entertainment, including the Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, choral concerts and children’s shows.

With a jam-packed, family fun filled programme of events throughout the month of December, Winterval is guaranteed to be top of everyone’s Christmas list for being good this year! As well as enjoying the Winterval treats, festival goers can take the opportunity to do their Christmas shopping, or simply stroll around the streets of Ireland’s oldest city and soak up the Christmas atmosphere. So this Christmas season, visit Waterford for Winterval, and you are sure to rediscover the child in you!


Limerick Christmas Fest

Limerick, the Irish City of Culture is where the magic of Christmas is just waiting to be unwrapped. 

With Limerick Christmas Fest , the city’s Christmas stocking is packed full to the brim with a spectacular line up festive events, traditional food and craft markets exciting entertainment and an impressive displayed of Christmas lights.

At  Santa Experience Limerick, children can come face to face with Father Christmas and share their Christmas wish lists with him. And there's fun to be had for all ages at  Limerick on Ice and at one of the three pantos taking place this year.

Your say

What are you planning to do or visit over the Christmas season?  Whether it’s a festive event, or a special treat for you or your family, comment below and share your ideas!


2012-12-06 at 11:20pm

Fionnuala Creegan says:

Is this a joke? We live only 10 mins by train from Galway but it would cost our family €35 to go there by train. In previous years Irish Rail offered a reduced fare for the month of December which made a trip in on Christmas Eve just about affordable though still double the cost of driving there including diesel and parking. This year they have made the charming decision not to offer the reduction thereby depriving us of our one trip a year. Well done lads, ye've managed to out-scrouge Scrouge himself.

2012-12-06 at 12:17pm

caroline maxwell says:

Hi guys, this seems like a good thread to comment on some families' behavior on Irish Rail.

I use trains all the time and am shocked and a bit fed up to be honest, at what some parents allow their kids, little and big, to do. Yesterday on the Dublin to Drogheda train, a mother was encouraging her little ones to climb on the seats and jump off, screaming - to keep them occupied while the parents were both on their mobiles! No joke when you're sitting beside them for 45 minutes. Another little boy ran up and down the aisle.They were accidents waiting to happen and the parents would have no one but themselves to blame.

I've got a large family and none of my kids ever behave like that, it's disrespectful to others and it's dangerous for the kids. On any other form of public transport - buses, ferries, flights - children are expected to sit in seats, or stay in their buggies and be reasonably quiet. Yet some parents release them as soon as they board a train and let them run wild. I've seen them climb on tables, swing around the poles and even had my handbag messed about - just looking for attention. It's enough to drive a sane commuter back into the car!

This happens all the time on train journeys especially at the weekends and during the school holidays. Really it's just not on to allow wild kids with careless parents to disturb other paying passengers. Please Irish Rail, would you do a kids' safety campaign or something and get parents to control their children on trains!

Leave a comment (your email address will not be published)