Yulefest | Kilkenny
Celebrate the season at Yulefest Kilkenny, a curated and inclusive Christmas festival that invites all to enjoy and participate in fun and festive events. Yulefest Kilkenny is also putting a spotlight on sustainability this year; working in collaboration with social enterprise ReCreate Ireland and four-time Oscar® nominated Kilkenny-based animation company Cartoon Saloon, selected shop fronts in Kilkenny have been transformed into magical storyboards through the use of recycled materials.
From the Victorian carousel, ice skating rink and Santa’s Grotto to festive workshops and shopping galore; from castle parklands and seasonal dining to concerts, theatre and open air music; a wide range of delights await. For a full listing, visit the official Yulefest Kilkenny website – here's a few highlights to get you started...
Butler House Christmas Garden
The gorgeous grounds of Butler House in Kilkenny City are transformed at dusk as light installations illuminate their wonderful Butler House Christmas Garden. Children will love the reindeer, toy soldiers and frosty pond, not to mention the new Butler House Express miniature train! There will be a chance to take an 'Elfie' with friends in Santa’s sleigh, or meet the big man himself in his outdoor grotto. A walk through the Glittering Trees leads to a special Christmas Post Office, where little ones can send their letters direct to the North Pole (via a magic post box of course). For gift browsing and buying, the Christmas Craft Fair is also open every Saturday and Sunday between 12 and 6 pm with loads of lovely unique gift ideas to choose from – including jewellery, fashion, art and more.
Kilkenny Christmas Tree Festival
Some 120 trees of all shapes and sizes will fill St Canice's Cathedral, each one a unique work of art. Local schools, businesses and organisations all show off their creativity alongside imaginative individuals, and the results are a sight to behold. Light refreshments will be available, and a stall selling seasonal goodies will provide scope for extra treats at this annual event. As part of the festival, you can get hands-on with workshops and gingerbread decorating – or tour the belfry, a fantastic opportunity to see this 'hidden' space which is usually not part of the visitor’s experience to this Medieval Mile landmark.
A Magical Woodland Christmas
Embark on an enchanting adventure
to visit Santa Claus at Castlecomer Discovery Park.
Depart from North Pole Station and take a train ride through twinkling enchanted woodlands on board the Santa Express. Explore the Christmas Village, make your own tree decoration in the arts and crafts area or sit back and warm your hands with a steaming mug of hot chocolate from the Canopy Café. Children can burn off excess holiday energy in the elf and fairy village, where imaginative playgrounds feature bouncing nets and a Junior Woodland Adventure Course.