A trip to see Santa used to mean a trip to the local shopping centre, there was usually an elf, there might be a present, and there was always a man in a big red suit. It was quick and easy. A no frills experience, but still the highlight of Christmas.
Today, it’s not just about going to the local department store. Now we have “destinations” and “experiences” where you can visit the man himself in his own winter wonderland. These are not to be missed and we have gathered a few truly magical experiences here:
Santa at Bunratty, Co. Clare
This Christmas, experience a winter wonderland of magical, festive atmosphere with Santa at Bunratty Folk Park. As the excitement builds to meet Santa there are lots of games and treats to keep young minds active as they wait for their name to be called….then, it’s into Santa’s Grotto to meet the jolly man himself. Take a spin in the Polar Express train, get active at Santa’s Little Helpers workshops or enjoy the magical Puppet Show. Find out more here.
Elf Town Galway
Set over 4 floors “A fantastic interactive and entertaining Christmas adventure” at the Galway Race Course. Elf town is a magical experience and interactive journey for all the family, with a visit to Santa and plenty of additional highlights along the way.
Elf Town is open every Fri/Sat/Sun until the 23rd of December 2019, including the full week prior to Christmas. Check out the website to get your preferred date and time, plus Facebook for updates and news. Have a look for yourself.
The Annual Strokestown Park Victorian Christmas Experience is back for 2019. With lots of festive attractions for all of the family including; A visit with Mrs Claus at Santa’s Stables where you will meet the animal, elves will accompany you through the magical tunnel into the secret underground rooms of the House where you will see the elves busy at work preparing for Christmas. The highlight of the Victorian Christmas Experience is meeting Santa Claus by the fire in the traditionally decorated library to receive a Christmas gift. Read all about it here.
Winter Wonderland, Co. Mayo
Parents can enjoy a delicious glass of mulled wine and kids a tasty juice while soaking up the twinkling lights, with lush green garlands and tinsel trimmings spilling festively from every corner of Westport House. Kids will adore a special visit to Santa in his grotto with story-time by the fireside with Mrs Claus, sing-a-longs with the elves and festive face-painting to really get them in the Christmas spirit. Read all about it here.
Take the Santa Express at Oakfield Park, Donegal
Oakfield Park in Raphoe, Co Donegal invite you to board the Santa Express at the station and have an enchanting train ride through the woodlands to meet Santa and his helpers! He will be in residence on select dates during December 2019. Have a look at all they have to offer.
Celebrate the Christmas season at Santatown at the Sligo Folk Park in Riverstown, Co. Sligo
This weekend visit the Santatown to enjoy the very special Christmas show put on by Santa’s Elves. Everyone will get to meet Santa himself and receive a lovely gift. Have your photo taken with Santa and the Elves. Write your letter to Santa and post it from here in the special post box that takes it straight to the North Pole! Read more here.
Santa’s Underground Grotto 2019
Once again, Arigna Mining Experience comes alive with a festive atmosphere. The visit to Santa in Arigna is a unique, exciting fun-filled day out for all the family. Book a family experience with the resident magician or the Custard Pie Puppets.
Oisin Foley: (Magician) ‘Blending magic, comedy and a lot of fun, Oisin’s show entertains all kids both young and old and truly is a magical experience for the whole family! From the time the show starts, until it ends he’ll have everyone on the edge of their seats or rolling on the floor laughing!’
Custard Pie Puppets is one of Irelands recognised family entertainment companies founded by master puppeteer Conor Lambert and Tessa Fonfara. Conor Lambert has been performing for over 40 years and is an experienced performer in theatre and on television starting his puppetry career on RTE’s iconic ‘Wanderly Wagon’ in which he played the character of Mr Crow.
The show at Arigna Mining Experience “Christmas Crackers” features Santy’s helpers Dong & Ding, Frosty the Snowman and of course Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and more- all wrapped up with seasonal capers, laughs and sing-a-long fun
Carrick on Shannon town centre visit Santa’s Grotto
Children can’t resist meeting Santa himself on the run-up to Christmas. This unforgettable festive experience for youngsters can be enjoyed in Carrick-on-Shannon. Santa’s snug and cosy grotto in the centre of Leitrim town is a perfect treat for little ones, eager to meet Father Christmas (and no doubt tell him all the things they want for Christmas).