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What to Do in Dublin in December

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This post covers things to do in Dublin in December, including events, attractions, and holiday celebrations for visitors of all ages, updated for 2022.

If you’re looking for even more to do, check the following posts:


TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN DUBLIN THIS DECEMBER

The following list will cover some of the best things to do in Dublin throughout the month of December, including family-friendly, nighttime and free activities.


1. Take a Christmas Tour

If you’re looking for a more festive outing than your typical hop-on-hop-off bus tour, Hidden Dublin has offered a special Pantomime Christmas bus trip in December.

This excursion is more of a theatrical experience than a bus tour, as the bus will be decked out in Christmas decorations with a holiday theme.

Young visitors will have the opportunity to meet Santa’s elves, help them check the list twice, and even see Santa’s bed, fireplace, and boots.

Although they have not yet posted dates for 2022, we hope that those will be announced soon.

If you’re looking for more family-friendly ideas, please read our post about things to do with kids in Dublin.

You could onsider taking a private guided Christmas tour throughout Dublin as well.


2. Go Ice Skating

During the holiday season, several ice rinks will typically pop up around Dublin.

Whether you're looking for a fun family activity or you just want to participate in the festivities, this is an excellent option.

Here are a few of the best ice skating rinks in Dublin:

  • Swords on Ice
  • iSkate at the RDS
  • Dundrum on Ice
  • Liffey Valley on Ice
  • Blanchardstown on Ice

You'll want to check their websites for dates and opening times.

If you're looking for more fun you can enjoy with the kids, make sure to read our post covering things to do with kids in Dublin.


3. Visit the Christmas Markets of Dublin

There is almost always a Christmas Market in Dublin each year.

While some websites have not been updated for 2022, because they took place last year, we have faith that they will return again.

The Mistletown Christmas Market has 70 stalls with crafts, food, handmade gifts, and trinkets of all kinds. It's held inside the wholesale fruit and vegetable market near Smithfield.

The Dublin Castle Market has over 25 vendors, also selling holiday crafts and food, along with Christmas Trees. As expected, it's held on the grounds of Dublin Castle.

In addition to this option, we also recommend visiting the well known Stephen's Green Christmas Market. This is for those who enjoy holiday treats like mulled wine, hot chocolate, and more.

TIP: Dublin Castle is included on our self-guided tour of Dublin.


4. Go to a Concert

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to hear and sing along to classic Christmas carols at church?

If you’re looking for a Christmas concert in December, there are a number taking place throughout the month.

The Mornington Singers will put on 2022 Christmas Concert on:

You can also find the Hallelujah Christmas - Dun Laoghaire Concert on:

The Dublin Gospel Choir will also be putting on a show at the Civic Theatre, December 3rd.


5. See the Holiday Lights

There will be a numbers of places to see Christmas lighting displays in Dublin this month, and you don’t really have to pay anything to enjoy them!

Here are a few of the best places to see holiday lights in Dublin during December:

  • Powerscourt Centre
  • Jervis Shopping Centre
  • Dundrum Town Centre
  • Stephens Green Centre

If you want some help finding the best lighting displays, consider taking a Christmas lights walking tour with a local!

For more affordable fun, make sure to read our post about free things to do in Dublin.


6. Attend a Christmas Panto

If you're looking for fun for the whole family, you won't want to miss a Christmas Pantomime (Panto).

An important part of the holiday season, the Panto involves everyone in the audience and is sure to bring smiles all around.

Some of the shows taking place in December in Dublin are:

The Jungle Book will be at the Gaity Theatre from 27th of November, 2022, to the 8th of January, 2023.

Sleeping Beauty will be taking place at the Civic Theatre from 7th December through 31st December, 2022.

Little Red Riding Hood will be at Mill Theatre the 8th December, 2022 through 8th January, 2023.

Snow White & Sammy and Buffy will be at National Stadium from 13th December, 2022 through 2nd January, 2023.

Olly, Polly and The Beanstalk with be at Olympia Theatre from 21st December, 2022 through 8th January, 2023.

Alladin will be at Libery Hall Theatre from 21st December through December 31st, 2022.


7. Attend a Sporting Event

Dublin is home to some pretty great sports teams which will be playing in various games this month. 

Their rugby team Leinster is scheduled to play a few matches in December of 2022, and you might be able to catch one of these games.

The Croke Park tour is included with the Dublin Pass, making it easy to save money on this activity.

If you're looking for more sporting events in Dublin, you can find them here.


8. Take the Kids to Dublin Zoo

During the month of December, the Dublin Zoo will be hosting an event called Wild Lights.

This attraction will feature lighting displays based on this year's these of "The Magic of Life!".

With a theme about that takes you through an illuminated and magical woodland, you'll be sure to be captivated.

In December, Wild Lights is open 7 days a week:

NOTE: While you need to purchase separate tickets for this event, you can get admission to the Dublin Zoo at a discount with the Dublin Pass.


9. See A Play or Musical

In December, a few well known show will be playing around Dublin.

Toy Story the Musical will be at The Convention Centre from 10th December through 31st December, 2022.

Beauty and the Beast will take place at Bord Fais Energy Theatre from 24th November, 2022 through 8th, January 2023.

Orson Welles' Christmas Carol, "a radio play within a play" will return to Dublin in 2022. It runs from 6th of December through 17th of December at the Smock Alley Theatre.


10. Save Money With a Tourist Pass

If you’re planning on visiting a lot of popular attractions while you’re in Dublin, it might make sense to use a Dublin tourist pass to save a few euros.

The biggest pass offered in this city is an all-inclusive pass, and it provides admission to dozens of different attractions for a specific amount of time (1, 2, 3, or 5 days).

There is also a travel pass which can make it easier to get around the city, offering a variety of transportation services and even a few extras.

While it’s possible to save money with these passes even if you don’t use them for many activities, you’ll enjoy the biggest discount by using your pass for as much as possible.

Here are some of the best locations and tours included with a Dublin tourist pass:

  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Jameson Distillery Tour
  • Teelings Distillery Tour
  • Croke Park Tour
  • Dublin Castle
  • Dublin Zoo
  • And more!

For more information about these services, please read our post covering Dublin tourist passes.


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: October 17th, 2022
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