Feeling festive? Damn right you are. Deck the halls and jingle your bells, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! There ain’t no better place to spend Christmas than this dirty old town, and even your friends on Bondi beach know it. Here are our ten top things to do to get into the Christmas spirit:
1. The Grafton Street Christmas Lights – from now
Nothing says Christmas like the lights on Grafton street and every year they still give you a little tingle down your spine. They’re already up so wander on down any time you like and get your Christmas spirit fuelled up.
2. Christmas Markets at the CHQ – from December 8th
No need to schlep it to Berlin on the Ryanair red eye, you can get your fix of mulled wine and mince pies right here. The CHQ Christmas Market will run from December 8th to 23rd, Thursday to Sunday only.
3. The Aware 5k/10k run in Phoenix Park – December 10th
The annual Aware Christmas Run takes place in the Phoenix Park on Saturday December 10th. Santa hats are encouraged and there’s always a real festive feeling at this one. It’ll give you something healthy to aim for before the party season kicks off, but more importantly, it’s for a great cause. Sign up online now
4. Carols at Christchurch Cathedral – from December 6th
Nothing says Christmas like belting out a few bars of Ding Dong Merrily on High (admit it – you sang that in your head) and Christchurch Cathedral makes one hell of a setting for it. There are various carol services in the programme this December – you can check out the schedule here. Entry is free to the “Shoppers’ Carols” (with the choir of Rathdown School) at 1.30pm on Thursday 15th December.
5. The Christmas Concert at the National Concert Hall – from December 16th
The National Concert Hall presents The Snowman as their Christmas Concert with narration by Simon Delaney. There are 10 showings from December 16th to 18th.
6. The 12 Pubs of Christmas – December 17th
Love it or hate it, the 12 pubs has become a solid tradition on the Dublin Christmas calendar. People are even using Map My Run to plan their routes. Rules and routes can vary between groups but remember people, it’s a marathon not a sprint. The tradition usually takes place on the Saturday before Christmas, so it’s likely to be 17th December this year. Depending on which side you fall on you can either start planning your route or make sure to avoid Baggott street on that day.
7. Dun Laoghaire Christmas Festival from 26th November
A shout out to Dun Laoghaire where a pretty elaborate programme of Christmas events seems to be bubbling away. The Christmas Festival starts on 26th November with an opening ceremony and runs to 23rd December. A Christmas Market and an ice rink are just some of the things on offer to get you into the spirit.
8. Christmas Eve Pints – 24th December
Might we suggest somewhere near Grafton Street, so you can pop out lest Bono make his annual appearance on the busking circuit? How about Grogans, Kehoes or Nearys? They’ll likely be wedged but with everyone’s spirits at peak levels no one will care. Belt out a few bars of Fairytale in New York and get that warm fuzzy feeling. Sure isn’t it grand to be alive lads?
9. Take a dip at the Forty Foot – Christmas Day
Call them mad or call them brave, for some people Christmas would not be complete without a bracing dip in the Forty Foot. On Christmas morning hundreds of people will brave the cold in the name of tradition (and possibly to cure their hangovers)
10. The Leopardstown Christmas Festival – December 26-29 Tickets from €30. www.leopardstown.com
For many people a Stephens’ Day trip to the races it is as much a Christmas tradition as turkey and fighting with your sister. The annual Leopardstown Christmas Festival starts on St Stephens Day and runs to the 29th.