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  • Writer's pictureDublin City Mum

Best Santa Experiences Dublin 2018

Updated: Sep 25, 2019

Fa la la la la la la la, the countdown to Christmas in on! Get ready to deck the halls with boughs of holly, tinsel and glitter baubles but before you do all that it's time to book in a visit with the big man himself! If you want to know where to take the kids to visit Santa this year, I've compiled a list of the best Santa Experiences in Dublin. Don't delay, Santa is going to be very busy this year and everything is starting to book up already!

The Santa experiences are in no particular order. I'm not a magic fairy elf who's been to them all but the experiences below are the top ranked, come highly recommended and I would happily bring my family to any of them.

🎄Christmas at Luggwoods Enchanted Forest

Child: €19.00 | Adult: €14.00 | Info

The magical journey begins when you enter the beautiful enchanted Luggwoods forest. Before your journey to meet Santa Claus, you’ll be greeted by fairy tale characters.  Jump on Board Santa’s tractor drawn carriage which takes you through the Twinkling lights of the The Enchanted Forest and down to The Luggwoods Big Red Barn. The Luggwoods fairy tale characters and of course Santa’s Elves will be your guides. They will sing and interact with everyone as they tell you the story of Luggwoods Santa’s Enchanted Forest. You even get to meet the grumpy old Grinch along the way! 

You’ll meet Mrs Claus, Rudolph and the reindeer’s, hear stories from the Luggwoods characters and do a Christmas dance in Santa’s wonderful rustic decorated barns. You and your family will meet the real Santa Claus with a personal visit for just your family together. He’ll even have a present for all the boys and girls. There are professional photos available with Santa himself and you can have your photo taken on his giant wooden Luggwoods sleigh. After all that, you can spend time in the barn and enjoy lots of entertainment and the kids get to enjoy their free hot chocolate. 

🎄The Christmas Experience at Airfield Estate

Child: €22.50 | Adult: €12.50 (discount available for Airfield Estate Members) | Info

The Christmas Experience at Airfield Estate is a wonderful, old-fashioned, traditional Christmas event for all the family. Begin your Christmas experience by meeting Santa’s friendly elves for festive face painting before penning your festive wishes to Santa and posting to The North Pole. You’ll then join Santa in the beautiful setting of Airfield House for magical story-time and handcrafted gifts which are presented in a reusable cloth sack. The Elves will be waiting for you in their kitchen to decorate homemade, Estate cookies and serve up steaming cups of hot chocolate with festive toppings (or spiced winter warmer for the grown up’s!) In the Christmas Craft Workshop, kids will roll up their sleeves and create their own unique, take-home holiday art piece.

Then it’s all aboard The North Pole Express for a blast of fresh-air and a special trip around Airfield Estate, keeping an eye out for our resident animals along the way.This year Airfield are proudly supporting Team Hope. All families who attend The Christmas Experience who donate a new toy will receive a free family picture on Santa’s sleigh. Adults attending The Christmas Experience will also receive a festive recipe card from Culinary Lead, Luke Matthews as well as a FREE return pass to visit Airfield Estate in the New Year. On Saturday 8th December, there’ll be special ASD and hearing impaired sessions with sensory friendly alternatives and sign interpreters.

🎄Santa’s Grotto at EPIC

Child: €20.00 | Under 12 months: FREE, Age 1-3: €8.50, Age 4-12: €12.50, Adult: €15 | Info

Join EPIC for an unforgettable Christmas experience with Santa’s Grotto at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum! Begin your magical journey in the atmospheric vaults of The CHQ Building in Dublin’s City Centre. Your family will be welcomed by Mrs. Claus and Santa’s elves before meeting Santa in his magical grotto.

Visit Santa in his magical grotto and receive a special gift. Help Mrs. Claus create her world famous recipe of reindeer food and take home your very own pouch to feed the reindeers on Christmas Eve. Write and post your letter to Santa. Visit EPIC's award winning interactive museum. Take part in our Discovery Trail map to find out intriguing Christmas facts from around the world.

🎄The Santa Experience at The Ilac Centre, Henry St.

Child: €10.00 | Adult: €5.00 | Info

This award winning Santa Experience welcomes all the good boys and girls back for another fun filled festive season in 2018 at Dunnes Stores, The Ilac Centre!

Take a magical journey through the Elves Post Office, Santa’s Stable, the Sleigh Station, The North Pole and finally Santa’s magical cabin. On the way you will meet Elves, Polar bears, Penguins and of course Santa Claus himself. If you are really lucky you might even get to ride in his sleigh!

🎄Visit Santa @ Arnotts

FREE | Info

Santa will visit Arnotts Department Store this Christmas, welcoming Pieta House and St Vincent De Paul are the charities of the year. The big man is arriving on the 18th November and he will be in his grotto until Christmas Eve. Santa at Arnotts has a very clever e-queuing system to eliminate long hours of keeping children occupied while waiting to meet the man of the moment. Whether it’s an old or new tradition, visiting Santa Claus at Arnotts has been a family favourite for years and everyone who visits the Grotto will get a collectable 'I’ve Seen Santa at Arnotts 2018' badge. There will be a professional photographer at the Grotto available to capture a photograph of your visit, which can be purchased afterwards along with novelty gifts to enhance your experience and treasure forever.

🎄Visit Santa for Free at The National Botanic Gardens

Child: FREE |Sunday 9 December only | Info

Santa is coming to the Botanic Gardens. Come and experience the magic of Christmas with a free visit to Santa and his helpers. Savour the festive atmosphere as you listen to a live Choir and view the giant Christmas tree and handmade wreaths. Fill your bags with locally handcrafted goodies from our Christmas Craft Market. This year the market will boast nearly 50 gorgeous stalls brimming with food and gift ideas.

Free tickets to visit Santa are available only on Sunday 9th December at the Education & Visitor Centre. The Christmas Market is open all day. Visits to Santa run from 1.30pm.

🎄Santa Claus at Killruddery at Killruddery House Child: €22.00 | Info

A fire will be blazing in Santa’s grotto this Christmas with lights strung to illuminate Mrs. Claus’s ancient book as she reads a story and the elves serve warm Christmas drinks. Don’t miss this magical family experience with themed arts, craft, games and sing songs, before handing Santa Claus the all-important Christmas lists and receiving a gift to take away!

Your visit to Santa Claus will begin at Elf Holly's registration desk. Santa Claus' elves will bring you in for some fireside story time and singing with Mrs Claus. Once settled the elves will have some milk and home-made cookies for the children while the adults offered a little mulled wine, tea or coffee. Me & The Moon have collaborated with Santa Claus and his elves to create a special workshop where children will participate in making a festive craft. The children will helped by the elves and when they are finished their crafts, it's time to visit Santa Claus' Sleigh.

Santa Claus' sleigh creates perfect photo moments while you wait for your family's individual visit to Santa Claus himself. Here is your chance to tell Santa Claus all about your year and leave your Christmas list. Santa Claus wants to give each child a small but special gift to remember this moment by.

🎄Christmas Island at Rathdrum

Child: €20.00 | Babies (under 1 year): €8.00 | Adult: €14.50 | Info

The Only Santa Experience in Ireland with Both a Train and Boat! Your experience will include an exciting journey on The North Pole Express, a trip to Christmas Island where you’ll meet the Elves who will try to bring out your creative side, get your family photo taken in Santa’s giant red sleigh and then off to dancing and singing with the Elves. You will then depart Christmas Island on Santa’s giant sleigh boat headed to see the big man himself in Santa’s Grotto.

🎄Malahide Christmas Experience at Malahide Castle

Child: €20.00 | Babies (under 1 year): €8.00 | Adult: €10.00 | Info

It’s back again, one of Dublin’s most loved Christmas Experience at Malahide Castle & Gardens. Join one of the most magical experiences this Christmas with a trip to see Santa and Mrs Claus in their cosy grotto in the enchanted surrounds of Malahide Castle. All families are invited to tour the beautiful rooms of the castle where special guests will await them. This year Santa & Mrs Claus have invited their forest friends, Robin Hood, Maid Marian & Friar Tuck, to entertain Santa’s visitors.

Tickets includes visit to Santa & Mrs Claus, tour of the castle with special guests, age appropriate gift, mulled wine and mince pies for the adults.

🎄Visit Santa at Dublin Zoo

Child: €9.00 with the annual pass | €23.00 non pass holder (€10.00 kids under 3) Adult: Free with annual pass | €17.50 non pass holder | Info

Visit Santa in his magical grotto at family farm in Dublin Zoo every weekend starting in November with additional visits on 21st, 22nd, 23rd & 24th December. All children who visit Santa's Grotto will receive a gift and a photo keyring to keep as a special memento of their time spent with Santa. Prebooking is required.

🎄Visit Santa at Avoca Powerscourt

Child: €15.00 | Info

The Big Guy is back! Yes, that’s right, it’s that time of year again. Santa Claus himself will be making his way to Avoca Powerscourt very soon! From Saturday 17th November Santa and Mrs Claus will be joining us at Avoca Powerscourt, where there will be a Winter wonderland set to surprise and delight all visitors. Christmas animals at the Powerscourt Garden Pavilion, tasty festive treats, Winter walks, gifting workshops at Cool Planet and more, this year’s Christmas Festivities at Avoca Powerscourt have it all!

🎄Santa Experience Croke Park

Child: €16.00 for 2 years + | Child: €8 for 1–2 years | Adults: €10 | Info

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become one of Santa’s trusty elves? If so, you can’t miss the magical new ‘Elves in Training’ Santa Experience at the GAA Museum in Croke Park this Christmas from 24th November! Santa has transformed GAA HQ into his secret elf camp, where only the fittest, strongest and healthiest of all elves are trained! At the Santa Experience at Croke Park, your family will wander through a behind-the-scenes candy cane trail, catching glimpses along the way of how the Elves get fit and ready for the season ahead and their big day, which isn’t the All-Ireland for once! One of the highlights of the magical trail is a visit to Santa’s Bainisteoir’s office, the heart of all the action, where Santa reviews tactics and selects his dream team for the big journey on Christmas Eve. After this meet and greet with Santa, where every child will receive a gift and get their professional photo taken, your family can run out pitch-side, like their GAA heroes, and take their own Croke Park ‘Elfies’, making even more magical memories. You will then get complimentary admission to the GAA Museum, where you can discover two floors of interactive exhibits which chart the journey of Gaelic games from ancient times to the present day. Marvel at the original Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy cups and test your hurling and football skills in the museum’s Interactive Games Zone!

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