Word on the street is that Santa is coming to town and is already starting to book up. Get ready to deck the halls with boughs of holly, tinsel and glitter baubles (and to get through Halloween first!) 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.
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!
🎄Santa’s Grotto at EPIC
Under 12 months: FREE | Age 1-3: €16.00 | Age 4-12: €22.00 | Adult (18+): €12 | Teenager (13 -17): €8.50 | Sat 14th & Sun 15th Dec + Sat 21st & Sun 22nd Dec | 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. Sing your favourite Christmas songs and share stories with Mrs Claus. Make a special pouch of reindeer food with Santa’s elves. Visit their award winning interactive museum and take part in a Christmas themed Discovery Trail. Have fun in the snow cabin and avail of a great photo opportunity. And finally visit Bakehouse for Hot Chocolate and a Christmas treat.
🎄Christmas at Luggwoods Enchanted Forest
Child from €21.00 | Adult from €14.00 | Children under 12 Months go free | 30th Nov – 23rd Dec | Info
Visit Santa this year at the amazing Luggwoods Santa’s Enchanted Forest experience. The magical journey begins when you enter the beautiful enchanted Luggwoods forest. For your magical journey to meet Santa Claus, you’ll jump on Board Santa’s tractor drawn Luggwoods Express which takes you through the Twinkling lights of The Enchanted Forest and down to The Luggwoods Big Red Barn. Santa’s Elves will be your guides. They will sing & interact with everyone as you and your family help save Christmas. You’ll even see the grumpy old Grinch along the way! Meet Mrs Claus, Rudolph and the reindeer’s, hear stories from the Crazy Elf Sparkles and do a Christmas dance in Santa’s wonderful rustic decorated barns. Of course, you also get to meet the big man himself!! You and your family will meet the real Santa Claus with a personal visit just for 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 and return part of your Luggwoods journey as you sing and Laugh with the Elves on the ride back through Luggwoods Santa’s Enhanced Forest.
🎄The Christmas Experience at Airfield Estate
Child: 0-1 years €5.00 | 1-12 years €22.50 | Adult: €12.50 (Discounts for Airfield Estate Annual Pass Holders) | 23rd November - 23rd December | Info
The True Spirit of Christmas Past will be a seasonal experience at Airfield that reflects the original values of Christmas - family, charity, goodwill and happiness, and embraces and encourages an environmentally friendly festive celebration. You’ll get to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of the Log Cabin, where little ones will pen their postcard to Santa before strolling to the magnificent Airfield House festooned with traditional seasonal decor. Here they’ll whisper their hopes for Christmas morning to Airfield’s beloved Santa Claus, enjoy stories with the Elves and receive a sustainably sourced gift presented in a reusable cloth bag.
There’ll be time to take a photo with Santa before moving along to his Magical Alpine Potting Shed to plant a keepsake bulb in recycled paper using super-fuelled soil from the Estate’s recycled food waste. The Elves’ Kitchen is where you’ll get to enjoy a fun-filled chocolate fondue and creamy Jersey milk and grown-ups will indulge in a delicious homemade chocolate treat and a mulled wine in the Claus Cafe. Take a twirl on the Victorian carousel, enjoy face painting and arts and crafts, plus the chance to meet the Estate’s baby animals, plenty of family games to get the heart racing and all included in the ticket price.
ASD Friendly Sessions
On Sunday 15th December, Airfield will have ASD Friendly sessions with sensory-friendly alternatives. Their staff have received AsIAm autism accredited training. Sessions run from 9.30 am – 11.30 am.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Christmas Experience
Airfield Estate presents the True Spirit of Christmas Past - Sunday 15th December we will have a Deaf and Hard of Hearing session at 12 pm with Irish Sign Language Interpreters.
🎄Visit Santa @ Arnotts
FREE | 17th November - 24 December | 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 17th 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 2019' 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 @ The National Botanic Gardens Dublin
FREE | Sunday 15 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 15th 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: €25.00 | Infant €12.50- For children aged 2 years and younger | Adult €12.50 (your membership does not cover adult tickets) | 1 - 23 December | Info
Sleigh bells are ringing at Killruddery to announce their 6th annual Visit Santa Claus experience. This winter, Mr and Mrs Claus await visitors in the House & Gardens and the transformed Horse Yard which will be magically lit and decorated by the elves. Christmas at Killruddery is all about celebrating the coming together of friends and family. Each week until Christmas, they will light a new candle on the Advent wreath, symbols of hope, peace, joy and love. At the heart of their winter wonderland is the time-honoured art of storytelling and musicial performance. Santa’s elves will be orchestrating music workshops - hand-making percussion instruments to sound through the twinkling, wintry Gardens in search of Santa Claus.
As elves serve warm milk and cookies, Mrs Claus will help all children compile and wrap a small gift for a loved one - and select one of our three charities to donate a 50c token: Their Lives Matter, Mary's Meals & Barretstown. After meeting Santa, they have gift-away Nibbles for Christmas Eve preparations - including Killruddery’s own-recipe cookie dough, a carrot for Rudolph and seeds for planting next year!
🎄Christmas Island at Rathdrum
Child €22.00 | Infant €10.00 | Adult: €16.50 | 23 November - 23 December | Info
This award winning Santa experience is 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. Bring your camera for lots of magical photo opportunities. There's an option for professional family photo (extra fee).
🎄Malahide Christmas Experience at Malahide Castle
Child: €20.00 | Babies (under 1 year): €8.00 | Adult: €10.00 | Booking info to be announced!
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
Santa will be visiting Dublin Zoo every weekend starting in November with additional visits on 22nd, 23rd & 24th December. Bring the family along for some festive fun! Visit Santa in his magical grotto at family farm. 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 | Booking info to follow shortly!
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! Santa and Mrs Claus will be joining 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!
🎄Visit Santa by train!
All tickets €19.00 | 30th November - 15th December | Info NOW SOLD OUT!
The Santa Special is a return journey by vintage train, with an on-board visit from Santa and selection boxes for children. There will be music and singing, mince pies, tea, coffee and a full bar service. It's great fun for all the family and something a little different! There will be plenty of opportunity for photographs with the man in red beside the train.
🎄Santa Experience Croke Park
Child: €16.00 for 2 years + | Child: €8 for 1–2 years | Adults: €10 | Info
Santa returns to Croke Park this winter and tickets are now on sale for this unique family event at GAA Headquarters. Join staff of the GAA Museum for a traditional Christmas at Croke Park. This unique family experience includes a visit to the Elf Training Camp, a meet and greet with Santa in his grotto and a sneak peek pitchside! All children who visit Santa receive a present. Access to the GAA Museum and interactive games zone is included in the ticket price.
The festivities get underway from Friday November 29th, and will run on select dates until Monday, December 23rd. Dates sell quickly and pre-booking online is essential to avoid disappointment. The experience lasts approximately one hour and tickets, priced at €10 for adults, €16 for children 2 years and over, and €8 for children aged 13-23 months, will be available to purchase soon. Children under 1 go free. The event is both wheelchair and buggy accessible, and there is free parking adjacent to the GAA Museum which is located in the Cusack Stand of the stadium.
🎄Santa Experience Causey Farm
Child aged 2-12 yrs €25.00 | Aged 12-23 months €15 | Adults: €10 | 24 November - 23 December | Info
It's not Dublin but everyone raves about the Christmas experience at Causey Farm so if you want to make a day trip out of it then this comes very highly recommended. Causey Farm comes alive with a festive atmosphere where you'll celebrate Christmas with all the traditional charm and magic you’d expect.
Visit Santa’s house and help Mrs Claus pack his bag for the big journey. Slide down into the toy workshop and play with the toys Santa has ready for packing. Make your way through the Elves’ door to Santa’s Parlour.Listen carefully, is that a noise on the roof? You’d never know who might arrive down the chimney – and of course he has a gift for all the children – Hope your name is on one of his parcels!
Follow the Bethlehem Trail to the stable where Mary and Joseph take care of their new arrival, watched over by the cows, donkeys, sheep and lambs. Visit Christmas Cottage to experience an old Irish Christmas; Make a wish as you stir the pudding! And of course don’t forget to Visit the reindeer as they relax before their big night. Causey Christmas Experience lasts one and a half hours!
For more family friendly events visit dublincitymum.ie/events