Galway city promises to be a fun-filled place to be this Christmas with a variety of magical events. Be it swirling around the ice, enjoying a musical performance, being dazzled by the Christmas lights switch-on or even going for a swim on Christmas Day (!) – Galway has it all this Yuletide.
As the song says, “it’s the most magical time of the year” and Galway has its fair share going on over the festive season. Here are a few ideas to whet your appetite.
Switching on the Christmas lights is an exciting event in any town or city. The magic of even just a few fairy lights seems to turn any spot into a wonderful winter wonderland.
It will be no different in Galway city this year. The Christmas lights are due to be switched on November 18th (10 days earlier than usual). The motive behind the early switch on is to boost trade due to the economic downturn.
Hopefully the switch on will have a positive effect on the city as it will bring a bit of festive cheer.
Galway Bay on Ice…
700 square metres of ice will certainly change the appearance of the Spanish Arch. And no need to worry about the weather…Ireland’s biggest ice rink will be completely covered.
This year Galway Bay on Ice will be bigger and better than ever. It runs from the 1st of December 2008 to the 11th of January 2009.
Your time on the ice is 45 minutes, which can seem forever, especially for a beginner. But fear not, as there are plenty of Ice Marshals on hand and you’ll also have the comfort blanket of a first aid station on site.
Now all that exercise is bound to have worked up an appetite – so you can re-fuel with all the usual ingredients, hot-dogs, hot chocolate and even mulled wine at the rink-side café.
There are various ticketing options available:
Over 18 is an adult ticket
Under 1 is free
Student discount available
Family tickets available (but must be booked in advance)
No matter what ticket applies to you – the organisers advise pre-booking as only a limited number of tickets are available on the day.
Want it all to yourself – then private hire is also an option.
Find out more about Galway Bay on Ice.
Croí Caberet (charity event)
Croí Caberet will be held in the Inis Mór Ballroom, Radisson SAS hotel on 3rd December, 2008.
Get the season of giving off to a good start with The West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation Christmas Cabaret Night.
Enjoy a highly entertaining evening of music and dance and if you’re one of those people who like to get to an event early, this special evening has an extra bonus. Entertainment starts in the Foyer @ 7.00p.m., where you can listen to much loved Christmas carols by the Galway Chamber Choir.
Once show time arrives you have a host of performers to look forward to including: Liam Lawton and his band, Marion and Enrique (Tango dancers), Celine Hession school of Irish dancing, the Guinness Jazz Band and much more and all in aid of a very good cause.
Demand for tickets is quite high, so it is advisable to book early.
Find out more about Croí Caberet.
Christmas productions and pantomimes
The Christmas schedule isn’t complete without a trip to the theatre for a panto or an appropriately themed Christmas concert.
This year, Galway has a good variety on offer, which is sure to please young and old.
The Performing Arts School Galway presents the classic tale of Snow White from the 28th of December 2008 to the 4th of January, 2009. Renmore Pantomime presents Beauty and the Beast from the 30th of December 2008 to the 18th of January 2009. So all you have to do is get practising: “oh no you won’t, oh yes I will”!
If you have children in the 3 to 11 age group, Santa and the Magical Christmas Tree (15th to the 19th December 2008) may be just the ticket. This is an entertaining and educational story written by Shay Healy and Michael Scott.
Another festive favourite is the Charles Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge in a Christmas Carol (15th to the 17th December 2008). However this may not be suitable for some kids as it features 3 ghosts!
For adults: Christmas Crooners (9th December 2008) takes you back to an era when Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra were top of the hit parade! This is a night of your favourite Christmas hits performed by West-end singers.
So maybe “ol blue eyes” and the boys are not your bag, then a night of Christmas and Viennese songs may be more to your liking. Seán Costello (Tenor), Celine Byrne (Soprano) and Vladimir Jablokov are accompanied by the Slovak Festival Ensemble, to entertain you for a “Viennese Christmas” (21st December 2008).
Check the Town Hall Theatre Galway for further information.
Christmas Day Swim – Take the plunge!
The spirit of giving is what Christmas is all about and what better way to start your Christmas Day than an early morning swim in the chilly Atlantic waters. The charities Cope and Enable Ireland, both benefiting from your very generous effort, will be more than grateful.
You’ll also have the edge on the rest of us, who see Christmas Day as a well deserved day off. You will have worked up a fine healthy appetite for that sumptuous calorie laden Christmas Lunch!
So there you have it, a snapshot and will hopefully encourage you to come to Galway during the festive season. There’s lots more going on in Galway city over the next few weeks and it’s also a great spot to do your Christmas shopping.
For somewhere to stay, we have an excellent selection of Galway hotels to choose from.