Donegal has a range of Christmas events taking place over the festive season. Head onto the ice in Letterkenny, explore Donegal’s own version of Lapland and enjoy the excitement of switching on the Christmas lights in the main towns of Donegal. Read on to find out more about Donegal’s top Christmas events.
Donegal is certainly not going to be out done when it comes to Christmas events this year. With everything from Santa to Shane McGowan, there is something to please everyone!
Santa Park at Bundoran’s Winter Wonderland
Santa has been in residence since the 15th of November and will be around until the 23rd of December, when he returns to the North Pole to make sure everything is ready for Christmas Eve.
This attraction is most definitely a winter wonderland, and you and the kids will easily spend a day here. At the entrance to the park is the Nativity scene featuring live animals. Then it’s a case of what to do next as there is so much to choose from. No doubt it will be a close call between Santa’s grotto and the rides! Weather permitting; you can enjoy Adventure Golf and Santa’s go-karts.
At the North Pole you’ll have the chance to buy Christmas gifts and decorations. Also in this area kids can have some festive face painting done.
By this stage the kids still have loads of energy left, whereas we poor adults will be flagging by the way-side. So why not check out the Candy Shack and enjoy seasonal mulled wine and mince pies?
We recommend you have a look at the two ticketing options available (silver and gold packages) to see which one may suit. And if you buy your ticket on line – €1.00 will be donated to a very worthy cause, Irish Autism Action. Tickets may also be purchased on the day.
Christmas Shopping Spree in Donegal Town
Donegal Town Community Chamber has come up with an excellent idea for promoting their town for Christmas. Thirty stores are taking part in “the Spirit of Christmas” Shopping Spree.
This is how it works: When you enter a participating store and spend over €20.00 you’ll receive a drawcard. Vouchers up to €1000 can be won and 5 lucky people will be “pulled out of the hat”" on Friday the 12th of December, 2008.
The retailers of Donegal town have certainly been busy this year. It’s thanks to over 80 of them that the town will be illuminated with festive lights this Yuletide.
When is all this taking place? The shopping extravaganza is taking place from the 24th of November 2008 to the 6th of December 2008.
Check out the Donegal Town website for more information. Here you’ll find a suggested timetable for your day’s shopping and a list of recommended shops.
All I can say now is: Happy Shopping!
Christmas on Ice in Letterkenny
No matter where you go in Ireland this winter there really is no escaping ”Christmas on Ice”. Letterkenny is proud to host the “7up Christmas on Ice” which opens on the 28th of November, 2008. The venue is totally covered, so no worries about the weather.
On site there is a main, beginner and kiddies ice rink. Experienced Ice Marshalls are on duty to guide and support any shaky starters. For those of you who are not so brave as to venture on to the ice, you can keep an eye on those skating champions of the future from the viewing area.
The organisers are running a Christmas skating camp for kids from 30th of December to the 4th of January 2009. This is a 5-day event for children in the 8 to 15 age group. All skaters, no matter what their experience, are welcome.
Find out more about the 7up Christmas on Ice.
Christmas lights and other events in Donegal
The following is a list of when and where Christmas lights are being turned on:
Letterkenny – 19th November, 2008 at 6.00p.m.
Bundoran – 21st November, 2008 at 7.00p.m.
Ballybofey – 28th November, 2008 at 6.00p.m. (approx.)
Donegal town – 30th November 2008 at 5.00p.m.
Moville – 14th December 2008 – with Santa arriving in a fire engine.
Other events which may be of interest to you are:
Santa Special, the Railway Heritage Centre, Donegal town – Kids can enjoy a train ride in the presence of Santa.
Dates: 20th and 21st December 2008.
Christmas Music Nights, Glenveagh National Park, North West Donegal
Dates: 20th and 21st December 2008.
Check out Glenveagh National Park<http://www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie/>..
Christmas Markets in Ardara
This is a 3 day event running from 28th November 2008.
The Christmas Markets in Ardara are hugely popular with local crafts people displaying their wares. Here you’ll have the option to buy that lovingly crafted hand made gift. Soak up the Yuletide atmosphere with Christmas carols. Oh, and don’t forget to sample those roast chestnuts and hot punch!
Doagh Famine Village – Santa’s Island (Donegal’s Lapland)
This will take place in Malin town from the 28th November 2008 to 23rd December 2008.
Oh my God, how will you manage to keep the children calm when they see Santa coming down the chimney! This is one of the draws at Santa’s Island. After causing major hysteria, Santa will give out a small gift to each child and then its time to move onto Santa’s house, where you’ll see the elves bedroom and Santa’s breakfast menu.
Watch the amazement in your children’s faces as they go through Santa’s shops and the Elves Kingdom.
This isn’t all about Santa! Before he makes his appearance one of his trusty elves relate the true story of Christmas, complete with Nativity scene, to the children.
Pre-booking is essential as ticketing is not available on the day.
For further information check out the Doagh Famine Village website.
New Year’s Eve Gala Ball
Time to “don the glad rags” to celebrate ringing out the old and ringing in the new.
At Mill Park Hotel, Donegal town, you can dance the night away to The Housem8′s, this is of course after enjoying a fabulous banquet.
Mill Park Hotel are offering a 2 and 3 night package over the New Year period, so if you don’t want the worry of how to get home after a fantastic night, it might be worth checking in!
Harvey’s Point Country Hotel, is also hosting a New Year’s Gala Ball. Feel like royalty as you walk along the red carpet to the tunes of the piper. To get the party started you’ll be served delicious canapés accompanied by champagne and mulled wine. Don’t over do it though, remember to leave some space for that 6-course gourmet dinner. Finally dance the night away to music from the hotel’s resident band.
Shane McGowan, Mundy and Sharon Shannon at Mill Park Hotel, Donegal town
Date: 28th December 2008.
This is your chance to hear the live version of the “Fairytale of New York”.
This most certainly will not be a night of “easy listening”. Be prepared to get carried away in the raucous atmosphere, as Shane belts out his many hits.
Also appearing with Shane are Sharon Shannon and Mundy. One thing for sure, Mill Park Hotel will never be the same again!
So there you have it, a snapshot of events that may encourage you to visit Donegal during the festive season.
Need somewhere to stay in Donegal. Take a look at our Donegal accommodation page.