Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a visit to the Christmas in Killarney Festival. Now in its 5th year, it has become one of the most popular Christmas festivals in Ireland. This year it will feature an ice skating rink, a free Santa’s lodge, a children’s parade, open air christmas markets and concerts to name a few. Read on to find what else is in store…
If you’re in the south west of Ireland this December, then don’t forget to stop off in Killarney for its famous Christmas Festival. Killarney has always been a favourite Christmas destination ever since Bing Crosby sang about “Christmas in Killarney” in his album White Christmas!
Killarney can be found in County Kerry and is one of the top tourist destinations in Ireland. The vibrant town with its spectacular surroundings, is a fantastic place to visit all year round but it especially comes alive at Christmas.
The Christmas in Killarney Festival runs from December 4th – January 6th and is jam packed with events and activities for all the family to enjoy.
The festival will officially kick off on Friday December 4th with a Children’s Torch Light Parade. This is without doubt, one of the highlights of the festival! Local children’s groups and schools will take part in a parade, which will begin on Scott Street at 6.30pm and continue through the town to the Market Cross. Here the man himself – Santa, will be waiting to turn on the lights.
One of the most visited places in Killarney this December is sure to be Santa’s Grotto at the Cultural Centre on East Avenue Road. The grotto is free of charge but each family has the opportunity of bring a gift for the Kingdom Toy Appeal or to make a donation to those less fortunate. The Grotto is open between 2pm-6pm on December 12th, 13th, 19th & 20th.
The ever-popular Open Air Christmas Markets are one of the main features of this festival. This year they will move to a new location in the town’s Fair Hill car park and will be open on the 5th & 6th, 12th & 13th and 19th & 20th. The markets add a fantastic Christmas atmosphere to the town and browsing the stalls will definitely have you in the Christmas spirit!
Killarney on Ice will make a return visit for the festival and it runs from the 4th December to the 10th January. It also has a new location this year – next to the Christmas Markets in the Fair Hill carpark. It will be open Monday-Friday 5pm-10pm and Saturday-Sundays 12pm-10pm. Visit the Killarney on Ice website for more info.
There are plenty of musical events and concerts taking place over the festival. The Irish National Events Centre (INEC) at the Gleneagle Hotel will have Smokie (12th Dec), the Rat Pack (11th Dec), a Tommy Fleming Christmas special (19th Dec), Cascada (27th Dec), John Spillane (27th Dec) and Rockbox on the 28th December featuring the Saw Doctors, the Blizzards, the Coronas and Aslan. Mick Flannery, Deacon Blue and the Hothouse Flowers will perform the 29th December; Isla Grant the 30th December while Sharon Shannon, Mundy and Shane McGowan will ring in the New Year on the 31st December.
The festival has also got a lot of outdoor activities organised. One of the main events is the 10km Christmas Fun Run on Saturday 19th December. The run begins at 2pm at Scotts Street and the 10km course will take in the beautiful lakes and national park. Registration costs €25 and each participant gets a Santa Suit and an invite to the after-party in Scotts Bar with DJ and well known accordion player Liam O Connor. Visit the Killarney Santa Fun Run website for more info.
Other scheduled outdoor events include an organised climb of Carrauntoohill and a kayak on the lakes (both on St. Stephen’s Day) and an organised hike of the beautiful Gap of Dunloe and Kerry Way on Tuesday 29th.
There is so much more taking place – but we couldn’t fit it all in here so take a look at the Christmas in Killarney festival website!
With so many festive activities, as well as excellent shopping opportunities and a buzzing nightlife, it’s going to be hard to resist a visit to Killarney this Christmas! Why not make the most of your visit and stay at one of our Killarney hotels.
Have a fantastic time at the Christmas in Killarney Festival! Don’t forget to come back and let us know how you got on!