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6 festive events happening outdoors - from Christmas treasure hunts to a moving crib

Take a break from indoor movie marathons and get some fresh air.

Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo.
Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo.
Image: Patrick Bolger

WITH THE SUN setting before 4:30pm and rising late in the morning, it can be hard to organise time outdoors with the family in the run up to Christmas.

The lure of cosy fires, Christmas movies and boxes of unopened sweets make it even harder to venture beyond your front door.

To combat this, we’ve rounded up six of the best fresh air family events across the country in the countdown to the 25th. Just don’t forget your gloves! 

DUBLIN

Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo: This Christmas, Dublin Zoo has been transformed into a world of illumination with silk lanterns celebrating the wonders of aquatic life, from giant squid to polar bears and colossal blue whales.

Suits: All ages. When: Every evening throughout December (excluding December 24-26) and January 1-6. Where: Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8. Costs: adults €20; child €15; under 3s, €0. Book tickets here.

The Moving Crib: The Moving Crib returns to Parnell Square for the 62nd time this year for a historical and entertaining experience for all. 

Suits: All ages. When: Until January 6, excluding December 25, 26 and January 1. Where: Saint Martin Apostolate, Parnell Square West, Dublin 1. Costs: Free. Find more information here. 

WICKLOW

Christmas Stables Powerscourt Estate: To keep excitement at bay before Santa’s arrival, bring the kids to meet his animals at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion. With deer, pygmy goats, miniature donkeys and rabbits, there’s plenty to see.

Suits: All ages. When: Until December 23. Where: Powerscourt Estate, Co Wicklow. Costs: Free. Find out more information here.

Animals-at-Powerscourt-Stables-1 Source: Powerscourt Estate/Paul Harris

MEATH

Causey Christmas Experience: Enjoy Causey Farm at Christmas with a trip to visit Santa, follow the Bethlehem Trail to the stable where Mary and Joseph take care of their new arrival and visit the reindeer as they relax before their big night. 

Suits: All ages. When: Throughout December (some dates are sold out). Where: Causey Farm, Fordstown, Navan, Co Meath. Costs: Adults, €14; children (2-12 years), €22; toddlers (1 year olds), €8; babies (0-11 months), free. Book tickets here. 

GALWAY

Santa’s Christmas Magic at Brigit’s Garden: Explore the grounds of Brigit’s Garden and look for treasure with Santa himself. His pal Elfie will also make an appearance, as well as Mrs Claus for an interactive family show full of fun, music and Christmas magic. 

Suits: All ages. When: Throughout December (some dates are sold out). Where: Brigit’s Garden, Rosscahill, Co Galway. Costs: Adults, €7; children, €4.50; under twos go free. Book tickets here. 

CLARE

Bunratty Ice Rink:  Bunratty Castle welcomes an ice rink for the first time this year in the heart of Bunratty Folk Park Village among thatched houses. Get your skates on after visiting Santa and prepare to make memories that will stay with the whole family.

Suits: Varies depending on activity. When: Until December 23. Where: Bunratty Castle, Bunratty, Co Clare. Costs: Bookings for the ice rink must be completed in conjunction with Bunratty Santa bookings: adults €15; children €30; babies €7. Find out more information and book here.

Want to win an adventure packed day out at Dublin’s Funderland and iSkate? Enter here – and don’t forget to subscribe to our Family Newsletter below!

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