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6 of the most magical spots around the country to visit Santa

Skip the department store and head to Croke Park instead.
Nov 30th 2018, 4:37 PM 2,170 0

LONG GONE ARE the days when the only option to visit Santa was in a jam-packed shopping centre in a makeshift grotto.

Nowadays, paying a visit to Ol’ Saint Nick is an experience in itself. Appearing at chocolate factories and even farms, Santa has really upped his game. 

We’ve rounded up six of the most impressive spots around the country where you can pay a visit to the big man himself – just don’t forget to write your list before you go. 


The Santa Experience at Croke Park: Fans of GAA are sure to have an experience they’ll never forget as they visit Santa at the one and only Croke Park. Visitors will take a trip to the Elf Training Camp, have a meet and greet with Santa in his grotto and take a sneak peek pitchside. The Santa Experience also includes admission to the GAA Museum too.

Suits: the entire family. When: throughout December. Where: Croke Park, Dublin 3. Costs: €8- €16 per child, depending on age. €10 per adult. Find out more information and book here. 

The Chocolate Warehouse: Upon entering the warehouse, you’ll be greeted by Santa’s helpers who will bring you along Chocolate Avenue. Here, you’ll enter Santa’s house and receive a special gift before sending your letter to the North Pole. Afterwards, you can make your own Christmas cracker to take home before taking a stroll through the Mini Chocolate Factory. 

Suits: the entire family. When: throughout December. Where: Walkinstown, Dublin 12. Costs: €10 per child, adults free. Find out more information and book here.


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Santa’s Village at Leahy’s Open Farm: Make an entire day out of visiting Santa with a trip to Leahy’s Open Farm. Start your journey in Santa’s workshop, where you’ll find Mrs Claus making scones and cookies in her cottage. From there, you’ll encounter a magical land of fairies and elves before visiting Santa. Before or after your visit, you can visit the farm where there’s the opportunity to pet the animals, go on a digger ride and take a train ride around the farm.

Suits: the entire family. When: throughout December. Where: Midleton, Co Cork. Costs: €10 – €22 for children, depending on age. €14 per adult/teen. Find out more information and book here.


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Elf Town at Galway Race Course: Set across four floors, Elf Town 2018 promises to be bigger and better than ever. With an entire floor dedicated to entertainment, a sweet shop made of ice, a disco area and the chance to decorate Christmas cookies with Mrs Claus – as well as mulled wine and mince pies for adults – there really is something for everyone. And Santa will be taking visitors, of course.

Suits: the entire family. When: throughout December. Where: Ballybrit, Co Galway. Costs: €5.95 – €26.95 per child, depending on age. €12.95 per adult/teen. Find out more information and book here.


Donegal’s Lapland: Running since 1999, Donegal’s Lapland returns this Christmas for its 19th year. Upon arriving, guests are invited to a live show about how Santa got involved in the story of Christmas, during which Santa calls out the name of every boy and girl in the audience and gives them a small gift. After that, visit Santa’s Village where you can see his home, what he eats for breakfast and visit the elves’ bedroom before continuing through to the Elves’ Kingdom for even more surprises.

Suits: the entire family. When: throughout December. Where: Lagacurry, Co Donegal. Costs: €14.50 for adults and kids aged 2+. €5 for under-2s. Find out more information and book here.


Santa’s Underground Grotto at Arigna Mining Experience: A lump of coal in your stocking could be a reality here. Visit Santa in his kingdom deep underground at a former iron and coal mine. Guests can enjoy magic, music and comedy shows, puppetry from Custard Pie Puppets. Visit the Elves’ Workshop, check out the nativity scene and, of course, see Santa himself.

Suits: the entire family. When: throughout December. Where: Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Roscommon. Costs: Children €6, adults €10. Find out more information and book here.

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Amy Mulvaney


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