It’s safe to say that most – if not all – towns around the country will be hosting some sort of Christmas or Winter celebration between now and 2023. Whether it’s carol singing, switching on of lights, or craft fairs and Christmas markets… town centres at this time of year tend to be busy and festive places.

Some towns, however, go a little more all-out than others. We’ve put together some of the winter events taking place around the Irish Walled Towns Network, in case you’re in the mood for a bit of seasonal sightseeing.

Winterval Waterford

18 November – 23 December

Ireland’s biggest Christmas festival, Winterval is celebrating its tenth year this year. The programme includes everything from live performance, to ice-skating, markets and a Christmas circus. Most of the festival venues are within the historic city centre.

Yulefest Kilkenny

25 November – 08 January

With a Christmas market, a Christmas-tree festival – set within historic St. Canice’s Cathedral -, a medieval mile run, walking tours, wreath-making workshops and an urban ecology scavenger hunt, Yulefest really does include something for everyone. The programme also includes events in smaller towns around the county.

Christmas in Limerick

25 November – 31 December

Christmas in Limerick features a Christmas tree maze, Limerick on ice and a “an immersive 3D audio visual festive animation show” – A Christmas Tale at the Castle – set in the courtyard of King John’s Castle.


Glow: A Cork Christmas Celebration

25 November – 08 January

The highlight of Glow: Cork is a combination of illuminations and performance in Bishop Lucey Park, where you’ll also be able to view the only visible section of Cork’s Anglo-Norman town wall.

An Enchanted Christmas at Athlone Castle

17 December

An Enchanted Christmas is a one-day Santa-themed event for kids. It will include lots of Christmas-themed arts and crafts and of course the magic of visiting Athlone Castle itself.

Nollaig Beo in Athenry Heritage Centre

03-04, 10-11, 17-18 December

Nollaig Beo is an enchanted winter wonderland in the already-wonderful Athenry Arts and Heritage Centre. Lots of fun for all the family.


Derry – Walled City Market

16-18 December

Derry’s regular Walled City Market gets a festive makeover.

Christmas in New Ross

Throughout December

A word of warning that the “29th New Ross Christmas Festival” actually takes place in Nova Scotia – so a bit of a long walk for most of us! Not to be outdone, however, New Ross Co. Wexford has a great selection of festive events and decorations – including some lovely Christmas lights at the new Norman gardens.


… and finally, if it’s a Christmas dip in some freezing cold water you’re after, the hardy townsfolk of Loughrea have got you covered:

Loughrea Icebreakers Christmas Day Swim


Wishing you all the very best of the festive season – wherever and however you celebrate!