Next weekend is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when American stores traditionally kicked off the Christmas season with a sale.

Some Irish companies are now getting involved with some fun venues offering a discount on admission next week as we head into December and the more festive celebrations begin. 

Until then, we have a few suggestions for things to do in Ireland this weekend.

There are some seasonal shows, a writing festival, a film festival, craft fairs, a Children's Day celebration and plenty of sightings of a big man in red.

1. Universal Children’s Day
This Saturday afternoon, the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) will be co-hosting an exciting free family-friendly event in Dublin with the National Children’s Choir to celebrate Universal Children’s Day. 

There will be lots of fun and exciting activities including face painting, drummers, DJ and the National Children's Choir. 

2. CS Lewis Festival
From 18th – 22nd November, EastSide Arts and Connswater Community Greenway will present the 5th C.S. Lewis Festival. 

Events over the weekend include Narnia Storytelling on Saturday 18 November 10 am – 2pm at Sydenham Methodist Church and on Sunday Discovering Animal-Land: Crafty Drop-In & Treasure Hunt. 

Children aged 3-11 are invited to a themed treasure hunt around C.S. Lewis Square with the opportunity to create their own fantastical creature in a facilitated crafty workshop.

There will also be a Céilí Night in Strand Presbyterian Church on Saturday from 8pm. Learn the art of folk dancing. No partner or experience necessary.

3. Dublin at Christmas Procession
This year a procession of light that will illuminate the entire city with one magical Christmas event on Sunday from 17:30.

Starting at St. Stephen’s Green end of Grafton St and the Capel Street end of Mary St, performers LUXe will lead both processions through the streets of Dublin before joining together in a beautiful celebration on O’Connell Street, where the Lord Mayor of Dublin will switch on the lights of the 40ft Christmas tree.

Dublin Procession
The Dublin Procession

4. Russborough House
The is a fun event for young off-road cyclists on Sunday 19th November with a youth off-road cycling race event on the grounds of Russborough House. Registration is at 9am with €5 entry. Everyone is welcome with spaces for U6 to over 60.

5. National Archaeology Museum
On Saturday afternoon, the Museum of Archaeology in Dublin hosts Ancient Animal Bones.

Join Animal Osteologist, Dr Ruth Carden, for a special Science Week workshop and see some animal bones from Viking Dublin and find out about animal bones and teeth along with the scientific techniques and experiments that archaeologists use to tell us about animals in the past and how people interacted with them. 

7. Science in Action Open Day
The Open Day in GMIT on Sunday will feature an exciting blend of fantastic interactive shows from a Reptile Village to The Bubble Show; industry demonstrations where you can try out the exciting ‘Dream Flyer'; hands-on workshops such as Madlabs, Building Robots; presentations, free-giveaways, and opportunities for all.

It's a great day out for all ages and you're sure to find something of interest. All events are free of charge and there will be free parking at the event.

7. Seussical The Musical
Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza presented by the Banbridge Musical Society. Join The Cat in the Hat as he takes you on a journey into the fantastical, bombastical and songtastical world of Dr Seuss.

Seussical The Musical
Seussical The Musical

8. Waterford Winterval 2017
This year's festival starts on Saturday when Santa arrives at John Roberts Square at 4pm.

Visit the Winterval Christmas Market in Cathedral Square for the unique and wonderful Winterval Illuminate Christmas light show every 30 minutes over weekend evenings and every night in the last week before Christmas.

There is also a free toddler's play area suitable for under fives on Saturdays & Sundays at the House of Waterford Crystal.

9. Ballymaloe Craft Shop
A visit to the Ballymaloe Craft Fair takes all the stress out of starting your Christmas shopping combining a beautiful location with a huge variety of crafts and design.

The Ballymaloe Craft Fair will take place on Saturday and Sunday on the grounds of Ballymaloe House from 10am to 6pm both days. Entry is €3 and children under 16 are free.

Enjoy a day out with family and friends and browse 100+ craft, design and food stalls for unique and special Christmas gifts or something for yourself, whilst your children are entertained.

10. Tipperary Town Christmas Lights Switch On
The fun starts at 4.00p.m on Saturday with MC DJ Mossie Richardson, Kiddies Funfair Rides and Games, Music by Galbally NS Band and Carol singers from St. Josephs Girls School Tipperary Town and Circle of Friends Choir and Tipperary Vintage Rally Club Members to distribute goodies to the Children

Santa Claus to arrive at 5.15p.m. by Polar Express provided by Tipperary Vintage Rally accompanied by Pride of Tipperary Michelle McLaughlin and will officially turn on the Christmas Lights.

11. IFI French Film Festival
The 2017 IFI French Film Festival runs for twelve days this year, from November 15th to 26th. Ireland’s largest French cultural event, now in its 18th year, includes 19 Irish première  and will welcome Oscar-nominated writer-director-actress Agnès Jaoui, writer-director Léa Mysius, and this year’s winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, Robin Campillo and is supported by RTÉ Supporting the Arts.

 IFI French Film Festival
IFI French Film Festival

Three Things to do next week:

1. Christmas at Farmleigh
Experience Christmas magic throughout December with puppet shows, festive music, Christmas stories, horse and carriage rides and the popular food and craft market.

2. National Concert Hall
Terry Davies conducts René Aubry’s inspired score for the much-loved children’s classics The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, based on the books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. This live music, played by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will accompany screenings of these two films.

3. Christmas Pantos
Panto season has arrived but, before the large productions begin, there are lots of local Pantos including Beauty & the Beast by Dungarvan Town Pantomime and The Three Musketeers, the 37th annual panto from the Moat Club Theatre.