Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat. As the excitement builds it is good to get out and just have some fun as a family.
If you haven't already met the big man, there are still tickets available to some Christmas experiences around the county as well as markets, skating and shows.
This weekend is no different with plenty of ideas from all over the country.
1) Athrú Éadaí
This Saturday, 14th of December, at the height of our consumerism, an Irish language Swap Siopa is taking place in Club Chonradh na Gaeilge, 6 Harcourt St. All are welcome, tickets available here and proceeds are going to Friends of the Earth. This is first event of its kind and will be hosted by RTÉ Gaeilge's Siún Ní Dhuinn and Ronán Ó Dálaigh.
2) National Museums of Ireland | Winter Trails
Throughout December, you can pop into the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology or Natural History and complete their seasonal activity sheet or get in a festive mood at the Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks by taking the Family Christmas Trail.
3) Christmas at Wallaby Woods
Meet the elves, partake in some Christmas crafts, visit with Santa and Mrs Claus, get your pressie, watch a Christmas movie and the farm will also be open as normal.
4) Ennis Christmas Village
The Ennis Christmas Market this weekend will feature live entertainment, creative crafts, festive food and lots of Christmas cheer all under one Marquee.
5) Aladdin | Waterside Theatre
The Grove Theatre Company return with their traditional-style panto combining a blend of song, dance and humour, featuring a talented local cast of all ages.
6) Skate with Santa | Rollerjam Limerick
Santa Claus is coming to RollerJam for his annual skate this weekend. Santa will meet all the kids on the rink, and parents can take photos of their little ones skating with Santa! There will also be a private meet and greet option available (for a small extra cost), where the child will get to sit and chat with Santa and receive a special gift.
7) Lullymore Christmas
The 14th annual "Lullymore Christmas" runs until Sunday 23rd where a festive train trip will take you on a magical journey through the ancient woodlands with a memorable visit to Santa and a gift from the busy Elves in their workshop, Christmas Holograms in old style thatched cottage, crib scene in Early Christian Centre and illuminated walkway to Fairy Bower.
8) Magical Christmas Experience | Kia Ora Mini Farm
From start to finish, a visit to Kia Ora Mini Farm during the festive season is filled with sparkle and wonder: Thousands of twinkling lights musical light show, live stable of Bethlehem, post your letter in Santa's post box, feed the reindeer and other animals, visit Santa & Mrs. Claus and lots more.
9) Santatown | Sligo Folk Park
Enjoy the Christmas Show specially put on by Santa’s Elves and join in storytelling time with none other than Mrs. Claus herself. Make your own Reindeer Food to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. Write your own letter to Santa and put it in the special post box with deliveries going straight to the North Pole
10) Christmas at Red Mountain Open Farm
Affordable festive family fun with Santa’s sitting room, Santa’s bedroom a visit the elves' workshop, make a wish in Santa’s wishing well, live nativity scene, post a letter to Santa in Santa’s giant post box and lots more.
All Christmas activities are under one roof, so regardless of the weather, you’re guaranteed to have a great time!
11) Santa's Cottage | Milltown, Galway
Santa's Cottage offers a traditional experience, full of Christmas spirit, in a warm and friendly atmosphere. It is a voluntary community project set up to provide a magical, affordable Santa experience and at the same time raise funds for local charities. All adults are free, making Santa's Cottage the perfect place to bring all the family and together make memories that will last a lifetime.
12) Christmas at the Castle
The historic courtyard of Dublin Castle will be filled with over 30 traditional alpine market stalls,evening carol singing, vintage carousel and, at weekends, horse and carriage rides around the Castle grounds and gardens.
13) Moon Woke Me Up | The Ark
This festive season, escape into space in this fantastic interactive theatrical adventure for ages 3-5 from Little Bigtop in association with The Civic.
Three things to do next week:
1) Carlow Christmas Market
Moving to a new venue on Kennedy Street, this year's event will also take place over two weekends giving all the last minute shoppers another chance to pick up something special. Running from Friday-Sunday this week.
2) Santa at Tearaways
Enjoy unlimited playtime next weekend in the festive surroundings of Tearaways Pet Farm in Tipperary, book a scheduled visit to Santa with every child receiving a selection box. Yum!
3) Kidspace Rathcoole
To celebrate the new Frozen movie, join Elsa and Olaf for a magical breakfast at Kidspace Rathcoole on 21st, 22nd, 28th & 29th of December. Pancakes, selfies, songs as well as playtime in the playcentre.