The top 10 things to do in Cork this Christmas

It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

And despite the countries current situation, we truly are spoiled for choice this year when it comes to festive activities.

With Christmas markets popping up left right and centre, and the return of everyone’s favourite GLOW festival, the options are endless.

Whether you’re searching for the perfect holiday date night activity, or you’re on the hunt for a festive family day out, Craving’s got you covered.

Here’s our list of the top 10 things to do in Cork this Christmas (in no particular order):

1. Have an ice day at Alpine Skate Trail

You’ve probably heard of it by now on TikTok, but Ireland’s first Alpine Skate Trail has landed in Cork this year. Unlike your typical ice rink, this 450m trail takes you on a journey through an enchanted forrest, which comes alive at night with a magical light show.

Tickets are €18 for adults and €15 for kids, and can be booked online here.

2. Catch a show at Magic Nights by the Lee

Following the success of their sell-out summer show, ‘Magic Nights by the Lee’ is returning to Cork for a special Christmas event. There will be three shows, from Tuesday 21st – Thursday 23rd December, with live music shows, comedy and drag.

Tickets start at €3 and can be booked online here.

3. Watch a Christmas movie at the pop-up cinema

What better way to get in the festive mood than to catch a screening of Home Alone, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, The Holiday or Love Actually at the pop-up cinema at Marina Market.

Tickets start at €28 for a pod of two, and can be purchased here.

4. Take a stroll through the Mardyke Christmas Market

Cork got a brand new Christmas Market this year, and they’ve really gone all out with a selection of food trucks, craft stalls, kids rides, Christmas trees, mulled wine and of course, the big man himself.

Entry is free, and a visit to Santa starts at €6 and must be booked in advance here.

5. Get a birds-eye view of Cork city on the Ferris wheel

Everyone’s favourite festive festival, GLOW has finally returned to Cork this year, complete with the usual lights display at Bishop Lucey Park, the carousel and of course, the iconic Ferris wheel on Grand Parade.

Carousel tickets are €2.50, the Ferris wheel is €4 and both can be booked in advance here. Tickets to the park are free, but must be pre-booked here.

6. Thaw out at the Apres Ski lodge

A brand new immersive Apres Ski themed bar has just opened up at Conways Yard. A section of the popular bar has been transformed into ‘The Apres House‘, an all-new Apre Ski experience, complete with private ski chalets and lodges (OK, so it’s not an actual ski resort, we know, but it’s the closest thing we’ll get in Cork.)

Entry fee is €10, and bookings can be made online here.

7. Pay a visit to the Nano Nagle Christmas Market

Three brand new Christmas Markets are being launched each weekend at Nano Nagle Place over the month of December. The next one is on Sunday December 12th, and will feature stalls from Good Day Deli, Green + the Grain, and Lauana Designs, to name but a few.

Entry to the market is free.

8. Get a hole-in-1 at the festive mini-golf pop-up

The brand new Christmas-themed mini-golf pop-up is sure to be a tee-rific experience! Lip Out Golf Club, located at the Marina Market is a 9-hole course and comes fully decked out with candy cane-shaped courses, Christmas trees, gingerbread men and Christmas movie memorabilia. This crazy golf experience is the perfect way to work up an appetite at the Marina Market, or wind-down after a long day of Christmas shopping.

Tickets start at €7 for children and €10 for adults, and can be booked here.

9. Bring your dog to see Santa

This brings a whole new meaning to “who’s a good boy!” The Mardyke Market will be accepting bookings for our furry little friends to go see the big man himself. Your pooch will get to meet Santa, have their photo taken and will even receive a treat at the end. What a time to be alive, eh?

Bookings start at €6 and can be reserved here.

10. Catch a Christmas show at the Panto

Because it wouldn’t be Christmas in Cork without a trip to the Panto! They recently got the go-ahead for the Christmas season, and have added 26 shows to their calendar, despite audiences being reduced to 50% per show. (Tickets for this event have since sold out, and current ticket holders will be contacted directly with updated show times.)

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