The Santa Experience is a key moment in every Childs Christmas. With so many cancellations and concerns we have taken the time to put this list of the best Santa Experiences in EVERY County in Ireland. Hopefully you can get to see Santa, Mrs Claus and the Elves this year!
Antrim Castle Gardens will once again come to life with sparking lights, flickering flames and festive sounds as Northern Ireland’s most popular Christmas experience makes a welcome return in 2021.
The Enchanted Winter Garden will return from Saturday 27th November and run through to Tuesday 21st December transforming Antrim’s award-winning Castle Gardens into an after-dark illuminated outdoor experience for all the family.
This year's event bounces back, with a dazzling array of festive attractions sure to entice the whole family along and capture the magic of Christmas.
This outdoor extravaganza will operate on a advances booking only basis with timed entry, feature restricted capacity and timed entry to allow families to safely step through the historic Barbican Gate and be greeted by a festive display of fairies, creatures, street artist performers, and fire jugglers – not forgetting the mischievous Golly the Elf!
Visitors will make their way through the enchanting landscape, following a dazzling illuminated light trail as it winds its way around the seventeenth-century water gardens.
The star attraction, and back by popular demand, is the 35-metre-high Ferris Wheel with its panoramic views of the majestic magical gardens and the historic town of Antrim. Other traditional attractions will deliver a vintage vibe and delight all ages.
The breath-taking Wave Swinger and the magical fairground Carousel will also make a welcome return.
The Festive Fayre is a feast of scrumptious food and drink where a host of artisan food stalls will serve up delicious, tasty festive treats from gooey toasted marshmallows to s’mores and hot chocolate to complete your Enchanted Winter Garden walk under the stars.
Mission Santa at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
It’s a real Code Red! Join our E.L.F. crew on Mission Santa and blast off on a Christmas adventure. Your out-of-this-world adventure will include:
Admission to “The Alien Who stole Christmas” full-dome show in the star dome theatre
Help save Santa inside mission control during a theatrical show, along with a visit to see Santa!
A present for each child
A printed family photograph
You will follow Santa’s footsteps at reception to our check in desk. Once you are checked in, the magic starts. Our elves will keep you entertained in our waiting area until it's time to board the Santa Train.
You will then enter your pod and take a magical journey through the enchanted forest where you will see Santa’s reindeer. The train will drop you off at the newly refurbished and even bigger Rathwood Big Top. There's plenty of room for social distancing as we have restricted capacity for these events, and you will be safely and comfortably seated within your family pod.
The truly magical show will let you and your children meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the elves in a musical spectacular themed around A Child's Imagination At Christmas.
After the show, you will walk to our Toy factory where each child will receive their present from Santa. You will then walk back to the train at the pick up point and it will drop you off at Candy Cane Lane!
Santa's Magical Kingdom at the Slieve Russell Hotel A Wonderful Outdoor Christmas Experience
Sat 3rd & Sun 4th December
Fri 9th, Sat 10th & Sun 11th December
Thur 15th, Fri 16th, Sat 17th & Sun 18th December
Woodstock Santa Experience - Ennis Co Clare
Come and explore the magic of Christmas at Hotel Woodstock in the stunning magical hotel.
You’ll meet the man himself, Santa Claus, who will have a special gift for all the children at Sunday Lunch.
A photographer on-site to capture the moment. You’ll enjoy an unforgettable and enchanting overnight stay in Ennis and why note take a trip to the shops and enjoy exclusive discounts in selected shops.
Included in the Santa Experience Package:
An overnight stay in the Family Bedrooms
Family room is a Double Bed, Single Bed and Camp Bed
Full Irish breakfast for all
Mulled wine and hot chocolate on arrival
4 course Saturday/Sunday Lunch
Complimentary access to our Leisure Club
Meet Santa Clause and get professional photos taken
Discounts in selected Shops in Ennis Town
Discounts to local attractions
Complimentary car parking on-site
The Cork North Pole Outpost Experience
This is one of Cork’s most magical Santa visit experiences and is located at Cuskinny Court in Cobh.
This experience is truly for the whole family, as parents and guardians are encouraged to get involved in the Christmassy fun.
As part of the day, you will become an Elve-in-training at Cork’s North Pole Outpost and venture deep into the woods at Cuskinny Court, Cobh, County Cork.
You will get to experience a magical world of busy Elves, mischief, & fun.
The 60-75 minute interactive theatrical experience, will see you and the family visit 4 areas, including the toy workshop where children can help the elves build a toy and Mrs Claus Kitchen where they will decorate their own cookie.
The Shandon Hotel and Spa in Donegal has it all this Christmas
You can opt for a one or two night stay.
Imagine the look on their little faces when Santa knocks on their door and knows them by name!
This will kick off the mystical atmosphere of your Shandon Santa experience!
The excitement will peak when you take the journey to Mrs Claus’ Cabin, but before you meet her, you must take the journey through the Shandon Forest (indoors), Narnia and Candy Cane Lane!
After your Christmas adventure, Mrs Claus will be waiting for you with some hot chocolate and sweet treats! She’ll help you with your Santa letter and she may even read some stories or start a Christmas sing song!
Overnight B&B in a Seaview Room
Personalised visit from Santa
Entry to the Magical Winter Walkthrough
Hot Chocolate & Sweet Treats with Mrs Claus
Full use of Leisure Centre
Newcastle Northern Ireland - The Slieve Donard
The Polar Express at the Slieve Donard is famed for being a fabulous magical Christmas adventure with a host of stunning family attractions, including a winter wonderland and of course our Polar Express train adventure which will take you on a magical journey to visit Santa and his elves in their busy workshop as they prepare for their busiest time of the year.
You’ll receive a warm welcome at Santa’s Train Station, where the Station Master will issue you with your tickets.
An exhilarating train journey awaits as you go through the magical grounds of the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa.
Santa's Elves, will guide you to the 'North Pole' singing and dancing along the way.
You’ll then Place your Christmas Wish on our special Wishing Trees and a magical ride on the carousel while Santa prepares your Christmas treats.
Luggwoods Enchanted Forest Experience starts with twinkling lights that line the route of the Enchanted Forest trail that winds the way for you and your family.
Experience all that amazing Luggwoods forest trail has to offer, in the safest Outdoor environment! Set in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. Lots of elves and activities await you before you meet the man himself.
Enjoy a truly magical visit to The Christmas Experience 2021 at Airfield Estate, Dundrum. Follow the global adventures of Ida, Flick and Myrtle the turtle, as they retrace their great-aunt Kitty’s footsteps, meeting Santa along the way!
Taking place on selected dates from the 20th November - 23rd December 2021.
Set across 5 acres in the surrounds of Airfield House, you can pay a flying visit to the Statue of Liberty, before taking delivery of your special gift during a private visit with Santa.
You’ll then drop into the Claus Café where you can enjoy fragrantly spiced wine or warm chocolate Jersey milk before taking a twirl on the vintage carousel.
Take a walk through the twinkling lights into Antarctica, before cookie decorating in the Elves Kitchen and learn the ancient art of origami in the far east. Peek into Santa’s Alpine Workshop where you can capture a family photograph* on Santa’s sleigh, and post that all important Christmas list.
Finally, before heading home, check in with Ida, Flick and Myrtle the turtle, who have arrived home at Ledgewood Cottage, just in time to open their gifts on Christmas morning.
Set Sail on the short crossing to Santa's Island from Enniskillen Castle Jetty and travel to Santa's magical Island Workshop where you will be greeted by your personal Elf or Nutcracker guide. Begin by visiting Mrs Claus' kitchen and hearing her stories of Christmas whilst enjoying her home baked goodies and your choice of Hot Chocolate, Mulled Wine or Pressed Apple Cider. Then help the elves keep the shelves stocked by decorating some cookies and making your own unique Christmas card. Journey through the elves' workshop and listen closely to see if you can hear them at work and take a short visit to the reindeer stables before they come inside for the night. Visit the North Pole Island Shop where you can get your hands on more of Mrs Claus' sweet treats or grab some Christmas
Only at Elf Town can your family have a private visit with the “Real Santa.” Our Santa is the most realistic, real bearded Santa. When we say, “Believe in the Magic” If at this stage you do not already – you are guaranteed to now. Santa will know some secrets on each of the children that visit his Grotto. Your children will be amazed when Santa can tell them something about themselves such as something they are good at, teachers name, best friend etc. Guaranteed to keep the children believing in the magic – not to mention the grown-ups! Santa gives each child a special Elf Town gold toy coin for them to go to Santa’s toy shop that is stacked floor to ceiling, with lots and lots of presents that the Elves have made for the boys and girls – where they can exchange the toy coin for any present they choose.
MUCKROSS PARK HOTEL
Step onto your horse-drawn carriage and let it whisk you away around the majestic Mucklorian Village, filled with sparkling lights and exciting stalls.
Mrs. Claus will treat you to a festive hot chocolate while sharing Christmas stories. The elves will request your help making Santa’s favourite biscuits. And don’t forget to sign your name on the naughty or nice list before meeting the ever-so-jolly Santa Claus.
DRIVE-THRU CHRISTMAS is a magical drive-thru experience visiting the elves in Elf Town, followed by a visit to the awe-inspiring Twinkle Avenue and The Enchanted Forest, before the main event - meeting Santa in his Grotto - the big man himself will have a gift for each child and time to chat with the family. Next up - park up the car and enjoy the fun and thrills at our inclusive, unlimited funfair at the Manor Gardens. Guests also have the option here to purchase some hot food and festive treats, and an option to get a professional photo gift of their family on Santa’s Sleigh.
Located in the Workhouse square in MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre, Nore Valley’s purpose-built arrangement brings all of the joy of Christmas to your family, young and old.
The elves have set up a winter village within MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre to keep your children entertained with fun and games. The whole family is invited to join the fun along with his mischievous elves before visiting Santa’s enchanting grotto.
CASTLEVIEW OPEN FARM
Walk through our Magic Christmas Wonderland past our small furry animals where you will find the Elf Lodging and their workshop. Write your letter to Santa and be sure to post it in our special Post box witch goes straight to the North Pole.
Mrs Claus will be delighted to meet you and invite you in to read a story from her collection of Christmas books. She may also have a treat or two up her sleeve.
Santa will be busy next door working on his naughty and nice list but loves to take a break and meet all the boys and girls who took the time to come and visit him. He is sure to have a gift or two on hand and his favourite donkeys will be waiting outside for any carrots that come their way.
ARGINA MINING EXPERIENCE
Meet Santa and receive a very special gift for all the family in his underground grotto.
Each child is given a personalised name badge.
Entertainment show included.
The visit to Santa at Arigna Mining experience this year will be a one hour event but if you wish to enjoy a festive snack, you will need to book a table in the café in advance at 086-8787362.
Due to safety guidelines, there will be a one-way system in place for the event to ensure the safety of all our visitors.
Enjoy the illuminated winter Alpine landscape.
Visit the Elves workshop and see the elves busy at work wrapping presents for Santa
All facilities are indoors / undercover.
Hot food, refreshments and homemade festive treats available in our coffee shop, however tables must be reserved in advance of event due to limited capacity.
Souvenir shop – with Christmas gift ideas.
Supervised coach and car park.
Wheelchair and Buggy accessible.
Toilets and Baby changing facilities.
JETLAND SHOPPING CENTRE
The Santa Experience is a tour through the North Pole ending in Santa's magical house. Each tour takes the group through 5 unique locations including the Elves Post Office, Santa’s Reindeer Stable, The Sleigh Station and the Artic each with their own elf to tale the tale behind each room. As well as listening to the elves' magical stories in each room, the children will also enjoy the interactive nature of the tour where they can ask the elves questions, pet reindeer, open magical doors and even ride in Santa's sleigh! After entering Santa's log cabin, Santa will speak to each child individually before giving them a lovely gift.
FOYLESIDE SHOPPING CENTRE
The centre will be hosting magical experiences including decorating gingerbread men and Christmas puddings, as well as reindeer candy cane making, to help get your little ones in the festive mood.
Santa will also be taking up residence in his beautifully decorated new Grotto, and he will be looking forward to hearing what all the boys and girls want for Christmas.
Visit Santa and his elves in his Woodland Workshop before Christmas Day. Pre-book your visit where all children will receive a gift from Santa and a special souvenir photograph to take home. Santa visits are limited to a maximum of four guests, which must include one adult
Discover the free Enchanted Light Trail in Santa’s Woodland Village and walk through the twinkling lights. Watch the little ones look up in awe as they take in the magic that surrounds them. Enjoy the immersive experience every evening of your break. Open 4pm – 9pm daily
Watch the seasonal stories, featuring Cranberry and Nutmeg the reindeer, every evening on your lodge television. And this year you can watch Nutmeg’s Flyers new story book.
Bellurgan Park House, with it's original Georgian period features and the halls decked with thousands of sparkling lights, Christmas trees, holly wreaths and ivy from the estate, makes the perfect setting for a traditional Christmas, an enchanting experience for children and adults alike.
Guests will be greeted at the main entrance to the house before being ushered into the dining room to experience elf school and tour the wonders in the house including Mrs Claus kitchen and the elves workshop, Afterwards every child will meet Santa and get their extra special Christmas present from the man himself in his cosy and magical Grotto.
When the children aren't meeting Santa the elves will keep them occupied making Christmas tree decorations and cards, gingerbread men and Yule logs to take home. Ms Claus will be serving hot drinks, homemade cakes and mince pies to keep the gentlemen, and ladies, merry.
Winter Wonderland – Westport House.
Private, individual family visit with Santa - one at a time – in his outdoors grotto
Say hello to Mrs Claus, enjoy a complimentary drink & make a wish at the Wish Tree, take a Train Ride on the Winter Wonderland Express, visit the live crib in Tinsel Town with “real” snow, enjoy festive marshmallows for toasting & play hook-a-duck indulge in face-painting and make your own decoration to take home. See the Elves Village in Tinsel Town and visit the beautifully decorated Westport House.
Visit Candy Land, the Reindeer Stables, and see if Tricky the Elf has you on the Naughty or nice list, Visit Santas House and have festive fun with Santa and Mrs Claus and get a special gift from Santa himself.
Christmas Winterwonderland Glaslough at the Oakland Centre.
Santa Claus will be visiting again this year with Mrs Claus - Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th. You will be welcomed by one of Santa's little helpers who will bring you in to meet Santa & Mrs. Claus.
Children will be seated opposite Santa abiding by socially distancing guidelines. Photos are permitted to be taken with Santa and Mrs Claus.
STROKESTOWN PARK HOUSE AND GARDENS
Your children will wind their way towards Santa’s Grotto, stopping to meet the Snow Queen and wonderful creatures along the way. On their journey they will listen to magical stories and be mesmerised by Enchanted Croí’s Puppet Theatre .
Each event will begin and end on our pop-up Christmas Street in the Walled Garden – with mobile café, food pods, Christmas stall and crafts. This area will be open to the public during the month of December.
Family fun at Sligo’s Diamond Coast Hotel for a Christmas break
Minutes from magnificent Enniscrone Beach, the popular Diamond Coast puts families front and centre.
A Christmas stay here and you'll experience seaside walks, warm hospitality, and spacious family rooms.
If you just want to see the big man himself he's dropping into the hotel on the 22nd of December for lots of family fun.
Mince pies and mulled wine await, followed by a drinks reception, dinner and entertainment in the bar.
On Christmas Day, enjoy a buffet breakfast with Buck’s Fizz, followed by a beach walk, perhaps. Christmas lunch is a five-course affair with Santa dropping by followed by afternoon entertainment, Christmas movies and a buffet supper.
Next morning, breakfast is served until 11am, allowing for a lazy start to St Stephen’s Day. Brave souls might embark on some pier jumping, with dinner and live music lined up for guests enjoying the 3-night package.
Santa’s Grotto in Nenagh Tipperary has been getting rave reviews on Facebook.
You’ll get to meet the man himself, with a photo opportunity included.
There is a shelf full of toys and your little ones can choose their own toy.
To boot you’ll get a massive balloon on your way out.
O NEILLS HEALY PARK - OMAGH EYE
The magical “Winter Wonderland” opens its doors on December 3rd running until January 2nd. Santa, his elves and reindeers with a stunning “Omagh Eye”, amusement park and a cracking Christmas market are just some of the attractions. While the “Omagh Eye”, one of the biggest in the country will be a star attraction this December, the Santa trail which will feature specialist lighting from local firm Galaxy as well as real reindeers and elves is certain to generate real excitement for youngsters and their families in the build up to the big day
A joyous celebration of the Christmas season, Winterval 2021 will showcase an elevated and immersive programme of events including themed Festive City Quarters, new festival destinations and Hero Events, the brand new Ar Ais Le Chéile celebrating Irish as a living language for kids and adults, the p-awesome Petstival zone filled with doggie delights and pet programming, Kids Lab Land where we celebrate all thing STEM in addition to enhanced festive food and craft markets including delicious global flavours from the very best of Ireland’s street food scene. All round entertainment for kids and adults, families, friends and furry four-legged friends alike - all happening under Ireland’s Largest Christmas Tree, shining bright right at the heart of Waterford city.
Christmas with Santa at Clonard House in Mullingar is back. A brilliant family interactive experience in the beautiful grounds and courtyard around Clonard House.
You’ll meet the Elves and Pay a visit to the post office to get those all important letters stamped for special delivery to the North Pole.
Next up is the enchanted trail to Santa’s beautiful house where you will ring the Christmas bells in the music room before a quick spot of Jingo Bingo with the Elves.
Then meet the man himself in Clonard House where you’ll be greeted by Lofty the Elf and
You’ll get a photo with Santa.
After meeting Santa, Lofty will be waiting at the top of the slide with a gift for each of our special visitors and Mallow the chef elf will have a s’more for you ready while you enjoy some traditional Christmas games in the Courtyard.
Wexford Amber Springs
With a little Ho Ho Ho and more than a sprinkling of Christmas magic the Amber Springs Santa Train Experience is back. With a twist of difference, a dollop of inspiration we are still the best Santa Experience in Ireland.
All the elves (under Santa and Mrs Claus direction) have been working super hard to make this year’s Santa visit a safe, family experience that will have all of the cheer and festive fun that you would expect.
By boarding the Amber Express, you will undertake a magical journey through the enchanting lights to the destination to our magical Christmas village.
With your own personal Elf in tow, this is an experience that has been voted the best Santa experience time and time again.
Walking around the village you will be able to enjoy a little festive treat and see all the busy little elves working away before going to have your own personal visit with SANTA!
If you just want to see Santa it will cost adults €16 and kids €20 but Amber Springs have brilliant packages for overnight stays too.
Christmas Island - Rathdrum
Your experience will include an exciting journey on The North Pole Express, a trip to Christmas Island where you’ll meet the Elves who will try to bring out your creative side before moving on to Santa’s head elves for some more festive elf entertainment. Families will depart Christmas Island to make their way to Santa’s Grotto where each family will have a private visit with Santa.
Christmas Island tickets are available for both day visits and overnight stays.
Families will remain in their family pod throughout the experience. If your friends book the same time as you, then please remember you will have to remain in your family pod and no mixing of families will be allowed.
Each family will meet Santa individually with social distancing guidelines in place.
All children will receive a gift from Santa.
If you have booked your ticket at the end of the day, then you need to arrive earlier to allow time for the extra facilities. If you booked the first time slot of the day, then you can stay on after your visit to Christmas Island to avail of the extra activities.
Bring your camera for lots of magical photo opportunities
For an extra fee, families can book a professional family photo on Santa’s sleigh and/or make a Christmas Elf & Fairy House. These options must be pre-booked at time of booking.
The Lakehouse Restaurant & Ice Cream Shop is located on site for a delicious Christmas Carvery, Scrumptious Desserts, Festive Drinks and more. The Lakehouse serves until 9PM.