Updated: Jun 29, 2021
Move over Lapland Winterval is back and it’s bigger and better than ever.
After great bang for your buck? Waterford’s magical winter wonderland is your one stop shop this Christmas.
A stone’s throw away from Dublin we packed up the car and arrived in Waterford Castle in under three hours.
We were mesmerised by the 25 foot Christmas tree, homed in the stunning foyer.
Up bright and early Winterval was calling and Santa’s Kingdom was our first port of call and there was very little waiting time until we met the big man himself.
The Santa Christmas Fair kicked off at Waterford Castle Resort on December 3rd and it’s perfect for families.
Night one we enjoyed a sumptuous meal in the award winning Munster restaurant before retiring to the family friendly lodges which sleep six.
While my toddler Erin basked in the snow pit, our ten year old James busied himself writing his letter at Santa’s postbox.
The famous Viking Triangle and the retail heart of the city comes alive with Christmas market’s and delicious Christmas food.
I’m not usually a sausage girl but honestly the gorgeous hot dogs were so authentic and tasted as good as the wursts in the famous German Christmas markets.
If you’ve a sweet tooth you can’t beat the crepes, the classic sugar and lemon really warmed us up.
The warming crepes at the Christmas market hit the spot
For the bigger kids the Helter Skelter is a must and the carousel tickled James fancy too.
The whole family got a great kick out of the Waterford Eye, a new addition to Winteval this year and the views from the top are spectacular, plus there was no fear of our toddler jumping out, it’s safe as houses.
Winterval's Horse Drawn Sleigh kicks off the magic of Christmas
To really get you into the Christmas spirit the horse drawn sleigh is definitely worth a spin.
Little Erin couldn’t get enough of us singing Horsey Horsey don’t you stop!
As twilight broke we took in the free Winterval Illuminates light show.
After a jam packed day at Winterval it was time for relaxation and we took a five minute drive to the stunning Athenaeum House Hotel.
Located on the fringe of Waterford City and surrounded by natural beauty you feel like you’re deep within the countryside, a fabulous way to unwind.
The exquisitely restored 17th century Georgian house has a beautiful view of the River Suir with Waterford City in full Winterval glory lit up as a stunning backdrop.
The minute we walked in we were drawn to the grand piano taking pride of place in the reception.
The family suite was perfect for the four of us and the modern restaurant Zaks did not disappoint.
After an adventurous family fun day I took advantage of the divine free standing bath!
On Sunday after a delicious breakfast we were fed and watered and it was time for more activities.
Siobhan and James at Winterval on Ice
Winterval on Ice is located at the back of the town in Waterford carpark and it really topped off our festive experience.
With a large main rink and a dedicated kiddies rink an instructor was present to show us the ropes.
My ice skating legs were a bit rusty but we soon got into the swing of things and no bones were broken!
Winterval is the Christmas capital of Ireland I promise venture down and you’ll feel like a kid again.