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Saturday and Sunday, 17 and 18 December 2022, All ages

Crafty Little Christmas Weekend

Admission free

Enjoy some time together and rediscover festive traditions of old at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life on Saturday and Sunday, 17 and 18 December 2022.

One of the highlights of this 'Crafty Little Christmas Weekend' event is a series of Mummer performances on Saturday, 17 December, with the renowned Armagh Rhymers. This is a unique opportunity to see the Christmas tradition of mummering in full, colourful costume and it is sure to be a real treat for audiences young and old alike.

On Sunday, 18 December, the galleries will come to life once again with a festive performance by two of the region's leading musical groups, the Mayo Male Voice Choir and the Cill Aodáin Choral Society, at 3pm and 4pm.  

Younger visitors can take part in Christmas card making workshops throughout the weekend with artist Breda Burns. There is also a fun self-guided decoration hunt in the exhibition galleries.

On Sunday, 18 December, there is an opportunity to 'meet the makers' and enjoy some Christmas decoration demonstrations, courtesy of the talented members of the Connacht Textile Crafters.  

There is also a short Christmas film showing in the AV Theatre over the weekend and some family friendly tours of the exhibition galleries with our experienced Museum guides, who might include a few festive themed stops along the way! 

Find out more about these events below:

10.30am, 12noon, 2pm, 3.30pm, Saturday, 17 December

Mummering is a colourful Irish Christmas custom where groups of straw clad actors perform an ancient form of theatre with heroic characters from Ireland's past. The Armagh Rhymers are one of the most celebrated groups in Ireland keeping this tradition alive and they will be bringing their unique blend of drama, music, costume, culture and fun to the Museum galleries throughout the day on Saturday, 17 December. This is a free event. No booking required. FIND OUT MORE

WORKSHOP: Crafty Christmas Cards with Breda Burns
10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4pm, Saturday, 17 December
1pm to 5pm, Sunday, 18 December 

Did you know the first Christmas card was produced in England in 1843 by John Horsley and Henry Cole? Christmas Cards became very popular soon after because they saved people a lot of time instead of visiting and writing letters! You can see some old Christmas cards in the Nollaig display on Level C of the exhibition galleries and you can also join one of our favourite artists, Breda Burns, for a fun Christmas card making workshop for families/intergenerational audiences.  

1pm - 5pm, Sunday, 18 December

Meet the talented members of the Connacht Textile Crafters and enjoy a mix of hands-on workshops and demonstrations on decoration making and gift wrapping. 

CHRISTMAS PERFORMANCE: Carols in the Galleries
3pm and 4pm, Sunday, 18 December 

Join two of the region’s leading choirs for a special Christmas performance in the exhibition galleries. The Mayo Male Voice Choir will perform at 3pm under the direction of Deirdre Lee. The Cill Aodáin Choral Society from Kiltimagh will perform at 4pm under the direction of Finola Higgins-Cosgrove. Both of these choirs have performed to great acclaim at various venues throughout the country and beyond and this is sure to be a special atmospheric afternoon of carols in the galleries.

SELF-GUIDED TRAIL: Decoration Hunt
During Museum opening hours, 17 December to 6 January

We have lost our Christmas decorations in the exhibition galleries! Can you help us find them? Pick up an activity sheet and clipboard at Museum Reception and use the clues to follow our Christmas trail through the galleries. Find all of our Chrstimas decorations to complete the challenge! When you are finished, go to Reception to see if you are right and enter our free competition for a special Christmas goodie hamper. 

GUIDED TOURS: Ireland's National Folklife Collection
2pm and 3pm, Saturday and Sunday, 17 and 18 December

Join a family friendly guided tour of the exhibition galleries - with a few festive stops along the way! Step back in time with our experienced Museum guide and marvel at the innovation and endurance of our rural ancestors through the National Folklife Collection. The tours also explore the history of the Fitzgerald family of Turlough Park, the neo Gothic house they built here, and the gardens and parkland. 

CHRISTMAS FILM: A Kid’s Country Christmas
Throughout the day, Saturday and Sunday, 17 and 18 December

Meet the next generation of Ireland’s country singers in A Kids' Country Christmas, showing throughout the day in the Museum’s AV Theatre, courtesy of RTÉ and Ronin Films. This heart-warming programme features children from different parts of Ireland performing some of their festive favourites with a country twist.

CHRISTMAS TREATS: Synge & Byrne Café
During Museum opening hours

Why not take some time during your visit for a Christmas treat in the Synge & Byrne café, located in the courtyard. Festive specials this December include mulled tea, gingerbread latte, toasted marshmallow hot chocolate and their Christmas sandwich with ham, turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and rocket on a sourdough bread. FIND OUT MORE

SHOPPING: Books, gifts and crafts
During Museum opening hours

Find specialist books, unique gifts and Irish crafts for someone special in the Museum Giftshop this Christmas. There is a wide range of adult and childrens' books, jewellery, knitware, candles, soaps, preserves and more. FIND OUT MORE  


Crafty Little Christmas Weekend is located at:
Turlough Park,
Co. Mayo
F23 HY31

Have yourself a Crafty Little Christmas at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life on Saturday and Sunday, 17 and 18.

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Country Life

Turlough Park,
Co. Mayo,
F23 HY31

+353 94 903 1755