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Christmas at Turlough Park

Escape the hustle and bustle for a few hours, spend time with family and friends, and reconnect with culture, heritage and nature this December at Turlough Park.

Free Admission

TALK: Christmas and its traditions

Join Salvador Ryan, professor of ecclesiastical history at St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, for a festive journey exploring the origins of Christmas traditions at 3pm on Saturday, 2 December 2023. This interactive talk will explore the ancient and not so ancient origins or some of our traditions through history, art, music and literature. Booking required.

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FAMILY ACTIVITY: Decoration hunt

Throughout the month of December, pick up an activity sheet and clipboard at Museum Reception and use the clues to solve this festive and fun, treasure-hunt style activity. The clues will lead visitors through three floors of exhibition galleries to find 12 decorations hanging in the displays.

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THEATRE: 'A Christmas Carol' by Ocean of Notions

The Museum is delighted to present three intimate performances of 'A Christmas Carol' by Ocean of Notions Productions on 9 and 10 December 2023. This heart-warming adaptation of Charles Dickins' Christmas classic features a selection of original Early Celtic, Medieval and Victorian carols in a contemporary arrangement. Places are limited and booking is essential.

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Live crib in the Courtyard

Discover our crib scene brought to life with animals from Kiltimagh Pet Farm in the Courtyard of Turlough Park House. This event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, 9, 10, 16 and 17 December. Learn about and meet some of the animals, such as sheep, goats, cows and donkeys, which are featured in the nativity story and other traditions around Christmas time.

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Christmas Craft Market

The Museum is hosting a Christmas craft market in the Courtyard of Turlough Park House from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, 9 December. There will be a range of local and handmade crafts with candles, calligraphy, art, cards, textiles and more to browse and shop.

EXHIBITION: Discover Christmases past

See what Christmas was like in Ireland in times gone at the Nollaig display in the Life in the Community exhibition on Level C. Learn about folklore, traditions and customs such as Mummers, Wren Boys, and more.

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PERFORMANCE: Rock'n'Roses Choir

Enjoy some Christmas carols with the inspirational Rock'n'Roses Choir in the exhibition galleries at 3pm on Saturday, 16 December. The choir members are all cancer survivors and the group take their name from the local cancer support service, Rock Rose House.

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PERFORMANCE: Mayo Male Voice Choir and Cill Aodain Choral Society

Join two of the region's leading choral groups - the Mayo Male Voice Choir and the Cill Aodain Choral Society - for an atmospheric afternoon of Christmas carols in the exhibition galleries from 3pm on Sunday, 17 December.

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Festive treats in the café

Visit Synge & Byrne Café in the Courtyard to round off your visit to Turlough Park this Christmas. Synge & Byrne has a special menu of festive treats for December, including Christmas red velvet cake, German style Christmas shortbread biscuits, mince pies and chocolate and orange muffins. Warm up with the flavours of Christmas with a 'Merry Berry' hot chocolate special, a mulled tea or a gingerbread latte.

Winter walks

Each season has its own special appeal in the gardens of Turlough Park. Enjoy the quietude of winter and reconnect with nature in this picturesque demesne. There is a network of walkways through 40 acres of formal Victorian gardens, 18th century parkland and woodland. The Castlebar to Turlough Greenway is a great option for a 10km cycle.

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Christmas shopping

For gift ideas with a difference, browse a unique range of books and crafts this Christmas in the Museum Shop. There is a beautiful selection of craft and giftware to choose from, including jewellery, ceramics, natural skincare products, artisan chocolate, candles, textiles, knitwear, toys and more.

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Christmas opening hours

The National Museum of Ireland is open as normal throughout the Christmas period with the exception of Sunday, 24 December (open 10am to 12noon); Monday, 25 December (closed); and Tuesday, 26 December (closed). Normal opening hours resume from Wednesday 27 December.

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Country Life

Turlough Park,
Co. Mayo,
F23 HY31

+353 94 903 1755