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From carols to crafts – experience the joy of Christmas at the Museum this December

Escape the hustle and bustle of pre-Christmas preparations with a visit to the National Museum of Ireland and recapture the rich traditions and wonders of the festive season with family and friends.

We are delighted to present an exciting Christmas programme of seasonal talks, events and activities for all ages to enjoy across our Museum sites in Dublin and Co Mayo.

Experience Christmas carols in the galleries; discover how people spent their time in winters past; inspect bear bones; or make your own decorations inspired by seasonal traditions and winter wonders. Admission is free. 

Nollaig Shona daoibh go léir!


Opening hours for Christmas and New Year

We are open throughout the Christmas and New Year period from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday, and from 1pm to 5pm on Sundays and Mondays, with the exception of Christmas Eve (open 10am to 12noon); Christmas Day (closed) and St Stephen's Day (closed).

  • Sunday, 24 December (Christmas Eve) - open 10am to 12noon

  • Monday, 25 December (Christmas Day) - closed

  • Tuesday, 26 December (St Stephen's Day) - closed

Normal opening hours are in place for the rest of the holiday period as follows:

  • Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm

  • Sunday and Monday, 1pm to 5pm




TALK: Christmas and its traditions

National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Castlebar, Mayo
Saturday 2 December 2023, 3pm - 4.30pm. All Ages.

Join Salvador Ryan, professor of ecclesiastical history at St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, for a festive journey exploring the origins of Christmas traditions. 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. FIND OUT MORE




Christmas Decoration Hunt

National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Mayo
During Museum opening hours, 2 December 2023 to 6 January 2024, Families


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 solve this fun, treasure hunt style activity. The clues will lead visitors through three floors of exhibition galleries to find 12 decorations hanging in the displays. FIND OUT MORE




Christmas Family Fun Day at Collins Barracks

National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7
Sunday 3 December 2023, from 1pm, All Ages.


Get into the Christmas spirit at the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks for a special day of festive family fun. We will have Christmas carols with the intergenerational ‘Lassos' choir in the main reception from 2:30pm, a ‘Festive Felting’ art workshop starting from 2pm, tours and seasonal artefact handling sessions throughout the day. FIND OUT MORE




'A Christmas Carol' by Ocean of Notions Productions

National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Mayo
1pm and 3pm, Saturday, 9 December, 2023, and 1pm, Sunday 10 December 2023, All Ages
.

The National Museum of Ireland is delighted to present 'A Christmas Carol' by Ocean of Notions Productions, performed at Turlough Park, Castlebar, on 9 and 10 December 2023. This is a heart-warming adaptation of Charles Dickens' timeless tale that has become a highly anticipated date in the festive calendar of Cork City where is has been performed at Nano Nagle Place over the last number of years. Booking required. FIND OUT MORE




Drop in event: Meet the Bears

National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Saturday 9 December 2023, 10:30am - 12:30pm, Families, ages 7+


Did bears live in Ireland? How many different types of bears are there and who is the biggest of them all!?! Learn this and more during a drop-in event with Museum Educators at the Wonder Cabinet. Watch a short video, inspect bear bones up close and quiz our Museum Educators with all your bear related questions! FIND OUT MORE




Live crib at Turlough Park

National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co Mayo
Saturday (11am to 4pm) and Sunday (1pm to 4pm), 9, 10, 16 and 17 December 2023, All Ages.

Come along to the Courtyard of Turlough Park House this December to discover our crib scene brought to life with animals from Kiltimagh Pet Farm. Most families had a crib, and children would collect moss to decorate it. The Baby Jesus would not be placed in the crib until Christmas Morning. Learn about animals such as sheep, goats, cows and donkeys which would be typical on a traditional Irish farm and which also form an important part of the nativity story at Christmas. FIND OUT MORE




Open Day: A Medieval Christmas at the Museum

National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Sunday 10th December 2023, 1pm - 4:30pm, All Ages.

Roam through the galleries at the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology from 1pm on Sunday, 10 December, and meet with re-enactors from Laoch Living History. Discover how people spent their time in winters past, the games they played, and how they kept themselves safe on long and dangerous pilgrimages. Join storyteller Niall de Búrca for a feast of Christmas tales in the Learning Resource Room. No booking required. Partially wheelchair accessible. Admission free. FIND OUT MORE




Christmas carols in the galleries at Turlough Park

National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co Mayo
Saturday, 16 December 2023, 3pm,  All Ages.

The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life is delighted to welcome the Rock'n'Roses Choir to the exhibition galleries for a festive carolling session at 3pm on Saturday, 16 December 2023. The Rocks'n'Roses Choir is made-up entirely of cancer survivors. It takes its name from the choir headquarters at Rock Rose House, a voluntary cancer support service in Castlebar, Co Mayo. FIND OUT MORE




Afternoon of Christmas carols with the Mayo Male Voice Choir and the Cill Aodain Choral Society

National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Mayo
Sunday, 17 December 2023, 3pm, All Ages.

Join two of the region's leading choral groups for an atmospheric afternoon of Christmas carols in the exhibition galleries at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, from 3pm on Sunday, 17 December. These performances with the Mayo Male Voice Choir and the Cill Aodain Choral Society have become a firm festive favourite with Museum visitors over the last number of years. Visitors can enjoy a repertoire of classic and contemporary Christmas carols and choral pieces. FIND OUT MORE




Guided Tour: Let the Sun Shine Winter Solstice Tour

National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Wednesday 20, Thursday 21 and Friday 22 at 11am and 12:30pm, All Ages, Suitable for children 8+


Celebrate the rising sun of the Winter Solstice at Newgrange with our special tours at 11am and 12.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,  20 to 22 December, at the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology. Discover how ancient monuments and archaeological objects are linked to celestial events. Irish Sign Language interpretation will be provided for the tour taking place at 12:30pm on Thursday 21st of December. FIND OUT MORE




Gift ideas from our Musuem Shops
Located in Kildare Street, Collins Barracks and Turlough Park, Castlebar, Mayo 


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.


Browse more upcoming events at the National Museum of Ireland

 


 

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