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08th Dec 2017

6 brilliant Christmas outings for families

Katie Mythen-Lynch

Brought to you by Liffey Valley.

Christmas is finally in full swing and with the school holidays just around the corner, now is the time to plan some fun family outings everyone will enjoy.

The trick is to choose day trips and events that offer something for everyone, from Mum and Dad to the tiniest tot – it’s no mean feat but this year, we’ve got you covered.

Here are six fabulous festive family outings to add to your calendar.

1. Visit The Moving Crib

A tradition that has fascinated generations of children from all over Ireland for more than half a century, the Moving Crib is celebrating 61 years this year.

A Nativity tableaux told through handcrafted moving figures with beautifully hand-painted backdrops and sets, The Moving Crib contains more than 100 figurines depicting biblical life, not forgetting an exciting variety of wild animals including bears, lions and camels. Admission is free of charge and the crib, at St Martin Apostolate’s premises in Parnell Square, remains open until January 1st.

2. Plan a day of fun at Liffey Valley

Contrary to popular belief, you really can have your cake and eat it; especially when it comes to festive food and entertainment.

At Liffey Valley you can enjoy a well-deserved latte in one of countless coffee shops or a bite to eat at the recently revamped Western Plaza before bringing the kids to Santa’s Cove – Ireland’s newest Christmas experience! There’s a Yuletide Valley to conquer before a family Sleigh Ride and a visit to the Reindeer Food Preparation Room and that all important Santa visit with the man of the moment.

As an added bonus, Liffey Valley also has an abundance of free parking spaces (3,600 in fact!), the largest Boots and M&S stores in the country, five baby changing rooms and a purpose-built crèche. There’s even the Vue cinema waiting when the Santa shop is done and you’re ready to catch a festive movie.

Liffey Valley have extended their opening hours for the season:

  • December 11th-15th: open from 9:30am to 10pm
  • December 16th & 17th: open from 9am to 8pm
  • December 18th – 23rd: open from 8am to 11pm
  • December 24th: open from 8am to 6pm
  • December 25th: Closed
  • December 26th: open from 9:30am to 7pm

3. Marvel at the Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo

‘Wild Lights’ is described as a “magical night-time spectacular event” that includes illuminated sculptures and giant colourful lanterns – inspired by all things wildlife and nighttime.

According to Dublin Zoo, attendees will “follow the enchanted trail where you will discover the dazzling array of beautifully crafted giant silk lanterns, then be wowed by the Chinese performers and Chinese craft market while enjoying Chinese foods and warm drinks.”

A ton of festive fun for all the family – bring Granny and Grandad to this one.

4. Watch a classic film at the Irish Film Institute

Set in 1940s small town Indiana, nine-year-old Ralphie dreams of getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. He begs his parents but they won’t hear of it. On the annual family trip to an overworked Santa, Ralphie makes his request again, but not only does he wish for the gun, he also wishes the school bully Scut Farkus would somehow get his comeuppance.

This nostalgic Christmas story is told with great humour and heart, and showing at The Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar on Sunday, December 17th. Family tickets : €14.40 here.

5. Explore the Winter Solstice
Celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 21st and join Archaeologist Siobhán Rheinisch at the National Museum of Ireland on Kildare Street for a 1pm tour of the Prehistoric Ireland Exhibition. Visitors (all ages 8+ welcome) will find out about how ancient people marked the shortest day of the year in the Northern Herimshpere, view grave goods from the Neolithic passage tomb at Newgrange and Knowth Co. Meath and discover the skills used to create some or our most famous monuments and artefacts. To book a free place, call 01 6486332.

6. Catch The Grimm Tale of Cinderella 

Every story has a beginning, just not always the one you expect…

Lost brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm seek shelter in the woods from a bitter storm. A chance encounter with a strange old woman is about to change their fate. The Old Woman has a tale to tell, about a girl named Ella, her cruel stepmother, a handsome prince and the night that would change her life forever. However this is not the story the brothers expect. No, no this is the real story of the girl who became known as Cinderella.

The Grimm Tale of Cinderella runs throughout December at the Smock Alley Theatre, 6-7 Exchange Street Lower, Temple Bar, Dublin and is suitable for boys and girls aged over six years old. Book tickets here.

Liffey Valley is a one stop shopping destination for the ultimate dining, fashion, and beauty experience this Christmas. With over 80 stores to choose from and over 20 restaurants to keep you fuelled, it’s a fashionista’s shopping paradise!

Liffey Valley’s new Western Plaza will leave any foodie spoilt for choice, there’s something to tickle every taste bud. For more information on Liffey Valley, click here or visit the Facebook page.