When the festive season rolls around, Dublin is probably the best place in Ireland to celebrate. The icy chill in the air doesn’t dampen our delight in the silly season, in fact Dubliners actually look forward to donning the woolly winter wear that they’ve had stored away all year. ‘Tis the season to be cosy, after all.
However, sometimes getting into the Christmas spirit can be a bit of a struggle. If you, like us, have busy work lives then the run-up to the holidays can be frantic, as you’re struggling to wrap up everything that needs to be done before the year is out. It’s a busy time, and that may not leave you with the requisite headspace to get into the care-free spirit of the season.
If this sounds familiar, then you may need to bring out the big guns this December. And what are the big guns, you ask? Why visiting the most Christmassy spots in Dublin in just one day, of course!
Feeling Christmassy can’t be forced, so you need to ease yourself into the experience. Start your day of festive exploration off with a Dublin favourite: the Live Crib outside the Mansion House on Dawson Street. At this family friendly attraction you’ll find an adorable recreation of baby Jesus’s manger filled with a variety of live animals to gaze lovingly upon.
Once your inner child is thoroughly satisfied, saunter over to St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre and cross a few pressies off your list. The gigantic Christmas baubles which hang from its ceiling are guaranteed to inspire awe (as well as sheer bafflement as to how they managed to get them up there in the first place).
Afterwards, take a stroll down the length of Grafton Street, taking in the glittering lights above your head and soaking up the ambiance of the bustling crowds, before passing by the famously OTT Christmas window display at Brown Thomas to admire all that loveliness.
Alternatively, they also have a really fun Christmas window display at Arnotts on Henry Street. This one is a particular favourite of children (or the inner kids in all of us). And while you’re there, be sure to check out Santas Postal Parade to ensure that special letter is posted directly to the big man himself.
At this point your soul should be suitably nourished, so now it’s your body’s turn — and we’ve just the place for that. Hot chocolate is the most appropriate treat for the time of year, so head to The Dylan Hotel where they’ve just launched a luxurious menu of the sweet beverage, with mouthwatering offerings like Cosy Cure (caramel infused dark chocolate, marshmallow cream Achill island sea salt & crunchy caramel), American Chattering (smooth peanut butter emulsified with dark chocolate jellied marshmallow & homemade peanut brittle) and The Long Catch Up (orange infused dark chocolate, burnt passionfruit marshmallow confit orange pieces).
Once you’ve had your busy day of shopping and exploration, it’s time for a little seasonal entertainment. Make your way over to Smithfield to visit the Light House Cinema, where the Naughty Or Nice movie season is playing throughout December, screening Christmas classics like Love Actually, Elf and Home Alone 2.
After you’ve laughed and cried at the movies, cap off your day with a jaunt out to the The Strawberry Hall in Chapelizod, where you can nestle in among the ever-impressive array of Yuletide decorations, sip on a hot whiskey or creamy pint and enjoy live music by an open fire.
If you’re still not in the Christmas spirit after all that, we’ll eat our Santa hat.
Photo credit: ginabowes/Instagram
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