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What's On In Dublin In December

Picture of Kate Phelan
Updated: 14 November 2016
December 2016 will bring seasonal cheer to Dublin in the form of festive dining and storytelling events, candlelight caroling and alternative Christmas markets. The city will also hold a range of intimate art and literary events this month, as well as blockbuster musicals, crowd-pleasing yuletide film screenings and the city-wide New Year’s Festival.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1st – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4th

Print by Maser
Print by Maser | Courtesy of the Graphic Studio Dublin / Deirdre O'Kane | Courtesy of the Pavilion Theatre / Winter Papers | Courtesy of Curlew Editions / Christmas event by Hunt & Gather | Courtesy of Hunt & Gather

ART | Snap Up A Maser Print At Graphic Studio Gallery

📅 Friday, November 11th – Saturday, December 3rd

Ireland’s most famous street artist is set to showcase his newest body of work with a must-see exhibition at Graphic Studio Gallery this winter, finishing on December 3rd. Made over the course of a year and a half spent completing the gallery’s Visiting Artist Programme, Maser’s new collection of fine art prints are the works that every Dubliner is going to want on their wall in 2017.

Free admission

📍 8a Cope St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland


LITERATURE | Hear Irish Writers Read From The 2016 Winter Papers

📅 Thursday, December 1st

An evening of readings from Winter Papers Volume 2, Ireland’s annual arts anthology, will take place at the beautiful National Concert Hall. Guests will include award winning Irish writers like Lisa McInerney, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Kevin Barry, Sarah Maria Griffin, and one of the authors nominated for this year’s Irish Novel of the Year Award, Mike McCormack.

Tickets: €15

📍 Earlsfort Terrace, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2, Ireland

COMEDY | Watch Deirdre O’Kane’s Return To Stand-Up At The Pavilion Theatre

📅 Thursday, December 1st

After starring in the surprise smash TV show Moone Boy with Chris O’Dowd, Irish comedian and actress Deirdre O’Kane returns to stand-up after seven years with her new show 1Dee. Promising to share her feelings about life as a stay at home mum and the trails and tribulations of getting older, tickets for O’Kane’s gig at the Pavilion Theatre are selling fast – if you’re a fan, you’d better move quickly.

Tickets: €16 – €18

📍 Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland


FOOD | Have Some Festive Fun At The Dr. Seuss Christmas Experience

📅 Thursday, December 1st – Sunday, December 4th

Event planners extraordinaire Hunt & Gather are the masterminds behind what is sure to be one of the highlights of the Dublin Christmas calendar this year. Taking over a 300-year-old Georgian mansion at 12 Henrietta Street, this unique affair inspired by the beloved children’s writer Dr. Seuss will run over four evenings, with fires, festive drinks, story telling and a three-course meal.

Tickets: €68.40

📍 12 Henrietta Street, Inns Quay, Dublin 1, Ireland


ART | Get Behind The Potter’s Wheel With Arran Street East

📅 Saturday, December 3rd

Arran Street East pottery studio are one of the major success stories in Irish design over the last few years, even featuring in the May 2016 edition of the French Elle Decoration magazine. This December, they will be running another of their wildly popular ‘Behind the Wheel’ workshops, teaching the basics of throwing and hand building your own pots. Items participants create will be fired and shipped in time for Christmas.

Tickets: €100

📍 1 Little Green Street, Dublin 7, Ireland

MONDAY, DECEMBER 5th – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11th

MUSIC | Listen To Carols by Candlelight At Christ Church Cathedral

📅 Tuesday, December 6th – Thursday, December 8th

Carols by Candlelight at Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral is a much-loved Christmas event in the capital. With the dulcet tones of the renowned resident choir amplified by the soaring ceilings of the magnificent cathedral building, these services signal the true arrival of the merry season for many families. The complimentary mince-pies and mulled wine at the interval are just an added bonus.

Tickets: €21.50

📍 Christchurch Place, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland


THEATRE | Feel Young Again At Big The Musical

📅 Wednesday, December 7th – Saturday January, 7th 2017

The successful Broadway musical based on the 1980s classic film Big is making its European debut this December, with a run at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre which will last into January of 2017. Starring pop band The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness and former The X Factor star Diana Vickers, it follows a 12-year-old Josh Baskin, and his mysterious overnight transition into (supposed) adulthood.

Tickets: €15 – €65

📍 Grand Canal Square, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2, Ireland


FILM | Celebrate Young Talent At The IFI’s Fresh Film Festival Showcase

📅 Wednesday, December 7th

The Fresh Film Festival 2016 Showcase at the Irish Film Institute will consist of screenings of work by Ireland’s youngest filmmakers. Specifically aimed at those under the age of 18, the Limerick-based festival helps to encourage and highlight talented aspiring film buffs at the very beginning of their careers.

Tickets: TBC

📍 6 Eustace St, Dublin 2, Ireland


THEATRE | Contemplate A New Take On A Classic Novel At The Abbey Theatre

📅 Wednesday, December 7th – Saturday, January 28th 2017

Ireland’s national theatre will take on Leo Tolstoy with a new version of his heartbreaking novel Anna Karenina, written for the stage by playwright Marina Carr. Director Wayne Jordan will help her bring this passionate tale to life six nights a week at the Abbey Theatre throughout most of December and January.

Tickets: €13 – €45

📍 26/27 Abbey Street Lower, North City, Dublin 1, Ireland


DANCE | Get Lost In The Nutcracker At The Lighthouse Cinema

📅 Thursday, December 8th

Broadcasting live from the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, this annual Lighthouse screening of the Royal Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker is like a front row seat to the real thing. From the painstaking set decoration to the sparkling costumes and jaw-dropping, acrobatic performances, the Royal Ballet quite simply do this treasured Christmas show better than anyone else.

Tickets: €10 – €18

📍 Block A, Smithfield, Market Square, Smithfield, Dublin 7, Ireland

MUSIC | See Lisa Hannigan Play At Vicar Street

📅 Saturday, December 10th – Sunday, December 11th

The well-equipped acoustics of the award-winning Vicar Street venue is the perfect place to listen to a hauntingly beautiful musician like Lisa Hannigan play. These much-anticipated pre-Christmas gigs will see the singer-songwriter performing songs from her newly released third album At Swim – named after a Seamus Heaney poem.

Tickets: €28

📍 58-59 Thomas St, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland

SHOPPING | Do Yuletide Differently At The Alternative Christmas Market

📅 Sunday, December 11th

If you prefer your Christmas celebration to be a bit less conventional, check out the Dublin Alternative Christmas Market at the Voodoo Lounge. Geared towards lovers of ‘alternative, metal, goth, retro and medieval’ style, this unorthodox market will see the usual crafts, gifts, food etc., done in a thoroughly unusual way.

Free admission

📍 39-40 Arran Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland

MONDAY, DECEMBER 12th – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18th

MUSIC | Walk On Air With The Snowman At The National Concert Hall

📅 Friday, December 16th – Sunday, December 18th

The 1982 animation of Raymond Briggs’ book The Snowman has a special place in Ireland’s heart – it was co-directed by honorary Irishman Jimmy Murakami, and featured on the An Post Christmas advert for several years. Every year the National Concert Hall put on sell-out screenings of the enchanting film with an orchestral accompaniment playing Howard Blake’s score.

Tickets: €17 – €22

📍 Earlsfort Terrace, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2, Ireland

OPERA | Welcome Celine Byrne Home For Christmas At The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

📅 Sunday, December 18th

After a hectic year spent performing across the world – including performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall and Huguang Guild Hall in Beijing – high-flying Irish soprano Celine Byrne will celebrate her return to Ireland with an evening of operatic favourites and Christmas carols sung alongside a festive orchestra.

Tickets: €28.50 – €75

📍 Grand Canal Square, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2, Ireland

FILM | Get In The Giving Mood At A Screening Of Elf

📅 Saturday, December 17th

Few modern Christmas movies have got the ratio of humour to heart-melt quite as right as Elf. Starring Will Ferrell as a ridiculously loveable human who thinks he’s an elf, it only dates back to 2003, but it’s already well on its way towards becoming a modern classic. If you’re one of the few who have never seen this feel-good film for all ages, make sure to book tickets to watch it this year.

Tickets: €5-€7.50

📍 Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland

MONDAY, DECEMBER 19th – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25th

LITERATURE | Hear A Story By One Of Your Favourite Authors At Project Arts Centre

📅 Wednesday, December 21st

Curated by the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction Anne Enright, The Long Night Of The Short Story will be an evening of readings by five famous Irish writers of five short stories, with musical responses by Cavan singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill. Featured writers include Colm Tóibín, Mike McCormack, Lisa McInerney and Danielle McLaughlin. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Peter McVerry Trust, a homelessness support charity.

Tickets: €5

📍 39 East Essex St, Dublin 2, Ireland

FILM | Remind Yourself That It’s a Wonderful Life At The Pavilion Theatre

📅 Thursday, December 22nd

Dún Laoghaire’s Pavilion Theatre can always be relied on for classic cinema screenings, and this Christmas they’re saving the best until last. It’s a Wonderful Life, the 1946 fantasy drama which was nominated for five Academy Awards and is now recognised as one of the greatest films ever made, will be shown here twice on the Thursday before Christmas, sending everyone home with a spring in their step.

Tickets: €5 – €7.50

📍 Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland

MUSIC | Listen To Live Music For A Good Cause At The Workman’s Club

📅 Friday, December 23rd

On the eve of Christmas eve, The Workman’s Club venue on the quays will host Music Without Borders, an evening of live music to raise money for Doctors Without Borders and their work with migrants at camps on European borders. Performers will include hiphop duo God Creative, guitarist and pianist Daniel McDermott and Conor O’Malley, who launched his own label in 2014.

Tickets: €7

📍 10 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland

MONDAY, DECEMBER 26th – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31st

Ladies Day at Leopardstown
Ladies Day at Leopardstown | Courtesy of Leopardstown Christmas Festival / Hors d'oeuvres | Courtesy of Leopardstown Christmas Festival / Light projection at Trinity College Dublin | © Daniel Dudek/Flickr / Niall Breslin of The Blizzards | © Junction Festival/WikiCommons

SPORTS | Bet On A Winner At Leopardstown Christmas Festival

📅 Monday, December 26th – Thursday, December 29th

The Christmas festival at Leopardstown Racecourse has been running since 1888, blending a festive post-Christmas atmosphere with four days of National Hunt horse racing. With a Christmas festival marquee, glamorous fashion on show, and the chance to win big on your favourite horse, this is one of the major highlights of the Irish racing calendar.

Tickets: €25 – €60

📍 Foxrock, Dublin, Ireland

FESTIVAL | Ring In 2017 At The New Year Festival Dublin

📅 Friday, December 30th – Sunday, January 1st 2017

Welcoming 2017 to the city of Dublin, this year’s New Year Festival promises to be a big one. Events will include a huge 3-D light projection display, an architectural treasure hunt, poetry slams and more. On New Year’s Eve, the Countdown Concert at St. Stephen’s Green will feature Walking on Cars, The Blizzards and Little Hours, while unexpected venues across the city will host up-and-coming musical acts throughout the day as part of the New Year Festival Dublin Music Trails.

Tickets: €27.90

📍 Various venues throughout Dublin