Keeping the kids entertained this Christmas
When it comes to events for children, Christmas time is bountiful, with Santa Claus grottos, pantos and winter wonderlands springing up everywhere. Bernice Mulligan shares her pick of yuletide fun for kids from across the country
'The Wizard of Oz : The Pantomime' (Blanchardstown)
If you're looking for something fun to do with the kids after the excitement of Christmas is over, then the innovative why not head to Draíocht, arts centre in the heart of Blanchardstown, where Coolmine Panto Group will perform Join – The Pantomine.
The Wizard Of Oz Dorothy, Strawman, Tinman and the Lion as they travel to Oz in pursuit of their dreams. Hot on their tails are Dorothy's Aunt, Molly Madcap and a variety of funny and colourful characters who will delight and entertain But will the Wicked you and your children. Witch of Cabra West stop them? Be warned, there are four witches in this enjoyable for all the family. and hilarious pantomime 7, Saturday 8, Mon7.30pm shows: Friday day 10 to Saturday 15 January 2011; 2pm matinees: Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Saturday 15, Sunday 16 January 2011.
Shows will take place in the main auditorium. Price: 20/€15 concession. € ie for more See www.whatsoninblanch. the box office: 01 information or contact 8852622.
Christmas at Causey Farm (Navan, Co Meath)
Causey Farm comes alive with a festive atmosphere. Christmas at Causey Farm includes visiting Santa's house and helping Mrs Claus pack his bag for the big journey; sliding down into the toy workshop and playing with the toys Santa has ready for packing; and making your way through the elves' door to Santa's parlour. If you listen carefully, is that a noise on the roof? You'd never know who might arrive down the chimney, and of course he has a gift for all the children!
Follow the Bethlehem Trail to the stable where Mary and Joseph take care of their new arrival, watched over by the cows, donkeys, sheep and lambs. For mums and dads, enjoy some mulled juices, mince pies and cookies in Yuletide Hall. Visit Christmas Cottage to experience an old Irish Christmas – make a wish as you stir the pudding!
And, of course, don't forget to visit the reindeer as they relax before their big night. Each Christmas event lasts one and a half hours!
Dates for the Causey Christmas Experience are: 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 21 and 22 December. 12 for adults; € € 20 for children (aged 2–12); 6 € for toddlers (aged 0–23 months). For more information, see www.causey.ie; t: 353 46 9434135 or e: email@example.com.
Winter Wonderland at Westport House (Mayo)
If you are looking for a special Christmas experience that all the family will remember for years to come, then you may want to consider the magical Winter Wonderland at Westport House. There you can: visit Santa's Grotto and meet the elves; take a ride on the Polar Express; join Mrs Claus for storytelling and a sing-song; participate in the elves' 'Paint your own decoration' Workshop; get your face painted; pick up gifts in the Christmas Market.
Hotel Westport's special overnight offer will also put the cheer into your Christmas: for only € 129, you canhave one night's B&B in a family room plus a visit to Winter Wonderland for two adults and two children (under 12). The deal is available any weekend from 27 November to 19 December. For bookings, t: 098 25122 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.hotelwestport.ie or www.westporthouse.ie.
Glendeer Pet Farm (Westmeath)
Visit Ireland's Lapland at Glendeer Pet Farm just outside Athlone off the M6 (Tuam/ Monksland Exit 13, follow Drum signs). There are Christmas-themed cabins, an animated snowscene, Santa's Workshop and a real 'Winter Wonderland' where the kids can run around as the snowflakesfall down around them. There's an area with sand diggers and a slide, and adults can enjoy snacks in the cosy coffee shop. Glendeer Pet Farm has lots of animals for the children to pet and feed including llamas, ostriches, emus, donkeys, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs and monkeys.
This year Santa arrives by sleigh on Saturday, 4 Dec at 5pm and will be at the farm every evening until the 23 December.
Special rates for groups of 20 and over, catered for by appointment during the day, and each child receives a gift. Admission: adults e7, childrene15 (includes visit to Santa and gift).
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 5pm–7pm; Saturday and Sunday: 3pm–7pm. For more at Glendeer info or directions to Ireland's Lapland Farm visit www.glendeer.com or t: 090 6437147.
The Snowman at the National Concert Hall ( Dublin)
The National Concert Hall brings the spirit of Christmas alive this December with Raymond Brigg's spectacular film The Snowman featured as part of The National Concert Hall's Family Christmas Show.
Narrated by popular presenter Brian Ormond and accompanied by the Orchestra of The National Concert Hall, the family Christmas show is ideal for young children. Featuring the well known song I'm walking in the air the show will also see pupils from the Independent Theatre workshop performing a selection of popular Christmas songs.
Santa will make a surprise visit too! Sponsored by An Post and supported by the Irish Daily Star and 98FM, this show runs from Sunday 12 December to 23 December. Tickets: e15 children; e20 Adults. 10pc discount for families and groups of four or more. Tickets available online at www.nch.ie or at The National Concert Hall box office; t: 01 4170000.
Mother & Babies