Here’s what’s happening around the country this weekend
When it comes to planning your weekends in Ireland, you really are spoiled for choice. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Mastercard to bring you the ultimate event guide every weekend for the rest of the year. Your weekend starts here:
Proving that the zoo isn’t just for children, the latest temporary installment at Dublin Zoo is a showstopping Chinese Light Festival that runs until January 2018.
Follow the enchanted trail and discover a dazzling array of beautifully crafted, giant colourful lanterns inspired by wildlife, including a 16-metre high porcelain elephant tower and a 30-metre long Chinese dragon.
At the event, you can see a show of Chinese performers and acrobats before browsing the Chinese craft market for traditional gifts and unique items. Authentic Chinese foods and warm drinks are also available for visitors to purchase.
Coming from critical acclaim in London and New York, Let the Right One In comes to the Abbey with a new Irish cast as the centrepiece of the Abbey's winter season.
The spookily supernatural play tells the story of Oskar, a lonely, bullied teenager who lives with his mother on the edge of town. Eli just moved in next door. She doesn’t go to school and stays indoors all day. These two young misfits soon forge a deep connection but, when a series of mysterious killings plagues the neighbourhood, their friendship is tested beyond all imaginable limit
From the makers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, this is a real showstopper.
Vintage lovers and chilled out casual browsers alike will love whiling away an afternoon in one of Dublin’s best markets. On every Saturday from 12-6pm, the Ha’Penny flea has Vintage Clothes, Designer threads, Vinyl Records, Retro Furniture, and bangin’ music playing from speakers throughout the market to add a real buzz to your weekend.
Located in the Grand Social, this is the place to go to pick up some pre-loved vintage threads and add to your record collection - whether you’ll actually play them or choose to hang them up as hip artwork on your wall is completely up to you.
Top tip: Pop across the road after you’ve perused the crafts to pick up some freshly baked bread from Il Fornaio Enoteca, a charming Italian bakery.
Start the Christmas weekend with a musical bang on Saturday with a gig by the “the world's greatest Daft Punk tribute act.”
After ripping it up in Beijing, Berlin, Romania, France this incredible tribute act perform in Dublin's legendary The Sugar Club for a yuletide classic.
Their infectious dance music, up-beat rhythmic vibe, robotic counterparts and truly epic live shows has been the staple diet of some the biggest and most well-renowned festivals since the release of their revolutionary debut album Alive in 1997. Tickets are available for €15 and a riotous evening of good fun is practically guaranteed.
Ireland’s biggest New Year Celebration will see Dublin City light up with imagination and wonder over two days with four spectacular events from 31 December 2017 until 1 January 2018.
Two Midnight Moment events will countdown to 2018 in style - Liffey Lights Midnight Moment and the family friendly Liffey Lights Midnight Moment – Matinee starting at the earlier time of 6.30pm, where you can watch the amazing aerial and aquatic display as acrobatic performers take to the sky against the backdrop of Custom House...
To ring in the New Year there will also be a New Year’s Eve concert at Custom House on the 31st with headliners Kodaline plus special guests Hudson Taylor and Keywest at Custom House, with another celebratory concert taking place during the day on the 1st of January, featuring the brilliant Garda Band, The Line Up Choir, Hit Machine Drummers and more.
The 3rd Dublin Bowie Festival takes place citywide in Dublin from Friday 5th of January and ends on the second anniversary of David Bowies death; Wednesday January 10th.
The festival programme aims to encapsulate the profound influence and inspiration that Bowie had on both popular culture and art, and it will take places in Vicar St, Whelans, The Grand Social, The Workmans, The Sugar Club, The Lighthouse Cinema, The Liquor Rooms and many other creative spaces.
Topped by a heavyweight line-up of live music, the program also includes movie & documentary screenings, debates & discussions, literary events, fashion, fine art, merch markets, a quiz, a Festival club, illustration, karaoke, DJ's and lots more.
The “must-see” event? A live Q&A with Drummer Woody Woodmansey, the last surviving member of Bowie’s band The Spiders from Mars which helped launch his Ziggy Stardust persona and made David Bowie a sensation.
Now in its eighth year, you can expect to enjoy a wide variety of entertainment and stalls at this charming Christmas Market located in Eyre Square in Galway City centre that will celebrate its last day on Friday.
This year will feature amusement rides including a Big Wheel, Helter Skelter and traditional Carousel along with live music performers, puppet shows, storytelling, school choirs, carol singing together with charity and community events will feature. Once again, Santa's Grotto will be run by local charities and the popular Bier Keller will be playing host to various events throughout the Market's duration.
Food lovers can feast on a bratwurst, French pastries, pretzels or confectionery, crêpes and waffles, while beer lovers can sample a stein at the German Bierkeller, offering a range of traditional German beers, apple cider and mulled wine.
Want to really work up an appetite for your turkey and ham on Christmas day? Take part in the COPE Galway Christmas Day swim which takes place on Christmas morning from 10am to 1pm at Blackrock, Salthill.
For 28 years the people of Galway have braved the cold so others don’t have to, raising money for local homeless, domestic violence and older people services.
To further support vulnerable and isolated men, women and families in Galway this Christmas get sponsored for your dip in the water on Christmas morning - just don’t forget a nice fluffy towel to warm up with afterwards!
The recently renovated Harry Clarke room at Cork city’s Crawford Gallery is home to some of the Irish artist’s best works.
The gallery exhibits 23 coloured drawings for what may arguably be called Harry Clarke´s secular masterpiece - The Eve of St. Agnes stained glass window.
The three windows on display on the second floor, The Consecration of St Mel, Bishop of Longford, by St Patrick (1910), The Godhead Enthroned (1911), and The Meeting of St Brendan with the Unhappy Judas (1911), are important works dating back from when Clarke was in his twenties that beautifully showcase the Symbolism style and colours of Ireland’s beloved stained glass artist.
This Saturday is your last chance to visit The Belfast Christmas Market, which starts outside the gates of City Hall, on Donegall Square North.
With 20 traders offering a range of high quality goods from their hand-crafted chalets such as hand-painted pottery, fancy festive decorations and festive arts and crafts, it’s an ideal option for last minute Christmas gifts.
This year there’s also a food court with bench style seating where visitors can take a break from the busy walkways as they eat their purchases and a vintage helter skelter that offers stunning views right across the market.
32 nationalities from all over the world feature in the food options, with the market bringing all sorts of unusual foods and gift ideas: crepes from France, Dutch pancakes, Belgian chocolates, an exotic selection of ostrich, wild boar and crocodile burgers, giant bratwurst from the iconic Schwenkegrill, Spanish paella and sweets from Italy.
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