Christmas in Carlow is full of magic with seasonal sparkle and twinkling lights on every street, the scent of hot chocolate and mince pies in every café and some wonderful Christmas events from Santa visits for the children, to afternoon tea and long lunches to catch up with friends and family. The Carlow Christmas experience also features many musical events and firework displays throughout town and county.
If you’re looking for that extra-special Christmas gift for your loved ones, then there’s plenty of choice from gardening to art and jewellery, food hampers to fine dining and lots more – the options are endless.
For a Christmas shopping experience like no other, head to Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven where you can explore the Christmas shop and savour the delights of the stunning in-store Christmas decor. Browse beautiful gifts, festive lights, striking decorations and Christmas trees of all sizes. This five-star garden and lifestyle centre offers a free viewing of Santa’s two real reindeer Donner and Blitzen.
A new addition to the Christmas festive calendar in Carlow. This extra-special, illuminated Santa experience promises an unforgettable evening for little ones and for the whole family. Enjoy a festive dinner with Santa and then explore his magical, illuminated winter garden! See the real, live reindeer, and then comes the big moment – when your little one receives a present from the Main Man. Embrace the whole experience and make memories that can be treasured for years to come. The playground, maze and Arboretum Inspirational Gardens will be open and illuminated to ring in the festive season. Come early and soak up the atmosphere with a hot chocolate or Christmas treat from the café. Running on selected dates from Friday 25th November – Friday 23rd December 2022. For bookings visit https://www.arboretum.ie/shop/customer-events-all.html
FORM is a collective of eleven top-quality artists producing simply stunning work that is designed, imagined and made in Carlow. From the distinctive jewellery of Emma Jane Champley to the work of goldsmith Mary de Búrca, felter Nicola Brown and ceramicist Martin Marley, all produce wonderful pieces that make a perfect Christmas gift. Visit their Christmas Shop at the VISUAL Theatre for Contemporary Art, Old Dublin Road, Carlow – W: www.formcarlow.com from 25th November 2022 (Tuesday – Sunday inclusive).
Meet the makers of FORM this December and browse a selection of their latest high quality ceramics, textiles, stone sculpture and jewellery to give your Christmas gifts that extra bit of sparkle!
You have been invited onboard the Rathwood Express train for a magical journey through Rathwood’s festive forest. Spotlight Productions, the team behind the Toy Show, have put together a magical spectacular, themed around a child’s imagination at Christmas with Santa, Mrs Claus and all the elves. Experience the wonder and delight as Santa Visits The Big Top. Make the most of your Rathwood experience and take in some seasonal shopping too. This is an extremely popular event running from Saturday 26th November – 24th December 2022, so please go to the website now to book your place.
Christmas family fun night with Santa in the Carlow Town Hall Car Park, Centaur Street, Carlow Town. Starting at 5 p.m. with music, and food and drink stands for all the family (gates open at 4 p.m.). Santa arrives at 6 p.m. and a fantastic fireworks display brings the River Barrow to life. This is a free event, but tickets are required and are available on Eventbrite
Christmas trees of all shapes and makes, from traditional to creative and contemporary styles will be on display when St Mary’s Church hosts its annual Christmas Tree Festival in Carlow Town. Over 100 trees are expected to be on the display from more traditional styles like pine, spruce or noble fir to truly unique creations using plastic bottles, teacups, saucers, pencils, coat hangers and horseshoes along with stunning hand-made decorations. Live music will accompany the display throughout the weekend.
This event is supporting Carlow charities – Éist and County Carlow Hospice. Entry fee is €5, children under 12 are free. Times for the festival are as follows:
Further details are available from Kay at t: 087-6698293 or e: email@example.com
Celebrating its 18th Christmas in business in 2022, Carlow Farmers’ Market is widely recognised as one of the best run producer markets in the country. It continues to remain hugely popular as customers embrace its unique and relaxed ambience and the wide variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, juices and home making on offer. Also available are organic meats, cheeses, juices, jams, chutneys, free-range and farm fresh eggs. Located in the centre of Carlow Town it has a great festive spirit at this time of year. Hampers of local goods, ready or made to order are available for the Christmas period along with a huge array of Christmas baking .
Opening hours: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., The Exchange, Potato Market, Carlow Town.
Christmas Lights Display at Delta Sensory Gardens
Nothing announces the arrival of the festive season like the annual Christmas lights display in Delta Sensory Gardens. The sensory gardens were created as a therapeutic outlet and with 16 individual gardens, everyone’s brand of tranquillity can be found here. At Christmas, Delta Sensory Gardens proudly presents an unrivalled display of lights that has delighted the crowd it draws for years. Running from Saturday December 3rd – Tuesday December 20th 2022, there’s also an opportunity to buy that special Christmas gift amongst the fabulous array of local artists and craft makers on display. The on-site Café Thyme sells a delicious range of home-made Christmas confectionery.
Family fun in Rathvilly with this year’s Christmas market and Lightfest, an exciting firework display afterwards to get you in the festive mood. The skies of northeast Carlow will be set alight, and this event is bound to be fun for all of the family. This is a free event on December 3rd from 5.00 – 7.00 p.m., with stalls of arts, crafts, and gift ideas on offer. Dress warmly for the weather and enjoy the atmosphere!
Christmas family fun night with Santa and Mrs Claus in Brother Leo Park on Saturday 3rd December from 4.00p.m. to 6.30p.m. Lots of local talent including singers and dancers to keep you entertained, refreshments available. The evening will end with a fabulous firework display. This is a free event. Everyone welcome.
Presenting Handel’s Messiah, sung by Carlow Choral Society, conducted by musical director, Blanaid Murphy, with the Irish Choral Sinfonia, and soloists. This performance promises to be a stirring performance of this beautiful oratorio.
Book tickets early as this is a popular event being held at the Carlow Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow at 8.00 p.m, 3rd December 2022. Tickets €20, and under 16’s accompanied by adult, free are available at: www.carlowchoralsociety.net / via Eventbrite
Carlow College St. Patrick’s is the venue in early December to enjoy the festivities of this year’s Christmas Market which will offer 100+ stalls, a Santa Train, Santa’s Grotto, Christmas carols and lots, lots more. The stalls vary across food, craft and arts.
Proceedings on Saturday and Sunday start at 11 a.m. with Santa’s arrival at 12 noon and the festivities continue until 8 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday. Children can come enjoy a ride in Santa’s Express and meet the Man himself, get a photo and a small gift.
For more information and tickets visit our facebook page – www.facebook.com/xmasincarlow
The annual Lisnavagh Christmas Market is all set for Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December 2022. It is held in the cosy Garden Wing overlooking Lisnavagh Gardens and adjacent to Lisnavagh House. The market is laden with an assortment of well-designed and unique products that our stall holders have created or collected through their expertise and imagination. The Market will be open from 10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
With a festive atmosphere the Lisnavagh Christmas Market has the making for an enjoyable day out and you can even pick up a Christmas tree and listen to an historical talk on the McClintock Bunbury family in the unique Library within Lisnavagh House or take a walk through the majestic gardens and woodlands. The Lisnavagh cafe will be serving warming drinks, homemade cakes/hot food/wines. See you there!
Contact Lisnavagh House for more details:
T: 059-9161473 / www.lisnavagh.com / e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Great fun to be had at The Exchange at Potato Market, Carlow. Entertain your children with bouncing castles, inflatable games and facepainting, and they will be so excited then to visit Santa! The event will be great fun and is booking up fast. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite and it is running at various times on Sunday 4th, Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th December 2022.
Christmas community fireworks display with music, cartoon characters and fireworks in McGrath Park on Thursday 8th December from 6:00pm-7.30pm. This is a free event. Everyone is more than welcome to join.
On Thursday 15th December, the Local Enterprise Office is delighted to host a Food, Drink & Craft Fair in the Exchange between 6pm – 9pm. Local vendors will display a variety of handmade goods. Visit to get the last bit of your Christmas shopping done and don’t forget to use the hashtag #shoplocalshopcarlow.
Join the very talented Carlow Youth Orchestra in their festive performance of Christmas carols. This event will have you humming and singing along in the last few days preceding Christmas. The service will be held in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow town at 8.30 p.m. on Sunday 18th December 2022. More information can be found at: www.carlowcollegeofmusic.ie or by email at: email@example.com
Is there any better way to ring in the New Year than an epic firework display? The historic Borris Viaduct is the location for the festivities and at the stroke of midnight, a fabulous firework display will illuminate the sky for miles around to ring in New Year 2023. The viaduct walkway is a very family friendly walk with safety barriers.
Dine out with family, colleagues or friends this Christmas in the beautiful surroundings of Ballykealey House in Carlow.
TD Molloy’s Restaurant offers intimate surroundings in which to enjoy the very best of Irish and international cuisine with a wonderful Christmas backdrop.
Offering contemporary Irish and international cuisine using the finest local products, along with daily specials from locally sourced suppliers.
The Plum Tree Bistro serves exquisite food in a warm and welcoming atmosphere with delicious menus filled with American, French, British and local cuisine.
The Liberty Tree Restaurant is located on the ourth floor of the hotel providing a bird’s eye view of Carlow’s Christmas lights while you sample the delights of the menu.