Top 8 things to do in and around Doolin during the festive season 

Visiting Doolin in November and December comes with special treats. From meeting Santa to warming up with mulled wine and the tunes of traditional Irish Music.

It’s this time of the year, the year has flown by and we are getting ready for the festive season. 

Here are some of the best festive events and happenings to enjoy this winter in and around Doolin:

1. Start the festive season with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at McGanns

McGanns Pub and Restaurant is a local institution in Doolin and hosts a traditional Thanksgiving dinner every year. Mark November 23rd in your calendar to enjoy this special 3-course meal complemented by music. For more information call 065 70 74 133

2. Explore local delights and crafts at one of many Christmas markets and festivals

The scent of baked goods, hot food, mulled wine, local products, experiencing that ‘Christmassy atmosphere’ and more! Nothing gets you in the festive spirit more than attending a local Christmas market or festival.

Luckily, there are plenty to choose from when visiting Doolin in November and December. For example The Burren Christmas Family Fayre in Lisdoonvarna, Moher Hill Farm’s – Santa’s Christmas Village or Ennis Christmas Village. Market times are to be published within the common days/weeks. Keep an eye on social media for more information.

3. Shop until you drop for local Christmas presents

Doolin boasts many fantastic local craft and boutique shops, which are not to be missed when doing your Christmas shopping. 

Irish Crafts provides a vast selection of handmade glass, pottery, wood, stone, turf & slate, beautiful crafts and gifts. As well as knitwear from small independent crafters throughout Ireland and traditionally handwoven Irish Linen like Luxurious Wool Cushions, Rugs & Throws from the finest Irish weavers. 

Get your hands on some warm Irish-made sweaters at one of Doolin’s best-loved (and most photographed!) buildings. The Sweater Shop on Fisherstreet. 

Other local shopping options include the Village Crafts, Ekotree Knitwear Studio, J.J. Corey Irish Whiskey Makers, Airmid Natural and Handmade Skincare, The Clare Jam Company, O’Briens Craft and Knitwear, The Burren Perfumery, Hazelwood Chocolate Factory, Aran Island Sweater Market and many more.  

4. Attend Santa’s Workshop at the Aillwee Cave

Aillwee will once again share Santa’s Workshop with visiting families and friends. Meet Santa and his elves in the underground of the Burren on weekends from Friday, November 24th – Saturday, December 23rd. An experience not only for kids and adults alike. More information to be found here

5. Sing along with Doolin’s residents and musicians

Join us along with many of Doolin’s residents on December 10th at Hotel Doolin for a fun evening. Get ready for a festive soirée of Christmas carol singing with the melodious voice of Kate Daly. The festive get-together starts at 7.30 PM.

Warm yourself with delicious mulled apple cider and hot chocolate. There will be chocolate bars for the little ones, and who knows… Santa might just make a special appearance if he can squeeze Doolin into his busy pre-Christmas schedule.

This heartwarming event, organised by our local community including Darra, is the perfect way to kick off the joyful season.

6. Christmas Mass

The annual Christmas Mass takes is held at Holy Rosary Church in Doolin. Mass times and details to follow.

7. Dive into the Atlantic at the annual Doolin Christmas Swim

YES, you heard right – we dip into the cold at Christmas. Sea swimming in Ireland has become more and more popular in the last years. While locals swim year-round, Christmas Day brings many more out for a fun swim or good cause as many charities host dedicated fundraising initiatives.

A great chance to meet the locals and visitors down at Doolin Pier. The time changes each year depending on the tide and weather.

8. Welcome 2024 at Gus O’Connor’s New Year’s Eve Party

On New Year’s Eve, Gus O’Connor’s Pub hosts a grand party in Doolin. The party features live music, dancing, and a countdown to the new year. 

Gus O’ Connors Pub is one of the most famous pubs in Ireland and is located in the center of the beautiful town of Doolin in County Clare. Not around for New Year’s? Don’t worry, traditional music sessions take place year-round almost every night of the week. The pub is also well known for its delicious seafood dishes.

As you explore Doolin and its surroundings this Christmas, you’ll discover a place where traditions are cherished and the spirit of the season is embraced with open arms. From the warmth of the pubs to the twinkling lights and festive events, Doolin invites you to experience a Christmas that will linger in your heart long after the holidays have passed.

Extra Tip: Get into full Christmas swing at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Step back in time at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, where a traditional Irish Christmas comes to life with festive decorations, carol singing, and a captivating Christmas market. 

From December 1st to 23rd December, Santa will be based in his famous grotto on the traditional village street in Bunratty Folk Park ready to greet guests from all over the world.

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park are worth a visit any time of the year. However, Christmas is special at this top attraction in County Clare. 

Located approx.. 45-60min drive from Doolin it may not be around the corner but worth the drive to get the Christmas excitement going. 

Important reminder for stays during the holidays

While most of Doolin’s Pubs and Restaurants are open during the festive period, there are limitations in opening hours which you can find up to date on each restaurant’s website and social media channels. Staying at our Lodges allows you the peace of mind not to worry about opening hours as you will have a fully equipped kitchen to enjoy your Christmas meal in your home away from home.

No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find something to enjoy in Doolin during the Christmas season. 

Come and join us for a magical Christmas in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way.

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