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Monday, 25 November 2013

Donegal has it all this Christmas



To quote a famous song….It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!! This is a time of year that means many things to many people. It can be a time for looking back or looking forward; eating too much or sleeping too little; for family and friends, or for escaping it all; for celebrating a small child’s humble birth, or enjoying the generosity of an old man in a red suit!


Donegal has so much to offer you at this magical time of the year, there are a host of events and adventures that cater for families, friends, couples, the young, and the not so young. Go Visit Donegal has put a range of suggestions that will help to maximise your Christmas experience if you are thinking of paying us a visit. It is by no means all that Donegal has to offer this festive season but may whet your appetite to jump on board the magical sleigh ride of festive fun that will be passing your way in the coming weeks.

What better way to get things started, than to join in the many Christmas Light Switching On celebrations taking place across the county, such as the Christmas Lights Switch On in Letterkenny on the 29th of November, or why not join World Renowned Comedian, Tommy Tiernan a week later in Bundoran for the Christmas Lights Countdown.  If you are in Donegal Town on the 1st December, why not join us for the official switch on at The Diamond at 7.30 pm?

Indeed, the last weekend in November will really see the Christmas spark illuminate our lives with unique one day events such as Christmas at Monreagh, an event for all the family where the kiddies will be entertained with  live Christmas music, traditional Scottish dancing, mince pies and most importantly a visit from Mr and Mrs Claus.




Donegal will also play host to some great craft fairs that will provide your loved ones with hand crafted gifts that can be treasured. To celebrate the high quality of creativity that Donegal has to offer, the Christmas Craft Fair in the Holyrood Hotel, Bundoran, and the Christmas Fair at the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny are just two such events that take place on the 1st of December where you are sure to find Christmas treasures.

The first week of December will also see the start of month long events such as Santa’s Kingdom in Buncrana and Santa’s Hotel at Jackson’s in Ballybofey where families will have the opportunity to meet the man himself! 
 
A magical family event taking place each weekend for the festive month is Follow the Star at IOSAS, Muff. The tranquil setting will be an oasis for families looking to escape the commercialism, hustle and bustle which can dominate this time of year. Take some time together to enjoy an experience which will have the children discussing the real Christmas story long after this event. Families will enjoy a guided trail under starlight and a very special dramatic piece created especially for this event.


The Northwest Christmas Wonderland will be a magical Christmas family experience opening on 30th November and running each weekend right through until 23rd December.
The Christmas Wonderland will feature Santa’s Grotto, storytelling with Mrs.Claus, Rudolph the Reindeer, a Christmas market, Christmas lights, a live animal crib, children’s disco and much more, this is a must if you are in the area!
One not to be missed if you are in the area is A Little Taste of Christmas in Donegal Town on 30th November and the 1st of December, there will be  host of gift ideas, cookery demonstrations and entertainment for the little ones. 
 
 
A week later will see other events join the celebratory run-up to Christmas such as, Santa’s Lodge at Ballyliffin. For the culturally conscious, why not check out the Family Christmas Concert at An Grianan; an evening of Christmas-inspired vocal and instrumental music, which will embrace your festive spirit and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and kick-start your Christmas cheer!
 
The Children’s Christmas Storybook Workshop in Letterkenny will provide a great platform for children to develop ideas and creative writing skills in a fun and dynamic environment.
 
Christmas themed nights out for the not so young include Harvey’s Point Christmas Cabaret; Christmas Jumper Night in Killybegs; or more traditional Christmas entertainment such as ‘Christmas by the Hearth’ with Sean Keane and Friends in Letterkenny.
 
Speaking of Christmas and Tradition, The Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town will play host to the Singer/ Songwriter of one of the greatest Christmas songs ever written. ‘Fairy Tale of New York’ creator, Shane McGowan will take to the stage along with Sharon Shannon and Mundy on the 28th and 29th December as part of a special Christmas Tour that is sure to deliver the finest in home-grown world class entertainment. Finally, let’s not forget the many Christmas Pantomimes that will be performed across the county.

That’s all before we head into the New Year celebrations, and the Epiphany, or Little Christmas as it is also known. Irish tradition dictates that this is the day that women relax after the hustle and bustle of Christmas, while the men take over the housework. The tradition is still alive in counties Cork and Kerry and The Red Door has certainly given it a revival in Donegal over the past three years!

So here’s hoping that this taster of all that is on offer in Donegal has got you itching to get out the decorations and looking forward to the festive season.
There are many great deals on accommodation in Donegal if you fancy popping by for a visit. So whether you want to avail of one of the many charming self-catering cottages, apartments or holiday homes available, or are looking to avail of some first class service in one of our hotels, B&Bs or guesthouses, come and enjoy the feast of festive fare on offer as Donegal prepares to celebrate the holiday period in style.
Finally, we at Go Visit Donegal wish you and your family a Christmas that is as breath-taking as our landscape, as heartfelt as our welcome, as pure as our water, and as peaceful as our lakes!
Nollaig Shona Daoibh!