With the dark nights upon us many crave the light in the darkness as our villages light up to celebrate Christmas which in Cork has a very special and much loved atmosphere.
For natives and visitors alike there is a magic about Cork City and County at Christmas, take in the sights and sounds of the ‘Re-imagine Glow’ Cork Christmas Festival, including the Ferris wheel and Christmas lights. Or enjoy Cork’s newest ice-skating experience, Alpine Ski Trail in Fota Island. With its cobbled streets, festivals, and events, Cork makes for a great festive city break. All of the major attractions in the city will be open, including Blarney Castle, Glucksman Gallery, Crawford Art Gallery, and of course, there is a whole host of things to do in Cork City Centre.
Cork city centre is always a bustling location, but it truly comes alive during the festive season. The main event, known as the Cork Christmas Market or Glow Cork, is a sight you need to feast your eyes on. Glow Cork is centred around Cork's Grand Parade and Bishop Lucey Park right in the centre where a FREE magical world is created by the elves just for children. With entertainment for children and their parents, as well as heaps of festive food to munch on, not to mention a host of musicians to get you on your feet, there is something for everyone who appreciates the best time of the year. This epic Corkonian festival will warm the heart of even the Grinch in your family, so make sure to bring them along!
What to see.
The festival all begins with Bishop Lucey Park being transformed into a magical Christmas market. We are still in the dark about what the 2022 theme will bring. However, that keeps the excitement brewing within us. At Cork’s 12-day Christmas Festival, you can expect to see a gigantic Ferris wheel at the Grand Parade, which caters to the brave, a host of food stalls dedicated to the food lovers out there, and Christmas music hits within the park to get you in the festive mood.
One of the biggest attractions, and perhaps the main reason the festival is known as Glow Cork, is the fact that every weekend of the festival, there is a different static light installation. Together, these events tell the story of the 12 days of Christmas in the four weekends leading up to the big day. Cork Christmas Market is a magical winter wonderland that draws you in and keeps you entertained for not just a few days but a few weeks.
Along Cork’s Grand Parade, you will find the majority of the markets, which offer a fantastic chance to get some handmade gifts, try some delicious food, and watch the world go by as you sip on some warm mulled wine or hot chocolate. Take your time as you wander around the local artisan stalls, where there will be plenty of inspiring gift ideas, souvenirs, and the chance to chat with the locals. After all, everyone is always in a fantastic mood at Christmas.
Glow Cork will run from 25 November 2022 to 5 January 2023.
You may expect to see The North Pole Express Train, Santa’s Workshop, and plenty of local choirs and bands during the festival. Access to the markets and Bishop Lucey Park is free. However, there are also ticketed events, such as the Ferris wheel. This costs €4.00 per adult, €3.50 per child aged three and over, and €2.00 per child under two. The market will be open from around 12 pm to 8:30 pm. Bishop Lucey Park will be available from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Bring cash so you can browse and purchase from the great the array of food trucks and market stalls, offering goods from Cork artisan producers.
Christmas Panto A great Leeside tradition for all the family with Pantos at The Opera house and the lovely Everyman Theatre in Cork's Victorian quarter.
The Cork Opera House 2022 Panto is Sleeping Beauty from Thursday, 1 December 2022 to Sunday 22 January 2023 at 2 pm & 7 pm (Tuesday - Saturday) and 1 pm & 6 pm (Sundays).
“Once upon a time in a pantoland far, far away, the beautiful princess Beauty was born. When the time came for her to be christened, an uninvited guest – the evil Maleficent, cursed the princess so that on her 18th birthday she would prick her finger and fall into a deep sleep for 100 years. What could possibly undo such a dastardly curse? “
At the Everyman Cinderella arrives from SAT 3 DEC 2022–SUN 15 JAN 2023 in a zany and very enjoyable retelling of this classic tale! And just like that, with a Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, Cork’s favourite traditional family Panto is back! Oh, yes it is! What classic tale do you think of when you hear stepmother, ugly stepsisters, a lost shoe and a handsome prince? This year’s Panto Cinderella is the wonderful tale of a girl with a dream, a spell that’s broken at midnight and a fairy godmother, all with a modern Panto twist! It will be like a wonderful dream come true – so don’t delay, the ball can’t wait, you’re invited to get your tickets and be on your way!
Santa especially enjoys the laid back feeling of Cork at Christmas. You can visit Fota Wildlife Park with its 100 acres and see his Reindeer and you can visit Santa at both Fota House and Cork North Pole Experience in nearby Cuskinny Court. Or see the wonderful grounds at historic Blarney Castle and the famous Woollen Mills and visit Santa there.
Markets, Markets, Markets!!
Just off the Grand Parade Cork's wonderful English Market will be on fête as it has been for over 200 years and it will be scented with mulled wine and the taste of Spiced Beef, a Cork Christmas speciality. Cork's wonderful pubs, independent shops and restaurants featuring cuisines from all over the world will be wearing their party frocks - don't forget this is a city with a large young student population and a diverse youthful population attracted by the many IT, Pharma and Finance industries which have their European HQ's in this City. Small companies like Apple, Dell, Eli and Pfizer to drop just a few names. Walk along pedestrianised Oliver Plunkett Street and inhale the magic.
In Ireland's Foodie Capital the local markets are fantastic at Christmas be it at Ballymaloe Courtyard or in Kinsale, Bandon, Clonakilty Skibbereen, Bantry Fair and many more. In Dunmanway at the heart of West Cork there is a special Christmas Market on Thursday 8th December and the Elves are visiting from the 4th November to 24th December with a special Pop Up Shop! Pop in to the pop-up. Shop for original and handmade arts and crafts. There will be gifts to suit all tastes with jewellery, Christmas tree decorations, original fine art paintings, cards, prints, ceramics, cushions, lampshades and much more. All made by local skilled artists.
From all of us at WO Media have a great Cork Christmas and a prosperous 2023! Beannachtaí na Nollag agus Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit!
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