Yulefest, a Christmas festival designed to appeal and be accessible to all ages, is underway in Kilkenny city and county, and will run until January 7.
The food, art, music and family events are mostly free, with the ones that aren’t priced affordably. Here are our picks of the best ones to check out.
Festive food demonstrations with Anne Neary
Local chef and Kilkenny Tasting Tours founder Anne Neary will host free festive food demonstrations, sharing her tips for cooking the perfect traditional Christmas dinner using locally sourced ingredients where possible.
Join her to find out how to cook a mouth-watering turkey, make the best stuffing and rustle up some delicious gravy. She’ll also share some tasty meal ideas to use up any leftovers, while mulled wine, mince pies, teas and coffees will be served compliments of Dunnes Stores and Caulfield’s SuperValu.
The Butler House Christmas garden
Butler House, the Blue Book property in the centre of Kilkenny city, has turned its gardens into a winter wonderland for the festival, with toy soldiers, reindeer and a frosty winter pond.
At dusk, light installations come to life and glittering trees will lead you to a Christmas post office, where Santa has left a magic post-box for all his letters that will go straight to the North Pole.
ReCreate craft sessions
At these family-friendly sessions, everyone can get involved and explore how to reuse sustainable materials. Learn how to make a Christmas decoration, hat, stocking or Christmas card at events facilitated by local artists.
Free, with all donations in aid of The Good Shepherd Centre, Kilkenny
A sensory sensitive quiet time
For some adults, children and families, the bright lights and loud music of Christmas can cause stress and anxiety. Thanks to the support of Creative Ireland, Butler House Garden, Kilkenny Castle, the Medieval Mile Museum, Kilkenny on Ice, the Nore Valley Park Christmas Experience and the Vintage Carousel will all turn the lights and music down low when requested (or as scheduled).
For more info, full programme and bookings, visit yulefestkilkenny.ie.