Yulefest Kilkenny launches this week

Yulefest Kilkenny launches this week Dylan Vaughn

Now in its third year, Yulefest Kilkenny is officially launching this week.

There will be a range of activities and events for the whole family at Yulefest, which are sure to bring some festive cheer to the medieval city. The bespoke festival was named one of the country’s best Christmas festivals last year in ‘Skycanner’s Guide to the Best Christmas Markets in Ireland 2018’ list.

Some of the seasonal events taking place in Kilkenny as part of the festival include an ice skating rink, festive workshops and a special Santa’s Grotto experience.

With so much going on, it might be hard to decide which attractions to visit, but don't fear as we’ve rounded up our top picks from Yulefest Kilkenny so that you can maximise your festive experience! Read on for the full list…

Yulefest Kilkenny officially kicks off this week

Yulefest Kilkenny officially kicks off this week

Yulefest Kilkenny Christmas Market

O’Sullivan’s Wine Centre, December 7th-23rd 11am-6pm

Food is a firm staple at any good Christmas market in our eyes, so we think the Yulefest Kilkenny Christmas Market will be a must-visit for any foodies like us. The market, which takes place in the courtyard of O’Sullivan’s Wine Centre, will feature more than fourteen stalls, with tempting food and drinks, as well as crafts, on offer. The market is sure to be a busy spot so we recommend heading down early.

Food on offer at Yulefest Kilkenny

Food on offer at Yulefest Kilkenny

Newpark Hotel Yulefest Kilkenny Craft Demo in Association with Lamber de Bie

The Terrace at Newpark Hotel, December 8th 11am-12.30pm Tickets: €10

Kilkenny’s luxurious Newpark Hotel will hold a Christmas masterclass next month to ensure that the big day is picture perfect. First up will be a demonstration from Lamber de Bie florists, where guests will be shown how to make impressive Christmas centrepieces, wreaths and bouquets. Afterwards, the Newpark Hotel pastry chef will demonstrate how to make perfect mince pies, which will then be served with mulled wine, tea and coffee. The best part about this event is that all proceeds will go towards Pieta House, so you can enjoy yourself and do some good! Click here to buy tickets.

A craft demo in aid of Pieta House will take place at the terrace at the Newpark Hotel, in association with Lamber de Vie florist

A craft demo in aid of Pieta House will take place at the terrace at the Newpark Hotel, in association with Lamber de Vie florist

Butler House Christmas Garden

Butler House, every Saturday and Sunday from December 1st-21st, 1pm-6pm

The gardens at Butler House will be transformed into a winter wonderland this December as the guesthouse promises a festive experience for the whole family. Take in toy soldiers and skating snowmen at the winter pond or post your letters to Santa in a magical post box surrounded by glittering trees. Little ones can also meet Santa himself at his outdoor grotto. Inside the house there will be Christmas lunch and Festive Afternoon tea on offer, though pre-booking is recommended. Also on offer will be Executive Head Chef Ger Dunne’s seasonal treats, including homemade mincemeat, mince pies and jam, which will be sold at Butler House’s Christmas pop-up shop. There will be lots more taking place at the guest house, so check out their website for more information.

Butler House Christmas Garden

Butler House Christmas Garden

MADE in Kilkenny pop-up shop

76 John Street, December 1st-24th 10am-6pm

Now in its ninth year, MADE in Kilkenny is the county’s top destination for authentic, handmade crafts. The pop-up shop hopes to encourage people to shop locally this Christmas with all the goods on offer coming from the surrounding area. We’re looking forward to seeing what handmade crafts we can buy to fit out our kitchen with!

Festival of Light

The Square, Castlecomer, November 30th-December 24th 5.45pm

The Festival of Light kicks off this Friday as part of Yulefest Kilkenny. Visitors will have the chance to make their own lantern and participate in the Parade of Light, where Santa will light up the town’s Christmas tree before guests and their lanterns will light the way to Discovery Park, where Santa’s Elf Village will be on display. The Craft Yard at the Square will showcase handmade gifts, and there will be treats like hot chocolate and sausage rolls on offer for you to enjoy while you listen to carols or meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the North Pole Elves.

You can read more about Yulefest Kilkenny here.

Will you be heading down to the medieval city for this Christmas festival? Let us know in the comments below.