Christmas Time in Temple Bar is always something magical, I love wandering through the food market on a Saturday before Christmas, it’s cold but the hot food hits the right spot. There’s always lots happening and the bustle of shoppers milling around always gives a sense of a relaxed urgency.
Here’s the official line on what’s happening..
Temple Bar Cultural Trust (TBCT) has unveiled an extravaganza of magical yuletide festivities and cultural treasures for a special Festive First Thursday on December 6th. Dublin’s Cultural Quarter will explode with festive delight as the Christmas lights are lit, followed by an eclectic mix of movies, markets and tours to celebrate the happiest time of the year. The businesses of Temple Bar will be open late for Christmas shoppers to browse the diverse range of festive goods on offer. There will also be an eye-catching outdoor projection by the wonderful Melimage on the Smock Alley Theatre facade on West Essex Street in the Old City are of Temple Bar. A choir will provide the soundtrack with popular Christmas carols ringing through the city’s thriving cultural centre.
In partnership with the Temple Bar Traders and beginning at 5.30pm on Thursday, December 6th, The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Naoise Ó Muirí, will switch on the Christmas lights which run down the main spine of Temple Bar Dublin’s Cultural Quarter encompassing Fleet Street, Crown Alley, Temple Bar, East Essex Street, Curved Street, Eustace Street, West Essex Street and Cow’s Lane. There will be complimentary mulled wine and mince pies for visitors whilst they feast their eyes on the amazing light projection from Melimage on the Smock Alley Theatre building on West Essex Street.
At 6pm, a free First Thursday’s Festive Tour will begin, inviting people to experience Temple Bar and the Old City under the warm glow of the Christmas lights. First Thursdays is an event which takes place on the first Thursday of every month offering members of the public a late night opportunity to visit galleries and cultural centres for free after hours! Members of the public can then return for a screening of the hit Christmas comedy Elf in the cosy surroundings of Meeting House Square, Temple Bar at 8.30pm. Complimentary hot chocolate, popcorn and blankets will be given to all guests. There might even be a special visit from one of Santa’s little helpers…
Speaking about the Christmas programme of events, interim CEO at TBCT and Dublin City Arts Officer, Ray Yeates said: “Christmas in Temple Bar is completely unique in the context of the city. The programme of events TBCT has organised, most of which are completely free of charge, will ensure visitors to the area can experience the warm Christmas feeling in the heart of the Cultural Quarter. We encourage people to get out and walk the streets of this diverse and eclectic area and maybe purchase a gift for a loved one in one of our many Irish run markets and shops. The traders and stalls contain some of the most beautifully crafted products available in the city.”
In addition to the yuletide events and Christmas cultural fare, the eclectic and diverse traders and retailers of Temple Bar will be offering festive gift options throughout the festive period. If you’re looking for an extra special seasonal gift, visit Designer Mart in the Old City where you will find lovingly crafted handmade products available, perfect for stocking fillers this Christmas. The traders of Temple Bar are also getting in on the festive spirit with in-store Christmas events and promotions. For fans of delicious seasonal fare, the Meeting House Square Food Market will offer some incredible local produce to satisfy any yuletide palette.
First Thursdays sees Debbie Paul Studio and Gallery hosting an evening of drawing, sculpture and movement. On the night, light projections will grace the walls of the gallery highlighting Paul’s recent explorations in large flowing sculptures that move with a breath of air. This event is free but booking is required.
The Gutter Bookshop in Old City, Temple Bar is aiming to make Christmas shopping an enjoyable and relaxing experience this Christmas. Every Thursday in December, the Gutter Bookshop in Old City, Temple Bar will host Christmas Shopping evenings from 6-8pm where you can enjoy a glass of mulled wine or warm spiced apple juice as well as some festive treats as you browse their unique selection of books and gifts. Enjoy a more relaxed and traditional Christmas shopping experience in the Old City this December.
Commenting on the uniqueness of Temple Bar at Christmas time, Martin Harte, Managing Director of The Temple Bar Company said: “This is the first time in the history of Temple Bar that the whole area has been lit up for the Christmas season. We feel that the use of Christmas street lights throughout Temple Bar will really help to animate the area and encourage business during the Christmas season.”
All of the events on December 6th are completely free of charge. For more information visit: www.templebar.ie. A final number of free tickets will be released for the screening of Elf in Meeting House Square via entertainment.ie on Friday, November 30th.
All information on the traders in Temple Bar and the offerings of the Designer Mart craftspeople, artists, collectors, creators and designers are available here: www.templebar.ie/Markets/
There’s a few other things happening in the run up to Christmas:
Christmas evening with Noel O’Grady and friends
In addition to the range of events on the 6th, December 19th will see St. Werberg’s Church host an exclusive Christmas evening with Noel O’Grady and friends. Noel will perform his annual Christmas evening of song, poetry, and story, in the beautiful and historic building to celebrate the festive season. Founded in 1178, it’s close to Christ Church Cathedral, and still in use as a church. To ensure entry to this evening of Christmas enchantment, people are encouraged to book early. Tickets are priced at €15 and are available via www.entertainment.ie
Designer Mart takes place every Saturday from 10am – 5pm on Cow’s Lane which is located in the Old City area of Temple Bar. This outdoor market showcases the very best of handmade craft & design produced by Irish and Ireland-based artists. Expect to find beautifully crafted Christmas gifts on offer throughout December.
Temple Bar Food Market
This foodies paradise is a must see when visiting Temple Bar. This weekly market takes place every Saturday from 10am – 4.30pm at Meeting House Square under the new retractable canopy. Over the Christmas period, expect culinary delights with a festive twist.
Temple Bar Book Market takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 6pm and is located on the busiest junction of Temple Bar at Temple Bar Square. A small but perfectly haven for book-worms and music fans alike, this is a great place to pick up vintage stocking fillers.
Christmas Karaoke with Dublin Simon Community
Before the Christmas lights are unveiled, Meeting House Square will be the venue for a charity Christmas Carol extravaganza all in aid of Dublin Simon Community on Sunday, December 2nd. The Christmas Karaoke event will start at 4.30pm, marking the first festive carol party of the ‘Sing for Simon’ season. Each year, ‘Sing for Simon’ brings together over 100 groups and choirs who sing Christmas carols in numerous shopping centres and locations across Dublin to bring some festive joy to the public. Visit www.dubsimon.ie