Winter Break in Cork City

While we enter into another festive season with public health restrictions in place, What does it mean for families wishing to celebrate Christmas traditions in Cork City?

After another long year of restrictions, numbers, vaccinations, pcr tests etc etc etc…..I like many families around the country need some Christmas sparkle and festive magic to lighten the mood and Cork City has not disappointed us. From outdoor Christmas experiences to Santa Visit’s, Cork city has something for everyone while respecting HSE guidelines to keep us safe yet jolly. So whether you want to take a mini break and enjoy 24 hours in the city or make a day of it we have it all covered for you in our guide to Christmas in Cork City!

santa at the marina market

Santa in the City

Santa Visits are hard to come by due to reduced capacity but  the Marina Market have their very own Santa experience this year and you can even bring the dog along too.

“Santa in The City” is a simply magnificent experience whereby you can visit Santa, sample some of the lovely fayre at the Marina Market and get into the Christmas spirit. Located on Centre Park Road, The Marina Market is only about a 10 minute stroll from the city centre. With weekend live music and a pop-up movie club it’s ideal for local gift ideas, hot beverages and some Christmassy Warm Mulled Apple Juice.  

Aladdin at The Everyman Palace

After what’s felt like 10,000 YEARS – it’s back! Oh yes, it is. We are delighted that our wishes have been granted and the Genie in Aladdin is pulling out all the stops with this year’s panto! Fortunately the Everyman had already reduced their capacity due to Covid so they still have many dates available. There is nothing like Panto to bring the Christmas magic and Aladdin is all singing, all dancing and fun filled with plenty of Christmas crack. Panto is definelty my favourite family tradition so I was overjoyed that it was saved this year as it is a memory that lasts a lifetime and everyone in the family young and old love.
Aladdin Panto Cork
maldron family hotels in cork city
hotel in cork city for families

A Christmas Mini Break

The Maldron Hotel South Mall is one of our favourite family hotels in the city for a few reasons. Firstly, its central location makes it easy to reach by car, bus or train while placing its guests in the heart of the shopping and social scene of the city. In a prime position between Glow and The Marina Market it is the perfect base to explore the City from.

Most importantly, families are warmly welcomed with kids friendly facilities and food options Galore. With current restrictions at the moment I have found it a little easier to dine in the hotel and there is a little room where you can chill out over a movie or a board game after. Read about our tried and tested experience below or just trust me and go straight and book their Christmas offer and treat all the family.


Bishop Lucey Park has been transformed into a festive wonderland and the iconic 32m Ferris Wheel returns to the Grand Parade with safety being the Park’s and the Ferris Wheel’s top priority.

Bishop Lucey Park magically tells the story of the Twelve Days of Christmas with each of the twelve days represented by a static light installation. These will be brought to life over four weekends in the run up to Christmas by community groups, professional artists, actors and street entertainers. As part of GLOW, enjoy fantastic views of Cork City on the Ferris Wheel – which will stay in place until early January. Prebooking of Bishop Lucey Park and the Ferris Wheel is essential on

Glow 2021
Christmas in cork city

The Alpine Trail

Cork’s Alpine Skate Trail is set among the trees in Fota House, providing a stunning backdrop that offers an authentic rustic feeling and a real festive mood. As well as the main trail itself, there is also a small rink for younger skaters and a great selection of refreshments and other activities, which make the overall experience a great destination for families.

Just a short drive from the city, The Alpine Skate Trail is open until Sunday 23rd January 2022, with sessions starting at 10.00am and the last bookings at 8.30pm.


Mardyke Market

Cork’s Newest Christmas Market has opened and runs from Thursday to Sunday between 12pm and 7pm. Located at the Cork Cricket Grounds (next to Fitzgerald Park), with a huge variety of Christmassy food, drink and crafts on offer as well as a Santa Grotto.

No ticket is needed for the market except if you’d like to visit Santa’s Grotto and Sleigh Mobile. On Saturdays and Sundays, there will also be live music for everyone’s enjoyment. If all of that excitement has left you hungry, market goers can grab a bite to eat from vendors such as The Huck Truck, Grilly McGrill Grill, Bad Boys BBQ, The Candied Pig Pic ‘n’ Mix, and Top Fries. 

Christmas Cork City