The Christmas season is fast approaching and we are once again headed into a season of stress laced with sparkles. Literally! Is it just me or do you also find yourself mysterious covered in glitter when trying to get the simplest festive task ticked off your naughty or nice list? In spite of the running around trying to get everything done, Christmas is a really amazing time to slow down and enjoy the romantic feeling in the air. After all it is a time to enjoy with the ones you love and creating memories at the same time! So, with this in mind I’ve compiled a list of fun Christmas themed dates to make this year even more memorable, fun and exciting in the run up to exchanging presents and eating absolutely everything round you! These dates are ideal for any stage of a relationship- new or old- and have the potential to change even the most outwardly Scrooge into the sweetest Kevin McCallister.
One: Dublin Docklands Christmas Festival.
Held in the Georges Dock part of the IFSC, the Dublin Docklands Christmas Festival is a really spectacular way to get you and your other half in the Christmas mood with tremendous ease. There’s something of a movie quality to this as a date activity, don’t be surprised if you feel as though Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are at a near stall bickering over Christmas books! The festival has everything from food to performances from school choirs and more all the elements required to get you ready to rock around the Christmas tree! You can even get some Christmas shopping done as there will be an array of craft stalls so you can help each other pick out some really thoughtful homemade Christmas presents including notebooks, candles, clothes and jewellery. This event begins on Thursday 12th December and runs until the 23rd with weekday opening times from 12pm and weekend at 10am. What’s even better is that the Dublin Docklands Christmas Festival is free entry, allowing you to go straight to the hot chocolate!
Ok, so this may seem like a bit of an insane choice for two consenting adults to embark upon as a date night activity. But I’ve been thinking about it (Ooooh yes I have- had to be done) and it could be the perfect thing to do especially if you’re still getting to know your companion. Pantos are silly, ridiculous, fun, loud and camp so you could potentially gauge his personality and your compatibility by how he responds to these elements with particular emphasis on the latter! They are also a great way to bring out your inner child and let go and not take the date too seriously! This Christmas season there are a load of shows going on I would probably recommend going for whichever one Jedward is staring in as they are always a good conversation point. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves will be on in the Gaiety from the 1st December, while Jedward in Beauty and the Beast is on in the Olympia from the 18th December. You never know, you may not only leave with an absurd light gadget but your own perfect Prince Charming!
Three: Christmas Window Display Story-Telling.
Dublin is pretty good at concocting an imaginative and inventive festive window display. So, why not spend a day, or evening going around town and looking at all of the different scenes created to evoke some holiday cheer. To add some more fun, why not try and create a story to go along with the displays! This is a really nice thing to do because it inspires you two to become imaginative and have a bit of a giggle in the process as well as being a nice thing to look back on when the Christmas blues begin to set in! It’s also free, meaning he’ll have more money to put to a nice Christmas present for you! You never know, you and your partner may find yourselves matching Charles Dickens with a serious Christmas novella!
Four: Ice Skating.
A tried and tested Christmas date favourite. It encourages contact and hand holding so it’s perfect for those awkward early relationship moments! The occasional tumble and stumble is also quite endearing, you can establish a sort of teamwork dynamic! In no time you’ll be whizzing around the rink as though you were contestants on Dancing on Ice! The 7up Winter Wonderland is open from the 8th of December in the Kilmainham, a really pretty Christmas location! Here you can pretend your contestants on Dancing on Ice for a bit of added fun! A word of warning, this isn’t a date to bring out your inner Rosie Huntington-Whitely in the Marks and Spencer Christmas ads on at the moment, make sure you layer up because you are going to be red nosed Rudolph style! So get your skates on and get Christmassy and bring out your magic and sparkle!
Five: Electric Six Annual Christmas Gig.
Who could have imagined that an eccentrically brilliant band who sang about the dangers of high voltage and gay bars would become an integral part of the run up to the Christmas season in Dublin of all places? That’s essentially what has happened with Detroit band Electric Six who have hosted a sort of annual Christmas gig in our fair city over the last few years, I almost can’t remember a Christmas without hearing that they were playing here. This year’s Electric Six festive gathering is happening on Saturday the 30th November in the Academy so be sure to have some kind of couples Electric Six Santa themed attire for this event! Make yours a not-so- Silent Night and begin your own Christmas tradition with your loved one by attending this show every year; it may become as necessary as watching Home Alone to get you in the Santa spirit!
Six: Christmas at the IFI.
Speaking of Christmas movies, the IFI in Temple Bar is spreading cheer by screening some of the most loved festive films to have been listed in the RTÉ Guide’s special Christmas edition! From the 14th December you can enjoy the ubiquitous Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life, a film so perfect for a date you would be insane to miss an opportunity to watch it in the gorgeous setting of the IFI’s screens which have a cool vintage feel to them adding to the experience! It’s one that makes you appreciate the ones you love, so kisses will be inevitable as the credits roll! Other screenings include Scrooge, Scrooged and Bad Santa for those who are a bit ‘anti-Christmas’ but don’t want to be left out on the novelty of Santa and popcorn! A snowtacular combination!
Seven: Deck the Halls and the Tree.
This one goes out to all the thrifty and creative elves out there who love a little PVA glue and glitter to which personify their sparkling bond! Christmas can be overshadowed by overspending and over buying so why not organise a cosy night in to make your own decorations and then embellish your Christmas tree with your inventive and possibly abstract versions of Jesus! Arts and craft are a really fun thing for any couple to do, even if you aren’t Picasso, which makes the experience worth having because you’re guaranteed a laugh whilst adding a personal touch to your own Santa’s grotto! So watch some old episodes of ArtAttack and you’ll be painting baubles before you can say tinsel!
Eight: Go Skiing!
Yes, you did read that correctly! Your vision hasn’t been minced after momentarily thinking of all of the pies you are about to swallow in the coming weeks! Ok, so it isn’t going to be the same as say going to Austria or Lapland but you can go skiing in Ireland it is cold enough after all! The Ski Centre is located in the Stilorgan Industrial Park which is only a hop, skip and a…ski away from the Dundrum Shopping Centre! You can explore the (synthetic) slopes and then tackle the mountainous load of Christmas shopping after! This is another one of those dates that will be a “God, remember when we went skiing and…” memory to cherish! Also, skiing is a really good workout too for those couples that enjoy exercising on a date, meaning that you can work off some of the Christmas nibbles sampled at the Food and Wine Magazine Christmas Show as seen in suggestion ten! I’m not only working on getting you one date, but securing a second for you festive folk!
Nine: Orson Welles’ Christmas Carol.
Cultured couples you have been informed, there is going to be a rather interesting Christmas production in the Powerscourt Theatre, located within the Powerscourt Centre on South William Street from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd of December. Orson Welles’ Christmas Carol is described as being, “A perfect stop-off from shopping for a classic Christmassy treat with a touch of old Hollywood glamour.” If you like the theatre, Christmas and stories based on the golden days of radio then this play is the perfect treat for two! Plays also always have a way of making you feel very grown up and sophisticated, so be sure to have your faux-fur at the ready!
Ten: Block T and Dublin Flea Christmas Market.
The Christmas flea market organised by Block T and Dublin flea are coming together for the third annual market held in Smithfield from December 13th to 15th! Christmas markets are really amazing treat at this time of the year and we also think that nothing sets the scene for a romantic Christmas date than rummaging through marvellous vintage wonders, vinyl, clothes, furniture and “all things creative for Christmas” as described by the organisers of this fun market! This market will also make you feel as though you’ve gone on an incredibly spontaneous weekend getaway to one of our European cousins as this has the feel of a really cool Berlin style market, whilst maintaining the Irish charm and banter between the sellers and customer! You’re guaranteed to find some spectacular Christmas presents at the Block T and Dublin Flea Christmas Market, most definitely for yourself as well so don’t feel shy about expressing interest in some retro furniture or vintage pieces to your other half, just make sure you mysteriously go missing so that they can make the not so sneaky purchase so to avoid the disappointment of receiving a plant come Christmas day! This is definitely a Christmas date not to miss, if you need any more encouragement (which I’m sure you don’t) then here’s a look at last year’s Block T and Dublin Flea Christmas Market! Be sure to arrive with your Sleigh in tow, you’ll need it with all Santa Sacks of purchases you’ll be leaving with!
Eleven: All I Want for Christmas is Karaoke!!
We aren’t all Mariah Carey but when December comes around we can’t help but believe we are, call it every girl’s Christmas wish if you will. If carollers only heighten the stress of shopping on Grafton St, then why not organise a double date and throw a Christmas Song themed Karaoke party with helpings of eggnog to loosen your spirits. Just try find me someone that does not enjoy belting out their own special rendition of Wham’s Last Christmas it’s impossible! You could take this a bauble further (if that’s possible) and have a Christmas jumper dress code; fairy lights draped on your shoulders optional. Mistletoe is definitely an essential garnishing required for this event!
Twelve: Christmas lights around the City.
Freeze your butts off (He can keep you warm!) and take a stroll around our wonderful city and enjoy the stunning lights on Grafton St., maybe stroll into one of the many awesome cafes on the side streets for a hot chocolate or a glass of mulled wine (no doubt they will be playing lots of Christmas music!). Then head over to Henry St to see what is on offer and don’t forget to take in the enormous Christmas tree that stands beside the Spire on O’Connell Street.
Words: Zara Hedderman
Website: Mumbles & Stumbles