Yulefest Kilkenny 2020 is here!
Yulefest Kilkenny is a curated and inclusive Christmas festival that invites visitors and locals to enjoy a wide range of free and affordable seasonal events in Kilkenny City and County throughout December.
Easy to get to and easy to get around, explore all that our city and county seasonal programme has to offer, there’s something for everyone at Yulefest Kilkenny. Dip in and out of different weekly festive events including:
- The annual Christmas Markets will be taking place on the Parade and will operate in compliance with social distancing guidelines.
- The reindeers will be seen around the City.
- A socially distanced Santa’s Christmas Village will be set up in the grounds of the Medieval Mile Museum.
- Listen to messages from Santa online on yulefestkilkenny.ie and on social media.
- Watch out for “Festival in a Van” in the run up to Christmas supported by Creative Ireland.
- Check out “Christmas at Butler Gallery” including virtual tour of Wolfwalkers Exhibition and online Christmas Children’s Art Workshop.
- There will be a few added features along the way to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.
Combine shopping with Santa visits or browsing with brunch, see light installations, visit the Christmas Market or enjoy a peaceful moment in the Garden of Light. Sip hot chocolates or crafted cocktails against the backdrop of our atmospheric city. Remember, support your local shops and retailers when purchasing your Christmas Gifts #shopkilkenny.
Our local towns and villages have been supported this year by the Council to help in lighting up the County. We look forward to seeing a display of these lights online. Please tag Yulefest Kilkenny and let us see the County lit up for Christmas 2020.
Christmas arrives at Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum
Yulefest kicks-off in the magical surrounds of Woodstock Gardens, which lie on the edge of the picturesque village of Inistioge, on Friday 4th December 2020. Families, especially the kids, are invited to explore the beautiful gardens to seek out the little mischievous elf’s, the reindeer and snowmen to name but a few who are hiding out in the gardens in this year.
The Victorian Tea Room will also be decked out for the festive season. So over the next few weeks shake of the winter cobwebs and come an enjoy a safe and magical space. This is a 100% screen free zone and remember it’s not just for children to discover its also for adults to rediscover the magic of Christmas!
The Woodstock Coffee Truck will also be on site during weekends until the New Year serving drinks and treats! So if the little ones get a little bit cold what better way to warm up than with a delicious hot chocolate drink whilst enjoying our glorious gardens!
Nore Valley Park Santa Visit
Visit Santa at Medieval Mile Museum, get a quality gift and a printed photo. From €15
Nore Valley Park brings you one of Kilkenny’s only Santa visits – A fully immersive festive delight that complies with all the HSE regulations for a safe and magical Christmas.
Located at the Medieval Mile Museum, behind the town hall on High Street in the centre of Kilkenny city, this purpose built arrangement brings all of the joy of Christmas to your family, young and old. Nore Valley Park are proud to offer one of Kilkenny’s only Santa visits in an outdoor venue with all the safety precautions and necessary steps to help protect you from Covid 19.
The elves have set up a winter village within The grounds of the Medieval Mile Museum to keep your children entertained with fun and games. The whole family is invited to join the fun along with his mischievous elves before visiting Santa’s enchanting grotto.
Garden of Light at the grounds of Kilkenny Design and Craft Centre
Garden of Light and #MadeLocal Craft exhibits 1 December – 10 January 2020
Garden of Light runs from 4pm to 8pm [to 8.45pm Thurs – Sun until 20 Dec]
Craft Studios and Kilkenny Design Centre open daily from 10am
Made in Kilkenny Showcase and Curious Treasures exhibition displayed in windows.
FREE – Family Friendly
@NDCGallery @DCCIreland #KilkennyLights
As dusk falls each evening, something special happens … snowflakes begin to fall and Castle Yard is transformed into a winter wonderland. 2020 was a difficult year for all, especially those who lost family members or friends, Garden of Light has been created as a place to reflect and remember. Supported by Kilkenny County County Council, CE Colette Byrne commented, ‘we wanted to create a space where people of all ages might experience some solace in our civic space, and hope this little spark of magic, brings peace, hope and joy to all who visit the Castle Yard this festive season’.
The Castle Yard is Kilkenny’s best-kept secret, adjacent to Kilkenny Castle, a gorgeous historic courtyard filled with craft workshops, National Design & Craft Gallery and Kilkenny Design Centre. Open to the visitors daily, this year it is extra special – festooned with lights, reindeer and all things Christmas with stunning craft displays, including showcases by outstanding local makers, Made in Kilkenny collective and the DCCI Ceramics Skills Course. National Design & Craft Gallery present a luscious exhibition Curious Treasures in its’ picture windows onto the courtyard, with all work available for sale ndcg.ie/visit/collect. CE Rosemary Steen of Design Crafts Council Ireland described the exhibitions as ‘a wonderful opportunity to promote local and national craft makers and the new DCCI Made Local campaign’ .
Drop in for some window browsing, choose a craft gift, or treat yourself a warming hot chocolate from Kilkenny Design Centre and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Garden of Light at Castle Yard is produced by Design & Crafts Council in collaboration with Kilkenny County Council with Kilkenny Civic Trust, Kilkenny Design Centre and Castle Yard Studios.
Canopy Cafe & Junior Woodland Adventure Course at Castlecomer Discovery Park
This Christmas will be different but one thing that will stay the same is our love of spending time with our family and friends.
While Castlecomer Discovery Park won’t be having Santa visit us this year, they do have the Christmas lights up for you to enjoy. They are also opening the Canopy Café and The Junior Woodland Adventure Course for the Christmas period. You can book Junior Woodland Adventure Course HERE
Take an evening stroll with the family and finish off with a hot chocolate or treat at the Canopy Cafe.
Christmas at Butler Gallery
View WolfWalkers: The Exhibition online for an immersive multimedia experience highlighting core working drawings from Cartoon Saloon’s new animated film WolfWalkers, due for release on Apple TV on 11th December. The exhibition features ‘The Art of Voicing WolfWalkers’, including the single ‘Running with the Wolves’ by Aurora. Enjoy a behind the scenes view into the world of animated movie making with key cast members including some very well-known faces!!
Christmas Children’s Art Workshop
Online – Zoom workshop
6th December & 13th December at 2pm
Ages 5-12 years
€5 per child
Join Butler Gallery artists panel for a festive Christmas themed Children’s Art Workshop. Inspired by fine artists, children will learn art techniques and use them to make Christmas decorations for the whole family to enjoy. The workshop takes place on zoom for an hour and a half, a materials list will be provided and will include recycled materials and art materials that many children already have at home!
Yulefest Virtual Christmas Tree Festival
Kilkenny Christmas Tree Festival will be embracing technology for this years’ Festival from St. Canice’s Cathedral.
Unfortunately, this year, it is not able to physically display any trees, perform live music or personally welcome the local community.
The Kilkenny Christmas Tree Festival are grateful for modern digital technology to be able to bring people the best of Christmas creativity. They invite you to be involved as a community group, school, club, family or just yourself, to provide and decorate a tree.
They are also introducing a new section which will be a photo of a nativity scene or a scene taken from any Christmas Carol.
Festival in a Van!
On the 19th and 20th of December keep your eyes and ears peeled for the festival in a van keeping the show on the road! The van will have a performer onboard to sing some festive songs and get you right into the swing of Christmas!
Christmas Markets in Kilkenny
Gifts, Craft, Seasonal Food
The Kilkenny Christmas Markets are back by popular demand and will operate within social distancing guidelines. The Parade in Kilkenny City will be transformed into Christmas Market over the weekends of 5th and 6th December, 12th and 13th December and 19th and 20th The Christmas Markets will see a variety of traders selling a range of Christmas gifts, seasonal food and stocking fillers.
It is the perfect way to spend time taking in the Christmas atmosphere! Don’t miss the unique Christmas markets in Kilkenny City this Christmas! Lots more information on traders and coming soon!
Weaving Communities of Courage Against Violence
The One Million Stars to End Violence Project with Amber Refuge and Arts Reach Ireland is a community arts project that connects our community through weaving stars. Some of the weavers include St Joseph’s home Kilmoganny, Loreto Secondary School, Respond Ireland, Rehab Group Ireland, Callan FRC, The ICA and individual weavers across the country who weave at home during lockdown.
The exhibition is currently on at MacDonagh Junction Kilkenny and running from the 25th November throughout the Christmas Period until the 6th January. The exhibition also marks the 16 Days of Activism an international Campaign to challenge gender-based violence.
They are proud to display 10,000 hand woven stars in an installation that represents love and light and solidarity against violence. The 10,000 stars shall hang in The Workhouse Square and alongside this will sit 3D letters spelling LOVE (made and kindly donated by JM Steel).
Members of the public are encouraged to weave a star and leave it in the Drop Box at MacDonagh Junction over the duration of the exhibition so their star can attach to the Love sign.
To join the star weave community, donate or find out more visit: www.onemillionstarsireland.ie