Mulled wine and gospel choirs: here are all the festive events we want to go to before Christmas

It is officially 12 days until Christmas, and there's a lot to pack into our busy schedules until then. Dublin is buzzing with festive events all this week, from food and drink to last-minute gifts to just pure Christmas magic. Race you for the tickets. Happy Christmas from IMAGE!

Until Sunday, December 15: Winterfest at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery

For the first time ever, this year sees the Guinness Open Gate Brewery turn into a winter wonderland, complete with live entertainment, a festive marketplace full of quirky last-minute gifts, sweet and savoury food pairings to go with your pint, and innovations in the black stuff itself, with mulled Guinness on offer (we'll reserve judgement until we try it ourselves). Running until this Sunday, there isn't much time left to head along, so be sure to get there early.


This Saturday and Sunday: The Christmas Eco Craft Market at the National Botanic Gardens

If you've still got some gifts to squeeze in, but are conscious of shopping as responsibly as possible, head to the beautiful setting of the National Botanic Gardens this weekend for their dedicated Eco Craft Market. Open from 10am until 4:30pm, there will be special performances on both days, and Santa will even be there for the little ones.

Until Sunday, December 22: Christmas at the Castle at Dublin Castle


In such a stunning setting, it's hard not to feel the Christmas magic at Dublin Castle this time of year. Their dedicated Christmas festival includes 30 Alpine market stalls, complete with crafts and gifts, traditional festive fare to keep bellies full all evening, carol singing, a vintage carousel, and, at the weekends, horse and carriage rides around the city. Pick an evening where the weather looks clear (hard to do at this time of year, but it's possible) and spend some time at the Castle.


Until Monday, December 23: It's a Wonderful Life at the IFI

The ultimate Christmas movie, no contest, and now it's playing at the IFI until the day before Christmas Eve. Seen as required viewing at this time of year, it's guaranteed to give you the warm and fuzzies.


Every Thursday to Sunday until December 31: Yuleyard at the new Bernard Shaw


It's everything we love about Eatyard but with a festive twist. Some of Ireland's best festive food vendors will be there until the end of the month, with bratwurst, mulled wine, Bailey's egg nog and so much more to get your taste buds in the festive spirit.


Wednesday, December 18: The Wizard of Oz, performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Another perfect movie for the holidays, this is The Wizard of Oz as you've never seen it before — screened live in the National Concert Hall with the music performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Tickets for the evening show are already sold out, but the matinee performance is sure to be just as magical. Tickets from €25.


Thursday, December 19: A Gospel Christmas at Gardiner Street

Your favourite Christmas songs all sung by a chorus of some of Dublin's most beautiful voices — sounds like the perfect way to gear up for the big day. This special evening at St Francis Xavier's Church on Gardiner Street will feature the Gospel Choir as well as Holly Berry and the Christmas Lites and The Secret Jazz Band, and there'll even be Christmas cake to go round. Even better, the night is all to raise money for the very worthy cause of the Peter McVerry Trust.

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