As the festive season approaches, here’s a roundup of Christmas experiences in North Mayo and West Sligo region for 2023. Whether you’re into large-scale festivities or intimate community gatherings, there’s something for everyone. Explore craft fairs, Santa visits, recitals, tractor runs, and more. Stay tuned for additional events as we receive updates from the elves in the North Pole. (Past events will be moved to the bottom of the blog post.)
– The Mistletoe Market, Ballina
Ballina’s Mistletoe Market is back for 2023, bringing festive cheer to the town centre at Ballina’s newly renovated Innovation Quarter (formerly the Military Barracks) from Friday, December 8th to Sunday, December 10th. Discover a unique shopping experience with local and continental food, sweet treats, crafts, and wonderful gifts. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit during Ballina’s Frosty Salmon Festival. Market hours are as follows:
- Friday, December 8th: 6 pm – 9 pm
- Saturday, December 9th: 11 am – 6 pm
- Sunday, December 10th: 11 am – 6 pm
– ‘Light It Up Winter Magic 2023’
Exciting news! We’re thrilled to announce the launch of “Light It Up Winter Magic 2023,” a collaborative digital projection art piece created by the youth of Ballina, Co. Mayo. Join them for the unveiling on Pearse Street, outside the Jackie Clarke Collection building, on Friday, December 8th, at 7 pm. This captivating project, crafted under the guidance of the UBU & North Mayo Youth Project, promises to illuminate the night with creativity and innovation.
– Christmas with Ceol Ó Chroí at Belleek Castle
Experience the magic of “Christmas with Ceol Ó Chroí” at Belleek Castle on Friday, December 8th, 2023 at 7.30pm. Presented by the Centre Stage Vocal Academy, this enchanting night of festive songs marks the beginning of the Christmas season in a truly breathtaking venue. Let the beautiful vocals of Ceol Ó Chroí resonate through the castle halls, delivering haunting harmonies and timeless Christmas classics. Special guests, the Centre Stage Pop Choir, will infuse the joy of children at Christmas, creating a heart warming atmosphere for all. Tickets cost €14 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.
– Abbeytown / Abbeyview Residents Association Christmas Table Quiz
Calling all Master Minds, Trivia Quiz enthusiasts, or those just seeking a night of fun! Support the Abbeytown/Abbeyview Residents Association in Crossmolina by joining them for a Christmas themed Table Quiz, Mayo. The quiz takes place at Maughan’s Bar (Out The Back!), Church Street, Crossmolina, on Friday night, December 8th, 2023, starting at 8:30pm sharp. Enjoy a lively night with prizes, a raffle, and a chance to win the Best Christmas Themed Dressed Table! A table of 4 is €40. For more information, contact 087 187 1552. Don’t miss the festive quiz craic!
– ‘Snow White to the Core’ Family Panto at Ballina Arts Centre
Experience the enchanting Snow White to the Core Family Panto , spanning five evening performances by Ballina Dramatic Society at the Ballina Arts Centre on December 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 8th, and 9th at 8 pm. Doors open at 7 pm. Additionally, there are two matinées on December 3rd at 2 pm (doors open at 1 pm) and December 9th at 6 pm (doors open at 5 pm). Secure your tickets, priced at €20 each or opt for a family package for €70, available at the Ballina Arts Centre Online Ticket Office.
– The Adventures of Santa and Mrs Claus
Embark on an enchanting adventure with Santa and Mrs. Claus! On Saturday, December 9th, from 5 pm to 7:30 pm, they’ll be journeying to spread holiday joy in Belderrig, Doonfeeney, Ballyknock, Kilfian, and Ballycastle (All times are estimates). Join in the festive excitement as they bring the magic of the season to these wonderful communities.
– Easkey Christmas Market
Visit the Easkey Christmas Market at Easkey Community Centre in Sligo on Sunday, December 10th, from 11am to 4pm. This event supports Easkey Meals on Wheels, serving the Easkey community and extending to Enniscrone and Skreen. Explore over 35 stalls featuring finely crafted items by local artisans. For more details, visit their Facebook page
– Santas Straide Stopover
Santa has reached out to the folks in Straide, announcing his return to the town on Sunday, December 10th, and Monday, December 11th! If you’re eager to partake in the festive celebrations, secure your spot without delay by booking today. (All funds generated will contribute to the upkeep, maintenance, and debt repayment associated with the hall’s renovation, as well as covering hall utilities. The minimum donation per car is €20.)
– Foxford Christmas Tractor Run
Foxford’s annual Christmas Vehicle Run returns, promising a bigger and better experience this year. Embrace the festive spirit by decorating your tractors, trucks, cars, or bikes—all are welcome to participate. Join the run in Foxford on Sunday, December 10th, at 7pm. For the little ones, a kids tractor run starts at 6 pm from the Foxford Leisure Centre, with registration beginning at 5:30 pm (cost: €20). Exciting raffle prizes await you on this wonderful evening.
Afternoon Tea at Belleek Castle
Experience the enchantment of Afternoon Tea at Belleek Castle on Sunday, December 10th, from 1 pm to 5 pm. Take “A Moment in Time” for a Sunday filled with music, champagne, mulled wine, and delightful afternoon tea with your favourite ladies.
Guest speakers include:
- Niamh Ryan, Ella & Jo
- Michelle Filan, Online Coaching
- Dr. Lisa Cunningham, Medical & Health
- Sarah Battle Home, Cookery & Styling
- Audrey Sheridan, Cake Artist
- Mary Lowry Home, Cookery Volunteer
- Eilish Egan, Ballina Blossoms
Enjoy music by the talented Mr Delicious, Garron Noone and the beautiful Grace Killeen. Belleek Castle will transport you to the 1930s with a magical Christmas ambiance.
Indulge in surprises and prizes while creating awareness for those living with Dementia in County Mayo. Tickets are €50, and to book, contact FACT Social Club supported by Memories Charity Shop at 094 925662 or email [email protected]
– Santa Experience at North Mayo Heritage Centre
Experience the Santa Magic at North Mayo Heritage Centre, nestled on the grounds of the enchanting Enniscoe House, over two weekends: Saturday, December 9th & Sunday, December 10th, and Saturday, December 16th & Sunday, December 17th. Immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit, chat with Santa and his elves, and capture the moment with a photo! To book your tickets visit northmayogenealogy.com/events and use the Book Events button.
Due to its popularity, early booking is recommended. Tickets are €22 plus a booking fee. For detailed information and ticket reservations, please visit North Mayo Heritage Centre. Simultaneously, the Centre will host a delightful Christmas market for everyone to enjoy on the same dates.
Tonnta Adventure – Christmas Themed Winter Sessions at Belleek Woods, Ballina
Experience the festive magic with Tonnta Adventure’s Christmas-themed winter sessions at Belleek Woods in Ballina on December 10th and 17th. These sessions, designed for ages 5 and up, bring together the best parts of our woodland camps throughout the year—think bushcraft, shelter building, forest exploration, games, and treats. Join them for two hours of holiday fun, where we’ll also work on crafts and enjoy seasonal treats. The sessions are split into age groups (5-8 years and 9+), and it’s just €20 per child. Secure your spot by booking through their website.
– Teach Greannaí Childrens Santa Visit & Annual Christmas Lunch
Mark your calendar if you’re in the Cornboy/Rossport vicinity and bring the kids to Teach Greannai on Sunday, December 10th where the main man will on hand to meet and greet the children from 3.30pm-5pm.
On the subsequent Sunday, December 17th, Teach Greannai will host its Annual Christmas Lunch, starting at 4pm with mass, you will then enjoy a laid-back afternoon filled with delicious food and musical delights with Chloe Winters. Booking essential, call 097 88935/097 88785.
– Arus Inis Gluaire Christmas Market
Indulge in the festive spirit at the Arus Inis Gluaire Christmas Market on Sunday, December 10th, running from 12 pm to 5 pm. Our special guest, Santa, will be adding a sprinkle of magic to the event. Secure your spot by booking in advance, as this promises to be a celebration like no other. Explore their indoor market featuring a delightful array of food, crafts, and gifts. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, complemented by live music that will add a rhythm to your holiday shopping experience. To reserve your space, contact Arlene at 097 81079 or email [email protected]. Don’t miss out on the joyous festivities and unique finds awaiting you at the Arus Inis Gluaire Christmas Market!
– Santa’s Grotto in Toymaster, Ballina
Explore Santa’s Grotto at Toymaster Ballina this festive season. Doors open on Saturday, December 9th, and the enchantment continues on Sunday, December 10th, Saturday, December 16th, and Sunday, December 17th, from 2 pm to 6 pm. Your participation supports Mayo Cancer Support and 5th Mayo Scout Group, Ballina.
– Belmullet Christmas Market 2023
‘Tis that time of year again, and Iorras Beo is thrilled to announce the return of the Belmullet Christmas Market for 2023! Make your way to Belmullet on Friday, the 15th of December, from noon until 6 pm at Chapel Street, Belmullet, for a festive experience. Explore over two dozen stalls featuring local crafts, gifts, delicious food, baked treats, and hot beverages. Enjoy live music and children’s attractions, and be on the lookout for special guests on the day—Santa and Mrs. Claus! Save the date for this delightful community event.
– Erris Agricultural Show Christmas Lights Parade
Gather ’round for the much-anticipated annual Erris Agricultural Show Lights Parade set to illuminate the night on Saturday, December 16th. This delightful event is not only a spectacle of dazzling lights but also a heartfelt initiative, as all proceeds from the parade will go towards supporting Cara Iorrais—an organization dedicated to making a positive impact in the community.
– Family Christmas Party at the Great National Hotel Ballina
Join the Family Christmas Party at The Great National Hotel Ballina on Sunday, December 17th, from 1pm to 4pm. Indulge in a warm mulled wine reception or hot chocolates for the little ones, followed by a delightful 3-course Sunday lunch. Sutterstock Photography will be there to capture your festive family moments digitally. Santa will make a special appearance, and there will be a variety of free kids’ entertainment. Tickets are €40 for adults and €20 for kids. Reserve your spot by calling 096 23612.
– Belmullet Parish Carol Service
Celebrate the holiday season with the Belmullet Parish Carol Service featuring performers from Barnatra, Belmullet, Glencastle, and Shraigh National Schools, as well as the combined choirs of Belmullet and Glencastle Churches. Join them for this annual event at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Belmullet on Sunday, December 17th, at 7 pm. Don’t miss out on the festive joy!
Carols by Candlelight, Ballycastle
🌟✨ Event Announcement! Enjoy an enchanting night of music and merriment at Carols by Candlelight featuring The Moy Singers! 🎶🕯️
📅 Date: Friday, 22nd December
🕢 Time: 7:30 PM
📍 Venue: St. Bridgid’s Church, Ballycastle
Immerse yourself in the festive spirit as The Moy Singers serenade you with beautiful carols, creating a magical atmosphere by candlelight. 🎟️ Entrance Fee: €15
And that is it! There’s bound to be more coming your way. Some fantastic events, such as the Fifth Scouts Santa Train in Ballina and the Festive Sunday Lunch with Santa at the Ice House in Ballina, have already sold out. However, there’s still plenty to explore and enjoy, so be sure to check out and support these fantastic local events.
Keep an eye for more festive experiences in North Mayo and West Sligo to be added!
PAST EVENTS & FESTIVALS
– Moy Singers – Carols by Candlelight, Ballina
Moy Singers’ annual Christmas concert, “Carols by Candlelight,” is happening on Saturday, November 25th, at 8pm in the Great National Hotel Ballina. Enjoy your favourite Christmas tunes performed by Moy Singers, with special guests Sligo Academy of Music. The renowned Niamh Crowley of Sligo String Quartet directs the music. Don’t miss the chance to win prizes in the cash raffle, including a delightful basket from Trevor Morrow Ltd. Tickets, priced at €20, are available from Choir members, the Tourist Office, Great National Hotel Ballina, and online via Eventbrite.
– Kiltane Christmas Market
Get into the festive spirit at the Kiltane Christmas Market, happening at the Geesala Community Centre on Sunday, November 26th, at 12pm. Explore a variety of stalls for Christmas gifts or personal indulgence. After shopping, satisfy your appetite with delightful festive treats. Don’t miss the raffle—your ticket purchase supports the Erris Family & Community Support Centre and Mayo Roscommon Hospice (Castlebar). And, of course, enjoy a visit from the one and only Santa Claus, spreading Christmas cheer to all attendees.
– Mrs Claus and Buddy the Elf at the Jackie Clarke Collection, Ballina
Exciting updates from the North Pole! Visit the Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina on Sunday, November 26th, 2023, from 3pm to 5pm, as Mrs. Claus and Buddy the Christmas Elf make a special appearance. Mrs. Claus will chat with the little ones about their Christmas wishes, while Buddy Elf awaits on the Buddy bench for new friends and photo opportunities. Drop your Christmas letters in Santa’s magical post box, managed by busy elves. Don’t miss the chance for a festive start to Christmas 2023, and there’s even a possibility of Santa making an appearance! Ballina will also commence the festive season with the switching on of the town lights at 5pm!
Additionally, catch the final day of Tom Mescall’s enchanting ‘Dream Garden,’ featuring illuminated displays of Irish wildlife in the gardens from 5pm to 8pm.
– Christmas Wreath Workshop
Indulge in a festive Christmas Wreath Workshop at The Cot & Cobble in Ballina on Wednesday, November 29th at 7:30pm. Join Eilish and her Ballina Blossoms team to craft your own holiday masterpiece. Enjoy a touch of Prosecco and nibbles for a memorable evening. The event is €80 per person, and reservations are a must. Secure your spot by reaching out to The Cot & Cobble at +353 (0)96 73582 or via email at [email protected].
– Foxford Christmas Craft Fair
Experience the Foxford Christmas Craft Fair at the Foxford Sports and Leisure Centre from Friday, 1st to Sunday, 3rd December 2023. Running for 30 years, it’s a top craft fair in the west, featuring over 45 crafters offering unique handmade items like paintings, woodwork, floristry, jewellery, knitwear, and more. This family-friendly event, known as the Christmas kick off in the area, is free to enter with plenty to see and do, including a visit from Santa on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm until 4pm. Don’t miss this festive tradition! Opening hours: Friday 1st (12pm-7pm), Saturday 2nd (10am-6pm) and Sunday 3rd (12pm-6pm) December 2023.
– Belmullet Christmas Lights
Experience the magic of Belmullet Christmas Lights on Saturday, December 2nd at 6pm, featuring a Blessing of the Crib, enchanting carol singing, and a special guest appearance starting from 3pm. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a community united in the spirit of the holidays. Join the people of Erris for an evening of festivities, laughter, and the pure magic of Christmas in Belmullet!
– Swinford Christmas Market
Join us for the Swinford Christmas Market on Saturday, December 2nd, and Sunday, December 3rd, from 10:30am to 4:00pm at the Cultural Centre Swinford. Explore a diverse range of stalls featuring handmade gifts, delicious food, and a raffle with the opportunity to win a hamper of goodies. Enjoy family fun on both days, including a special visit from Santa! For updates about this event please see Swinford Indoor Community Market.
– Santa Experience at Homeland, Ballina
Santa is set to visit Homeland Ballina on Saturday, December 2nd, to greet all the boys and girls from 1pm to 4pm! Join in for a meet-and-greet with Santa, savour festive refreshments, and explore fantastic special offers in-store on the day. Children will receive a free gift from Santa, available on a first-come, first-served basis. No booking required – just come and join the festive fun!
– Killala Christmas Market
Enjoy the festive atmosphere at the Killala Christmas Market on Saturday, December 2nd, from 5pm to 7:30pm in Lavelles Carpark. Experience a festive market featuring crafts, gifts, and food. Meet Santa and his elves at Santa’s Grotto and witness the magical switching on of the Christmas lights in Killala.
– The Dirty Circus Cabaret at Belleek Castle, Ballina
Prepare for a magical night of festive joy at Belleek Castle’s Christmas Cabaret! On Saturday, December 2nd at 8pm, The Dirty Circus will captivate you with their exceptional performances and mesmerising acts. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary event! Tickets are available now, but space is limited. Ensure your spot for a night filled with laughter, magic, and pure entertainment! Secure your tickets on the Eventbrite booking page.