By Chloe Cowman
We’ve been talking about cutting down on our excesses a lot lately on Bean and although I enjoy a glass (or two) of Prosecco as much as anyone else, I thought I’d take a look at fun things to do this festive season where alcohol is not the sole focus. Meeting up with friends at this time of year usually involves going for a drink, or several more, if you’re doing the 12 pubs of Christmas. In case you want a change from that, here are five ideas f things for you and your gals/guys to do that may or may not involve alcohol:
1. Wreath Making
For the crafty amongst you! Book in your group, enjoy the simple pleasure of making something cool with your own hands, and leave with a Christmas decoration you can be proud of! Available at: Appassionata Flowers (On in the Westbury Mall, just off Grafton st, so you can do some shopping afterwards!), Kay’s Flower School (limited dates available but you can book group classes to your home/office too), and Kilruddery House (plus enjoy the beautiful grounds while you’re there).
2. Dublin Flea Market @ Christmas
I’m personally really looking forward to this one. It’s on indoors at The Point Square Docklands, from the 6th-9th and the 13th-16th December and features 280 stalls, composed of everything from vintage clothes, artisan food producers, small Irish businesses, beautiful and unique ceramics, beauty and skincare, artists and antique collectors. If you’re looking for gifts (as mentioned in our post on gifting, linked below), you’ll find something a bit different here; nothing mass-produced! Read more about it here.
3. Ice Skating
I generally avoid ice skating since it first came to Limerick and my sister said the emergency response centre she worked in had to develop a new code for their system for “fingers sliced off during ice skating incident”. If you however, are more capable of balancing than I am, you can check out Dundrum on Ice. It’s on every day until the 13th of January. After a wintry work out, you can get food in any of the many restaurants across from the ring, including Cooke’s, which has a Skate and Date offer on at the moment.
4. Christmas Movies
A night out at the cinema with ALL the popcorn, hot chocolate and pic n’ mix is an ideal way to stay warm and feel Christmassy at the same time. The Lighthouse cinema have a Naughty Or Nice Season running from the 7th to the 31st of December, including such classics as; It’s A Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Die Hard, The Muppets’ Christmas Carol, Elf, Home Alone, and a Frozen sing-along, if that’s more your thing. If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, check out the Stella’s Christmas list; Bad Santa, Elf, Home Alone and Love Actually. Go for the film, stay for the sumptuous sofas and nibbles brought directly to your seat.
5. Dublin Zoo Wild Lights
After its huge success last year, Wild Lights is back with all new illuminated giant silk lanterns, this time celebrating life under the sea. There’s also a Winter Wonderland section that includes a trip to the North Pole, and an exploration of China. Wild Lights is open every evening in December (closed for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Stephen’s Day). This is a really beautiful night out, suitable for families, couples and friends alike. Top tip! Wrap up very warmly, bring a good camera (you’ll want to take photos, trust me), and get yourself a hot chocolate from the stand in the zoo; it’s delicious and you’ll enjoy having a warm drink to walk around with.
So, what are you waiting for? Plan some fun without a headache awaiting you the next day (or not, it’s totally up to you).
For more festive ideas, check out our post on The Best Alternative Shopping Experiences in Dublin This Christmas.