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Conceirge Tips


Here at the Morrison, we have an enthusiastic team of dedicated guest service agents and concierge who are continually looking for the best things to do in Dublin. Our team really care about delivering the highest levels of customer service and are here to help plan and maximise your time in Dublin. Our concierge has put together a list of things to do, that our team have personally tried and tested. If you do have any other recommendations or any feedback about what to do in Dublin – please let our team know. 

Christmas with The Grumpy Concierge 

The ‘Silly Season’ is well upon us now and though known for being a bit of a Grinch all year round, this month take note that The Grumpy Concierge will have one if not two of the corners of his mouth turned up in a slight jovial smile as this year round Scrooge drops the ‘Bah-Hum-Bugs’ and welcomes one and all into celebrating the festive season with friends and family. So in order for you all to be distracted from photocopying bits you shouldn’t at the staff party, and emailing them to those you oughtn’t afterwards – here are a few deterrents to help you on your ‘merry’ way.  

Pre Festive Hi-Jinx: Charities Don’t you raise your eyes at me for the sheer mention of charities in need this Christmas – but it is true that there are those worse off than us at this time of year but rather feel under pressure to donate have a look at the following ingenious ways you can get involved and enjoy helping others – set yourself the challenge, achieve your goal and put a smile on someone else’s face 

The Polar Plunge – ‘Its Freezin’ for a Reason: This December Initiative is in aid of Special Olympics Ireland and throughout the Christmas month at various designated open air swim locations we are encouraged with all fun an frivolity to take the ‘plunge’ to raise awareness and funds to help those to reach the podium and achieve their goal and maybe gold. You never know if you go down to The 40ft foot you just might see this concierge dragged up as a polar bear in aid of good cause and festive laugh see website for dates and locations - www.specialolympics.ie 

[Alternative: It’s a Christmas Tradition that has stood longer than this concierges grumpy scowl – The 40ft Christmas Dip - on the morning of Dec 25th, hail rain or snow (and there has been a White Christmas in recent years) – locals and Dubliners alike descend in just their bathers and some in costume, those dedicated to their morning dip in the sea and those their to shake their hangover but all come together to give generously to local charities and take the plunge into the icy depths of Dublin’s well known 40ft. Its not that uncommon to come out and be greeted by a freshly made hot toddy or baileys coffee and the odd heated hot water bottle. Go on man up and take the leap.]  

The Santa Dash: It could not get any more festive that a beach full of 1,500 jogging Santa’s along Dublin’s North Bull Wall – you can pick your distance from 10k to 5k and you can walk it too – open to adults and children everyone gets a Santa outfit for the run and this year they are raising funds for The Down Syndrome Centre. With a ‘real’ igloo for the children to visit Santa on the beach and the coveted Musical Pudding Medals up for grabs on completion– there is everything to play for on this fun day out. – December 7th - www.santadash.ie 

[Alternative – closer to home is The Aware Christmas Fun Run through Dublin’s famous Phoenix Park is always a sight to behold from joggers with flashing Rudolph noses to runners in complete snowmen, Santa and reindeers garb all cheered on by locals in this annual fun event – start your weekend off in the company of like minded people all giving a little that will help a lot. – December 13th - www.aware.ie] 

‘C’riskindle Christmas Markets & Christmas Couture 

From City Streets to Grand Estates, Dublin and its surroundings transform into one big market with something for everyone and no two stall the same – here are some samples of Dublin and its Hinterland 

Wonderland Christmas at Framleigh:From it’s humble beginnings this 18th Century Georgian Structure has undergone face changes and add-ons with a total refurbishment when it was bought over in 1999 – Farmleigh now stands along such architectural treasures in The Park as Aras An Uachtarain and The American Ambassadors Residence and during the month of December it’s grounds become more than a ‘Walkin in a Winter Wonderland’ – this years programme sees children and big children at heart looked after – from their well known Food Market & Craft Fair to Story Telling for Kids in The Kitchen, Barber Shop Melodies Outdoor to Carol Singing in The Ballroom and the Festive Crib and Horse & Carriage Rides around the grounds – come find your slice of Christmas in one of Europe’s largest walled parks runs the three weekends before Christmas in December www.farmleigh.ie 

[Alternative – Dublin’s Traditional Festive Christmas Market @ St Stephens Green The mainland European Christmas Fair has finally arrived in Dublin and no better place for it than along the side of Dublin’s Famous St Stephens Green at the top of Grafton Street – here you can saunter in and out of the wooden log cabins laden with gifts from Irish designers, handmade and woven cloths and crafts to consumable treats – why not warm up with a loved one with some hot Gluhwein and take a romantic walk about the park that inspired many a hopeless romantic gone before us. Open from 12 midday to 8pm daily until December 23rd – www.dublinatchristmas.ie] 

National Crafts & Design Fair @ The RDS: Situated out in the leafy suburbs of Dublin’s Southside of Ballsbridge here you will find everything under one roof of high end quality Irish craftsmanship and innovative Irish design. With over 500 Craft workers on display and show there is something different and bespoke for that one person who wants to be different and stand out – with the Food Emporium there on site to help refuel those legs before you head off on your next adventure in the best, newest and most original of Irelands Creative Geniuses. Runs from December 3rd – 7th - www.nationalcraftsfair.ie 

[Alternative Templebar Textile Market & Organic Food Market – A staple in the weekend diet of any Dubliner or tourist that happens across this permanent fixture in Templebar – Take refreshing morning or afternoon stroll away from the calamity of the Christmas shopping and take stock of 2014 over some warm homemade goods, sample oysters washed down with a glass of ‘the black stuff’, try authentic world cuisine in heart of our city made by authentic hands of cooks from that country. Then onto The Textile Market in Cows Lane were you will come across the best of Irish Contemporary Design – with leading examples and designers in metal work, ceramics, painting, sculpture and knitwear. A present from here, shows thought has gone it into from designer, to the buyer and then finally the wearer. - Runs every Saturday from 9.30am-5.30pm – www.templebar.ie/market] 

The Greater Dublin Area & Beyond 

Christmas Cheers goes outside of The Pale Follow Dasher, Dancer, Prancer & Vixen and don’t forget Comet, Cupid, Donner & Blitzen hoof steps and sleigh marks and you will find out yonder in wild Ireland A Magical Christmas Kingdom dotted amongst the landscape for yours to explore and enjoy.  

Belvedere House & Gardens Co West Meath – This 18th Century Villa is full of surprises upon its acreage – from its Walled Garden, The Folly & the Jealous Wall as well as its parklands wit Gothic Arches and Octagonal Gazebos – but with Christmas very much its list – A traditional ‘Green’ Santa is more ways than one sits every weekend in December in his grotto giving out natural gifts to the children to help them become self aware of the environment and what they put into it is what they get out of it and a trip to the Enchanted Garden and hidden Faery Garden– for adults there are floral demonstrations and the wonderful and enigmatic Jack L in concert closer to Christmas – all dreams come true in Mullingar this festive season. www.belvedere-house.ie 

[Alternative: Elf The Musical – The Broadway Hit from the film of the same name comes to Dublin’s Grand Canal this December with enough jokes, laughs and distractions for children and adults alike this is one hit that will dispel the Grinch from out of you and make you fall in love with Christmas all over again – bring the family and become a family @ The Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Find your inner elf! – Runs from December 16th – January 10th - www.grandcanaltheatre.ie 

The Santa Village @ Mount Juliet Co Kilkenny - This wooded Country Estate just one hour outside of Dublin has their December calendar jammed packed for festive fun for all. Santa is in resistance every day in the run up to his big night of the year Christmas Eve and there is a festive market on the ground each weekend until the 23rd. With walled gardens and woodland to explore by foot or by bike, spa relaxation for her and golf outing for him why would you not want to take a trip outside of Dublin and experience the countryside and dine in one of their three eateries from all day bar food to casual French cuisine to Michelin decorated restaurant on the banks of the River Nore - www.mountjuliet.ie 

[Alternative: Naughty or Nice – Christmas @ The Lighthouse & Film Fatale @ The Sugar Club – Christmas Screenings over the last year have taken on somewhat of a cult following and two venues that set the bar have excelled themselves this year again – The Lighthouse in Smithfield (www.lighthousecinema.ie) have broaden what ‘a Christmas movie’ is – from Gremlins to Trading place, Die Hard to Home Alone – as well as the favourites there is enough in their programme for everyone’s taste its an eclectic frosted celluloid celebration. Film Fatale (www.facebook.com/filmfataleevents) on the other hand gives us Christmas Nostalgia complete with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye with the voice of Rosemary Clooney and the footwork of Vera Ellen in their screening of White Christmas on December 19th complete with themed after party of vintage fashion, retro music and Christmas cocktails – Don the Frock and dust of your top hat –let your toes twinkle across the dance floor like the stars on a Christmas night.] 

A Dickensian Christmas Experience @ Airfield Co Meath – This 38 acre farm has been a charitable organisation run by the Overend Family since 1974 encouraging and promoting education and recreation in a natural environment – this year they have created a Dickensian Christmas where all can go see Father Christmas in his workshop, home and stables – marvel at their Gingerbread Village and help the elves make their tree decorations and not to forget to visit Santa’s furry animals at the farm – The first two weekends of December hosts The Airfield Christmas Market with knitters, cheese makers, water colourists, willow basket makers and felt makers all displaying their creations. - www.airfield.ie/events 

[Alternative: She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith @ The Abbey – For over two centuries Goldsmiths play of deception and seduction of hilarious proportions with chaos, comedy and error – this little charmer will have you enthralled from start to finish with some of Irelands funniest thespian comics threading the boards this December and New Year – Runs from December 4th – January 31st 2015 www.abbeytheatre.ie] 

Killruddery House – Bray Co Wicklow: This estate that sprawls itself at the foot of the mountains in ‘The Garden of Ireland’ contains some history as it has found itself a living, working house and farm that has been in the owning family’s history for the pats sixteen generations – amongst its jewels and waiting discoveries are its Orangery, Formal Gardens, Tea Rooms, the farm and house itself with their bespoke tours and the infamous Al Fresco dining that takes place during the milder months of the year. This December the grounds and house are open on weekends for their Christmas Market and Santa visitations – their market famous for the good and crafts on offer from local and nationally famous companies and business’s have a themed date on the first Saturday of each month and every second Saturday sees a Craft Beer and Cider Market alongside their normal wares of gourmet grub, handmade jewellery, craft co-ops, specialized butchers and old fashioned chutneys, relishes and condiments. Weekends Ground open 9.30am - 6pm with the Market on 10am-4pm – additional dates added for up to date details see www.killruddery.com 

[Alternative: Christmas in Bray – this coastal town has seen itself reborn as a tourist place of interest – once known as a holiday destination for holidays by the Irish in the 1940’s & 50s’s this promenaded town is throwing itself right into the Christmas Spirit with a Live Crib in situ, photo opportunity in The Big Christmas Snow Globe from December 6th – 22nd www.christmasinbray.com The Arts are also alive and kicking in their Mermaids Arts Centre with a big festive twist with The Big September in December, along with cosy screenings of comedy, romance and nostalgia and contemporary exhibitions all under one roof. www.mermaidartscentre.ie ]

The Best Of The Rest, Pre-Christmas Hype 

Carols By Candle Light @ Christchurch: What could more festive and celestial than carols in the surroundings of Dublin’s Famous Christchurch Cathedral. The renowned Irish Baroque Orchestra will play a mixture of old classics and modern favourites to get you in the mood. – Runs December 10th & 11th. Keep an eye online to see if more tickets will be released for their rendition of Handel’s Messiah at the cathedral on December 5th – this event every year has proved so popular it stands sold out for this month at the moment. For more festive sing-a-longs see www.christchurchcathedral.ie/events 

Simons House of Light @ Powerscourt Town House Centre: Where Charity, Christmas Cheer and Celebration all come together in an all ages all-inclusive fun evening out over the three nights. Powerscourt Town House becomes a canvas for music and lights projections in aid of Dublin’s Simon Community and with this installation comes treasure hunts with Hamley's Toy store and a variety of Dublin’s live music artists and street performers all supported by some ‘celebrity’ bucket shakers – runs from 5pm – 11pm December 11th – December 13th. www.dublinsimon.ie 

The Snowman – It’s not Christmas without a screening of Raymond Briggs Christmas Classic. Each year The National Concert Hall bring to life with live narration and this year the inclusion of shadow puppetry, this story that is synonymous with Christmas Eve: for all those who believe in the magic and miracle of Father Christmas, you will never look at your snowman in the same way again. You will leave ‘walking on air’. This is one traditional story that should be passed on from generation to generation – Runs December 19th –December 21st – multiple matinee & evening performances – www.nch.ie 

Post-Christmas Slump 

Horse Racing @ Leopardstown – If it is good enough for Bono and The Edge well then it is good enough for us – grab all the family and avoid the St Stephens Day Blues and have a festive flutter on the gee gees. Throw in Most Stylish Ladies Competition on Ladies Day on the 28th and then cap off each night in the Christmas Marquee with an array of musicians from swing bands to live jazz, from rockabilly to classical. Get them winter woollies on and get back in the saddle for the festive fun continues after the 25th. Runs from December 26th – December 29th - www.leopardstown.com 

Fat Turkey Challenge – It does exactly what it says on the tin – but in this case you are the fat turkey – post Christmas workouts don’t come much quicker or funnier than this a fun filled morning and afternoon for the family from novice to fanatic. If the water stations don’t quench your thirst during and afterwards there is live music, family BBQ’s and children’s entertainment all laid on for those ‘Fat Turkey’ participants. Go on Waddle and Cluck & Shake Your Tail Feather like you just don’t care. - December 28th - www.runireland.com/events/fat-turkey-challenge-10k-run-walk-suttonhowth 

Countdown, Celebrations & NYE in Old Dublin City – Dublin is the place to be from December 30th to the first day of a new year in 2015. Everyone is invited to join in with these ‘Love Dublin’ Events ranging from: The Food Village in Dublin Castle with treats, live music and the launch of the Irish Design of the Year celebrating and promoting all forms of Irish design, next is Luminosity @ Trinity College where the front of the college becomes a famed and framed projected piece of art. The Procession of Lights precede the Countdown to the New Year with a mini magical midnight moment for children and adults with music, lights and dance performers weaving their way from The Green down through Templebar and on until Dublin Castle. Then main event at College Green with a big outdoor concert headlined by Kodaline with very special guests ringing in the New Year with a musical bang. The atmosphere will be just a electric and lyrical as the music that you will want to continue on in one of the many pubs close by – it may be just was packed inside as it was outside for the concert but new friends, resolutions and toasts will be made side by side with new faces as well as the familiar. This New Years Eve everyone is welcome with one big Dublin Hug of Festive Time Cheer. Runs from December 30th – January 1st 2015 at various spots in the city centre – www.nyfdublin.com 

Happy Holidays from the Grumpy Concierge xx

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