Yulefest Kilkenny hosts a range of family events from Christmas markets, Santa truck, outdoor movie and jingle bell rockout

Following its hugely successful launch last weekend, Yulefest Kilkenny has a range of events for the whole family this December. From Christmas markets to Santa experiences to live music, festive fun is on the agenda in Kilkenny in the run up to Christmas.

Yulefest Christmas Markets

The Yulefest Christmas market is magically set against the beautiful backdrop of Kilkenny Castle. Decorated wooden huts and Santa hat marquees will be serving festive treats and selling creative local crafts. Wired Irish Crafts, Biddy’s Good Luck Horse Shoes, The Phat Cow and Cakeface will be present on The Parade, among many other stalls.

There will be a children’s magic show at 11am and 3pm on Saturdays as well as balloon modelling at 12noon and 4pm on Saturdays. Both events are free of charge. Face Painting will also be available on Saturday December 9th from 4pm-7pm, Sunday December 17th from 10am to 12noon and Friday December 22nd from 12pm to 5pm. Face painting costs 3 euro.

Children can also look forward to lots of street entertainment, giant bubbles and a Christmas Fairy walkabout on the market each weekend.

The Yulefest Christmas Market runs every weekend until Saturday December 23rd from 11am to 6pm. A special late market will take place on Friday December 22nd, where markets will remain open until 8pm. The Kilkenny local farmers market will take continue to place on the Parade on Thursdays from 11am-3pm


Some of the free family-friendly events taking place this month include music, dancing and family entertainment at the Yulefest Bandstand on The Parade. Taking place every weekend beside the Yulefest Christmas markets, music of all genres will be on offer for all age-groups.

This year’s festival is jam-packed and each weekend, the Yulefest Bandstand will showcase live music performances covering a range of genres and ages. From local community groups, to rising talent and well-established local performers, free to the public performances take place at 12noon, 2pm and 4pm every Saturday and Sunday until December 23rd. Bands featuring on the Yulefest Bandstand include: The New Brass Kings, Code of Behaviour, Burnchurch, The Pinsetters, Oracle Villa, Harmania choir among many more. The Yulefest Bandstand is located on The Parade in Kilkenny city, alongside the Yulefest Christmas Market. A great free day out for all the family.

Visitors to Yulefest will also have the opportunity to take part in a musical workshop with acclaimed drummer Jeremy Hickey of R.S.A.G. This Rhythm Makers event will give participants an opportunity to enjoy a fun, relaxing and creatively stimulating drumming workshop. Taking place every Saturday until December 23rd, on the Parade in Kilkenny city, these workshops will be broken into three age categories allowing all ages to find their space. 12 noon is for 5-7 year olds, 1pm caters for 8-12 year olds and 2pm is for adults. Music on the Yulefest Bandstand is free. Workshops cost €3 + booking fee and must be booked in advance.

Santa Truck

The Santa Truck in aid of LauraLynn Children’s Hospice will be parked up on The Parade in Kilkenny City on December 9th from 5-7pm. The event is free but donations are greatly appreciated. All funds raised on the evening will go directly to LauraLynn Children’s Hospice to support children with life-limiting conditions.

Jingle Bell Rockout with Music Generation Kilkenny

A free open-air concert takes place on Sunday 10th December at 12 noon on the Yulefest Bandstand on The Parade. Young musicians from the Creative Music Space will showcase their singing, guitar, and drumming skills with some familiar Christmas tunes at the Yulefest Bandstand on the parade. Everyone is welcome to come along and support Kilkenny’s rising young stars performing Christmas classics.

Yulefest Movie Night

A Muppets Christmas Carol will air on a big outdoor screen on Canal Square on Thursday December 14th at 7pm. The cost is €3 + booking fee.

Mrs Claus Family Farm

In conjunction with Nore Valley, families are invited to Mrs Claus’ family farm on The Parade to play in an interactive setting. Bottle-feed lambs or goats and cuddle chicks and baby rabbits, as well as learning about the Irish heritage of farming. The farm will be open from 12-4pm every Sunday in December.

Fireworks Display over the River Nore

A free fireworks display will take place over the River Nore on Friday December 22nd at 8.15pm just after the Yulefest Christmas markets close. The fireworks can be viewed from around the city. Younger Children can enjoy some fairground rides on the canal square on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd December – just as school finishes for Christmas!


Santa will be making appearances and hosting festive activities throughout the county during the month of December.

Find out more on each event at www.yulefestkilkenny.ie


Previous Yulefest in Ballyragget
Next Life cover breakthrough for cancer survivors