The Toy Show is over! The madness that is Black Friday has passed (phew). It’s finally December! We can don our Christmas jumpers, go carol-singing, attack the 12 Pubs and start stocking up on endless supplies of socks for Dad (yes, we know we said we’d be more creative with our gift ideas, but maybe next year). Tis’ the season to be jolly here at Hotel Isaacs as we busily put the finishing touches to our festive decorations. Definitely come and check us out. We’re pretty glittery these days.
Of course, we believe Cork City deserves a visit any time of year but we have to admit there is something really special about Christmas time in Cork and our boutique hotel. Could it be the return of our Christmas menu at Greenes Restaurant? Or maybe it’s the gigantic Christmas tree at our waterfall outside? Or, could it simply be that cocktails in Cask Bar taste even better when catching up with friends and family you haven’t seen in soooo long? Either way, there is no denying that here at Hotel Isaacs, we simply love Christmas. To help you plan your festive trip/shenanigans, we have put together a list of just some of the cool happenings going on around the city at this time:
1. Pantos Are Back:
Yes, you heard right! The long wait is over with the return of not one but two fantastic pantos, sure to keep young and old entertained. Choose from Nanny Nellie’s Adventures in Pantoland at the Cork Opera House or if you fancy a 30 second walk across the street, the Everyman Palace Theatre plans to take you on a magic carpet ride with Aladdin. For adults looking for a more risqué panto experience, the Improv Panto will run for two nights only in St Luke’s on the 10th and 11th December. Completely unscripted with the audience dictating the order of things, expect everything and anything but nothing civilised. Of course, advance booking is essential but you know the drill.
2. Glow: A Cork Christmas Celebration:
A family favourite running during the four weekends leading up to Christmas, visit the transformed Bishop Lucey Park on Grand Parade for a spectacular display of Christmas lights including performances, art installations, music and maybe even a few giveaways from Santa’s elves (for the good children of course). Entry is free but pre-booking is essential.
3. Mardyke Christmas Market:
Mulled wine, pretzels, crepes and creative crafts you can’t find anywhere else? Christmas isn’t really Christmas without some Christmas markets and this year heralds the arrival of a brand new market in the cricket grounds on the Mardyke Walk. Less than 2 minutes’ walk from the pretty Fitzgerald’s Park, this market is sure to be a big hit with both families and young and old alike. Santa is even setting up his very own grotto there
Soak up the atmosphere on the streets of Cork this Christmas where you are sure to find all your Christmas essentials with many big brand names on St Patrick’s Street and Opera Lane. Dive down the side streets and on to Oliver Plunkett to find quirky independent stores. And of course, don’t forget to check out one of Europe’s oldest food markets: the English Market. For Christmas gift ideas that champion local, check out our Christmas Gift Guide blog.
5. Ferris Wheel and Carousel:
After a long day of shopping, sit back and allow yourself to be taken to new heights on the 32m Panoramic Ferris Wheel (we particularly like the view of St Finbarr’s Cathedral from the top) or treat the children to a spin on the carousel.
6. Nano Nagle Christmas Market:
If you haven’t got your fill of Christmas Markets, why not pop over to one of Cork’s most charming visitor attractions and explore their Christmas Food Market on December 12th and their Craft/Designers Market on the 19th. Their Cork bookstore and award-winning design shop is also well worth a visit if you are looking for some unique gifts.
7. Alpine Skate Trail:
Looking to escape the city for a couple of hours? Want to breathe some crisp winter air? Hop on the train to Fota (5 minute journey) or take the 15 minute drive, and get your skates on at Ireland’s first Alpine Skate Trail around the woodlands of Fota. Make sure you say hi to the giraffes too.