Nore Valley Park Santa Visit

Located at the Medieval Mile Museum

Visit Santa, get a quality gift and a printed photo | From €15

Nore Valley Park brings you one of Kilkenny’s only Santa visits – A fully immersive festive delight that complies with all the HSE regulations for a safe and magical Christmas.


Located at the Medieval Mile Museum, behind the town hall on High Street in the center of Kilkenny city, our purpose built arrangement brings all of the joy of Christmas to your family, young and old.

We are proud to offer one of Kilkenny’s only Santa visits in an outdoor venue with all the safety precautions and necessary steps to help protect you from Covid 19.

For our Santa Experience:

The elves have set up a winter village within The grounds of the Medieval Mile Museum to keep your children entertained with fun and games. The whole family is invited to join the fun along with his mischievous elves before visiting Santa’s enchanting grotto.

For a truly enticing family-oriented event, Nore Valley Park is your only choice this December.

Garden of Light at the grounds of Kilkenny Design and Craft Centre

Garden of Light and #MadeLocal Craft exhibits 1 December – 10 January 2020
Garden of Light runs from 4pm to 8pm [to 8.45pm Thurs – Sun until 20 Dec]
Craft Studios and Kilkenny Design Centre open daily from 10am
Made in Kilkenny Showcase and Curious Treasures exhibition displayed in windows.
FREE – Family Friendly
@NDCGallery @DCCIreland #KilkennyLights

As dusk falls each evening, something special happens … snowflakes begin to fall and Castle Yard is transformed into a winter wonderland. 2020 was a difficult year for all, especially those who lost family members or friends, Garden of Light has been created as a place to reflect and remember. Supported by Kilkenny County County Council, CE Colette Byrne commented, ‘we wanted to create a space where people of all ages might experience some solace in our civic space, and hope this little spark of magic, brings peace, hope and joy to all who vist the Castle Yard this festive season’.

The Castle Yard is Kilkenny’s best-kept secret, adjacent to Kilkenny Castle, a gorgeous historic courtyard filled with craft workshops, National Design & Craft Gallery and Kilkenny Design Centre. Open to the visitors daily, this year it is extra special – festooned with lights, reindeer and all things Christmas with stunning craft displays, including showcases by outstanding local makers, Made in Kilkenny collective and the DCCI Ceramics Skills Course. National Design & Craft Gallery present a luscious exhibition Curious Treasures in its’ picture windows onto the courtyard, with all work available for sale CE Rosemary Steen of Design Crafts Council Ireland described the exhibitions as ‘a wonderful opportunity to promote local and national craft makers and the new DCCI Made Local campaign’ .

Drop in for some window browsing, choose a craft gift, or treat yourself a warming hot chocolate from Kilkenny Design Centre and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Garden of Light at Castle Yard is produced by Design & Crafts Council in collaboration with Kilkenny County Council with Kilkenny Civic Trust, Kilkenny Design Centre and Castle Yard Studios.

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Andrew McGuinness expressed his delight in seeing this project coming together and said:  “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in getting this wonderful initiative up and running symbolising HOPE as we move to a New Year and it is a place where we can take a moment to remember the people we have lost in 2020.”


Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr. John Coonan commented:  “This Garden of Light will be an inspiration to all who visit it.  People can take a break from Christmas Shopping and use this space to relax and reflect on what has been a very difficult year and look forward with hope to brighter times in 2021.”


Curious Treasures at National Design & Craft Gallery

Makers exhibiting:

Artefakt Rugs | Max Brosi | Ceadogan | Coolree Design | Garvan deBruir | Isobel Egan | Emmet Kane | Andrew Ludick | Mary Neeson | Robert O’Connor | Aoife Soden | Inga Reed

Curious Treasures view or purchase:


Made in Kilkenny Showcase

Makers exhibiting:

Jerpoint Glass          

Moth to a Flame     

Nicholas Mosse      

Caroline Dolan         

Sonja Günther         

Aisling McElwain    

Claire Molloy            

Available direct from makers & Made in Kilkenny pop-up shop at 14 John Street until 24 December


Christmas at Butler Gallery

Festival in a Van!

On the 19th and 20th of December keep your eyes and ears peeled for the festival in a van keeping the show on the road! The van will have a performer onboard to sing some festive songs and get you right into the swing of  Christmas!


Christmas Markets in Kilkenny

Gifts, Craft, Seasonal Food

The Kilkenny Christmas Markets are back by popular demand and will operate within social distancing guidelines. The Parade in Kilkenny City will be transformed into Christmas Market over the weekends of 5th and 6th December, 12th and 13th December and 19th and 20th The Christmas Markets will see a variety of traders selling a range of Christmas gifts, seasonal food and stocking fillers.

It is the perfect way to spend time taking in the Christmas atmosphere! Don’t miss the unique Christmas markets in Kilkenny City this Christmas! Lots more information on traders and coming soon!

Weaving Communities of Courage Against Violence

The One Million Stars to End Violence Project with Amber Refuge and Arts Reach Ireland is a community arts project that connects our community through weaving stars. Some of our weavers include St Joseph’s home Kilmoganny, Loreto Secondary School, Respond Ireland, Rehab Group Ireland, Callan FRC, The ICA and individual weavers across the country who weave at home during lockdown.

  • The project began in Australia and is now a global movement  (Kilkenny are representing Ireland as the first county to join the Project).
  • The hand-woven stars represent light, hope and solidarity against all forms of violence.
  • We display the hand-woven stars in public areas to raise domestic violence awareness.
  • The display in MacDonagh Junction runs from 25th Nov-6th Jan 2021. 2021.
  • Creative Ireland support our project . We also have support from Kilkenny County Council , Kilkenny Leader Partnership and Healthy Ireland.
  • Our last exhibition formed part of Design and Craft Council of Irelands Sculpture Trail, CONNECTED.3,000 stars woven during lockdown were displayed in The Medieval Mile Museum as a symbolic representation of a connected community in solidarity against all forms of violence.


Our exhibition is currently on at MacDonagh Junction Kilkenny and running from the 25th November throughout the Christmas Period until the 6th January. The exhibition also marks the 16 Days of Activism an international Campaign to challenge gender-based violence.

We are proud to display 10,000 hand woven stars in an installation that represents love and light and solidarity against violence. The 10,000 stars shall hang in The Workhouse Square and alongside this will sit 3D letters spelling LOVE (made and kindly donated by JM Steel).

Members of the public are encouraged to weave a star and leave it in the Drop Box at MacDonagh Junction over the duration of the exhibition so their star can attach to the Love sign.

To join our star weave community, donate or find out more visit:

Description of Installation Artwork

Weaving Communities of Courage Against Violence.

A community art project, One million Stars to End Violence was founded in Australia in 2012 by Maryann Talia Pau. Amber Women’s Refuge with Arts Reach Ireland are proud to bring the One Million Stars to End Violence Project to Ireland.

The Amber One Million Stars are a visual representation of solidarity against all forms of violence. The exhibition is the culmination of a wider community of weavers (Ireland Star Weavers) who kept connected throughout lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions by engaging in the craft of weaving. The star weaving community is made up from a cross section of our community. We have stars from care home residents, Syrian refugees, TY students from Kilkenny, Waterford, Meath, Louth and Tipperary, individuals cocooning across the country, the ICA guilds of Kilkenny, Tipperary and  Mayo, local knitting groups and individuals from local villages and the wider area.

  1. Title: Handwoven Stars 

Material; Poly ribbon and recycled Paper.

Stars stitched and hanging in 6 meters lengths.

Hand woven stars curated into a public installation exhibited during the 16 Days of Activism 2020. (November 25th through the Christmas period).

Staying connected as a community with a shared goal increases resilience and enables us as individuals to feel part of a wider cause, together we can make a difference. The stars raise domestic violence awareness and remind us that domestic abuse is everyone’s business. The hanging star installation acknowledges that abuse happens, and it is wrong. The stars represent a symbolic gesture of support for those affected and a stance of solidarity against all forms of violence and abuse.

  1. Title: LOVE 

Material: Two-meter letters in precast steel frame with a grid infill (Kindly made and donated by JMSteel Cufesgrange Kilkenny) covered in fabric and paper handmade stars.

Originally intended as an interactive piece, members of the public would be encouraged to attach their own woven stars. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we can attach your star for you when you leave your star in the OMS drop box. The aim is to cover the letters over the Christmas period and beyond showing support and love to those going through difficult times this Christmas. The word LOVE is a reminder that in uncertain times we are innately connected as humans by both our vulnerability and our strength. That as a community we can show support and compassion in adversity. That love and compassion are stronger that hate and violence; love is universal and instils hope and encourages connection. We are reminded of what it means to show healthy love: respect, acceptance, trust, empathy, and unity.

“Returning hate for hate multiples hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King




Weaving Communities of Courage Against Violence.

Amber Refuge 24/7 Helpline: 1850 42 42 44.

Text AMBER 50300 to DONATE €2

To join our weaving community and

find out more or MAKE A SECURE PAYPAL DONATION to Amber Refuge visit :

Instagram @irelandstarweavers

Facebook Ireland Star Weavers to End Violence

Twitter Ireland Star Weavers @WeaversStars

Watch the launch of Yulefest Kilkenny and switch on of the Christmas lights in Kilkenny City this year from your own home!

If you are waiting to see when Kilkenny City Christmas lights will start to shine, it will be official from this weekend.

Our streets may be quiet and the Christmas season will be slightly different this year, but the Christmas lights will light up Kilkenny and you can watch it all from the comfort of your own homes.  The virtual Launch of Yulefest Kilkenny and switching on of the lights in Kilkenny City can be seen on Yulefest Kilkenny’s social media channels from this weekend.

Kilkenny City Council staff members and a crew of electricians have been busy since the start of this month, getting over 2km of lights installed throughout the city as well as erecting 10 beautiful Christmas trees.

Now it’s almost go-time and the energy-efficient LED lighting will light up the City from next weekend.  In particular, watch out for the new lanterns and festoon lighting on the Parade and the uplighting of the trees on the Mayor’s Walk.

Here are some snippets of what will be happening in and around Kilkenny during the festive season:

  • The annual Christmas Markets will be taking place on the Parade and will operate in compliance with social distancing guidelines.
  • The reindeers will be seen around the City.
  • A socially distanced Santa’s Christmas Village will be set up in the grounds of the Medieval Mile Museum.
  • Listen to messages from Santa online on and on social media.
  • Watch out for “Festival in a Van” in the run up to Christmas supported by Creative Ireland.
  • Check out “Christmas at Butler Gallery” including virtual tour of Wolfwalkers Exhibition and online Christmas Children’s Art Workshop.
  • There will be a few added features along the way to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

Remember, support your local shops and retailers when purchasing your Christmas Gifts #shopkilkenny.

Our local towns and villages have been supported this year by the Council to help in lighting up the County.  We look forward to seeing a display of these lights online.  Please tag Yulefest Kilkenny and let us see the County lit up for Christmas 2020.

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Andrew McGuinness in his christmas message said “I would like to wish everyone in Kilkenny City and County a very happy christmas for 2020.  Although this has been a very difficult year for everyone and christmas will be very different this year, it is still a time for families and we look forward with hope to all that 2021 will bring.  I am delighted to see that a virtual Yulefest Kilkenny is going ahead this year as we all need and deserve some Christmas cheer.  Stay safe, stay local and support Kilkenny businesses this Christmas as they are offering so many options to shop including shopping online, takeaway, home delivery services and click and collect.”