Sensory Sensitive Quiet Time

For some families & children bright lights and loud music can cause stress and anxiety. At Yulefest Kilkenny, we believe that everyone should have an opportunity to experience and enjoy our beautiful city at Christmas time.

This year, thanks to the support of Creative Ireland, Butler House Garden, Kilkenny Castle, Medieval Mile Museum, Kilkenny on Ice, Nore Valley Park Christmas Experience and the Vintage Carousel, we will turn the lights & music down low, allowing children & their families to experience the atmosphere of Christmas in Kilkenny at a pace and in an environment that is comfortable for them to enjoy.





Please see details below of venues & times

Vintage Carousel

The Vintage Carousel is delighted to offer Sensory Sensitivity Quiet Time – Just ask the Carousel operator to slow the ride and turn down/turn off the music to your child’s preferred experience. (€3 all ages)

Medieval Mile Museum

Saturday 7th, 14th & 21st December from 11am to 2pm, the Medieval Mile Museum will be a sanctuary of calm for families with children who would enjoy Sensory Sensitive Quiet.  Allowing quiet visits where the space can be gently explored and enjoyed. The museum tells stories 800 years in the making with the assistance of authentic artefacts all within the peaceful space of the 13th century church.

For more information please ring 056 7817022

Butler House Garden

The garden is open and free to wander around and enjoy, Monday to Friday, 11am to 3pm. Children will love the toy soldiers, reindeer and the frosty winter pond at the heart of the garden complete with a skating snowman! The house will be serving food from 12 noon to 4pm daily, with a festive menu on offer. The gardens are open at the weekends also but are particularly busy on these days.

For more information please ring 056 7722828

Kilkenny on Ice

Every Sunday from 11am to 12 noon. Kilkenny on ice is fully accessible to wheelchair users, with onsite wheelchair accessible bathrooms and parking at The Hub, Cillín Hill.

For more information please ring 086 2236660

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle is offering Sensory Friendly visits from 9.15am to 10am on Saturday the 7th, 14th, 21st & Sunday 8th, 15th, 22nd December. This will be a unique opportunity for children with sensory needs and their family to view the beautiful Victorian periods rooms of the Castle decorated for Christmas in a quiet environment . This event is free of charge but advance booking is required. Please contact 056 7704106 / to book.

Nore Valley Park Christmas Experience at MacDonagh Junction

Write your letter to Santa at the North Pole Post Office, bake and decorate gingerbread men with Mrs Claus in her magical kitchen, mischievous elves will guide you to meet Santa in his enchanting grotto, Santa has also brought some of his furry friends along with him; in addition to live deer, his stables are home to the animals of the Nativity which the whole family are invited to pet, stroke and cuddle.The lights can be dimmed, quiet music or none at all, the experience can be tailored as much as possible to ensure families are content that the event meets their needs. Booking is essential so please call us on 056 772 7229 or email providing a contact phone number.

Autism Friendly Santa Experience

Castlecomer Discovery Park are pleased to offer an Autism Friendly Santa Experience once again this year.

The lights, the smells, the crowds, and all of the things that we love about Christmas can be extremely overwhelming to someone who struggles with sensory input. In recognition of this, they have created a “sensory friendly” option for their visitors with autism or sensory processing difficulties. They have scheduled Friday 13th December at 2pm & 3pm for those wishing to have a more sensory friendly Santa experience. This is not available to book online, please contact them by phone on 056 4440707 or email with your details.

Sunday 1st December — Tuesday 31st December
10:00 am — 5:00 pm