The Kilkenny Christmas market (Yulefest Kilkenny) is one of the lesser-known Christmas markets in Ireland.
And, although it’s one of the smaller markets on the island, it’s jam-packed events schedule packs a punch.
Below, you’ll find info on everything from when the markets are taking place to what events to look out for. Dive on in!
The Kilkenny Christmas market 2021: Some quick need to knows
Although a visit to the Kilkenny Christmas market is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
1. Location + parking
The Kilkenny Christmas market takes place on The Parade in the heart of the city. If you’re driving, you can park in the Market Yard and the County Hall car parks (parking is free on the dates below).
2. Dates + times
The markets (including the various events – more info below) take place every weekend. They start at 10am and run until 6pm. There’s also numerous events, like open air movie nights, taking place during the week (info below).
3. Heaps of events
The Kilkenny Christmas markets have a good mix of events tied into their roster, from Friday Night DJ Beats and the Yulefest Movie Nights to music, indoor events and much more (see below).
Things to do in and around the Kilkenny Christmas market
There’s plenty to see and do at Yulefest Kilkenny, with a little bit of something to tickle most fancies, as you’ll discover below. Just keep in mind that some of the events are ticketed.
1. The stalls
As is the case with every Christmas market in Ireland, Yulefest Kilkenny boasts its fair share of stalls. Here, you’ll find local artisans tucked away in beautiful wooden huts selling everything from food and crafts to festive trinkets. This section of the Kilkenny Christmas market is open on November 27th & 28th, from 1-6pm, and then from 10am-6pm every Saturday and Sunday until the 19th Dec.
One of the more unique attractions at the Kilkenny Christmas market is the movie nights. Boasting a backdrop of Kilkenny Castle, the Yulefest movie nights feature Oscar nominated Kilkenny based Cartoon Saloon movies. They’re shown at Canal Square every Wednesday (1st – 22nd December) at 7pm. Note: you need to book your tickets in advance. Tickets are €3 a pop or €10 for families (up to 5 people).
3. The Yulefest Bandstand
If movies aren’t your thing, you can soak up some festive atmosphere at The Parade every weekend. A mix of local musicians will be taking to the stage from now up to Christmas, for those of you looking for a bit of pre-dinner entertainment, before tipping into one of the many restaurants in Kilkenny.
4. Friday Night DJ Beats
Friday Night DJ Beats take place at Watergate Urban Park on Parliament Street on Fridays in December, from 17:00 – 20:00. Resident DJs the Se7en Inch Collective will be on hand to get you in the Christmas party mood. The park will also be decked out in festive gear, to add to the festive buzz.
5. Butler House Christmas Garden
Take the little ones to Butler House to experience their enchanting Christmas garden and festive fare (open each weekend from 12:00 – 18:00). You can expect everything from toy soldiers and reindeer to a miniature train, glittering lights and plenty more.
6. Yulefest Fireworks Display
Although this event is sold out, you’ll be able to see it taking place from across the city. The Kilkenny Christmas market fireworks display takes place on Sunday, December 19th at 19:30 from the spectacular setting of Kilkenny Castle.
FAQs about the Kilkenny Christmas Market
We’ve had a lot of questions over the last couple of days asking about everything from whats on at Yulefest Kilkenny to whether or not it’s worth visiting.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
When is the Kilkenny Christmas Market 2021 taking place?
The markets take place every weekend. They start at 10am and run until 6pm. There’s also numerous events, like open air movie nights, taking place during the week (info below).
What’s on at Yulefest Kilkenny?
You’ll find everything from music and outdoor movie nights to lights, stalls, food and much more at Yulefest Kilkenny.
I was born in a quiet corner of a Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Over the years, I’ve explored Ireland far and wide, from the wilds of West Clare to the shores of Sherkin. Particularly fond of heritage, history and hikes (and words beginning with ‘H’, apparently…).