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10 Things To Do In Dublin Over Christmas That Don't Involve Alcohol

By seank

December 20, 2017 at 12:43pm


It's not even Christmas yet and we're already overdoing it, so let's step on the brakes here.

It may sound crazy but maybe, just maaaybe, we should try to make a conscious effort to go a little easier on the booze this year. By being just a smidge more sensible, both your body and your wallet will be eternally grateful.

However, we do have to admit it is tough. It seems all the cosiest, most inviting places in town are pubs, and their lure is nigh on irresistible. Nevertheless, there are alternatives.

Now, the non-believers among you will think it isn't possible to have craic without some kind of alcoholic beverage in hand, but we defy you to try at least one of the activities we've assembled below sans hooch and not have a good time.

We feckin' dare ya.

Look at all the Wild Lights

By day the exotic animals are the most exciting thing about Dublin Zoo, but at night that all changes. 

Running until January 7, Wild Lights is a spectacular night-time event taking place in the heart of Phoenix Park, where you can find ornate lanterns in the shapes of fantastic beasts illuminated from within, acrobats performing incredible feats and a Chinese market filled with handcrafted trinkets.

Tickets are €20 per adult and you can pick them up HERE.

Dublin Zoo Wild Lights02 1

Give BANG BANG a shot

Celebrate the life of Thomas Dudley, AKA Bang Bang, one of Dublin's most famous characters who was known for roaming the city streets with a brass key which he innocently pretended was a gun in his imaginary showdowns with his fellow Dubliners.

In this funny yet emotional play by Dermot Bolger, presented by Bewley's Café Theatre, we meet Bang Bang in the Christmas of 1980 — just weeks before he passed away.

Tickets remain for performances of BANG BANG from December 18-23 and you can pick yours up HERE.

Bang Bang

Watch Christmas movies at Stella Theatre

If you hadn't had the chance yet to experience this plush newly reopened cinema, the most magical time of the year is the perfect time to give it a whirl.

This December you can attend screening of festive classics like It's A Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Miracle On 34th Street, Santa Claus The Movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Trading Places.

Tickets for the small venue tend to get snapped up quick, so you might want to pick yours up quick over HERE.

Stella Screen

Be captivated by They Called Her Vivaldi 

This show has gotten rave reviews from the likes of The Irish Times and Sunday Business Post for being a delight for the whole family as well as for its innovative production.

The comedy-adventure tells the story of a girl with a medical condition that requires her to wear a special helmet to protect her from the noise of the world, but which has the curious effect of allowing her to tune into people's own personal song...

They Called Her Vivaldi runs at The Abbey Gate Theatre until December 23 and you can pick up tickets HERE.

Knock on The Clockwork Door

This Temple Bar spot was created as alternative to pubs as a place to socialise in the city centre.

Known as a 'time house', this is a space that can be rented by the minute to relax in a comfortable environment where you can have chats with friends over a hot drink, play video or boardgames and just generally chill out.

There are six different rooms to choose from (such as the Cosy Room and the Games Room) and it's just 8c per minute for the first two hours, which includes access to tea, coffee, biscuits and wi-fi. Learn more about The Clockwork Door HERE.

Take on 5 Quests

Put the boardgames aside and give yourself a real challenge this festive season.

Boasting more colourful and varied adventure scenarios than your average escape room, with experiences like the Pharaoh's Tomb and the Jungle Quest, this place feels like a real life version of Jumanji.

You'll find 5 Quests in Cornelscourt, Dublin 18 and you can pick up tickets from €19 per person HERE.

Leave the real world behind at Escape VR 

Here we have another escape room experience — but one that's entirely virtual.

You strap on an Oculus Rift and motion sensors pick up your bodily movements as you try to navigate a computer generated zero gravity space environment, giving users a sense of what it's like to fly as they work their way through numerous puzzles.

Tickets go from €20 per person at Escape VR on Corn Exchange Place and you can find them HERE.

Explore the National Wax Museum Plus

Maybe you visited the old National Wax Museum on Dame Street in the past, but have you been to the new National Wax Museum Plus on Westmoreland Street?

This location is a more modern experience, with added sections to wander through themed around Star Wars, science and history, Irish writing, fantasy, horror, The SimpsonsFather Ted and more.

They've even got an 'augmented reality' app that you can download, allowing you to hear the waxworks speak to you when you hold your phone in front of them. What a time to be alive.

Adult tickets for the National Wax Museum Plus go from €13.50 and you can pick them up HERE.

Father Ted Wax

Do the GOAL Mile

During a season filled with excess and wastefulness, why not do your body and those in need a good turn at the same time?

Now in its 36th year, thousands of people across Ireland walk, jog or run a mile along a GOAL route every Christmas in order to raise funds for GOAL's programmes in the developing world.

To find a GOAL Mile event near you click HERE or to simply donate to this worthy cause click HERE.

Have dinner and a show with Café Society

Stop by the Number Twenty Two on South Anne Street to see this 12-piece big band channel the music scene of '20s New York City.

Every Saturday night Café Society perform songs and compositions from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and many more. You can enjoy the show for €30 or you can get the dining package including a three-course a la Carte menu for €65.

And before anyone gets smart down in the comment section, yes you could have alcohol with this experience but you don't need it to enjoy your evening. 

Sound like a nice evening to you?

Have you got any other suggestions for alcohol-free ways to have fun in Dublin this Christmas? Share them in the comments.

READ NEXT: Christmas Bucket List: 16 Ways To Get Seriously Festive In Dublin This December


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