National Museum of Ireland December Events

The National Museum of Ireland are celebrating Christmas this year by hosting a plethora of seasonal and special events.

Museum of Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks

On December 2, take a break from the hustle and bustle and visit Collins Barracks on their Christmas open day. Drop in for talks on the traditions of Christmas, festive family trails and sparkly winter workshops. Admission is free with no booking required.

Continuing the festivities is the museum’s 12 Days of Christmas Trail. From December 2 – January 6, children can pick up free pencils and trails at the museum’s main reception and begin their adventure. Again, no booking is necessary and admission is free.

Join an introductory tour on December 9 to learn about the history of Collins Barracks, from the 1700s to the present day. Topics include its transition from Barracks to Museum, while taking in some of the highlights from the military history and decorative arts exhibitions. Admission is free though places are allocated on a first-come basis 15 minutes before tours start.

Museum of Archaeology, Kildare Street

On December 7, Kildare Street Culture Club will deliver a lecture titled Women in a Viking World – The Finglas Burial in Context. In 2004, a viking female burial was found at Finglas. It was richly furnished and was the first to be discovered in Ireland for over 100 years.

Maeve Sikora, Keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Museum will look at the evidence for female burial in the early Viking Age and explore how gender was expressed through grave-goods. Booking is required. To do so, email [email protected] or call 01 6486 334.

December 9 is the Kildare Street Open Day Medieval Christmas Pilgrimage. As mid-winter draws near, roam through the National Museum of Archaeology and discover how people passed the time on dark evenings, feasted in winters past and kept themselves safe on long and dangerous journeys. Pick up a trail, make an amulet to take with you on your pilgrimage and chat with medieval craftsmen from Irish Arms. No booking is required.

Meanwhile, December 14 marks the 150th Anniversary of finding the Ardagh Chalice, a hoard of metalwork from the 8th and 9th centuries. To celebrate, join this special tour of the Treasury Exhibition exploring Ireland’s most famous and iconic object. Learn about the people of early medieval Ireland, the influence of the coming of Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century and how the Ardagh Chalice, among other fine metal objects, were made and designed. No booking required but places are allocated on a first come basis.

Museum of Natural History, Merrion Street

From December 1 – 31, drop into the natural history part of the museum and try the Winter Activity Trail. Learn about beavers, birds and bears on display. Copies of this activity sheet trail are available at the stand in the Irish Room. No booking is required.

Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park – Mayo

All through December in Mayo, Turlough Park Travellers’ Journey will explore the rich culture, traditions and crafts of the west of Ireland Traveller community. This free exhibition aims to encourage discussion and appreciation of the unique heritage and ethnicity of Travellers.

At the same time, Turlough Park also will host exhibition The Enemy Within – the Spanish Flu in County Mayo 1918-19. The free event will explore the folk medicines and rudimentary cures used by the public to combat the flu epidemic. It will be on Level A in the Museum of Country Life until April 2019.

On December 7, Turlough Park will host a one off knitting and crochet circle event. Get tips on how to keep toasty in the Winter months by making your own hats, scarves and jumpers. Admission is free with beginners welcome. No booking is required.

The day after in Turlough Park, Mayo Genealogy Group will be giving out free practical tips for all those interested in finding out about their family history.

Lastly on December 15 at the park will host The Last Straw Christmas Decorations event. Be inspired by Christmases long ago to design and make your own straw Christmas cards and decorations, including stars, angels and more in this creative workshop with Melanie Lorien. Booking is required. To do so email [email protected]

Check out the museum’s site for more information and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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