If you are spending Christmas in Ireland with kids, you might be interested in knowing that, with the right address in hand, it is fairly easy to meet Santa in Dublin.

When I was a child, Santa was a very shy individual. He liked to spend his time in the North Pole, working away on wooden toys in the quiet of his workshop, with the sole company of the crackling fire and his elves. He would only come out once a year, alone with his reindeer, to travel the world in a state I imagine similar to the one  induced by a long haul flight, suspended in time as well as in space.

But in recent years Santa seems to have changed his ways (or PR team) and is now as sociable as a minor TV celebrity. He literally seems to be everywhere: last year we met him in a shopping centre, in playschool and even in a bike shop here in Dublin.

Still, all these apparitions were not able to take away the beauty and the magic of a trip to his ‘real’ dwelling here in Dublin, Airfield farm, where we met him on a cold December morning just before Christmas day last year.

Airfiled farm is a working farm in Dublin city. It’s a great place to visit with children all year round and at Christmas becomes very special: their beautiful grounds become the backdrop for an enchanted trail and its elegant, cosy interiors the setting for a magical meeting with Santa.

Here is the story of our experience at Airfield last year.


The experience at Airfield is a ticketed event and we had booked our slot for the late morning. Unable to contain the excitement, we got there a little early, so we started pottering around the cute Christmas shop near the entrance. Soon enough we saw the first magical apparition of the day: dressed in what  I can only describe as a Dickensian outfit, one of Santa’s helpers came to collect us and told us about the day ahead.

She explained that Santa had just arrived in Airfield the night before and that he was still sleeping, so we  were better off taking the long route through the gardens. This route was the perfect excuse to introduce us two of the highlights of the tour: the magical fairy garden, decorated wth ribbons and baubles and the story telling elf, who entertained us with a story about life with Santa.

 After this first part of the tour, it was time to meet the man himself. As expected, Santa was lovely with the kids: as they sat on fluffy pillows, eyes fixed on him in magical rapture, Santa told them a story and gave them one present each. They kept it jealously as an invaluable treasure!
Santa in Dublin

The Rabbit wasn’t exactly sure about sitting with Santa, but the Bear loved it! The blurred eyes are my retouching to respect the fact that he is so shy: in person, he had a bright, smiley expression


After the meeting with Santa, we all though the visit was coming to an end, but actually there was a lot more to come.

Venturing farther into the farm, we visited the gingerbread village (complete with complimentary hot chocolate for adults and kids), we met Doner and Blitzen in their comfy stable, we had a ride on the Christmas train and we made decorations in Santa’s workshop.

This last activity was possibly the best one of the day: with the help of elves, the kids were invited to make small origamis and to attach them to Santa’s Christmas tree.  It must have been Santa’s magic, but all the kids, even the younger ones, actually sat at their tables following instructions to make origami!!!

If they showed half that discipline on a normal day at home, how easy would life be?

It was a wonderful morning and both adults and children loved it. We already have our tickets for  this year – what surprises will be in store for us?

Practical info:

Age: we went to the Airfield Christmas experience when the kids were 4 and a half and almost three. They both loved it, but I found my 4-year-old got the most out it and I am sure this year he will be able to enjoy the story telling sessions even more.



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