Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And there’s nothing more likely to get you in the spirit than Christmas carols.

Carols have the power to awaken the inner child in all of us. The hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. You start to feel what can only be described as a warm, fuzzy glow. So at Dublin.ie, with our inner child getting restless, we decided to try and identify some of the very best places to hear Christmas carols.

Our first stop is the National Concert Hall. With concerts, presentation and setting can be everything. And that’s what makes Carols by Candlelight on December 22nd so utterly charming. Enjoy an exquisite collection of carols and seasonal classics – all staged in full 18th Century costume in an evocative candle-lit style setting. You really won’t want to miss it.

Carols by Candlelight – Image courtesy of Paul Grover

Our next stop is Christ Church cathedral, where there’s something very special in the form of a concert by the Mornington Singers. Join them on December 17th for “Noël!” – an evening of carol classics by the award winning, internationally-renowned amateur choir. But make sure to book quickly, because tickets have been known to go fast. Then on December 18th, Christ Church will be playing host to Chamber Choir Ireland who’ll be performing festive classics, mixed with traditional readings in the wonderful surrounds of what is the oldest cathedral in the city. Like we said, presentation and setting can be everything. And if you can, do try to catch the choir of Christ Church for either midnight mass late on Christmas Eve, or go see them for an extra jolly performance on Christmas day. They are well worth your ears.

Mornington Singers

Okay, so maybe you’re looking for something just ever so slightly different. Well we’ve just the thing. Dublin Gospel choir will be doing their Christmas Concert in Aid of the Capuchin Day Centre for the Homeless on December 18th in Saint Mary Of The Angels Church on Church Street. For those possibly unfamiliar with Dublin Gospel choir, (you can always catch them at their regular slot at Electric Picnic), well you’re in for something special. Expect a lot of soul, an almost contagious sense of positivity, and a great repertoire. But the fantastic thing of course is that it’s all for a great cause.

Christmas Baby please come home - Dublin Gospel Choir

Or maybe you just want to get involved and get singing yourself. Well there’s something for you too. Every year the Simon Community runs Sing for Simon where everyone is invited to join in as they sing carols together. And if singing isn’t quite your thing, they can always do with plenty of bucket shakers as well for collecting. Like the Dublin Gospel Christmas concert, this is in aid of the homeless. We can all do something, and the festive season is a great time for giving or even offering your time to sing.

Carolers at Sing for Simon

So there really is a whole lot going on this Christmas. In fact, you can be left feeling a little spoilt for choice. Whether it’s singing yourself or hearing traditional carols from some of our very best choirs around the city, there truly is something for everyone.

Well it’d be hard to miss at this stage. Indeed it’s been happening for quite a while now. (The latest John Lewis tearjerker was upon us in early November). Yes, it can feel like it’s all starting that tiny bit earlier each year. But at this juncture there’s no point in griping because we’re in the home stretch. The best thing to do? Embrace it all.

Main header image: Chamber Choir Ireland performing – Image courtesy of Frances Marshall

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

The Live Crib

The Live Crib at the Mansion House is a Dublin Christmas Institution. I have fond memories of visiting it as a child. It was always the grand finale in a day of staring at wonder at the shop windows of Arnott’s, Clery’s and Brown Thomas. The crib, now in its 22nd year has even more to offer the families of Dublin this winter. Visitors to the Live Crib will now walk through a wonderful Winter Wonderland to reach the crib. You will walk by baubles so big you will feel like you have shrunk. You can rest legs weary from Christmas shopping in Santa’s sleigh before posting your letter to Santa through the wonderland’s direct link to the North Pole. Listen closely and you might even hear it whoosh away.

Read More

Dublin Flea Christmas Market

The Dublin Flea Christmas Market is heading into its seventh year and its second in The Point Village. From Friday December 9th to Sunday December 11th the shopping centre will be transformed into a winter wonderland filled with over 100 stalls selling the flea market’s usual retro and vintage wares alongside Irish craft and design. For the first time, this year the Dublin Flea Christmas Market is supported by Dublin City Council and Dublin.ie. We sat down with half of the four-person team behind Dublin Flea, Sharon Greene and Dave Dunn to find out what makes the Christmas Flea Market so special.

Read More

A City of Words: Dublin Comedy Improv

You walk up the side stairs of the International Bar. On Wicklow Street. You stroll into a dark room. You pay a fiver. You instantly hear laughter. You’ve just made the smart move to go the Dublin Comedy Improv. Going since 1992, DCI is a true institution, a little gem in the city. Kicking off at 9pm, it’s been up there adding big grins to grim Mondays for 25 years. I’ve seen a lot of lesser acts labelled ‘cult’ over the years. But this crew earn the accolade. Looking at these dudes

Read More