26 Irish experiences that make fantastic Christmas gift ideas - mywaste My Waste

26 Irish experiences that make fantastic Christmas gift ideas

15 Dec 2021


Gift your family and friends experiences this Christmas and you’re giving them special memories to treasure forever. Take inspiration from all the spectacular places in Ireland – an annual pass to Dublin Zoo ensures an epic present for every age, while a luxury hotel stay is a gift guaranteed to get you in the good books.

From amazing outdoor adventures to incredible family trips, here are 26 Irish experiences that make great Christmas gift ideas.

Surprise your foodie-loving friend

1 | Galway Food Tours

Cobbled streets, talented buskers, vibrant markets and excellent eateries, there’s a reason why Galway has such a great reputation. A voucher for Galway Food Tours is a thoughtful present for any foodie and if you’re lucky they might bring you along too. Choose from the Food and Cycling Tour, Evening Food Tour and Sweet Tooth Tour, where you’ll discover some of the hidden gems in the City of the Tribes.

Treat your friend to a food tour in Galway.
Treat your friend to a food tour in Galway.

2 | Ghan House

Give the gift of an overnight stay at Ghan House where foodie fans can enjoy cookery courses and wine tastings. The 12-bedroom Georgian House has glorious views of Carlingford Lough, a private dining room and a roaring log fire, where you can curl up after an evening in the kitchen. With a mouth-watering menu that features local Louth seafood and Cooley lamb, this is a place you’ll think of long after your trip.

3 | Dine in Dublin

The winding streets of the colourful capital are lined with gorgeous restaurants, buzzing bars and charming cafés. Pick up a voucher from Dine in Dublin, accepted in over 50 Dublin restaurants, and treat someone special to a delicious meal this Christmas. From five-course feasts to memorable tasting menus, Dublin is one of the most exciting food destinations in the country.

People dining in a Dublin restaurant
Dine out in Dublin.

4 | Roe & Co

Impress a whiskey connoisseur or cocktail lover with a visit to Roe & Co in Dublin City. The urban distillery has a rich history, housed in the old Guinness Power Station, so don’t miss out on the guided tour. After, there’s a whiskey tasting followed by a cocktail and flavours workshop. To top it all off, relax over a drink in the Power House Bar, where each cocktail is named after a former employee of the power station, a nostalgic way to end a brilliant experience.

Gift amazing family memories

5 | Airfield Estate

Just ten minutes away from bustling Dundrum Shopping Centre is Airfield Estate, a working farm on the outskirts of Dublin City. It’s true escapism and an annual family pass is a gift that keeps on giving. Kids adore the Rhode Island Red Hens and the Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs, and a day running around six acres of gardens is sure to tire them out for the journey home. Pick up a takeaway from Overends Kitchen and dinner is sorted – it's the perfect family Christmas gift idea.

Blue skies and green trees at Airfield Estate, Dublin
Visit beautiful Airfield Estate.

6 |  Dublin Zoo

A visit to Dublin Zoo is a joy for both big and little kids. Watch the elephants rolling around in mud baths on the Kaziranga Forest Trail and spend time in the African Savanna habitat where you’ll see rhinos, zebras and giraffes. No matter how many times you visit, there’s always something new to marvel at. Buy an annual pass for your nieces, nephews or grandchildren and enjoy family days out on repeat during 2022.

A montage of animals at Dublin Zoo
Bring the kids to Dublin Zoo.

7 | Johnstown Castle Estate

A visit to Johnstown Castle Estate in Wexford is a lovely way to while away an afternoon with gardens, woodland walks and a playground where kids can blow off steam while parents sit and chat over a coffee. If you become a member of the Irish Heritage Trust, you’ll have unlimited access to pre-booked guided castle tours and the outdoor estate too.

Annual membership also means you have free admission to the Irish Heritage Trust’s sister properties at Strokestown Park in Roscommon and Fota House Arboretum and Gardens in Cork.

Johnstown House beside a lake in Wexford surrounded by trees
Enjoy a day out at Johnstown Castle Estate.

8 | Castlecomer Discovery Park

Buy a Castlecomer Discovery Park gift voucher for the fun-loving kids in your life and you’ll be hearing about it for weeks on end. A twenty-minute spin from Kilkenny City, the park is packed with things to do including canoeing, orienteering, tree top walks and Ireland’s longest zip-line. Children love the Elf & Fairy Village where leafy woodland paths lead to a junior adventure course, sweet shop and the enchanting Bluebell Playhouse.

People walking through the treetops and using ziplines in Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kilkenny
Traverse the trees at Castlecomer Discovery Park.

9 | Leahy's Open Farm

In Midleton, CorkLeahy’s Open Farm is a major hit with children and parents alike. Get to grips with one of the largest mazes in Ireland, play a competitive round of crazy golf and watch the little ones squeal in delight as they meet Daisy the Cow, Dancer the Deer and Sheila the Donkey. Let the older kids tackle the climbing towers, go back in time at the Farm Museum, and end the day with a journey on the epic barrel train. Get booking tickets online and enjoy this wonderful family Christmas gift.

10 | Fota Wildlife Park

Staying in Cork, Fota Wildlife Park is another place where a fun family day out is guaranteed. See the stealthy cheetahs, admire the majestic lions and feeding time for the penguins is a must when you’re visiting Fota. Stop at the giraffe slide, have a snack in the Oasis Restaurant and go behind the scenes with a guided tour. Pick up a gift card or buy tickets online for a special family trip.

Fota Wildlife Park

Give someone special a luxury gift

11 | Voya Seaweed Baths

Voya Seaweed Bath in the spectacular setting of StrandhillSligo is an unforgettable experience. Voya’s hand-harvested seaweed heals, moisturises, and improves circulation. After a surf lesson or a walk along Strandhill’s golden beach, treat yourself to a steam and bath or pick up a gift voucher and introduce someone to this unique treat.

A woman relaxing in a seaweed candle-lit bath
Take a relaxing seaweed bath.

12 | Ireland Hotels

Irish hotels are up there with the best and if you’re buying a gift for someone who has everything, a hotel voucher is an inspired choice. Magnificent manors, contemporary city spots, princely castles and boutique style hotels, there’s oodles of choice. Gift friends or family with the Go Anywhere gift voucher from Ireland Hotels and watch their delighted grins as they start planning for a dream getaway.

Ballynahinch Castle overlooking a lake with mountains and trees in the background
Dream of a luxury stay in magical Ballynahinch Castle.

13 | Afternoon Tea

A voucher for afternoon tea is the perfect way to spoil someone you’ve been apart from this year. Go all out with the Bubbles & Cake package at the Westbury Hotel and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Grafton Street with a spot of window shopping afterwards. Or plan a trip to Westmeath and visit Wineport Lodge for finger sandwiches and red velvet cake in their Lakeshore Lounge. Take it from us you won’t want to leave.

Discover outdoor adventures for every age

14 | Shannon River Boat Hire

A cruise on the River Shannon is an Irish holiday everyone should experience at least once. From a romantic trip for two with a Terryglass sunset or a family getaway taking in Banagher’s outdoor pool, a voucher for a Shannon River cruise is a fantastic present. 2022 will hold many opportunities for exploring our incredible country and a boat trip along the longest river in Ireland brings you rich history, scenic sights, and memories to last a lifetime.

A boat cruising the River Shannon with views of trees nearby
Enjoy a scenic cruise along the River Shannon.

15 | Viking Cruise

Live life as a Viking as you costume up and set sail from Athlone Castle. Captain Mike from Viking Tours Ireland is at the helm of the authentic longship bringing you upriver to Lough Ree, the Lake of the Kings, or downstream to the ancient settlement of Clonmacnoise. Listen as friendly guides recount tales of famous battles and stories of fallen warriors. Book tickets online or pick up a family pass gift voucher.

16 | Fatbike Adventures

A tour with Fatbike Adventures is an amazing way to experience Wicklow, taking in the spectacular Guinness Lake, the majestic Sugarloaf and the rolling green countryside of Kilmacanogue. Choose from leisurely, woodland trails or check out the challenging climbs. Vouchers can also be redeemed at the on-site Bak’d Café in Belmont Demesne, any excuse to stop by for a tasty slice of woodfired pizza.

Two cyclists pausing to admire the view together at Bray Head, Co. Wicklow
Gaze at glorious views on your Fatbikes Adventures tour.

17 | Castlerosse Park Resort 

Gift a dedicated golf fan lessons with a qualified PGA professional and an overnight stay at Castlerosse Park Resort in charming Killarney. Looking out at serene Lough Leane and the magnificent MacGillycuddy's Reeks, the picturesque setting and impeccable course is an unbeatable combination. A hot stone massage soothes aching muscles after an energetic round and don’t miss dinner in the Grosvenor Restaurant, the views are truly breathtaking.

A stunning view of the grounds surrounding Castlerosse Park Resort
Castlerosse is a real treat for a golf lover.

18 | Kells Bay Gardens

Have you heard of the Jewel in the Ring of Kerry? A treasure trove of beautiful things, Kells Bay Garden is where you’ll find exotic plants, a bamboo glade, palm trees and a waterfall. Discover The Sky Walk, Ireland’s largest rope bridge, pick up a tree fern to add a touch of greenery to your home and stop to soak up the vista of Dingle Bay stretching out before you. Order a gift voucher or buy tickets online so you can enjoy a guided tour of the botanical gardens.

A waterfall and beautiful greenery in Kells Bay Gardens, Kerry
Discover the magic of Kells Bay Garden.

19 | Irish OPW Heritage Sites

An Irish Heritage Card gives you free admission to every OPW-run heritage site in the country for 12 months.

Visit the stunning Altamont Gardens in Carlow, experience the tranquillity of the Blasket Islands in Kerry and explore Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery in Sligo where the megalithic monuments date back almost 5,000 years. We can visit our favourite places once again and this card means you’ll have brilliant days out all year long.

Altamont Gardens, Carlow on a sunny day
Take a scenic stroll in Altamont Gardens.

Delight the thrill seeker in your life

20 | Redhills Adventure

Get the adrenaline pumping with a trip to Redhills Adventure in Kildare. Challenge yourself to the assault course complete with monkey bars and balancing beams, try archery tag or go paintballing. Take on the team challenges with family and friends, the Giant Puzzle is great craic, and it’s always fun to see who lets their competitive streak take over. Pick up a gift voucher now and let the games begin.

A person playing paintball at Redhills Adventure, Kildare
Get competitive at Redhills Adventure.

21 | Rafting.ie

Discover the capital from a new angle with a rafting trip on the River Liffey. Book online with Rafting.ie and choose from river tubing trips, team building exercises and seven person rafts. See the biodiversity of the Strawberry Beds as you paddle along the river between Chapelizod and Lucan and admire the city’s architecture as you navigate your way towards Palmerstown, accompanied by an experienced guide.

22 |  Zipit

Soar skywards and walk through the treetops at Zipit, a high ropes adventure park with three locations in Cork, Dublin and Roscommon. Pick up a voucher for Roscommon's Lough Key Forest Park and check out epic activities for every ability. You’ll get a full safety briefing first and then it’s time to charge into cargo nets, zipwire through the tree canopy and balance on wires.

There are easy platforms for beginners but if you want to get your blood racing, the Red Circuit is a real test where you can base jump from a height of 20m.

People using zip lines at Lough Key Forest Park, Roscommon
Experience the thrill of Zipit.

23 | Rally School Ireland

Delight your daredevil friend with a day as a rally driver at Rally School Ireland in Monaghan. Pick up a gift voucher for the fast car fanatic in your life and if you’re up for it, join them on the day as plenty of the experiences cater for two people. Get skills training, drive the high-speed Ariel Nomad straight out of Top Gear, or take the wheel of the iconic Porsche 911 Carrera.

A rally driver in a blue car sending sprays of water up in the air at Rally School Ireland, Monaghan
Experience a day as a rally driver.

24 | Pure Magic

Book a kitesurfing experience at Pure Magic Achill Lodge in Mayo for the outdoor lover in your life. Nestled at the foot of Slievemore Mountain, wake up to a view of glittering Keel Lake and get out on the water. Or book in with Pure Magic Dublin where classes are held on the golden strands of Dollymount and Sutton under the instruction of experienced guides. Take an evening lesson to see the sky fill with splashes of dusty pink as the sun sets above the iconic Poolbeg Chimneys.

People kitesurfing at Dublin Bay, Dublin
Go kitesurfing with a friend.

25 | Ballyhoura Mountain Biking

Explore epic mountain biking country in Ballyhoura where the borders of Limerick, Cork and Tipperary meet. There are five off-road bike trails with rocky routes, steep climbs, and demanding rollers. From tight turns to speedy descents, the Ballyhoura experiences tests even the hardiest mountain biker. Hire a mountain bike from Ballyhoura Trailriders for the outdoor enthusiast in your life and congratulate yourself on your Christmas gifting knowhow.

A man wearing biking gear and a helmet cycling on a boardwalk
Give mountain biking a go at Ballyhoura.

26 | Ireland's Association for Adventure Tourism (IAAT)

Check out Ireland's Association for Adventure Tourism, IAAT, and surprise your thrill seeker friend with a voucher for one of their epic activities.

Go night kayaking in West Cork with Atlantic Sea Kayaking, book in for a hiking skills weekend in Glendalough, or take a horse riding lesson with Donegal Equestrian Centre and discover the golden beaches of this scenic county.

Give the gift of Irish experiences this ChristmasFind Christmas gift ideas for friends or family and create new memories and enjoy experiences together in 2022. Boat trips in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, mountain biking through the rugged Wild Atlantic Way, gorgeous gardens in Ireland’s Ancient East and delicious meals in Dublin. Get ready to explore every corner of our beautiful country.

Source: DiscoverIreland