Christmas in the Reeks District is a special affair, from meeting Santa to climbing Carrauntoohil, potentially in the snow… 

 1-2-3… time to see Santa!
St Nick certainly gets around at Christmas and he’s making a weekend of it in the Reeks District on the weekend of December 7 and 8. First up on Saturday, there’ll be an event to rival the coming of King Puck when the man in red rocks up in Killorglin’s Library Place from 2pm-5pm. Amongst the other activities on offer are Christmas Carols from Fame Academy, family puppet shows and DJ Donal playing tunes to get both adults and kids in the mood for Christmas. The town’s Christmas tree and Crib will also be up for the event. The following afternoon, Santa will be paying a visit to The Red Fox Inn at Kerry Bog Village. The free event will see kids get a gift and drink, and Santa will be there from 2.30pm. After being away for a couple of weeks, Santa will return for three days from December 20-22 at the Kerry Creamery Experience. Wrap up warm and take a camera, Santa’s helpers will take the snaps for you, while there’s a live crib and a Christmas arts and crafts fair. Meeting Santa costs €15 for kids who get a free gift. Accompanying adults see the man for free! Call +353 66 9767070 or +353 87 9473322 to book a slot.

Climb Carrauntoohil
Yes, we keep telling people to climb Carrauntoohil – but just as the different routes to the summit make for a different experience, so do the seasons. The potential for snow obviously makes a climb seem much more Christmassy over the festive season, and what better way could there be to get your very own red nose by reaching the summit cross in near freezing conditions. Kerry Climbing has a series of organised ascents throughout December, while The Reeks Guiding Company, Morrison Tours and Pat Falvey Worldwide Adventures will all take bookings on request.

Bag some goodies in Milltown
Head to the Old Church in Milltown for the annual Christmas Craft and Farmers’ Market. Don’t worry about the cold as it’s all indoors. It’s the perfect place to pick up homemade goodies and sample some local food, while listening to a bit of live music too. The market is held from 10am to 2pm every Saturday throughout December until Christmas, so that’s 7, 14 and 21. Entrance is free and there’s the chance to win a fabulous Christmas hamper too.

Take a – rather chilly – dip
Christmas swims are popular around the coast of Ireland and here in the Reeks District, we boast two of them. Head to Cromane to work up an appetite by jumping in the sea on Christmas morning and do a good deed by raising some money for the diabetes unit at University Hospital Kerry at the same time. Details can be found on this Facebook page where there are fundraising links too #dipfordiabetes. Over in Inch you can do similar, this time raising money for the Kerry Cancer Support Group’s vital service, the Kerry/Cork Health Link Bus.

Make a lasting memory
Christmas is changing in Killorglin this year; as well as the traditional lights and tree, there will be more than 120 individual lit trees outside many businesses in the town thanks to an initiative by the Killorglin Chamber Alliance. As part of the celebrations, there will be a Memory Tree Ceremony after 6pm mass on December 21. Held in Library Square it gives people the chance to remember those that have gone before. Festive tunes will be provided by the Men’s Social Club and Oh Happy Day Ladies choirs, while mince pies and mulled wine will be courtesy of Jones Eurospar. Memory tree certificates (€10) are available from Eurospar, CYMS and Bunkers Bar.