Something for the weekend...

Here’s some great things to do around the country this weekend.
Something for the weekend...

1 Christmas concert

Mixed voice choir Cór Cois Abhann Corcaigh is performing the ultimate Christmas classic, Handel’s Messiah with The Jennens Orchestra, tonight at 8pm in The Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the heart of Cork city.

Tickets are €15 and available from Pro Musica in Cork, SS. Peter and Paul’s Church Parish Office or direct from the choir.

It is also the last weekend to sample the Christmas market along the Grand Parade.

2 Dining out

This is your last chance to ditch the cooking duties and leave Christmas to the experts in Ballynahinch Castle, a Victorian country house and estate in the heart of Connemara.

Christmas at Ballynahinch begins on Christmas Eve with traditional festive treats, with local choristers setting the mood.

On Christmas morning after an extended breakfast service, spend time with your friends and family, attend a church service or explore the estate before dinner, created by chef Ultan Cooke and his kitchen team, is served.

Gather for drinks by the fire, pull crackers, or break out the board games before you catch the Christmas movie, with popcorn and chocolates, and later that night if you get a little peckish there will be some delicious late night food to sustain those that are staying up.

Christmas at Ballynahinch Castle includes three nights dinner, bed and breakfast, welcome treats, light lunch on two days, afternoon tea daily, drinks reception on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, light supper on Christmas Night, activities and movies, costs from €820 per person sharing in a classic room.

Children sharing with two adults in a superior or luxury room costs €245 per child.

www.ballynahinch-castle.com

3 Don’t forget the reindeer

Families are being urged to spread some festive cheer this Christmas by feeding a packet of The Irish Hospice Foundation’s Reindeer Food to Santa’s hungry troop.

Reindeer Food is on sale for €2 in LloydsPharmacy and MACE stores around the country in the run up to the big night, with all proceeds going to support the work of The Irish Hospice Foundation.

Boys and girls can sprinkle this special mixture of oats and magic in their garden to guide Santa to their home on Christmas Eve.

The Irish Hospice Foundation is a national charity dedicated to all matters relating to dying, death and bereavement in Ireland.

The IHF receives no core state funding and therefore relies on the generosity of donations to support its work.

www.hospicefoundation.ie

4 Christmas movies

The Christmas lights are twinkling and there’s a seasonal chill in the air, so it’s the perfect time to cosy up in front of some festive film favourites at the Irish Film Institute.

Whether it’s a festive tradition with family, or simply a couple of hours away from the hustle and bustle of the shops, the IFI has a host of Christmas classics and free archive screenings for all ages throughout December.

Miracle on 34th Streetis on tomorrow at 4pm with the legendary Maureen O’Hara in one of her most loved films, while family favourites such as Hugo (3D, December 27 at 11am) and Scrooge (today at 4pm and tomorrow at 11am) will certainly help you get that festive feeling.

Special family ticket prices available while Archive at Lunchtime - Mondays, Wednesdays and double bills on Saturdays (throughout December) are free.

IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 or online at www.ifi.ie.

5 Oh yes it is!

It’s Panto season and this year The Everyman will banish those winter blues with a touch eastern magic as Aladdin takes centre stage.

Lee Matthews takes on the role of the ‘diamond in the rough’, with Niamh O’Mahony as ‘Princess Jade’ and Ciaran Berminghan playing the ‘Widow Twankey’.

The Genie is Keith Hanley, who took part in the Voice of Ireland 2014. The script is funny and fast paced, there’s dancing and singing and last, but not at all least, the obligatory Tiny Tots.

The panto continues until January 13 and booking is on 021 4501673 or www.everymancork.com

6 Make it a date

The Irish Examiner is supporting the Penny Dinners charity this Christmas with its ‘Then and Now’ calendar which features iconic Cork photos from the past and present.

Available to buy at the Irish Examiner/Evening Echo office at 80 Oliver Plunkett Street, or online at the papers’ websites, the calendar is priced at €10 and a donation from the proceeds will go directly to the Penny Dinners charity.

The Cork charity is feeding up to 1,800 people a week and all donations are gratefully recieved.

colette.keane@examiner.ie

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