The festive season is a time for reflection, for love and cheer, for making memories and spending quality time with family and friends. It is also a time for community and for charity.
The cost of living crisis continues to affect people across the island of Ireland, but also social enterprises and businesses striving to deliver social impact in the Community and Voluntary Sector.
As you contemplate your Christmas list this year, why not consider some of the gifts and activities that support social enterprises in your area? Delivered by volunteers and community champions, these home-grown experiences and products are great gift ideas, and will also deliver social impact to communities that are local to you in Leinster.
Here are just a few ideas for you to think about:
Dunbrody Famine Ship, Co. Wexford
The Santa Wonderland Experience returns to the Dunbrody Visitor Centre again this year for 11 dates, commencing on Saturday 3rd December and running right up until 23rd December.
Come along to the Magical Wonderland, meet mischievous elves, HoneyComb & Peppermint, and see Santa & Mrs. Claus busily preparing for the most important night of the year.
Santa and his hardworking team are determined to pull out all the stops to ensure everyone has a safe and memorable visit.
It’s a mesmerising experience from start to finish and offers families an abundance of photo opportunities. Tickets are priced at €18 per child (this includes an age appropriate present) and €10 per Adult. For more information and to book your slot visit the website.
Castlecomer Discovery Park, Co. Kilkenny
Castlecomer Discovery Park’s elf village becomes Christmas central this year, as they light up the area around the fairy houses to gear up the festive feels. The beautiful Christmas lights transform the space into a wonderful destination for a winter walk.
Children aged 3-8 can bounce off some pre-Christmas energy in the bouncing nets and junior adventure course and take part in the elf on the shelf scavenger hunt, while mum and dad can enjoy hot chocolate or mulled wine from the Canopy Café.
For more information and to buy tickets visit Castlecomer Discovery Park’s Website.
Butler Gallery, Co. Kilkenny
Butler Gallery continues its successful partnership with the immensely talented Kilkenny-based and five time Oscar© nominated Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, in an exhibition response to their new animated film My Father’s Dragon, directed by Nora Twomey.
The film is based on a beloved 1948 fantastical children’s novel by Ruth Stilies Gannett about Elmer Elevator, a boy who runs away from home to rescue Boris, a captive baby dragon trapped on a wild island.
The exhibition which runs to the 29th January is curated by Anna O’Sullivan, Butler Gallery Director, and designed by award winning exhibition designer Steven McNamara of Roji.
The exhibition combines the expertise of Butler Gallery’s exhibition team with Cartoon Saloons worldwide reach and distinctive style to develop an immersive, sensory and child-centred exhibition experience that will captivate audiences of all ages. Get your tickets now.
Community Finance Ireland have teamed up with Martin Hurls to offer a £100 voucher to spend on their wares. One lucky winner will win this in our Facebook Competition running in the lead up to Christmas. To be in with a chance of winning simply visit our the Facebook post and follow the instructions to be entered into the draw.
Spending your time and money in these venues and on these products not only helps deliver social impact but is an endorsement that, the local volunteers and committees’ efforts are valued.
#SocialTime is always a good time.