Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Christmas fun on a budget

Christmas fun

Photo: iStock

Entertaining the kids over Christmas isn’t always an easy task, nor cheap. Sure, you could fork out for a day at an amusement park or the local activity centre, but that’s a lot of extra strain so soon after Christmas day.

But never fear – You & Your Money is on hand with some helpful suggestions to keep the young ones occupied on a budget.

Free events

While it’s nice to just get away from the world for a day or two and enjoy some festive fun with your family, cabin fever can quickly set in. Thankfully there’s a number of free events around Ireland this December and January, including free guided walks in the Dublin Mountains, free admission to the Hook Lighthouse Arrow Ceremony in Wexford, a range of free activities at the National Museum of Ireland, or Limerick city’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza.

Check out, and for more events and ideas.

Christmas treasure hunt

Treasure hunts are a great way to spend an hour or two over the holidays. Hide a selection box and several Christmas-themed clues to its location somewhere around the house. Instructables has got four handy methods for creating a treasure hunt. As an added bonus, it might just tire them out and give you a chance to relax!

Movie night

Christmas movies are a great part of the festive season – what kid doesn’t want to watch re-runs of Indiana Jones and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on Christmas Day? If you’ve just got Saorview or a limited TV package, there’s no need to fork out on pricey upgrades. Why not simply subscribe to Netflix for a month for free?

While the Irish library isn’t as extensive as others, there’s still plenty for the younger generation to enjoy, like Back to the Future, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Five Children and It (and plenty for the adults too, including In Bruges, Bridesmaids and John Wick).

Bring out the board games

A great way to while away a Christmas afternoon are boardgames – I’ve got fond memories of Monopoly, Guess Who and Cluedo (at least before the arguments began) after a marathon session of unwrapping presents. Many board games can be expensive, particularly if you’re buying more than one, but has got some free printable winter and Christmas options.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.