Christmas 2021 FAQs

Q. Do we need to be fully vaccinated to gain entry?
A. Update 23rd November 2021: Further to recent Covid 19 government guideline updates we require all adult visitors over the age of 18 to have a) proof of vaccination or b) valid PCR test taken within 72 hours of your visit. Please contact our reservations department by emailing should you need to cancel your booking.

Q. How many people can I have in my booking?
A. You can have a maximum of 6 people in your booking, including children and babies

Q.  Do you have to wear a mask in the castle?
A. Yes, we require all adults to wear masks and to socially distance during their visit to the castle

Q. Will there be large gatherings at the event?
A. We have reduced our capacity to eliminate any large gatherings

Q. Will my family group see Santa individually?
A. Yes, your group will have their own visit separately with Santa. All other elements of the experience will be with 3 or 4 other families at a time, including seeing Mrs Claus and the other actors in the castle. There will be plenty of space in the rooms for social distancing.

Q. What will happen on my visit?
A. On arrival, please check in at the registration desk in the castle with your ticket and proof of immunity/Covid Cert on your mobile device or in print. You will be allocated to either visit Santa’s grotto first or begin with the castle tour. Once you have registered, you will be invited to make your way to the castle interpretative areaThe first group allocated to do the castle tour will be brought upstairs, while the second group will wait in the holding area until their name is called to visit the grotto. Once you have visited Santa, you will once again be invited to wait in the interpretive area until the second tour begins.

Q. What is included in the price?
A. Visit to Mrs Claus and Santa, age appropriate gift, tour of the castle with special guest actors to entertain children.

Q. Will children be allowed to sit beside/on Santa’s knee for photo?
A. Due to social distancing we cannot allow children to sit on Santa’s knee however we will have the grotto set up that allows families to engage and interact with Santa in a safe manner

Q. If my child doesn’t like their gift can it be swapped?
A. Unfortunately due to Covid we will not be facilitating swapping of gifts

Q. Does the Santa Christmas Experience include entry to Wonderlights?
A. No,  Wonderlights is a different event and run by a different company. To book tickets visit

Q. Can we visit the gardens and Butterfly House with our ticket?
A. Yes you can visit the gardens with your ticket. Last entry to the gardens is 3pm daily. Gardens close at 4pm sharp.

Q. Is there free parking available?
A. There is free parking however spaces at peak times (i.e. weekends) are limited. Please allow extra time for parking. Where at all possible, public transport is advised.

Q. How long will the experience take?
A. Approx. one hour in total

Q. Do I have to arrive exactly at the set appointment time?
A. Yes, please arrive at the castle at your allocated time slot. We recommend visitors arrive 15 minutes before their time slot if possible. If you arrive late we cannot guarantee we can cater for your family at this time.

Q. If my appointed time is, for example, 5pm do I get to visit Santa at exactly 5pm?
A. No – you have been given an hourly slot. You will see Santa sometime between 5pm and 6pm.

Q. Are there food and gifts available for purchase?
A. Our gift shop is open in the Visitor Centre from 9.30am-5.30pm and Avoca Café is open from 9.30am-5pm.

Q. What are the photography prices?
A. €10 for one photo and €20 for three photos. Please note: photos can be purchased with cash only as credit card machine facilities are not available in the castle. There is an ATM on-site in Avoca which closes at 5.30pm.

Q. Is the experience wheelchair accessible?
A. Unfortunately the Santa Experience is not wheelchair accessible this year due to works being carried out in the Castle’s Great Hall.

Q. Can I bring a buggy?
A. Yes, you can bring your buggy to the castle but buggies cannot be brought into Santa’s grotto or on the castle tour. All buggies are left in a supervised area within the castle entrance and can be collected on departure.

Q. Can I bring extra people on the day? 
A. Unfortunately not; due to capacity restrictions and the popularity of this event all children and adults must be pre-booked online

Q. Are bookings refundable? 
A. In the current climate, we are only refunding tickets to those who cannot attend due to new government guidelines introduced and cannot provide a EU Covid Cert or proof of immunity. We will also issue a refund to those who have a member of their family or group sick with Covid symptoms. We kindly ask that you do not attend your visit.

Q. What is the maximum recommended child age? 
A. There is no age restriction.

Q. Is the event all indoors? 
A. Yes, the event is based in the castle itself.

Q. Can I visit Malahide Castle without a Santa visit?
A. Yes, although they will be reduced in frequency so please check our booking page for availability.

Q. Is there a contact for queries? 
A. Yes, you can contact us at


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Offering cardholders unlimited access to Malahide Castle and Gardens (including the Butterfly House and Fairy Trail), Newbridge House and Farm and The Casino Model Railway Museum</strong, our new Annual Membership Pass makes light work of great days out for all the family!