Venues across Limerick are pulling out all the stops to create the best environment and experiences for everyone this Christmas season. As part of this festive fayre, there are a number of special activities taking place for people with Autism Spectrum Difference, with the aim of spreading the festive cheer and ensuring that everyone can enjoy Christmas in Limerick comfortably.
Events are taking place across the city and county with a selection of special seasonal activities aimed at people on the Autism Spectrum to help you plan your #ChristmasInLimerick.
The Santa Experience
Sunday 24th November 3pm – 6pm | Thursday 5th December 3pm – 6pm
Limerick’s Santa Experience at Jetland Shopping Centre is an interactive multi-family tour through the North Pole ending in Santa’s magical house. The family experience includes visiting the Elves Post Office, Santa’s Reindeer Stable and Sleigh Station followed by a journey through the Arctic before arriving at Santa’s front door. When your family enters Santa’s log cabin, children will meet Santa himself and receive a present.
To ensure a great evening, numbers will be limited on ASD exclusive afternoons so organisers are advising to book early to avoid disappointment.
Tickets: Child (aged 1-12) €12.00, Adult (aged 12+) €6.00, Infant (aged <1) with gift €10.00, Infant (aged <1) with no gift €6.00 | Book Here.
LimBrick City, A Very Merry Brickmas
Saturday 30th November & Sunday 1st December | 11am – 5pm
This Autism Friendly event, supported by LAG, will feature an amazing selection of custom Lego models in St. John’s Pavilion. There will be a massive Lego play area, including a custom Lego wall for children to build on. The event will be jammed packed with lots of activities for everyone including workshops and competitions and there will be vendors on site selling Lego figures, Lego sets, Lego Jewellery and much more.
The Limerick Autism Group will be on hand all weekend with a sensory play area and safe zone making this an all-inclusive event.
The Lough Gur Santa Experience
Sunday 8th December | 9am – 12.30pm
The Lough Gur Santa Experience is dedicating the morning of December 8th to children with Autism and other sensory challenges.
Santa will meet and greet children decked out in his most luxurious handmade outfit, worn only on special occasions. When you visit Santa in Lough Gur you can be sure that he will pass the beard pulling test as he is, of course, the real deal as verified by our younger visitors from previous years.
Tickets: Children €28, Baby (under 12 months) €16, Adult €7 (min 1 per booking) | Book Here
Little Tiny Christmas
Thursday 12th December | 10am, 11am, 12pm
Little Tiny Christmas at the Belltable is a magical and calming world of sensory experiences and beautiful live singing designed especially for children under 5 with complex needs. Each child can bring one adult guest with them to this playful and gentle show; audience capacity is very limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Tickets: €8 | Book Here.
Beauty and The Beast Panto
Monday 30th December | 4pm
A Tale as old as time – the important message in Beauty and The Beast is never to judge the book by its cover. Throw in a number of strange and interesting characters with sparkling comedy and high class musical numbers and this year’s Panto offering from the Limerick Panto Society in the Lime Tree Theatre promises a great night’s entertainment for all the family with a special sensory friendly show on Monday 30th December.
Tickets: Family (2 Adults, 2 Kids) €70, Adult €20.50, Child/OAP €18.50 | Book Here.
Friday 3rd January | 2pm
Featuring some of the funniest, wackiest characters in pantoland, Aladdin at University Concert Hall, Limerick promises to transport you to a whole new world this Christmas. Journey with the lovable laundry boy as he moves from being at Abanazer’s beck and call to becoming master of the lamp – all the while trying to win the hand of the beautiful Jasmine.
Throw in an animated, wish-granting Genie, a carpet that just can’t keep its tassels on the ground, and the always hilarious Wishey Washey and Aladdin has all the ingredients to be the most fun your family has this Christmas. On Friday 3rd January, there will be a dedicated sensory friendly show.
Tickets: €27.50 | Book here.
Watch House Cross Community Library Sensory Room
Watch House Cross Community Library Sensory Room was designed to help individuals with sensory impairments, learning and development difficulties and those on the Autism spectrum. The Sensory Room has a range of visual, tactile, auditory and vestibular stimuli to aid, develop and engage the senses. The Sensory Room is available for use by parents, guardians and carers of children, teens and adults with Autism, sensory impairments, special needs and learning and development difficulties.
The Sensory Room can be booked for 30 minute sessions by contacting Watch House Cross Library at 061-557726..learn more.
Saturdays 12pm – 4pm
While not exclusively autism friendly, all families are welcome The Belltable, 69 O'Connell Street to hang out at the ‘Den’ for an hour or so to get away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. Children can sit and play board games or read books in a quiet corner while their adults grab a tea or coffee at the bar..learn more.
Parkway Retail Park
Ireland’s first Autism and sensory friendly Retail Park designed to make shopping and store visits easier for people with Autism and other sensory difficulties. There are Autism-friendly car parking spaces outside stores and specific tills in place to avoid queuing and to allow for an easier exit.
Signage and peaked caps are being made available for people with Autism and other sensory issues which will block out light and help staff to identify people who may need assistance..learn more.
Supervalu, Castletroy Autism Friendly Shopping
Do your Christmas grocery shopping with ease at SuperValu Castletroy’s autism friendly evenings. The store incorporate sensory friendly measures such as dimming the lights, cutting the music, and turning off any loudspeaker announcements during these autism-friendly shopping times which take place each Tuesday evening between 7-9pm. Store sounds can be downloaded in advance of your shopping trip to de-stress the store visit..learn more.
Shannon Airport Autism & Special Needs Awareness Programme
Shannon Airport are making travelling home or away for Christmas as easy and stress free as possible by introducing an awareness programme for children with special needs to help passengers understand the process of getting through the airport as quickly and as smoothly, by providing baseball caps and wristbands. Staff can identify anyone who may need a bit extra guidance and help them on their way.
A purpose-built sensory room is available in the departures lounge for passengers involved with the special assistance programme and is and open 24 hours a day..learn more.
Keith Enright, Founder of the Limerick Autism Group said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for families of people with Autism. Families usually avoid events with crowds, additional lights and noise. With support from Limerick Autism Group, Limerick City and County Council has developed a list of sensory friendly events to help families have a positive experience this Christmas.”
“As part of our fundraising effort we are holding a street collection on the 5th of December, while we will be attending Limbrickcity this weekend and The Lime Tree theatre on the 30th of December to support families to access these events. This will include autism friendly queues, trained volunteers and staff, to help make Christmas that little bit easier for families and that everyone can enjoy the festivities taking place.”
Details of all events are available on the Christmas in Limerick website Limerick.ie/Christmas
If you are hosting a sensory or autism-friendly activity or event in Limerick this Christmas, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Christmas in Limerick programme is being co-ordinated by Limerick City and County Council’s Culture & Arts and Marketing & Communications Departments.
Christmas in Limerick is supported by Limerick Post, Limerick Chamber, Limerick Leader, Live 95 and Spin South West.
All details about what’s on over the Christmas period in Limerick will be available in the Christmas In Limerick 2019 event guide online and will be distributed throughout Limerick.
Keep up to date with all things Christmas in Limerick via: