For many, the first taste of Ireland’s magical Christmas season comes at one of the country’s major airports.

Both Dublin Airport and Shannon Airport have unveiled plans for festive holiday entertainment ahead of Christmas, making the season all the more special for visitors and those returning home to Ireland.

Dublin Airport unveiled its biggest-ever festive entertainment program earlier this week, which will feature almost 1,700 performers from 50 schools, choirs, and musical groups across North County Dublin entertaining passengers with multiple performances daily in Terminal 1 and 2, right up until Christmas Eve.

Gary McLean, Managing Director of Dublin Airport, said: “Dublin Airport holds a special place in the hearts of thousands of passengers coming home for Christmas from every corner of the globe, as well as those who choose to visit Ireland for the holidays."

He added: “This year, Dublin Airport staff will take the reins of the entertainment program on Saturday, December 23 to raise much-needed funds for daa’s staff charities, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Ronald McDonald House, and Cork Life Centre.

"I have no doubt they will spread festive cheer among airport passengers, as well as those joyfully reuniting with their loved ones."

McLean said many of this year's Christmas performers at Dublin Airport are from local schools, as well as adult choirs. On Christmas Eve, the airport will host a special performance from the Dublin Gospel Choir.

“It's a wonderful opportunity for our airport community to come together, celebrate, and contribute to meaningful causes during this festive season," McLean said.

53 seconds of goodness from Dublin Airport today as our Christmas entertainment programme (our biggest ever!) got underway.

More than 1,700 performers from 50+ local schools & groups will grace our terminals over the next 2 weeks, providing a warm welcome for passengers. 🎄

— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) December 11, 2023

The Dublin Airport campus and terminal buildings have been decorated to provide a special atmosphere and true ceád míle fáilte over this festive season. 

Dublin Airport said it is anticipating a busy Christmas, with around 1.5 million passengers set to travel through the two terminals over the festive period.

Dublin Airport also said earlier this week that it would be working with the Irish Aviation Authority to help guide Santa Claus this Christmas Eve.

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Meanwhile, Shannon Airport in Co Clare is also rolling out its own Christmas céad míle fáilte between December 18 and December 23, when passengers and guests can indulge in a delightful array of Christmas-themed entertainment in the airport arrivals hall presented by performers from Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary.

Performers from Co Limerick's Thomond Primary School choir, Co Clare's St. John's National School choir, and Co Clare's St. Senan's National School will be singing carols in the airport next week.

On December 22, singer Chloe Griffin from Nenagh, Co Tipperary will be performing a live set of festive tunes.

Shannon Airport's Christmas entertainment program culminates on Saturday, December 23, with a special performance by the renowned Shannon Gospel Choir.

Our colleagues across the airport are getting ready to extend a warm céad míle fáilte to over 121,000 passengers at Shannon Airport over the festive season! 🎄

This is an 18% increase compared to 2022 figures.

Read more: #makingiteasc

— Shannon Airport (@ShannonAirport) December 12, 2023

The halls at Shannon Airport have been decked and adorned with festive decorations, including a magnificent 12-foot tree in the arrivals hall and a life-size Santa sleigh for memorable photo opportunities.

Members of the public are welcome to come to the airport and immerse themselves in the Christmas spirit, and perhaps enjoy a festive hot chocolate at JJ Ruddles café.

While at the airport, visitors can take the opportunity to explore the airport's Aviation Museum in the arrivals hall, home to one of the world's largest collections of diecast model aircraft, and free to access.

Shannon Airport says its staff are dedicated to providing a warm welcome to the 121,000 passengers arriving from around the world during the Christmas season.