Christmas at the National Gallery

PRESS RELEASE: December 2010

Christmas & New Year Cheer!

Gifts, family activities and exhibitions this festive season and New Year at the National Gallery of Ireland.

Families and children can get into the festive spirit this December at the National Gallery of Ireland with seasonal activities and gift shopping ideas, all under one roof.



Gifts for all the family can be purchased in the Gallery Shop with something to suit every pocket and taste, from simple stocking fillers to grander gestures. A wide selection of Christmas cards and merchandise is available. Among the special publications are the beautifully illustrated 2011 Calendar (€12.00), and Diary (€19.95), featuring masterpieces from the Gallery’s collection, as well as the latest books on art and a children’s section. For something a little different for the Christmas stocking, give a gift of a Personal Guided Tour of the Collection (€50). Visit the Gallery Shop in the Millennium Wing or click on the link to the Gallery on-line shop.

Tours & Talks

Visitors can enjoy a themed programme of talks and tours in December and the New Year. See Learning on this site.

Family & Young People

The Gallery's annual treat for all ages during the festive season is the Christmas Family Art Holiday, which takes place Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 December, 3-4.30pm. Includes Family art workshop, seasonally themed Talk, Gallery Tour and performance by Musical Trio. Admission free. Just bring your sketchpad and crayons.

During the first week of January, there will be Supervised Family Time taking place daily in the Atrium Saturday 1 to Friday 7 January inclusive, 3-4pm. Admission free. The popular weekly Saturday Family Programme resumes on 8 January, at 3pm with an art workshop, 'The New Year Feast!'. Admission is free to all of these children's activities. Also, Family Packs and Adult Drawing Kits are available (free of charge) from the Information Desk in the Millennium Wing. On Wednesday 19 January, there will be a New Parent’s Tour from 2pm-2.45pm, for parents and guardians of young children.

The Atrium Workspace

The Atrium Workspace is available at all times for creative work. Ask at the Information Desk in the Millennium Wing to borrow free family packs with discovery trails, art materials and activity sheets. Audio Guides to the collection for children ages 6-10 years are available free from the Information Desks.

Turner Watercolours

On display in the Print Gallery this January will be the annual display of Turner’s watercolours, ‘Colour and Light: Caring for Turner’s Watercolours’. This year the theme is care of the collection, past and present, which will look at the history of how Turner’s watercolours have been cared for, both before and after they entered the NGI collection. It will include information on conservation methods from Victorian to contemporary times, addressing areas such as pigments, fading and lux levels. The Turner exhibition will be complemented by a selection of silhouettes and miniatures from the Mary A. McNeill Bequest. An accompanying brochure is available from the Gallery Shop, price €2. Talks around the Turner exhibition take place in January 2011.


Give a gift of membership of the Friends of the National Gallery of Ireland offering day trips, weekly tours and talks, concerts, an annual cultural trip abroad and a 10% discount in the Gallery Shop. Subscription starts at €65 / €50 concessions, email or pick up a brochure from the Friends Desk in the Millennium Wing. 

Refurbishment Project

The National Gallery of Ireland is embarking on a refurbishment project of the historic wings in 2011. Highlights of the Irish, British and European collection are on display. Please note, the Merrion Square entrance of the Gallery will be closed while renovation works are being carried out. Visitors are directed to use the Millennium Wing entrance at Clare Street. As the refurbishment works will substantially impact on public programmes, visitors are advised to telephone or email in advance to confirm programme details. Visitors can download up-to-date Gallery floorplans or pick up a copy from the Information Desk in the Millennium Wing. Keep an eye on our Website, Twitter and Facebook pages. Telephone (01) 661 5133 or email

Christmas Closing Dates:
 24-26 December.