news | Athlone Arts and Tourism

. . . . .

Experience The Magic of Christmas at Athlone Castle 2023

Meet Santa and Mrs Claus at Athlone Castle

Athlone Castle will transform into a magical Christmas experience this year to celebrate Christmas with all the charm and atmosphere of an historic castle. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting the castle over two days on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December to meet children in Athlone.

Santa's helpers will greet visitors in the Castle courtyard, and children will meet Mrs. Claus who will regale them with her favourite Christmas stories from the cosy Castle Keep. Visitors will make their way through the seasonally decorated Castle and enjoy festive fun activities including crafts, games, and dress-up areas with Christmas music playing along the way to Santa’s Grotto. Helpers will guide visitors to the magical grotto where Santa Claus will be waiting with cuddly gifts and a big HO HO HO welcome for all the children. Visitors can enjoy the festive atmosphere and sing along to Christmas carols as they sip hot chocolate with marshmallows in the castle courtyard before they finish their Christmas visit. Photo opportunities will be aplenty so families can treasure these special memories forever.

Families are advised that pre-booking for their visit to Santa & Mrs Claus is essential to avoid disappointment as places will fill fast. Tickets for the event will cost €25 per child, €15 per toddler (under two years) and €5 per adult. Appointments with Santa are available from 11am to 4.45pm on both days. Early booking is advised as appointments are going fast. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Entry will only be available 15 minutes before the pre-booked time. Bookings are only available online at and a booking fee will apply.

Luan Gallery Visitor Information

Information re: COVID-19
Please click here for information regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Before your visit
To limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have introduced new protocols measures to ensure you can visit Luan Gallery with confidence.

Please note we ask that you do not attend the Gallery if you:

  • are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or are feeling unwell
  • are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
  • are self-isolating or restricting your movements.
  • have been diagnosed with confirmed COVID-19 infection in the last 10 days are a close contact of a person who is a confirmed case COVID-19 in the past 14 days (i.e. less than 2m for more than 15 minutes)
  • have been advised by a doctor to isolate or cocoon.
  • have returned from international travel and are not in compliance with government guidance

We encourage all visitors to download the HSE Covid tracker app.

We also bring your attention to the most recent Stay Safe Guidelines issued by the Department of Health here


We have enhanced our cleaning procedures throughout the Gallery and in particular regular cleaning and sanitization of high touch areas. Hand sanitiser is available throughout the building.

Entering the Gallery

Entry to the Gallery will be clearly signed and mapped to ensure that social distancing is maintained. Luan Gallery is free to enter and we are not currently using a booking system. On entry hand sanitiser is available and also at various locations throughout the Gallery.

Contact Tracing

To help to ensure a safe controlled environment for our visitors, the Gallery will be adhering to all Government Guidelines and visitors will be required to supply details for contact tracing purposes on entry. During the registration process, you will also be asked for certain mandatory contact information, including your name and contact number. You may opt to fill in other information (such as your email address should you wish if you wish to receive news and events from Luan Gallery) but this is entirely at your own discretion.

In the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Gallery, the Gallery is obliged, under HSE guidelines, to share the following information with the HSE for contact tracing purposes:

  • your name
  • the number of guests in your party
  • a telephone number
  • the date of your visit

This information may be shared with the HSE for up to 30 days following your visit. Please note that no other information will be shared by the Gallery with the HSE. Please note that if you do not provide us with the personal data listed above we will not be able to allow you to attend our buildings in person.

Read our Contract Tracing Privacy Statement

Getting around the Gallery

We currently have a one-way system in place and we ask that you follow this to ensure social distancing at all times. Our staff are here to help to make your visit as safe and comfortable as possible – we are here to help, please ask. Some items such as reading materials and exhibition features have been removed or replaced with wall text to reduce touch points as per Government guidelines. We have a maximum capacity on the number of visitors per Gallery, staff are on hand to assist.

Social distancing and Queues

You are reminded by signage to ensure that you are socially distanced from others while in the Gallery. We count all our guests and ensure that there are never too many people in the Gallery at any one time. In the event that we reach capacity in the building, you may need to queue for a short time. Staff will assist and signage at waiting areas allows for social distancing. Groups attending the Gallery must be limited to six people from no more than three households as per Government Guidelines


Use of the lift/elevator will be limited to one person only (and a carer/family). Hand sanitiser is provided at each floor outside the lift.

Face Coverings and PPE

As a guest of Luan Gallery, we ask you to adhere to the Government guidelines:

The wearing of face coverings is now mandatory as per Government guidelines and we ask that you adhere to these guidelines except for children under 13 or if you are unable to wear one for medical reasons. For further information please click here In compliance accordance with Government guidelines, you may see some of the Gallery team in full PPE gear if they are working together and cannot social distance. We hope that this will not impact on your visit.


Please note the maximum number per bathroom is 1 person and therefore queueing at busy times may be necessary. A maximum number will be allowed to queue to ensure that we can implement social distancing. Apologies in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Tours and Workshops

Our Tours and Workshops in the Gallery building will not take place while social distancing is required. Keep up to date with our exhibitions and virtual outreach and events on our social channels.