The perfect Kildare-inspired stocking fillers for all the family this Christmas
It’s that time of year again – the search for the perfect Christmas gifts always seems to sneak up very quickly after Hallowe’en comes to an end.
If you’re struggling for ideas but still want a personalised, thoughtful approach – a gift voucher from some of Kildare’s best experiences is sure to be an instant hit.
Depending on your audience – there’s something for everyone with Mondello Park, Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park, BargeTrip.ie, Kildare Village, Kilkea Castle, Two Cooks Restaurant, The Irish National Stud and Gardens and The Curragh, Naas and Punchestown Racecourses all offering gift vouchers as stocking filler options this year.
Buy one on their own, or better yet, buy a couple of them to give someone the full Kildare experience for Christmas this year!
For adrenaline lovers who will love to see a gift voucher for Mondello Park at the bottom of the tree this year.
Mondello is also home to an interesting calendar of car and motorcycle racing throughout the year, including Rally Cross and drifting, celebrating 50 years in operation in 2018, having expanded from a small 1.28-kilometer (0.8-mile) circuit to a 3.5-kilometer (2.4-mile) FIA-licensed international racetrack.
As the only permanent international motorsport facility in Ireland, it is a one-stop-shop for specialized driving courses like Advanced Car Control, but also plays host to corporate activities like The Porsche Supercar Experience and the Motor Racing Experience.
Two of the below options are just some of the experiences available to purchase through a gift option for the thrill seeker in your life:
The Ferrari Thrill from €319
This Ferrari Driving Thrill gives you the opportunity to experience Ferrari’s iconic F430 on Ireland’s only internationally- accredited racetrack. Nothing will prepare you for the adrenaline and excitement that being behind the wheel of this classic Supercar will deliver.
It’s a special feeling, but safety and knowledge are essential, and those taking part will be accompanied by a professional driving instructor throughout the experience to ensure get the most out of your track time
Rally Thrill at €249
This allows you to experience the thrill of getting into the driver’s seat of a purpose-built rally car. Go full throttle with a professional driving instructor who’s there to push you to your limits, with constant communication with them provided to help you navigate the track. Unsurprisingly, it’s not for the faint-hearted
Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park
If you’ve got an outdoors lover that looks for family focussed activities, look no further than gifting them with a voucher for the 60-acre woodland and peatland trail.
Lullymore is set on the rocky island of Lullymore and features panoramic views of the historic Bog of Allen. It’s a great place to unwind and relax – no matter what age you are! Interactive installations will explain the narrative of Lullymore’s rich history, including a 1000-year-old Monastic site, a haven for rebels in 1798, and the birthplace of the industrial revolution in the twentieth century.
With an extensive outdoor adventure play area, 18-hole mini golf, a pet farm, and treasure hunts to solve, it’s a brilliant gift option for anyone with a young family.
Fans of the outdoors will also love BargeTrip.ie’s offering with a number of cruise options to suit everyone.
Starting from Sallins Harbour, you can choose from a 2.5 hour cruise to Digby Lock, a one hour cruise along the Leinster Aqueduct that spans both the Liffey and the Grand Canal or, if it’s a quiet peaceful route you’re after, a 1.5 hour cruise through the countryside to McCreevy’s Lock.
Each trip can be planned with your group in mind (max capacity is 12 people) , the refurbished canal barge has a wood burning stove, outdoor seating to enjoy the view, and a bar – because, well, why not.
If you’ve got some fashion forward shopping enthusiasts then where better to get them a gift voucher for than Kildare Village.
Kildare Village is one of the best luxury shopping locations in Ireland, nestled amid stunning landscaped surroundings in Kildare Town.
With 100 boutiques from the world’s most sought-after designers (all giving up to 60% off the recommended retail price), it’s one of the best shopping centres in the country to grab a bargain but not have to compromise on quality or style.
Kildare Village is one of The Bicester Village Shopping Collection’s 11 luxury shopping locations in Europe and China, and is within an hour’s drive from Dublin – located right off the M7 at Exit 13.
The Curragh, Naas and Punchestown Racecourses and The Irish National Stud & Gardens
We all know the Kildare is the HOME of horse-racing and equestrian activity in Ireland, so if you’ve got a horseracing lover in your life – a gift card for the Curragh, Naas or Punchestown Racecourse OR the National Stud and Gardens is odds on favourite to be a festive winner.
Each year, the Curragh hosts Ireland’s five most important flat races, known as the Classics. Situated on 1000 acres, it’s home to some of the top jockeys, trainers and horses in Ireland. Missed the races last year? Now is your chance to make sure you don’t miss any of the action for the 2022 season – with memberships and race packages available from the end of November via the website
Naas Racecourse holds 19 race meetings a year which include both National Hunt and Flat Racing, as well as family fun days, summer BBQ evenings, live music events and more on race days. Naas Races boasts the ideal amenities and party rooms for private use, as well as a Panoramic Restaurant with seating for 200 people
Irish National Stud & Gardens
If it’s a mix of racing history and natural beauty you’re in search of in terms of gifting, a voucher for The Irish National Stud & Gardens could be exactly what you’ve been searching for. Now home to the Irish Racehorse Experience, a world- first immersive attraction new for 2021, the National Stud and Gardens symbolizes everything that is great about County Kildare, the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry.
One of Ireland’s biggest racing venues –Punchestown also represents one of the most versatile as it has hosted numerous other events over the years. A yearly subscription to The Members Club could be a good option for fans of this specific racecourse.
From €179, it includes admission to all 22 fixtures in 2022, including the much-anticipated 2022 festival. If you’re looking for something more flexbile Punchestown Gift Vouchers can be used to purchase tickets, hospitality and members club badges.
If you want to give someone the royal treatment this Christmas why not organise a luxury break in the fairytale-but-actually-real-life Kilkea Castle. With a history dating back to 1180, Kilkea Castle captures the mystical charm of a 12th Century majestic Castle with the overwhelming allure of timeless sophistication and style.
Located in Castledermot, along Ireland’s Ancient East and set on 180 acres of its own wonderful woodland, gardens and golf course, Kilkea Castle enchants from the moment you drive down the beech-lined avenue overlooking the Killeshin Hills, only minutes from the ancient Mullaghreelan Woods.
This year, TwoCooks are serving a Christmas Tasting Menu from December 16th-31st . It’s a multi-course set menu prepared with the highest quality local and organic ingredients resulting in unique winter-flavoured dishes. A wine pairing will also be offered to make the perfect dining experience at TwoCooks. Another highlight that is a great option for foodies is the late dinner options on New Year’s Eve with Champagne on arrival and a midnight toast.