Words: Ellen Kenny
New year, less drinks, more possibilities. District and Jameson have teamed up to find the best activities and events in Dublin for when you want to keep the drinking low and the craic high.
“Jannui” is a term that describes the general feeling of dissatisfaction and weariness in the first few weeks of the new year. After a season of festive parties and rough mornings after, people want to take a step back from going out. Taking the first weeks of 2023 handy is a great way to refresh and start the year, but finding new activities to fill the gap in your life left by less nights out is essential to feel truly refreshed and not just lacklustre.
January is the perfect time to expand your horizons. From exciting outdoor adventures to unique music events, you can start 2023 on a high.
The classic New Year’s Revolution and no better way to get outside. Outside the city, Dublin has some of the most beautiful hiking roots in the country for all preferences. You can enjoy a handy social hike with friends in the Cruagh Woods. You can explore Dublin’s landscapes from the Dublin Mountains Loop Trail. You can take a shot at the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk, taking in the sea on your long stretch. People always say they want to hike more, so why not make this January the time you really commit?
January is certainly a cold month for a trip to the water, but if you’re feeling brave enough for a splash, you can try out one of Dublin’s many kayaking spots. You can venture out onto the Liffey with City Kayaking for a calm traipse under the bridges, or you can head out to the Royal Canal for a trip from Leixlip to Castleknock. If you want to make some friends, you can even head down to the top-rated guided kayak tour in Dalkey and take a trip with the local seals.
Cycling in Phoenix Park
Who said you even have to leave the city to get in touch with nature? If you want to get outside but don’t fancy the journey of a cliff walk or getting wet in a kayak, then a cycle through Phoenix Park is the ideal outdoor activity. As the largest park in any European city, you can make several routes for yourself, whether you want to cycle under the trees or find the 5,500-year-old prehistoric burial chamber. And if you don’t have your own bike handy, Phoenix Park Bikes have you covered with their easy rental service.
If you would rather avoid the outdoors all together, but still want to get active, you can increase your strength and flexibility at one of Dublin’s rock-climbing walls. The Gravity Climbing Centre in Inchicore is perfect for all, including first time rock climbers. You will find hundreds of boulder problems to suit everyone from complete beginner to elite, with new boulders set weekly to keep you motivated. Dublin is also home to Awesome Walls in Finglas, one of the largest climbing walls in Europe for people who want to feel on top of the world.
Just let it all out. Sometimes meditation and mindfulness just won’t do it, and you need to return to the primal by throwing a big axe. The Axe Club on Gaelic Street will satisfy all your throwing needs, offering individual sessions, group sessions, and even special sessions where you can enjoy a pizza party after you’ve finished throwing.
Axe Club also have a location by the Avonmore River in Glendalough where you can even arrange to stay overnight by the river in proper Viking style and learn archery or axe throwing in the morning. Camp and fight like our ancestors of yore.
Dublin walking tours
The history of Dublin means there’s countless opportunities to explore the city, and it can be overwhelming if you want to see it all. Thankfully, there are enough walking tours of Dublin to get all your steps and learning in. From the classic history tours to roads less travelled, there is something for everyone to explore. The best walking tours right now include the Dark Dublin Guided Walking Tour, Secret Food Tours, Dublin’s Best Kept Secrets Tour and Northside Ghost Walk Tour.
Try new cuisine
January is all about trying new things. This month, along with all of the amazing resturants in Dublin, there are plenty of pop ups and events to try new foods at. Lovers of Mexican food can enjoy the collaboration between La Cocina Cuevas and Homies on Donkey, who have made an eight-course tasting menu promoting international cuisine with Irish ingredients. You can also follow Irish Village Markets to find the best new markets in Dublin to try new locally-sourced food.
Arran Street Pottery Workshops
January is a great month to start new hobbies and learn new skills, and what’s a better hobby than something that stocks up your kitchen? Arran Street East and places like this hold pottery workshops for all skills, from beginners to experts, so you can keep up and create some beautiful pieces. These workshops are definitely an investment of time and money, but if it’s something you’ve always told yourself you want to try, get started now.
Whether you want a bog standard night at the cinema or get a little fancy at the likes of the LightHouse or Stella, a film is a great way to keep the entertainment high and alcohol intake low. You can head to the LightHouse to catch some throwback films or watch the latest blockbusters. Films coming soon include “Unwelcome” (a British couple move to an Irish home they’ve inherited and are haunted by 1. Fae creatures that seek blood and 2. Grumpy Irish Neighbours) and Vampire tale – “Let The Wrong One In” from Irish Director and writer Conor McMahon.
A trip to the theatre
If you’re feeling more adventurous then a trip to your local cinema, you could catch a live performance in one of Dublin’s many theatres. Dublin used to have a theatre on practically every street, and there’s still plenty of great performances around. Upcoming plays include “An Evening with Mere Mortals” from January 16 to 21 in Smock Alley, “Spring Awakening” from January 25 to 28 in Smock Alley and “Classics Now” on January 28 in the Abbey Theatre.
Museums of Dublin
Who said learning can’t be fun? Dublin has plenty of museums you can visit this January to get out and feed your brain. With several museums for all preferences on free admission, you can save money while still having a good time. The best free museums in Dublin include the National Museum of Decorative Arts, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Hugh Lane Gallery. The Museum of Literature Ireland is also a museum worth the visit, even if you have to pay for a ticket.
“Crash and Burn Comedy”
Have a laugh this January. Taking place every Thursday in Sin É, “Crash and Burn Comedy” invites veterans of Irish comedy as well the best upcoming talent. Sin É promises to provide fresh comedy and jokes that have never been heard before, and you might just find your next favourite comedian.
TradFest Temple Bar is an annual festival celebrating the best of Irish culture and music. Taking place from January 25 to 29, it showcases the best of established and emerging musical talent in Temple Bar landmarks. A unique event like no other, TradFest Temple Bar is the best place to experience live Irish music in January. Guests this year include Cbakl, Farah Elle and Matt Ó.
The Next Big Thing Festival 2023
January is an ideal month to find some of your new favourite singers. Taking place in Workmans from January 24 to 27, The Next Big Thing features rising stars in Irish music, from Last Apollo to Nothern Ives.
Elsewhere on District: How a fan convinced Loyle Carner to keep making music
Enjoy Jameson’s responsibly.
Visit www.drinkaware.ie for more information.