This Christmas pay a visit to one of Dublin’s oldest treasures!

This Christmas pay a visit to one of Dublin’s oldest treasures! Photo: Michael Chester

One of Dublin’s finest traditions, The Moving Crib in Parnell Square is celebrating 63 years. This lovely venue has gone from strength to strength, keeping pace with the changing times while still bearing witness to the true message of Christmas.

It’s that time again when our thoughts turn to the very special season of light, hope, joy, celebration and expectation; the high point of the year for so many reasons.  There are many, especially native Dubliners, who say that it is the opening of the Moving Crib which marks the start of the preparations for December 25th.

Certainly the Moving Crib is one of the city’s oldest treasures and last year it welcomed 25,000 visitors not just from the cities and counties of Ireland but also from abroad. It seems its fame has indeed spread far and wide.  A mention in no less a publication than The New York Times nominated it as one of the top ten things to do at Christmas around the world.

It is a truly unique experience for all the family. It’s free entry for all and no booking necessary (unless it is a big group for example school classes etc.).  The Bible stories are brought vividly to life in a series of vibrant tableaux.  The New Testament series begins with the Annunciation in a homely kitchen scene.   Mary is there, among the pots and pans, transfixed by the Heavenly Angel Gabriel, who is very effectively bathed in white light.  Such are the touches which bring events to life

“We are always seeking to find new ways in which to make the Moving Crib experience better every year for all our visitors”, says Darragh Murphy, the General Manager of the Saint Martin Apostolate.

“It is lovely to see the smiles on the faces of the children especially, and to know that as well as having fun doing the competitions and deciphering the illusion wall, they are learning about the real meaning of the birth of Christ.  The adults are also given an opportunity to reflect on and recall their own faith journey as they listen to music ranging from Ding Dong Merrily on High to the Halleluiah Chorus!  This year we are delighted to be joined by the Bray Gospel Choir for an unforgettable afternoon of Carols on Sunday 15th December from 12 noon to 4pm and just like the Crib, this experience is totally free. All donations are voluntary and go towards the upkeep of the Crib”

So if you’re looking for something fun and educational, be sure this Christmas make a visit to the Moving Crib an essential part of your preparations. It will be the best move you ever made!

A wonderful hidden gem in Dublin City” –

“…an annual Christmas highlight” – The New York Times

“One of Dublin’s best-loved Christmas traditions.”  – Airport Hopper

“The Charming Moving Crib (been there for donkey’s years!) is a real Dublin Institution and should give you a warm glow for the true meaning of Christmas.” – Isaac’s Hostel

“A tradition that has fascinated generations of children from all over Ireland for more than half a century…” –

“Definitely one of the most unique things to do in Dublin at Christmas.” – Lisa Hughes (Journalist/Blogger)

“fascinating and creative journey located in Dublin.” – Catolicos Hispanos en Irlanda

st martin moving crib
Patrick Egan, Sophie McAlarey, Phelim Bennet and Caoimhlin Bennet — Arrive to lend a hand with finishing touches to the newly refurbished Moving Crib at St Martin’s, 42 Parnell Square – This year the crib has 100 moving pieces, and a story filled ‘learning zone’ for the first time – This charming free Dublin attraction opens on Nov 23rd. Photo: Michael Chester
st martin moving crib
Photo: Michael Chester

*This feature was sponsored by St Martin Apostolate,