BSPA Centre of Excellence

Belfast School of Performing Arts, in association with The Grand Opera House, presents the BSPA Centre of Excellence.

Join Northern Ireland’s most respected professional tutors for musical theatre workshops in the three disciplines of dancing, acting and singing – and lots of fun while you learn!

This prestigious new school will meet every Sunday in the Grand Opera House from 10.00am-1.00pm and will be open to all current BSPA pupils and new pupils.

For children aged 6 – 18, join in the fun every Sunday from 10.00am – 1.00pm. For further information or to reserve your place, please visit,, or contact Belfast School of Performing Arts on  028 9560 8640.


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 12 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (December 31 – January 6).

  • New Year’s Eve Celebrations on the River, in the Walled City, Co. Londonderry, December 31.  At 20.13 the city of Derry will be welcoming the New Year as the UK City of Culture with an incredible fireworks and pyrotechnics display.
  • Casino Royale, Titanic Belfast, Belfast, December 31.  Say farewell to 2012 in style with a Casino Royale bash in the spectacular Titanic Suite.  Play your cards right and make sure you enjoy this night of entertainment.      

  • New Year Day Dip, Portrush, Co. Antrim, January 1.  There is no better way to blow away the cobwebs for the New Year than with a quick dip in the Atlantic Ocean. 

  • New Year’s Resolution – Get Fit, Murlough National Nature Reserve, Dundrum, Co. Down, January 1.  A guided gentle exercise trail and walk to gently break you into your New Year fitness regime.  Suitable footwear essential.
  • When We Are Married, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, January 4 – 5.  Three well-to-do couples celebrate their silver wedding anniversaries, having been married on the same day twenty five years before.  Relationships are explored, life lived before marriage is revealed and on top of all this a casual acquaintance from the past appears.

  • A Christmas Night with George, Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, until January 5.  Once upon a time in a land far far away a woman sits alone in her home with nothing more than a glass of vodka and diet coke and a life-sized George Clooney.  Enjoy this exclusive Christmas version of the popular comedy drama set in Belfast.     

  • Carrickfergus on Ice, Rodgers Quay, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, until January 5.  The ice rink returns to the Harbour Complex – grab your skates and enjoy some seasonal fun with your family and friends.
  • Fat Busting New Year, Colin Glen Forest Park, Belfast, January 5.  Start the New Year with a healthy walk from Colin Glen to Glenside woodland and shed the excesses of the festive season on this uphill walk through the Rumbling Hole and waterfall.
  • One Complete Dinner Party, Belle Isle Cookery School, Lisbellaw Co. Fermanagh, January 5.  Whether you are cooking for two, eight or 12, this course will share all the plan-ahead secrets for a truly memorable dinner party with delicious starters, mains and desserts that will impress your guests.
  • Keith Wilson in Concert, The Market Place Theatre, Co. Armagh, January 5.  From a musical theatre background, Keith can now be seen with his band going back to his Celtic roots and in this concert he will be playing songs from a new album as well as hits from the debut album One More Time.
  • Ulster Orchestra – Viennese Concert, Millennium Forum, Co. Londonderry, January 6.  The Ulster Orchestra’s Associate Conductor Christopher Bell whisks you off to Vienna to celebrate 2013 in style with waltzes, polkas and gallops that will have your toes tapping and hands clapping.

  • Guide in the Hide, Castle Espie, Comber, Co. Down, January 6.  Guides will be in the Brent Hall to share their expert knowledge on wildfowl and waders that come to our shores in the winter months.


IT’S A DOG’S LIFE: The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is encouraging people to dust off the festive cobwebs and get a new leash of life this winter by putting together a list of top walking routes for you and your dog to explore. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll around the edge of a lake, a refreshing walk along the coastline or a more adventurous hike through a stunning forest park, there are plenty of options to suit everyone and you’d be barking mad to miss out. For information on winter walks in Northern Ireland click on or visit your local tourist information centre.

GET a new leash of life and make the next walk with your dog a little different this winter by discovering some of Northern Ireland’s most scenic locations together, says the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB).

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll around the edge of a lake, a refreshing walk along the coastline or a more adventurous hike through a stunning forest park, there are plenty of options to suit everyone and you’d be barking mad to miss out.

NITB’s Destination PR Officer, Pauline Gormley says winter is a great time of year to discover new landscapes.

“After a busy festive season there is no better way to blow away the cobwebs and welcome in the New Year than going on a winter walk,” said Pauline.

“No matter what time of year it is your dog will still need to be walked so winter is the perfect chance to wrap up warm and venture somewhere new and we’re sure your dog will also appreciate the new view,” she said.
NITB has put together a list of top walking routes for you and your dog to explore this winter.


A winter morning is arguably the best time to walk the Lagan Towpath as the mist hovers just above Belfast’s main river.  The towpath starts in Stranmillis, just minutes away from Belfast City Centre, and sets off along the river and canal systems through a variety of wetland, riverside meadows and mixed woodland.  After passing through Lagan Meadows and over Shaw’s Bridge this section of the towpath finishes at Sir Thomas & Lady Dixon Park, one of Belfast’s most popular parks.  Dogs allowed on leads.

Divis and Black Mountain rest in the heart of the Belfast Hills and provide a backdrop to the city’s skyline, offering spectacular views across Northern Ireland, Belfast Lough and as far as Donegal and the coast of England, Scotland and the Isle of Man.  Suitable footwear is necessary and dogs must be kept under close control at all times.

Co. Antrim

Winter creates the perfect backdrop to explore the mature woodland of Glenariff Forest Park with freezing waterfalls and open, frosted moorland.  The trail first takes you down the Inver River gorge, to the edge of the Ess-na-Crub Waterfall and your path back offers spectacular views straight down the misty Glen to the coast and the sea beyond.  Dogs are allowed on leads and there are some steep paths.

Follow a stretch of breathtaking coastline between Ballintoy and Bushmills for a great 12.4 mile walk.  The route includes walking on beaches, across rocks and along cliff top paths following the Causeway Coast Way, one of the most spectacular cliff top paths in the UK.

Co. Antrim also boasts Croaghan, a 6.5 mile circular stroll, with a variety of hills, forest tracks and stunning panoramic views of Rathlin Island, just off the Antrim Coast.

Co. Armagh

The Slieve Gullion walk is 9.5 miles and located within the Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Beauty. Rising to 573m, Slieve Gullion is the centrepiece of the volcanic landscape and is a Special Area of Conservation.  The Ring of Gullion and Slieve Gullion have rich associations with Irish legends and myths.

Co. Down

Located in the dramatic setting of mountains and sea, Castlewellan Forest Park is one of the most outstanding tree and shrub collections in Europe.  Many walkers enjoy its mile-long lake which gives a great insight into eighteenth-century landscaping.

Covering an area of almost 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, Tollymore Forest Park offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the sea at nearby Newcastle.  Tollymore has some very interesting features to look out for while on your walk including a barn dressed up to look like a church, stone cones on top of gate piers and gothic-style gate arches that all show the influence of the highly individualistic designer, Thomas Wright of Durham. 

North Down Coastal Path extends from Holywood in the west to Orlock in the in the east and passes through coastline and parkland.  Historic relics and flora and fauna can be found in abundance and grey seals can be spotted offshore.

Murlough Nature Reserve is a fragile 6000 year old sand dune system owned by the National Trust, it is an excellent area for walking due to its spectacular location at the edge of Dundrum and the Mourne Mountains and was Ireland’s first Nature Reserve.  Dogs are allowed on leads.

Co. Fermanagh

Castle Coole is a majestic 18th century home and has a stunning landscape park as well as a surrounding wooded landscape park sloping down to Lough Coole, ideal for long walks with your pet.

Castle Archdale Country Park offers a variety of walks on a 5 mile trail with lots to see as it goes along the shore passing the deer park enclosure, wildfowl ponds, wildflower meadow and butterfly garden.  Winter is a great time of the year to explore this unique setting.

Co. Tyrone

Peatlands Park, close to the southern shores of Lough Neagh, can be explored by over 10 miles of paths and wooden walkways which leads the visitor through many varied habitats.  The park is rich in butterflies, moths and dragonflies as well as many woodland and wetland birds and several species of waterfowl.

Dungannon Park is a 70 acre oasis centred round an idyllic still-water lake and its magnificent scenery invites you to enjoy a leisurely walk along the park trail.  High grounds offer the walker splendid views of the surrounding townlands and countryside with views of Lough Neagh on a clear day.

Co. Londonderry

Port Path follows a stretch of scenic coastline between Portstewart and Portrush and the winter seascape is an experience not to be missed.  As well as the magnificent offshore views, this route also passes by a number of interesting features such as traditional ice houses, stone built, turf roofed houses where ice was stored in the winter in order to preserve salmon in the summer.  Dogs are allowed on leads.

The Roe Valley Country Park offers a variety of routes along the River Roe or Red River.  The park has great appeal for dog lovers and winter makes it a truly special place with only the call of mallard ducks breaking the silence.  Dogs are allowed on leads.

Prehen Wood is one of Northern Ireland’s rare and irreplaceable ancient woods and it has a series of numbered waymarkers that offer an environmental trail encouraging people to develop an awareness and appreciation of the natural and built environment.

Please note, some locations may have signs to indicate restricted dog access or that you must keep your dog on a lead, so be sure to look out for these or call ahead to check access.  Remember to be a responsible dog owner and clean up after your pooch.

Why not combine your winter walk with an overnight stay in the local area with prices starting from £49 per room per night.

For further information on winter walks in Northern Ireland click on or visit your local tourist information centre.  You can also keep up to date with the latest news, images, videos and competitions by visiting

Jacqueline’s Pick of Festive Family Events this Weekend.


Visit the Holywood Fair on Saturday 22nd December for those last minute Christmas presents. The fair takes place on Hibernia Street and perfect if you are still looking for that something special.


Always one of the major highlights in the Alley Theatre winter programme, the annual Strabane Cross Community Carol Concert takes place on Wednesday 19th December, a festive concert allowing the whole community to come together in the intimate Alley Theatre.  A heart warming, community event, this unique carol concert always attracts large, loyal crowds with plenty of festive cheer.  Enjoy the music of St Joseph’s Brass Band and Derg Valley Choir with a wonderful programme of readings, carols and recitals at the Alley, all in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.


It’s your last chance to see Santa at Castle Coole  which is home to Santa and Mrs Claus from until 18th December as they busily prepare for Christmas. They will be welcoming children into their magical Christmas home – the perfect way to get into the festive spirit. Here’s some of the fun that’s waiting to be enjoyed: Travel from Enniskillen to the North Pole through the magical basement tunnel, meet Mrs Claus and see the elves’ playroom, enjoy a story, chat with Santa and receive a special gift. Booking is essential.


See Irish singer and violinist Rhoda Barfoot perform at her Christmas Concert in St. Swithin’s Church Magherafelt on Friday 21st December at 7.30pm.  Join her for an evening of Christmas music with all proceeds go to Kilronan School where tickets are available to purchase, as well as Home Essentials. Admission £10 and under 16s go free.


Experience the thrill of a ride on Santa’s Sleigh at Millers Hill Equestrian & Fun Farm, Markethill until 20th December.  Meet Santa in his Grotto and receive child’s gift.  Make and take home magic reindeer food.  Bring your letter and post in Santa’s giant post box!  Visit and pet our animals.  Mrs Claus will be serving shortbread, mince pies & mulled wine, tea/coffee and a treat for the kids!  Special rates for school & youth groups. Refreshments & child’s gift included in price.  All Christmas activities take place indoors.


Get your skates on! From the 18th of December until January 6th as part of the Odyssey Winterfest programme, Odyssey Arena will be transformed into the coolest place in town. This is your chance to skate at the home of the fantastic Belfast Giants! Get the party started this Christmas…experience the thrills and spills of skating at Odyssey Arena and some delicious seasonal fayre with your work friends through our Corporate Skate package.  Or why not get a group together and plan the perfect day out for Christmas or the New Year with our Group Skate package?

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year!



The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 12 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (December 24 – 30).

  • Grimes and McKee’s Ugly Sisters, Grand Opera House, Belfast, December 19 – 29.  Grimes and McKee return once more to the Opera House’s pantomime set bringing songs, sketches and beautifully choreographed movement, with a skew-whiff Christmas-related theme – described as the ultimate Christmas party night out.

  • Free Christmas Mystery Movie, Eclipse Cinema, Downpatrick, Co. Down, December 24.  Get into the real spirit of Christmas and enjoy a Christmas Eve mystery movie for free.  

  • Boxing Day Walk, Castle Espie Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, Co. Down, December 26. Burn off the Christmas calories with a brisk guided walk. Feed the birds, visit the hides and enjoy the fresh air.

  • Mince Pie Special, Steam Trains Ireland, Belfast, December 26.  All aboard for a relaxing scenic journey on the Mince Pie steam train to Bangor – sit back and unwind with a complimentary mince pie and a glass of mulled wine.    

  • Boxing Day Race Meeting, Down Royal Racecourse, Maze, Lisburn, December 26.  Come along and enjoy Christmas’ other great tradition – the Boxing Day Race Meeting at Down Royal.
  • Peter Corry’s Music Box, Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, December 28.  Celebrate the festive season and rediscover the magic and wonder of Christmas past and present with this spectacular of music, song and dance starring Peter Corry and members of the Ulster Operatic Company.
  • Hugo Duncan’s Country First, Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, December 28.  Radio Ulster’s ever popular Hugo Duncan ‘The Wee Man From Strabane’ brings his country jamboree to the Island Hall for a night of great country music.

  • AVA Fairs – Antiques, Vintage and Art Fair, Slieve Donard, Newcastle, Co. Down, December 30.  Antique dealers from all over come together and set up stalls selling their goods.  If it is shopping with a difference you are looking for then look no further.
  • Mystery of the Christmas Star, Armagh Planetarium, Co. Armagh, until December 31.  Journey back more than 2000 years to Bethlehem and seek to discover a scientific explanation for the star the Wise Men followed to find the baby Jesus in the digital theatre show “Mystery of the Christmas Star”.  This modern re-telling of the Christmas story will charm and captivate audiences of all ages.

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Millennium Forum, Co. Londonderry, until January 5.  Featuring William Caulfield and a star studded local cast with a special ‘magical’ appearance by Daniel O’Donnell, this energetic Christmas treat is sure to be a hit with audiences far and wide.

  • Irish and American Christmas Past, Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, until January 6.  Step back in time and experience a traditional 1700s, 1800s & 1900s Christmas in rural Ulster and Pioneer America.  The whole family can enjoy a day out exploring the treasures the outdoor museum has to offer.
  • Enniskillen 400, Castle Barracks, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, until January 25.  Marking 400 years since the official foundation of the town of Enniskillen, this exhibition explores life in the seventeenth century beginning with Gaelic Rule.  The photos are displayed alongside sonnets by writer and historian Seamus MacAnnaidh.   

Jessie J Reschedules 2013 Arena Tour Dates

Due to extended recording commitments Jessie J’s sold-out March 2013 arena tour has now been rescheduled for the 15th October – 11th November 2013. All tickets will remain valid and all venues the same apart from Glasgow which has relocated from the SECC to the new Hyrdo Arena. Jessie apologises for any inconvenience this causes her fans.

I would like to be the first to tell that you that my Nice To Meet You tour has been rescheduled to later next year. I am honestly truly sorry but I hope you all can understand that it’s just because I would like to take more time to finish my new album. I promise to make this tour my biggest and best ever and cannot wait for you all to hear my new songs.”

Full ticketing and rescheduling details are available from the point of purchase and

The rescheduled dates are as follows:

Tuesday 15 Oct                      Belfast Odyssey                      from 17 March

Wednesday 16 Oct                Dublin 02 Arena                     from 18 March

Friday 18 Oct                                      Birmingham LG Arena                   from 1st March

Saturday 19 Oct                                Sheffield Arena                                from 03 March

Monday 21 Oct                                 Aberdeen AECC                                from 15 March

Tuesday 22 Oct                                 Glasgow Hydro Arena                   from 14 March

Thursday 24 Oct                                Nottingham Arena                         from 26 February

Friday 25Oct                                       Nottingham Arena                          from 21 March

Saturday 26 Oct                                Newcastle Arena                             from 12 March

Tuesday 29 Oct                                 London 02 Arena                              from 09 March

Wednesday 30 Oct                          London 02 Arena                              from 10 March

Friday 01 Nov                                    Manchester Arena                          from 20 March

Saturday 02 Nov                               Manchester Arena                          from 02 March

Monday 04 Nov                                Liverpool Echo Arena                     from 05 March

Wednesday 06 Nov                        Brighton Centre                               from 27 February

Sunday 10 Nov                                  Bournemouth BIC                            from 07 March

Monday 11 Nov                                Cardiff Arena                                     from 06 March

For further enquires please contact the ticket point of purchase.

Sanity Claus has come into town!

The Errigle Inn, one of Belfast’s most well-known pubs has taken delivery of a very special beer to bring festive cheer to its customers.

Sanity Claus, specially brewed in the heart of the Mournes, near Kilkeel by Whitewater Brewing Company, has the right balance of malt and a dry spiced finish and is perfect for sipping during the festive period.

Santa’s little helpers Meagan Green and Sarah Moore were more than happy to “Get the beers in” at the Belfast pub on the Ormeau Road, the only establishment in the World selling the Sanity Claus beer, both on draught and bottled.

Meagan Green, Phil McGurran - General Manager Errigle Inn
Meagan Green, Sarah Moore.
Bernard Sloan - MD Whitewater Brewing Company, Sarah Moore.


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 12 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (December 17 – 23).

  • Local Crafts Showcase, Tower Museum, Co. Londonderry, December 17.  An innovative craft event to raise awareness of the arts and crafts projects which have been created by people with disabilities.
  • Skate Odyssey – Public Ice Skating, Odyssey Arena, Belfast, December 18 – January 6.  As part of the WinterFest programme, the Odyssey Arena will be transformed into the coolest place in town.  Come along and experience the thrills of ice skating at the home of the Belfast Giants.
  • The High Kings, Ardhowen, Co. Fermanagh, December 18 – 19.  Multi-platinum artists The High Kings have been voted Ireland’s folk band of the year and will not disappoint with this showcase of lively new songs and rousing interpretations of old favourites.
  • Traditional Music Nights, Adair Arms Hotel, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, December 20.  Relax and unwind with a night of traditional music at the Adair Arms Hotel.
  • A Giant Carol Sing, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, December 20.  Brass bands and a number of local primary schools will help get you into the Christmas spirit by exploring the lighter side of Christmas with lots of carol singing.
  • Winter Solstice Guided Hike to Summit of Slieve Gullion, Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh, December 20 – 22.  Set on the summit of Slieve Gullion is the highest surviving passage tomb in Ireland and every year in the Winter Solstice the setting sun illuminates the passage inside.  This year there will be three guided walks to the tomb.  The walks will take place at dusk and suit experienced people only.
  • Christmas Carol Service, Down Parish Church, Downpatrick, Co. Down, December 21.  Celebrate Christmas and enjoy some beautiful singing at this carol service which starts at 5pm.
  • Retro Dance, Ulster Hall, Belfast, December 21.  Jive, swing and jitterbug the night away with Nightswing and Bellehoppers as forties and fifties dancing, music and fashion return to the Ulster Hall.
  • Cultúrlann Christmas Party, An Cultúrlann, Belfast, December 21.  This end of year celebration will showcase some home-grown talent as well as a stunning string quartet that will perform melodies including Muse, Radiohead, The Divine Comedy and much more.
  • Christmas with The Priests, Waterfront Hall, Belfast, December 22.  The Priests perform some of the most cherished seasonal songs including Ding Dong Merrily On High, O Come All Ye Faithful, Ave Maria and Silent Night.
  • Christmas Concert, Mussenden Temple, Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House, Castlerock, Co. Londonderry, December 22.  Enjoy an evening of Christmas songs, old and new, performed in a jazz/ swing style by High Carslow and friends.
  • Introduction to White Water Course, Adventure Centre, Castlewellan Forest Park, Co. Down, December 22.  A course designed to introduce paddlers with some experience of flat water to the delights of river journeys in a Kayak. 

Jacqueline from shares her pick of festive family events taking place this weekend across the North in the run up to Christmas.


See Sinbad presented by 2nd Skin Theatre Company in conjunction with the WEB Theatre Newtownards  all week until Saturday 15th December. Join in the family fun as SINBAD is ordered by the Caliph of Arabia to rescue the beautiful Princess Orchid from the clutches of Ali baddie and his band of pirate helpers. SINBAD has to journey to the Isle of the Dark Sea and cross the desert to find the Princess. Not so easy as the Princess is guarded by the monster from the Dark Sea. Will Sinbad rescue the Princess? Will the Caliph forgive him? What will happen to Ali baddie and his henchmen? Sinbad needs your help to overcome the odds against him. So come along and bring the whole family for a great night out.


This Saturday and Sunday Emma Heatherington, in association with SD Entertainment, presents SANTA & THE LOST TOYS at the Bardic Theatre Donaghmore. Join Lolli & Pop as they help Santa catch Naughty Nicker who has stolen all the presents for the boys and girls this Christmas. A family friendly Christmas show suitable for Children aged 2+ and up.   All children meet Santa after each show and receive a free treat from the man himself.  3pm & 5pm.


Share Discover Village Share are hosting an Indoor Christmas Craft & Food Fair on Saturday 15th December. The Fair will be open from 11am – 2pm.   Santa is scheduled to make an appearance at the event. Rock climbing, face painting balloon modelling and refreshments will also be available.


A magic mirror, a jealous queen, a poisoned apple and the tiniest friends ever imagined – it’s panto time again at the Forum!  Telling the story of the young princess who finds herself on the run from her wicked stepmother and takes refuge in the forest with seven pint-sized men, SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS remains one of the best-love pantomimes of all time.  Packed with great song and dance routines, hilarious comedy, dazzling scenes and magical special effects, this festive favourite is fun for all the family from 4-94!  Featuring William Caulfield and a star studded local and Northern Irish cast with a special ‘magical’ appearance by Daniel O’Donnell, this energetic Christmas treat is sure to be a hit with audiences far and wide. Performances run until 5th January.


The Market Place Theatre, in association with The Ulster Theatre Company is delighted to announce this year’s Christmas spectacular – ‘Sleeping Beauty’. This full-scale traditional pantomime will combine wonderful music, song and dance, colourful costumes, memorable characters, and loads of audience participation, in a lively and sparkling Christmas adventure.  Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a beautiful princess is born. The entire kingdom is delighted, apart from the evil Spectra, who places a curse on the Princess, so that when she pricks her finger, she falls asleep for one hundred years. Who could possibly break such a terrible spell? And who will brave the fearsome fire-breathing dragon to awaken the sleeping beauty in the magical ‘Land Of Dreams’? Come to The Market Place Theatre this Christmas to find out…runs until 23rd December.


The Shankill Players are proud to present our Christmas extravaganza ‘Beauty and the Beast’! Come along and see all your favourite characters take to the stage, alongside a typical Players modern twist. The show will be happening between 12th-14th December at New Life Centre, Northumberland Street, Belfast! Tickets will be available to purchase from Crumlin Road Church, Belfast every Monday and Wednesday evening between 6pm-6.30pm or by contacting them through their facebook page (Shankill Players).

For more details on these and other events across Northern Ireland, news and competitions see, follow us @whatsonni and like us at Add your festive

events FREE OF CHARGE at www.whatsonni.


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 12 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (December 10 – 16).

  • Santa’s Grotto and Sleigh Ride, Millers Hill, near Markethill, Co. Armagh, December 5 – 20.  Make magic reindeer food, post your letter to Santa in his giant post box, visit his Grotto and enjoy some of Mrs Claus’ shortbread and mince pies.
  • Magical Christmas Memories, Springhill House, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, December 8 – 16.  Visit Santa and Twinkle-Boots in the grotto, receive a beautiful Christmas gift and see the house festively decorated for Christmas with crafts for the children and mulled wine and mince pies for the adults.
  • Christmas Carol Concert, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Co. Down, December 11 – 14.  Sing traditional carols and listen to seasonal readings in the atmospheric lamp-lit Omagh Meeting House.  Supper is available in Ballycultra Tea Room before and after the concert.
  • 30s & 40s Music by Swingbella, Runfurly House Arts & Visitor Centre, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, December 12.  A close-harmony vocal trio bringing back the sassy sound of the swing era of the 30s and 40s.
  • Wireless Mystery Theatre presents ‘A Christmas Carol’, North Down Museum, Co. Down, December 13.  The radio theatre troupe will be ‘broadcasting’ their annual Christmas show and will transport the audience into an old-time Ulster radio studio, recreating the 1940 live broadcast of the family classic A Christmas Carol.
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Derry Playhouse, Co. Londonderry, December 13 – 15.  A fresh interpretation of a Dickens classic– the story of redemption, as Scrooge, a miser haunted by three spirits, seeks to amend the errors of his penny-pinching ways.
  • Wrap It Up Christmas Event, Castle Barracks, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, December 14.  Enjoy a relaxing afternoon of shopping, mulled wine and mine pies while browsing the shop for Christmas gift ideas including knitwear, jewellery, silverware, ceramics and books.
  • Winter Wonderland, Antrim Lough Shore Park, Co. Antrim, December 14.  Make sure you don’t miss Santa sailing up the Six Mile Water River by boat before paying a visit to Santa’s grotto, meeting the Christmas animals and enjoying a range of family fun.
  • Half Night Paranormal Gaol Tour, Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast, December 15.  This tour takes you on a paranormal journey through the prison where 17 men were executed by hanging and their bodies were buried within the prison walls in the unconsecrated ground.
  • Christmas Craft Fair at Share, Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh, December 15.  Share is hosting an indoor Christmas craft and food fair.  Santa will be making an appearance at the event and there will be plenty of activities to take part in including face painting, rock climbing and balloon modelling.
  • Santa and the Lost Toys, Bardic Theatre, Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone, December 15 – 16.  The perfect alternative to the traditional grotto experience – sing along to your favourite Christmas songs, help solve the mystery of the lost boys, meet Santa and receive a special cupcake treat at this mini-pantomine.
  • The Incredible Book Eating Boy, The MAC, Belfast, until January 1.  This family show is based on a book by award-winning children’s author Oliver Jeffers.  Say hello to Henry, he loves books.  Books for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Yes, Henry loves books so much that he eats them and the more he eats, the cleverer he gets.