Our Pick of Family events this weekend.


Celebrate the arrival of Spring with a fun day out at the upcoming Craft Fair at Edenmore Golf & Country Club Moira Saturday 23rd March.  There will be a wide range of unique gifts, handmade creations as well as tasty treats. Free entry. Everyone welcome. 10.00 am to 3.00pm.  For all our County Down events click HERE.


Are you in need of some wedding inspiration?  You are invited to Hagan’s Bar, Dungannon, Thursday 21st March from 6pm.  If the countdown to your wedding has started, you are engaged or thinking about getting engaged and to show your support to the Southern Area Hospice, this is a definite date for your diary.   Those attending can visit the various displays and benefit from the advice on offer.  For all our County Tyrone listings click  HERE.


Lough Erne Amateur Radio Rally, Share Centre, Lisnaskea. Doors open 11.30am this Sunday 24th March.  Ireland’s major traditional annual exhibition and gathering in Fermanagh of about 300 radio amateurs and experimenters, their clubs and organisations from NI, ROI and some from GB. Visitors interested or just curious welcome.   For all our County Fermangh listings click  HERE


Fancy yourself as a ‘Know It All’, a ‘Fountain of all Knowledge’ or a ‘General Knowledge Buff’? Or just fancy an evening out and a bit of craic for a GREAT cause? Join in the fundraising table quiz in Rainey Old Boys Rugby Club on Friday 22nd March at 8pm to raise much needed funds for The Samaritans. Everyone welcome!   For all our County Derry/Londonderry listings click HERE.



Armagh Planetarium presents The Dragons of Azrael, a magical heart-warming production that transports you through the Cosmos to the wonderful world of Azrael.  On this planet the Dragons await the birth of the chosen one who will restore the lost art of “imagination” within Dragon-kind.  This is a brand-new interactive production with full 3D stage setting, amazing large scale puppets, visual effects and enchanting music.  The Dragons of Azrael is a family show which is not to be missed!  Spaces will be allocated on a first come basis.  Saturday 23rd March – 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm.  Tuesday 26th March – 6:30pm and 7:30pm.  Duration: 30mins and admission is free.  For all our County Armagh listings click HERE.


Kickstart your child’s Easter celebrations with a fun art workshop at Carnfunnock Country Park. From 10.30am to 12noon on Saturday 23rd March, children aged 5-11 years can come along and make their own special cards, bunny ears and eggy surprises just in time for Easter.  Price £5.00 per child and booking is advisable.  All children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult and should wear appropriate clothes.  Also from 2.00pm to 5.00pm on Sunday 24th March Jumping Clay will be visiting Carnfunnock for the first time and visitors can drop by and make a unique Easter clay model to take home and surprise their family.  Price £4.00 per model.  All children must be accompanied by an adult and should wear appropriate clothes.   For all County Antrim listings click HERE.


The phenomenally popular Breakfast Club Movies are back at the Ulster Hall on Sunday 24th March with four more opportunities to enjoy a continental breakfast with tea and coffee served in our vintage china while wrapped up in some of the greatest movie classics of all time.PLEASE NOTE: breakfast is served from 10am with the movie beginning at 10.30am.   For all our Belfast listings click HERE.

Bangor 400 – 400 Years of our Royal Charter

2013 marks the 400th Anniversary of Bangor’s town charter with a year-long programme of events to celebrate the cultural history of the town.

Attending the recent launch event of the Bangor 400 programme of events at The Town Hall, Bangor were Kieran Gilmore, Director of The Open House Festival, Chief Executive of North Down Borough Council Trevor Polley, The Mayor of North Down Wesley Irvine and Stephen McCartney from music group The Farriers.

An exciting motoring event, special celebration concerts and light shows are some of the highlights of the planned programme.

The programme will kick off on Easter Monday, 1st April, when the annual Easter Parade will have a special 400 theme to mark the occasion. At 3pm over 200 local children and young people will take to the streets as part of the spectacular Bangor 400 themed carnival Parade. The Parade will be led by a band in historic costume with a carnival twist, followed by King James on a throne holding a giant charter. Look out for Kings & Queens, a giant birthday cake, live music bands and lots more when this colourful spectacular makes its way around the Town.

As well as the parade, there will be plenty of activities and things to do and see along The Promenade and a special karting event organised by Eddie Irvine Sports will be taking place at The McKee Clock Arena from 10am.

Motorsports fans will be thrilled when Bangor Town Centre will be transformed for a special Bangor 400 motoring event on Saturday 29th of June. From 6pm a variety of fabulous vehicles will do 400 laps of Bangor.  Expect to see mini-motos, Legends, go-karts, classic motorbikes and other speciality cars up close.

Throughout the weekend the HMS Bangor will be at the Eisenhower Pier along with a variety of attractions to keep the children entertained.  Look out for a few surprise characters along the Pier who’ll shed a bit of light on what Bangor was like over the past 400 years.

Classic car fans will be delighted to see a display of over 400 cars from vintage to some of the most cherished performance cars at the front of the Town Hall.

On Sunday 30th June at 3pm over a hundred veterans will parade through the Town Centre to pay tribute to this special anniversary.  Parade route details will be announced at a later stage.

Come to Castle Park on Saturday 14th September when local heroes Otis and The Elevators will kick off a trip down memory lane – when they take to the stage at 6pm with a collection of their classic blues hits.

Next up are Swingabella supported by an 8 piece band.  This is a close-harmony vocal trio bringing back the sassy sound of the 30s and 40s – the Swing Era.  Their repertoire includes the songs of the Andrews Sisters – favourites like ‘Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree’ and ‘In The Mood’.

Appearing for the first time in Northern Ireland the next act is a huge hit in the UK.  King Pleasure and the Biscuits Boys – this unusually named band is one of the most popular jazz and swing bands in the world, made famous by Ronnie Scott’s clubs, performing classy numbers in Louis Jordan and Eddie Cleanhead style.

On Sunday 15 we are delighted to announce an event called Bangor 400 Voices.  This will be a celebration of choral excellence featuring Bangor Ladies Choir, Open Arts Choir and Belfast Community Gospel Choir.

On both Saturday and Sunday nights at 10.00 pm the Town Hall will once again be used as a spectacular backdrop for a 3d lighting projection show which will reflect Bangor’s journey over the past 400 years.

Speaking about the Bangor 400 series of events, Tourism Manager Alison Stobie said: “we are very much looking forward to hosting the Bangor 400 events in what promises to be an exciting year for the town and would encourage everyone to come along and join in the celebrations at our special events.”

Thumbs up for the Jungle NI!

When the opportunity to visit the Jungle came up a couple of weeks ago we had no hesitation in agreeing to go and road test a couple of the many activities on offer.

Charlotte, Emma and Joseph ready for some Tree Top Action!

My 11 year old twins Charlotte and Joseph and I headed off to collect my partner in crime Emma McCann and arrived full of anticipation at 12.45pm at the Jungle NI‘s office. We were greeted by Jamie and Rob – as well as some adorable pups and more importantly TEA!

After a perfect cuppa and signing ourselves in we were taken to get strapped up for the Tree Top Adventure. There is a ground level practice course to get you used to the safety harnesses which is a great idea as well as a mini zip line.

Luckily the kids were big enough to come on the adult course with me where we were given clear instructions how to complete the course and Jamie and Rob were with us for the whole time coaxing and encouraging me and the children.

It was like something like “I’m a Celebrity” – exciting, scary and a whole lot of fun! The course is a series of over 40 challenging ways to get from one tree top to another through rope bridges, platforms, nets, jumps and a zip line. At some points you can find yourself over 70 ft above ground so there was a lot of screaming (good screaming!) with excitement.

Charlotte braving the ropes with lots of encouragement from Rob!
Charlotte braving the ropes with lots of encouragement from Rob!

The zip line was the climax at the end of the course – approx 200 m zipping through the trees, followed by the The King Louis Descent – Powerfan drop where you can experience an adrenaline freefall drop in safety.

At no point during our Tree Top Adventure were we ever not securely attached by our SSB so we all felt 100% safe which made the course easier to approach.

The Jungle NI is located in the heart of Mid Ulster and the Sperrins – perfectly located for easy access from anywhere in Ireland.

Following our Tarzan and Jane adventure we were lucky enough to take part in the Llama Trekking through past the areas for the other activities on offer – clay pigeon shooting, past the archery, paintball, fright night course, the Fairy Woods, the Zorbing course, the glamping huts where guests can sleep over and party round an open fire, the bbq hut, the boating lake and outdoor hot tubs before arriving back at the farm with Llamas Ant, Dec and Bobby.

Quotes from the kids:

Charlotte “an amazingly awesome day. Favourite part of the day was the zipline“.

Joseph “epic! Favourite part was the King Louis Decent“.

More about the Jungle NI

Joseph & Charlotte with Ant & Dec!

The Jungle was opened in July 2005 as Northern Ireland’s first paintball site. Since then The Jungle Paintball has won the Magherafelt Business Award for 06 Young Entrepreneur and the Rural development Best Farm Diversification 2006.

The Jungle is set in 200 acres of enchanted woodland, right in the centre of Northern Ireland, just off the A29 between Cookstown and Magherafelt.

The site is run by Robert and his enthusiastic team of marshals and with such a young team we really understand how to provide the greatest adrenaline rush you will ever experience!

At The Jungle we are never content so are constantly expanding and conjuring ways of making our facility even better. Therefore we are proud to be the first and only Zorbing site in Ireland!

  • Large sheltered picnic area – ideal for forest parties
  • Toilets
  • Snack bar
  • Hot tubs
  • Showers
  • BBQ facilities
  • Changing area
  • Accept all major credit/debit cards
  • All equipment and protective kit provided
  • Experienced, qualified staff on hand at all times

  • Northern Ireland Adventureland weekend offers discounted prices on a range of adventure activities on March 23 – 24.  More than 1400 people are expected to enjoy and take advantage of over 65 outdoor activity events offered by 21 different activity providers including canoeing, surfing, horse riding and hovercrafting across Northern Ireland during the action packed weekend.  The exciting two-day event is perfect for families and groups of friends, with no previous experience necessary and all activities are either £10 per person or 50% off their normal price.
  • Activity:

Northern Ireland’s only tree top adventure course and Llama Trekking at Jungle NI in Magherafelt.  www.thejungleni.com t: 028 867 48881

  • More information: Jacqueline’s trip was organised courtesy of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Outdoor NI.  A full list of Adventureland activities and an online booking system is available at www.discovernorthernireland.com/adventure
Huge thanks to Rob and the team at Jungle NI for their hospitality!


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (March 18 – 24).  For more details on these and other events click on www.discovernorthernireland.com/events, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto http://www.facebook.com/discovernorthernireland

  • St Patrick’s Day Parade, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, March 18.  A colourful display of creative talent will be on show as the St Patrick’s Day Parade makes its way through Omagh town centre for an exciting multi-cultural carnival atmosphere.
  • Dickens at the Ulster Hall, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, March 19.  Director Sam McCready recreates an afternoon when the great novelist, Charles Dickens, meets an appreciative Ulster audience in the newly-opened Ulster Hall, sharing amusing observations on Belfast and its people, interwoven with extracts from his best-known novels and moving stories from a tumultuous life.
  • Music Skills NI, North West Regional College, Co. Londonderry, March 20 – 21.  During this two day event, students will compete in categories including live performances, live electronics, DJing, sound design and song-writing.  Make sure you come along to see the recording and performing artists of the future.
  • Belfast 400, various locations, Belfast, various dates.  In 2013, Belfast is marking the 400th anniversary of the 1613 charter which granted Belfast its town status.  To celebrate the city council will be marking this significant anniversary with a number of events and initiatives.
  • Opera NI presents The Bear, Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, March 21.  Death, infidelity, a duel and passionate love – William Walton’s ‘extravaganza in one act’ has it all in the tale of Madame Popova, an attractive young widow, and Smirnov, one of her late husband’s creditors.  A witty and heart-warming story.
  • Grease & Dirty Dancing Show, The Market Place Theatre, Co. Armagh, March 21.  Performed by leading singers and dancers from London’s West End and supported by a sensational live band this production will bring you all the songs from these two hit movies.
  • Blood Brothers, Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, March 22.  The story of fraternal twins who were separated at birth because their mother decided to have one of them adopted.  Their different backgrounds take them to opposite ends of the social spectrum, one becoming an Oxbridge-graduated councillor and the other unemployed and in prison.  The play looks at the differences and conflicts of their upbringing, their relationships with one another and with their real and adopted mothers as well as the girl they both ultimately fall in love with.
  • Chocolate Making Workshop, Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, March 23.  Aunt Sandra’s Chocolate Factory returns for another messy, chocola-tastic event.  Learn how to make chocolate pizzas all under the guidance of Belfast’s very own Willie Wonka, Uncle Jim.
  • Rocky Roadshow, Ulster Museum, Belfast, March 23 – 24.  Join Dr Mike Simms to find out more about rocks, fossils and minerals at this free event and take part in lots of fun activities about earthquakes, volcanoes and making fossils.

  • Baby Rave – Big Beats for your Baby, Warrenpoint Town Hall, Co. Down, March 28.  Baby Rave is a unique dance and music event for children under 4 years old and their parents.  Boogie with your baby to specially selected music in an ambient ‘club’ environment which will be dressed up with soft materials and sensory toys.


Travel survey reveals road trips to be a favourite Northern Irish holiday choice

MORE Northern Ireland holidaymakers than ever are choosing to hit the open road in a bid to experience the ultimate break to Britain.

According to recent research carried out by independent survey company NORM, on behalf of Stena Line, road trips are now a huge Northern Ireland favourite as the survey revealed 94% of people have been on a car-cation while 61% are planning on taking one this year.

The travel survey which was carried out across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland confirmed that 76% of holidaymakers choose to go on holiday with their car as it offers freedom and flexibility to pack in as much luggage as they want and stop off along the way to make the holiday their own.

To encourage people to book a car-cation this year, Stena Line has extended its National Ferry Fortnight offer until March 19, where kids can travel free on all Economy, Flexi and Premium motorist bookings, which can be taken from March 16 until January 5, 2014.

More than half (57%) of those surveyed preferred to stay in hotels on their holiday and Stena Line is also offering a great selection of hotel breaks in Scotland and England where kids travel and stay for free and adults are from only £59* per adult, per night.

Diane Poole, Head of PR and Communications with Stena Line, believes these overwhelming results in favour of car-cations are for a number of reasons.

“A road trip appeals to the adventurer in us all with the opportunity to explore lesser known destinations and enjoy unplanned events in an entirely new way.  The beauty of it is you can make the trip your own by stopping off along the way to visit family and friends and pack all of your home comforts into the car with you – which is usually essential when you have the kids with you!” said Diane.

“We’re encouraging everyone who is planning a road trip this year to make sure to book before March 19 and make the most of our Kids Go Free offer, plus there are lots of opportunities to travel and stay for free with a great selection of Stena Line hotel breaks across Scotland and England.

“With Stena Line, holidaymakers can enjoy no luggage restrictions, no lengthy check in times and your holiday begins as soon as you step on board as our ships are luxurious and floating entertainment centres,” she added.


Travelling to Britain with Stena Line has never been easier with five routes to choose from: Belfast to Cairnryan; Belfast to Liverpool; Dublin to Holyhead; Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead (seasonal) and Rosslare to Fishguard.

To make a booking log onto www.stenaline.co.uk, call 08447 70 70 70 or visit your local travel office or agent.

*Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.

Here are Jacqueline’s pick of family events taking place this St Patrick’s weekend across the North.


Newry will host their St Patrick’s Day Festival on Saturday 16th March. What promises to be a memorable family fun packed day, everyone will be entertained by a creative display of local talent as the parade makes its way throughout the city centre. There will be so much on offer from live music, street theatre, comedy and street performances of Irish Dancing which will provide an exciting carnival atmosphere not to be missed. Street Entertainment – Margaret Square: Compere Paul Clarke/Newry Community Band. Official address by Mayor John McArdle & Church Leaders. Derek Ryan/The Nooks/Cold Porter/Raglan. Street Entertainment Marcus Square: Belfast Samba Band/ Ceili Time – Raymond Carroll Fear a’Ti. For all our County Down events click HERE.


Be part of the Liveliest Festival Omagh has ever seen on Monday 18th March.  The St Patrick’s Day buzz will also be felt around Strule Arts Centre, with St Eugene’s Band performing outside while people enter to enjoy some lunch or to see the Arts & Craft Fair which will take place between 12.00pm and 5.00pm. This has been organised in association with Tyrone Design Guild and combines a unique selection of contemporary and traditional craft products that will undoubtedly offer a unique shopping opportunity.  For all our County Tyrone listings click  HERE.


Be active this St Patrick’s week-end… Venture into the West with friends or family at the Corralea Activity Centre. St Patrick’s week-end special includes 3 nights accommodation in lakeside self-catering cottages and 1/2 Day Outdoor activity with a qualified instructor on Sat 16th March. Activities include canoeing,  climbing,  archery,  mountain biking or orienteering (activities are weather dependent). .In the evening, enjoy the local bars and restaurants in the village or simply relax and curl up near the wood stove.  For all our County Fermangh listings click HERE


Join the National Trust in their St Patrick’s Day shenanigans at Springhill Moneymore on Sunday. With free entry for anyone who can prove they are called Patrick, this is sure to be a fine way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Discover the shamrock trail around the grounds, enjoy craft activities for the children, traditional food and music.  For all our County Derry/Londonderry listings click HERE.


Celebrate Saint Patricks Day in Armagh on Sunday as the streets come alive in a spectacular display of colour during this year’s carnival parade. The parade brings the local community together for a celebration of all things Irish under the theme ‘Armagh…It’s My Own Irish Home’.  For all our County Armagh listings click HERE.


Now in its 23rd Year The St. Patrick’s Holiday Monday Antiques Collectors & Fine Art Fair is one of the longest established in Northern Ireland and will take place at the Templeton Hotel from midday to 7.00pm. Fresh food and refreshments available in the Hotel and free car parking in the large hotel car park. For all County Antrim listings click HERE.


Help Belfast Zoo celebrate Lucy the chimpanzee’s first birthday, this St Patrick’s Day, and join in the fun at the chimpanzee enclosure!  Activities will include face painting, bouncy castle, animal feeding times, keeper talks and sing happy birthday to Lucy as she enjoys her birthday treats!  Tickets must be bought beforehand. For all our Belfast listings click HERE.

Derry~Londonderry secures European Business Innovation Centre Network Congress

One of Europe’s largest and most prestigious business events will take place in Northern Ireland’s second city in May with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as headline speaker.

Dr Bernard Toal, Chief Executive NORIBIC and Arlene Foster, MLA Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment announce one of Europe's largest and most prestigious business events will take place in Derry.

The European Business Network (EBN) Congress, which annually boasts international decision-makers, investors, and business angels amongst its high-powered audience, will take place in Derry~Londonderry between 29th and 31st May, which this year is open to a local business audience.

Hosted by The Northern Ireland Business and Innovation Centre (NORIBIC) in association with Invest NI, it will take place over three days at the Millennium Forum and a number of other venues around the themes ‘Digital’, ‘Cultural’ and ‘Social Innovation’.

Speaking in Northern Ireland for the first time Steve Wozniak, has been a Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years.  In 1976, Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer Inc with Steve Jobs, helping to shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products.

It is the first time this major programme of events will take place in Northern Ireland, and one of the first times it will be in the UK. Past host cities during its 22-year history have included Budapest, Naples and Toulon. Last year it was in Lappeenranta in Finland.

The event was attracted to Northern Ireland this year in part because of Derry~Londonderry’s status as UK City of Culture as well as NORIBIC’s long-standing involvement in the European Business Innovation Centre Network.

EBN Congress 2013 will include a series of events and exhibitions, including the Digital, Cultural and Social Innovation networking Villages, and promises to provide a significant economic boost to the city due to the spend by delegates, who will come from all over Europe, as well as the positive image of Derry~Londonderry it will present to influential people.

Dr Bernard Toal, Chief Executive of NORIBIC, says it will be a programme with a difference that will do the city and Northern Ireland proud.

“We are absolutely delighted to have secured the Congress for Northern Ireland as it is a fantastic and very highly thought of event, and even more pleased to have signed up Steve Wozniak as headline speaker.  We are now finalising the remaining list of international keynote speakers, befitting the kind of audience this conference attracts. The programme, which will include a large cultural element, will also showcase the very best that the city has to offer, and we can’t wait to unveil it to the delegates,” he adds.

Joining Invest NI as sponsors of the event include, the Irish BICs, Derry Visitor & Convention Bureau (DVCB), SEUPB’s INTERREG IVA Programme, the Department Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and the Department for Employment & Learning (DEL).

Further information about the event and registration is available at: http://www.noribic.com/ebncongress

Free Weekend Entertainment at Cockle Row Cottages!

Cockle Row Cottages situated in the quaint village of Groomsport are preparing to open their doors to the hundreds of families that will visit over the summer season.

Open just in time for Easter, Cockle Row Cottages will host free themed entertainment on Easter Sunday, 31st March, including Easter Crafts, Face Painting, Traditional Music and a visit from the Ark Open Farm and their Small Animal Road Show.

These lovingly restored fisherman’s cottages will also host a variety of free weekend family entertainment from 31st March to 1st September. Children will have the opportunity to join in on a range of activities including face painting, children’s crafts, balloon modelling and much more every weekend from 2-4pm, whilst adults can enjoy live music, craft fairs and Ulster-Scots music and dance in July and August in Association with the Ulster-Scots Agency.

Set within the picturesque Groomsport Harbour, Cockle Row Cottages are the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Bird enthusiasts will enjoy live video feeds which have been set up on Cockle Island giving visitors the opportunity to watch birds on two large screens, control cameras for a more interactive bird watching experience and this year even follow from home via the internet.   Open to the public daily from June, the cottages also stock a range of tourist and heritage information as well as a small gift shop full of local crafts and pottery.

Whether it’s a weekend of free family fun or an afternoon away – Cockle Row Cottages are the perfect place for you!

Cockle Row Cottages open 11am-5pm weekends April and May and daily from June to September.  Free weekend family entertainment from 2-4pm beginning 31st March to 1st September.

For more information and a list of weekend events please visit www.northdowntourism.com or telephone Bangor Tourist Information Centre: 028 9127 0069.

Former Michael Jackson Guitarist Set to Wow Crescent Arts Centre Audience

The Crescent Arts Centre in association with Amped Guitar School have pulled off a real coup by bringing none other than former Michael Jackson guitarist Greg Howe to Belfast for the very first time.

The former Michael Jackson guitarist has played with the likes of Justin Timberlake, ‘N Sync and Enrique Iglesias to name but a few and will take to the Crescent stage on Thursday 14th March.

”We are delighted to welcome a musician of Greg’s ability and experience to the centre” said Crescent Arts Centre Manager Dr. Keith Acheson.  “Audiences are in for a real treat during this masterclass in which Greg will perform and discuss the techniques of playing live with a few stories thrown in for good measure!”

This event is the first in a monthly series of guitar clinics and masterclasses, entitled Livewire Workshops, and features some of the world’s greatest guitarists.  The initiative is a joint effort between the Crescent and Amped Guitar School and aims to focus on the cream of the crop.

Amped Guitar School Director Alastair Simpson stated, “Greg is one of the most respected guitarists around and for us to be able to bring what he knows to so many local musicians is really exciting.”

The event begins at 7.30pm and is an absolute must for guitarists and musicians of all ages, but be quick – tickets are selling fast!

Thursday 14 March, 7:30pm, Crescent Arts Centre.

Tickets £20 / £15 (conc.) / £10 (under 16), available online at  www.crescentarts.org / Box Office:(028)9024  2338


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (March 11 – 17).

For more details on these and other events click on www.discovernorthernireland.com/events, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto http://www.facebook.com/discovernorthernireland

  • Belfast Children’s Festival, various venues, March 8 – 15.  The year’s event marks its fifteenth anniversary and boasts a packed eight days of international and local dance, music and theatre aimed at babies, children and young people.
  • Brendan Grace, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, March 13.  One of the greatest family comedians of his generation proudly presents 41 years in the comedy business.  The genial Dubliner is much loved by young and old and plays in Tyrone for one night only.

  • Give My Head Peace, Ardhowen Theatre, Co. Fermanagh, March 14.  A night of laugh-out-loud comedy is guaranteed as Uncle Andy and the Gang return to the Ardhowen Theatre for the annual Give My Head Peace laughter fest.
  • St Patrick’s Festival Belfast, various venues, March 15 – 18.  Belfast will host many events as part of the St Patrick’s Festival including the annual St Patrick’s Day Carnival which will take to the streets on March 17.  Community groups from all areas of the city will join professional and amateur performers, musicians and acrobats, finishing with a free concert in Custom House Square where visitors can enjoy traditional Irish, Ulster Scots, pop and multicultural music and dance.
  • Newry Drama Festival 2013, Newry Town Hall, Co. Down, March 15 – 23.  The Drama Festival is a competitive festival and consists of nine nights of different plays performed by drama groups from all over Ireland.  Each play is competing for a place in both the Ulster Drama Festival Finals and in the All Ireland Drama Festival Finals and is adjudicated after the performance on each evening.
  • Armagh Planetarim, Co. Armagh, March 16.  Visit the Planetarium for an out-of-this-world experience.  Enjoy the museum exhibits and Astropark and choose from six daily digital theatre shows that include Dynamic Earth, Sun, Moon and Stars and Astronaut.
  • An Evening of Traditional Irish Music at Mussenden Temple, Downhill Demesne, Castlerock, Co. Londonderry, March 16.  A variety of time-honoured folk music performed by a unique and talented quintet promises to enlighten and exhilarate to toe-tapping standards in the historically breathtaking and specially lit Mussenden Temple.
  • Shamrocks and Shillelaghs, The Argory, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, March 17.  Shamrocks and Shillelaghs offers a fine way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Tyrone.  Children will love the Shillelagh trail and craft activities and adults can enjoy the traditional music and Irish food – a fantastic day of fun for all the family.

  • St Patrick’s Day at Slemish, meeting at Broughshane and Ecos Centre, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, March 17.  Enjoy a hike up the famous Slemish mountain, a traditional place of pilgrimage.  Visitors can learn about St Patrick and his historical legacy as well as the history, wildlife and geology of the area.

  • The 2013 UK City of Culture St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival, various venues, Co Londonderry, March 17.  This year’s carnival will be a celebration of language, history, culture and tradition with a family friendly focus. Activities on offer include carnival parades, concerts, dancing and storytelling and the event is the perfect way to celebrate St Patrick’s with the family.