Tourism Northern Ireland lists many great things to do across NI

This May Day Bank Holiday no one will be at a loss for something to do as Tourism Northern Ireland has listed some of the best action-packed reasons to get out and enjoy the long weekend with friends and family.

“With so much choice on offer, including jazz festivals, poetry readings, outdoor walks and body zorbing, everyone from book worms to dare-devils will find something they really want to do,” said Tourism NIs Destination PR Officer, Pauline Gormley.

Pauline continued:  “The May Day Bank Holiday is the perfect time to get out and explore Northern Ireland with friends and family and maybe even try something new and exciting.  For those with an adventurous side there are a wide range of fun outdoor activities and challenges to choose from and if you prefer something a little bit more laid back there are lots of places to visit where you can kick back and enjoy some rest and relaxation.”

To help make the most of the May Day bank holiday, Tourism Northern Ireland has highlighted a number of events happening across NI.


If you would like to laugh yourself silly over the May Bank Holiday then grab some of your best friends and head on down to Festival of Fools which runs at various locations in Belfast City Centre from May 1-4. The Festival starts off in Writers’ Square with ‘Cast Off’ which is the biggest street show ever to be produced by the Belfast Community Circus School. Events to watch out for include the ‘Community Circus Celebration’, ‘Lost on Earth’ and ‘The Big Finish’.

Comic book enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that MCM Comic Con is returning to the Kings Hall from May 2-3. From sci-fi stars to battling robots, comic creators, to costume competitions there will be a whole host of attractions for the whole family to enjoy.  Special guests confirmed include Sleepy Hollow, Fringe and Lord of the Rings star John Noble and Adventure Time voice actress Hynden Walch.

Co Antrim

The Cushendun Big Arts Weekend will run from May 1-4 and is sure to be a fun filled weekend for groups of friends and families alike. The ranges of events available include Jazz with Linley Hamilton and the Julian Bohn Trio, Live Music at Mary McBrides, The Big Picnic and hat making competition. Kids will love the sand sculpture competition and poem reading event with Elaine Gaston.

If you would to challenge yourself then The Causeway Coast Challenge Walk is the perfect event for you. The walk takes place on May 3 and the route travels past the world-famous Giant’s Causeway and onwards along the spectacular cliff-top path to Port Bradden before returning back to the starting point. The breathtaking views and stunning scenery will leave you refreshed and reinvigorated.

Co Armagh

The Armagh Apple Blossom Fair will be held in the picturesque village of Loughgall and is a great way for families to spend the May bank holiday. At the fair you will have a chance to sample different apple produce against a backdrop of rural ambience as well as browse the huge variety of locally produced items at the food and craft stalls. Foodies will enjoy the cookery demonstrations and dog lovers can bring their pooch along to enter into the dog competition – Scrufts Armagh!

If you would like to enjoy some drama then go to see Family Fever by Sam Cree at the Marketplace Theatre on May 2. The play is presented by the Glen Theatre Drama Group and will ensure you and your friends can enjoy some laugh out loud fun.

Co Down

Holywood town centre will be alive with fun, laughter and lots of events at the Merry May Day on May 4. The action-packed programme of events includes Crowning of the May Queen, Maypole Dancing, Fancy Dress Competition and music from the Monster Ceilidh Band.

If you would like a toe tapping fun night out and you are a fan of Tom Jones then get on down to the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa on May 1 to enjoy a tribute show in the legendary singers honour. You can sing and dance the night away to well known hits such as Delilah, It’s Not Unusual and She’s a Lady.

Co Fermanagh

If something more relaxing appeals to you this May Bank Holiday then why not treat your nearest and dearest to a pamper day at Orchard Acre Farm in Irivinestown on May 1. According to the Farm, the ancient Irish Tradition of washing one’s face with dew on the first May Day morning was to ensure lasting beauty and was first recorded in 1652 by Gerard Boate. To celebrate the tradition, you can enjoy yoga, movement and dance, poetry, song and beauty therapies as well as some delightful food.

Unleash the poet in you at the Wilde Weekend Festival from May 1 to 4 at various venues around Co Fermanagh including Castle Coole, Florence Court, Portora Royal School, the Masonic Hall and the Ardhowen Theatre.  Wilde related art forms include theatre, literary talks, prose-theatre, poetry-theatre, music, film and storytelling.

If you know a little budding geologist then take them along to the Marble Arch Caves on May 4 for the Geo Detective and Fossil Fun event. Families can enjoy some hands-on fun and learn all about the fantastic fossils that make up the rocks beneath our feet.

Co Londonderry

The Jungle in Moneymore is hosting a fantastic family fun day event on May 3 and 4 and you can take part in a colourful carnival of exciting activities, crafty happenings and tasty treats. Why not take part in some of the action-packed activities such as body zorbing, llama trekking, paintball target shooting, segways and the climbing wall.  A coffee shop and BBQ bar will be available for when you need to relax and refresh.

If you like Jazz music then the Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival from April 30 to May 4 at the City Hotel Derry will be the perfect tuneful event for you to sing and dance along with friends and family.  Acts on show will include the Derry Jazz Quartet, the Jazz Lads, Red Stripe Band and The Roaring 40’s.

Co Tyrone

Jamboree in the Park will return to the Ecclesville Centre in Fintona on May 2 and with headline acts such as Derek Ryan, Mike Denver, Johnny Brady and Lisa McHugh you are guaranteed a fun filled night out.

If you are looking for a more unusual way to spend your free time then take in a performance of Tutus and Beyond, at the Alley Theatre in Strabane on May 3. The ballet pays tribute to the purity of classical ballet and charts the journey of ballet from the late 19th century into the 21st.