Jacqueline from whatsonni.com shares her pick of What’s On this Halloween weekend across NI


Enjoy a Halloween Spooktacular with all your little ghastly ghouls this Halloween with a fantastically devilish disco this Saturday from 3-5pm at Edenmore Golf Club Moira.  Halloween games, spooky snacks, face-painting, fancy dress and colouring in competitions guarantee a fiendishly fun filled afternoon for all!  Witches, devils, ghosts, black cats and vampires – all are welcome! Pre-booking essential as spaces are limited.


Enjoy some family Halloween fun at the Navan Centre, Armagh from 29th October to 1st November. Have spooky fun as you meet with Hansel and Gretal at the witches house in the woods, but beware of what could be lurking in the trees.  You never know who is watching!  Enjoy the interactive ‘Billy Bones’ games and activities… are you sure that bone is supposed to be there?  Make a Halloween dream catcher to hang in your window and enjoy our hair-raising theatre presentation based on the popular ‘I am a Celebrity…’


SHARE’S annual Halloween Howler event takes place this year from 29th to 31st October. Guests can purchase a pass that will grant them access to a Haunted Forest Walk, Pumpkin Carving and take part in an number of our Halloween Extravaganza Activities.


Dust off your broomsticks and dress up the kids if you’re brave enough to join the Premier Loughshore Spooktacular Halloween event – Nightmare on Kinturk Street II – Kinturk Centre, Moortown this Saturday.  This exclusive adult ONLY Ghostly Trail of the Banshee once again directed by the brilliant Gerry Cunningham is taking an alfresco twist into the Mysterious Murky Moss! Kinturk will once again be transformed into a fun, haunted centre with a variety of entertainment for all the family, apple bobbing, kid friendly ghost trails, storytelling, disco as well as delicious festive fayre – all culminating in a spectacular fireworks display at 9.30pm. So dust off your broomsticks and dress up your kids to make this Halloween a memorable one at Kinturk Centre .. if you dare!


With a bigger and even busier programme of events than ever before from 29th October to 1st November, coupled with the addition of the rise of the ghostly River Gods from the Foyle and further afield, it’s set to be a week awash with devilish activities for all to experience in Derry this year. The city and district will be full of tricks and treats galore – with the return of the gruesome ‘Chateau le Fear’ and  the incredible spectacle of ‘Awakening of the Walls’, and the addition of the ‘Rio Bravo Fiesta’ celebrating Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)! The big treat of course is the annual, world renowned, street carnival parade – the biggest in Europe, culminating in the explosive fireworks finale!


There’s mischief brewing in at Mossley Mill this Halloween for little monsters too cute to spook, aged between 3 and 8 years on Saturday 31st October. There will be crafty imps arty activities, fearsome face painting, Balloon modelling in the Museum and special performance with Mr Hullabaloo Puppeteer Show with storybook villains in Theatre at The Mill (tickets are £4.00 and must be booked in advance with box office).   Ending with a fancy dress competition, so if you’ve Got It, Haunt It!


Enjoy a 1.5 hour ride in a restored steam train from Belfast Central, along the shores of Belfast Lough to Whitehead and return this Saturday. Ghosts and ghouls of all ages are encouraged to wear seasonal dress and enjoy the unique steamy atmosphere.  All ticket holding children receive a spooky goody bag from the wicked witch! Train departs Belfast Central at 11:30 & 14:30. Tickets must be booked in advance from Belfast Welcome Centre (02890246609) or online fromwww.steamtrainsireland.com

Add your events free at www.whatsonni.com. Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at fb.com/www.whatsonni.com for news, competitions and what’s on near you.

Lisburn’s Spooky Purple Turnip event returns

Lisburn’s Market Square will be transformed on Saturday 31st October from 12-4pm into a spooky extravaganza of fun when the annual Purple Turnip event takes place.

Alderman Allan Ewart with Robyn Tucker from LT Dance Studio Lisburn.

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council is pleased to host this free event, which will have something to offer the whole family, with fun filled activities and workshops to suit all ages.

From 12 noon there will be a range of activities available which will include a team of face painters guaranteed to complete any costume with some spooky designs. There will be a sand art workshop for those who fancy trying their hand at something a little scarier than a classic sand castle. Of course, no turnip event would be complete without a turnip hunt, where participants will have the chance to win some spooky prizes by putting their investigative skills to the test and trying to find some of the cleverly hidden turnips around the City Centre.

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has recently invested in and completed the installation of an interactive light floor within the public realm space in Market Square. The state of the art glass floor is lit with LED lights to make it a truly magical experience for aspiring performers of all ages. Throughout the afternoon those in attendance can participate in dance classes hosted by local community dance groups on the new floor, which provides a very unique stage to practice your latest dance moves.

At the event, Mantella mobile zoo will also be in attendance and guests will have the chance to get up close and personal with some of their favourite creatures, with a few spooky additions to keep us in the Halloween spirit. This is a unique experience to learn more about the animals as well as the opportunity to hold them…if you dare!

Speaking about the event, Chairman of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s Economic Development Committee, Alderman Allan Ewart, said: “Lisburn is the city for life and this event presents a perfect opportunity to build community spirit, with a host of fun filled activities for everyone to enjoy. The new interactive floor is a great addition to the City Centre and in fact, the new public realm space has been designed to enable us to have more of these events throughout the year.  We invite everyone to come along and visit the local shops to see what’s on offer.  Also with it being the first day of Restaurant Week then why not stop in for a bite to eat in one of our excellent coffee shops or restaurants before calling by and joining in the fun.

Whether you want to get involved with the dancing or simply watch the kids’ excitement as they explore the different creatures at the zoo or get their face painted, the day is sure to be full of delights for all.”

For further details about the Purple Turnip Event in Market Square, Lisburn City Centre, please visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/enjoylisburn or contact the Council’s City Centre Management team on 07724586934.


Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (October 26 – November 1).

  • Halloween Howler 3 for 2 Activities, Carrowmena Activity Centre, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, October 26. Gather up a few friends or family members and experience some of the best activities Northern Ireland has to offer. You can take part in Zip Lining, Archery, Orienteering, Kayaking and much more. Various packages available.
  • Twilight Night by Fairy Light, Wallace Park, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, October 30. Dress up and enjoy an evening of magical enchantment with a host of theatrical attractions all culminating in a superb fireworks display. From 7- 9pm.
  • Creepy Elements of Horror: Halloween Family Day, Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, October 30. Join in for a Halloween extravaganza inspired by some of the sinister, dangerous and deadly elements lurking in the periodic table. There will be scary science experiments. Do you dare create a poisonous stench with ammonium sulphide or an eerie noise with a creepy element? Remember to get your face painted on arrival and to take the Halloween trail if you want to make a very special witch’s brew. From 11am to 4pm.
  • Halloween Arts and Crafts Club at Palace Stables, Palace Demesne, Armagh, Co. Armagh, October 29-30. Under the guidance of staff children can experience some hair-raising fun with arts and crafts workshops. Children will work with a variety of art materials to create their own Halloween craft and of course there will be action packed games to keep them entertained. Event is suitable for 5-12 year olds. Open 10am – 4pm.
  • Halloween Howler, Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh, October 29. Join in for a spookily spectacular Halloween which promises to be frighteningly fun and packed with hair-raising activities. You can take an eerie walk in the fearsome forest which is full of gruesome surprises, try pumpkin carving and enjoy the fireworks display along with much more.
  • Lisburn & Castlereagh Restaurant Week, various locations, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, October 31-November 7. Enjoy a week-long celebration of the variety and quality of the local produce in the area. Local restaurants in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area will be opening their doors for a mix of speciality themed evenings with great discounts and offers.
  • The Forbidden Forest Wail, Tanderagee Road, Pomeroy, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, October 28-31. Set in the atmospheric, eerie forest of Pomeroy on the edges of the local village it is the perfect location for a proper Halloween experience. It is not for the faint-hearted but a fantastic experience for all. Book now for guaranteed thrills. Children aged 12-16 should be accompanied by an adult. Performance times from 6pm -10pm.
  • Spellbound Festival, Castle Espie Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre, Ballydrain Road, Co. Down, until October 31. Feeling brave? Bring your little monsters along for a whole host of Hallowe’en events including storytelling, arts and crafts, face painting, spooky spell trail, monster mash dance party, reptiles and creepy crawlies, fancy dress and much, much more.
  • The Dark Side of Ballycultra, Folk Museum, Cultra, Belfast, October 28-29. Take a tour of the village at night and hear the stories of strange happenings. A rare opportunity to visit the Museum at night and hear the stories that visitors do not usually hear. Not for the faint hearted! Children over 12 years and above are welcome if not easily scared. Begins at 6.30pm and 8.00pm.
  • Belfast City’fright’seeing presents: The Ghost Boat, Belfast City Sightseeing Tour, Belfast, October 24-31. Join in on Belfast’s most haunted boat as the Captain of the ship invites you to meet his ghost crew and experience the frights of the sea. They might also tell you tales of the ghosts that haunt the sea and even Belfast city. It will be a frighteningly fun filled evening of activities, storytelling, and shocking delights.

Belfast Grand Central Hotel gets the go-ahead

Planning permission has been granted to convert one of Belfast’s tallest buildings into a four-star luxury hotel.

Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee last night approved the application from Hastings Hotel Group for the refurbishment and extension of Windsor House in Bedford Street into a 200-bedroom hotel with restaurant and bar facilities.

The Belfast Grand Central Hotel will also include 16 serviced apartments and new ground floor retail units, as well as refurbished office space on the upper floors of the 24-storey building.

It is the third major hotel application that the committee has approved since the council became responsible for planning in April, under Local Government Reform.

Committee chair Councillor Matt Garrett said the approval reflected the growing demand for hotel bed space, made possible by recent investments in the city centre.

“From next year, there will be a huge increase in the number of business delegates travelling to Belfast to use the expanded conference facilities at Belfast Waterfront, and potentially returning again as leisure visitors,” he said.

“It’s vital that we provide enough high quality accommodation to meet this demand. This latest development will help plug that gap, while also regenerating one of the main thoroughfares into the city and bringing increased vitality to this historic part of Belfast.”

At 80 metres high and over 122,000 sq ft in size, Windsor House is the second highest building in Belfast, and was built in 1975. Under the proposals, the ground to 15th floors of the landmark structure will be converted into new hotel accommodation, with the serviced apartments taking up the 16th and 17th floors.

Existing office units on the 18th to 22nd floors will be retained and extended, while part of the ground floor podium at the front and side of the existing building will be demolished and rebuilt to form a new entrance to the hotel.

It is understood the Belfast Grand Central Hotel development could create up to 150 new jobs in the hospitality sector when it opens in 2018.

Among the other applications approved at last night’s meeting is a new six-storey office development for All-State NI, adjacent to Maysfield Leisure Centre and Central Station.

The scheme will create a further 200 new jobs for the city, this time in the IT sector, and bring over £100,000 of community benefits, including a new Belfast Bikes docking station.

Little Sparks Toddler Sessions at W5!

Little Sparks Toddler Sessions at W5!

Bring along your youngest scientists for W5’s next Little Sparks toddler sessions on Wednesday 4 November! Visit our under 8s area, the town of Discovery, and take part in a 25 minute ‘Bubble Bonanza’ workshop as part of your visit!

Children are born natural scientists so why not bring them to W5 to let them imagine, explore, play and have fun? The town of Discovery is a place where children can learn about themselves and the world around them. Get hands-on with its interactive exhibits, play animal sounds in the farmyard, paddle in a virtual rock pool at the beach or flick through digital storybooks in the castle.

Little Sparks will be held one morning a month in W5. (Term time only) Your special Little Sparks ticket allows you entry into W5 from 10 am – 11:30am (unless otherwise stated) and sessions are aimed at children aged between 18 months and 4 years. Each session will be themed and will include a 25 minute workshop at 11am with one of W5’s education team. Places are limited and must be pre booked by calling 028 90467790 or 02890467793.


  • Children 4 and under: FREE
  • Adults: £5.50
  • Additional (non-participating) children over 4: £4.50

Details of up and coming sessions

Bubble Bonanza – 4th November 2015

There is something magical about bubbles- no matter what age you are! Come along and learn how to make bubbles of all sizes, see the rainbow in a bubble and even learn about shapes- all in one blow!

For further information visit www.w5online.co.uk.

Derry declared top Hallowe’en destination in the world!

It’s official – Derry has been named Best Hallowe’en destination in the world by top US publication USA Today, beating off competition from infamous spooky locations Transylvania, Sleepy Hollow and Salem, Massachusetts.

The destinations of choice for witches, vampires and the Headless Horseman didn’t rank as highly as our very own City of Bones when it comes to celebrating the most haunted night of the year, with Derry scooping the majority of online votes.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said the announcement would significantly boost the city’s reputation as a top Hallowe’en visitor experience.

“The event is always a huge visitor attraction in terms of drawing people from all over the world to the city, and it’s a major contributor to the local economy. Topping the poll is an extra endorsement from the public for the fantastic programme of events which takes over the city each year, and the transformation to Scary Derry.

“What makes our celebration really special though is the involvement of the public who never fail each year to stage their own show of creepy and creative Hallowe’en style, and who turn out to support the festival in their thousands.”

Council’s Festivals and Events Manager Karan Leonard said: “This is a brilliant acknowledgement of all the hard work that goes into planning each year. We always strive to get the community involved through the Hallowe’en carnival workshops and by providing a diverse range of activities to suit all ages.

“The event very much relies on the participation of local community groups who generate most of the fantastic props which are used during the carnival. When the event first started to gather momentum around 70% of our props were sourced elsewhere, but now most of our props are crafted locally. It’s fantastic to see the level of community involvement continuing to grow and winning the title of best Hallowe’en destination in the world is very much down to the support of the entire city.”

If you would like to see what all the fuss is about then check out the full programme of events online at  www.derrystrabane.com/halloween. And for all the latest information about accommodation offers and availability go to www.visitderry.com

A Little Horror for Hallowe’en at Clotworthy House

With Hallowe’en just around the corner, horror is taking over the normally serene environs of the Oriel Gallery at Antrim Castle Gardens with the arrival of Scream and Scream Again.

This exhibition of rare horror movie posters, curated by Abertoir Horror Festival, opens on 22 October and runs until 19 November.

The 1950s to the 1970s saw a dramatic change in British horror, somewhat different to horror as we know it today. Casually referred to as horror’s golden age, the period saw actors such as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing become household names, while the British horror film studio became a major influence worldwide.

From the early gothic style to the infiltration of pop culture in the 1970s, this exhibition takes a look at films from this period and how they were marketed abroad through a collection of rare original international movie posters and lobby cards from around the world.

For further details please contact Clotworthy House T. 028 9448 1338.

Columbanus comic captures the imagination of local school children telling the story of Bangor’s Christian Heritage

Ards and North Down Borough Council, with support and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, are delighted to announce the launch of the “The White Dove”, a comic telling the story of Bangor’s most famous Saint, Columbanus.

Alex Irvine (Ards and North Down Borough Council), Heather Curran (Ards and North Down Borough Council), with pupils Oliver Playfair, Owen Mendez and Ellie Savage from Ballyholme Primary School enjoying a tour of North Down Museum and receiving copies of “The White Dove”.

The publication is aimed at school children and in particular those in Key Stage 2 who as part of the curriculum learn all about their local history.

The story sets the scene from Pagan Ireland and the arrival of Patrick before focusing on the foundation of Bangor Abbey by Comgall and the travels of Columbanus and his companions including Gall.

The comic provides a new and innovative way of telling the story of the history and importance Bangor played in the spread of Christianity, not just domestically but throughout Europe, in countries such as France, Switzerland and Italy by establishing monastic settlements.

With the project now complete Heather Curran, Education Officer for Ards and North Down Borough Council commented, “We are delighted with the comic. It is a new perspective with which to tell the story of the areas early Christian Heritage. The comic has been received positively by the schools and pupils that have visited the museum over the past few weeks and we look forward to rolling them out to schools across the Borough”.

Heritage Lottery Fund commented “It is exciting to see North Down taking such an innovative approach in the promotion of the story of St Columbanus to children through the production of this superb comic.  We are delighted to give our support and wish the council well as it continues to develop this project.”

The comic has been just one of a number of projects being developed by the Council with Heritage Lottery funding, including Christian Heritage Trail App available free on Apple and Android platforms, in this important year that marks the 1400th anniversary of the death of St Columbanus. A year of commemoration that will culminate in a number of events, including concerts, talks and services over the weekend of 20-22 November.

Copies of the comic or are available for collection from Ards and North Down Borough Council by contacting Bangor Visitor Information Centre on 028 9127 0069 or emailing bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk.

Seapark Fireworks This Weekend!

This year’s Seapark Fireworks Festival on Saturday October 24, sees the return of the popular family event, featuring a fun fair, a food fair, live music and a spectacular fireworks display finale to finish the event in style.

The fun will kick off at 4pm with the children’s fun-fair and a fantastic food fair with everyone’s favourite foods from sausages and mash to pizza, Holywood’s favourite cinnamon scones, hot dogs and lots more. The perfect half-term outing for the whole family and all reasonably priced!

At 6.15pm, popular local band The Jukes take to the stage to entertain the crowds with their fantastic repertoire of hits guaranteed to get everyone dancing!

The event will draw to a close after the spectacular fireworks display at 7.45pm. Prepare to be thrilled as the sky above Belfast Lough will come alive with explosions of colour and sparkle.

Commenting on the event, Sharon Mahaffy, Tourism Manager with Ards and North Down Borough Council said, “We’re looking forward to another great night at Seapark this year – good food, good music and spectacular fireworks – perfect ingredients for a fun night for all the family. Everyone is welcome to come dressed up in your spookiest Halloween costumes but make sure you wrap up warm and bring a torch!”

So come along and join the fun on Saturday 24 October, from 4pm at the Seapark Recreational Grounds, Holywood. Admission is FREE, making this an event not to be missed!

People are reminded that parking is limited onsite and that Seapark Road is closed to non-residential vehicular traffic from 5pm.

If you fancy more Halloween fun, on the following day Sunday 26 October bring your little monsters along to Cockle Row Cottages, Groomsport for a ghoulish day of free family fun. Party Animals NI will be on hand with snakes, lizards, a meerkat, albino hedgehog and lots of other creepy creatures. There will also be spooky craft making and glitter tattoos. Traditional music will have your feet tapping courtesy of local group ‘Geordies Music Box’. Cottages Open 11am – 5pm, Free Family Fun 1pm – 4pm.

And on Friday 30 October, don’t miss Spooky Halloween Crafts at Ards Visitor Information Centre. Bring the kids along from 11am to 1pm and enjoy free kid’s crafts and face painting.

For information on all ghostly goings on throughout Ards and North Down in October see visitardsandnorthdown.com or contact one of our Visitor Information Centres:

Bangor’s Visitor Information Centre on: 028 9127 0069 or

Ards Visitor Information Centre on: 028 9182 6846


Northern Ireland has a unique collection of irresistible places to stay including quirky B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and hidden gem properties for the perfect short break and Discover NI has selected the best offers of the week for you to choose from.

  • 2 Night Bed and Breakfast Midweek, Dunadry Hotel, Dunadry, Antrim. From £99pps. This four-star hotel was built on the site of an ancient fort and once home to both paper and linen mills with rich stories of times past. It is the perfect location only minutes from Belfast International Airport and convenient to Junction One Outlet Village, Belfast city centre and major attractions such as the Titanic Exhibition and the Giant’s Causeway. Available until Dec 13. To book call (028) 9443 4343. Please quote promo code Autumn Leaves

  • Halloween Family Break, Lough Erne Resort, Ross Inner, Enniskillen. From £195 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. Enjoy 2 nights bed & breakfast in a luxury 2 bedroom Loughside Lodge with one evening meal in the Loughside Bar and Grill on one evening. To book call. Available 25 – 30 Oct. To book call (028) 6632 3230.

  • Friday Night Getaway, Ten Square Hotel, Belfast. From £65pps. Overnight accommodation with a 3 course meal in the Grill Room and fully cooked breakfast the following morning. This unique Belfast hotel is located just steps from the historic City Hall, Waterfront Hall, the business district and the chic, Victoria Square, filled with designer brands. Available until Dec 13. To book call (028) 9024 1001.