Shane Todd to switch on Christmas Lights in Holywood!

Having based his hit show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on his ‘outrage’ at never once having been asked to switch on the Christmas lights in his hometown of Holywood, Ards and North Down Borough Council will make comedian Shane Todd’s (aka Mike McGoldrick) Christmas when he finally gets to switch on the lights this Saturday (26 November; 4.30pm).

Join us in Holywood from 4.00pm, with a children’s magic show, face-painting and a Christmas Fair by Tesco, as well as laugh-a-minute entertainment by Shane Todd (Mike Goldrick) and beautiful festive tunes by soprano, Julia Clark.

Find out more at  For festive pictures, updates and promotions ‘like us’ on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @ANDborough.

The History of Christmas at Sentry Hill

Have you ever wondered how Christmas was celebrated yesteryear? Join us for a tour at Sentry Hill on Saturday 3 December and discover Christmas of 1907.

December of 1907 brings a double celebration for Sentry Hill! As the McKinney family welcome home Dr Hugh McKinney and his bride, Louie, who are home from London on their wedding tour ready to be introduced to the family and friends.

During your visit you will learn about both Christmas and wedding traditions with Aunt Meg. Meet the newest Mrs McKinney at afternoon tea, and marvel at the colonial curios brought home for William Fee McKinney by Hugh – parting gifts before his lone return to Nigeria…

However the fun doesn’t stop there once you have met the family, you are invited to join the staff of Sentry Hill for Christmas crafts and refreshments.

These special Christmas tours will run hourly from 11am – 3pm (Inclusive) booking is essential. Tickets: Adult £5.50 (Concession £3.60) Family Ticket £14.60.

Price includes light refreshments.  Contact T.028 9083 2363 for bookings.

New website for the Forum!

Millennium Forum has launched its brand new website with the help from a few characters from its Christmas pantomime, Cinderella.

Buttons and the Ugly Sisters helped Marketing Manager, Amanda Hamilton and Digital Marketing Officer, Amanda McLoone, put the final touches to the new site which is expected to go live early next week.

Produced by Origin Digital, the new website will offer online customers an enhanced user experience, promising clear search/navigation via a fully accessible and mobile responsive site.

Customers can check out the new website by visiting

The clock is ticking . .  . Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother will work her magic!

What’s on in Ards and North Down DC in the run up to Christmas.

Friday 25 November – Thursday 1 December

Friday 25 November, Ards Christmas Switch On
Conway Square, Newtownards

Free Event

6pm James Huish’s ‘Christmas Show’, compered by Pete Snodden followed by a parade by local children to Conway Square led by Santa and the Portavogie Pipe Band
7pm Lights switch on and fabulous finale!

Info:, 028 9182 6846

Saturday 26 November, Holywood Christmas Switch On
Holywood Library (inside and out)

Free Event
Activities organised by Holywood District and Community Council will take place from 12noon in the Library; 4pm ‘Home for Christmas’ theme featuring local Shane Todd AKA Mike McGoldrick and local Soprano Julia Clarke followed by the lights switch on 4.30pm

Info:, 028 9127 0069

Saturday 26  and Sunday 27 November, Christmas Market

North Down Museum, Bangor

Free admission
Sat 10am – 4.30pm, Sun 12noon – 4.30pm
Browse the many stalls for the perfect stocking filler. Look out for Santa on Saturday.

Info:, 028 9127 1200

Thursday 1 December, Comber Farmers’ Market Christmas Special
St Mary’s Parish Church car park, The Square, Comber

Free admission
9am – 1.30pm
Get all your essentials for the Christmas period and support our local producers.


Friday 2 – Thursday 8 December

Friday 2 December, Santa Parade and Family Fun
Donaghadee Town Centre

Free Event
Fireworks 6.45pm
Festive stalls and entertainment followed by the ever popular Santa parade.

Info:, 028 9188 8667

Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December, Creative Peninsula Christmas Craft Fayre
Ards Arts Centre, Conway Square, Newtownards

Free admission
10am – 5pm
Enjoy a unique shopping experience and purchase that perfect, handcrafted gift.

Info:, 028 9182 6846

Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December, Santa in the Stables

Portaferry Visitor Information Centre

Free Event
Sat 10am – 6pm, Sun 1pm – 5pm
Children’s activities and Santa 1pm – 5pm (both days), plus your chance to buy something unique for friends and family this Christmas! Whilst in Portaferry, why not check out the festive activities at Exploris Aquarium and The Carol Ship on Strangford Lough. Full details on our website.

Info:, 028 9182 6846

Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December, Magical Moments

Throughout Bangor Town Centre

Free Event
Sat 10am – 6pm, Sun 12noon – 6pm
A weekend of free, family, festive fun throughout the town centre with music, performance, children’s entertainment and much more!

Info:, 028 9127 0069

Sunday 4 December, Santa Fun Run, Community Carol Service and Christmas Switch On

Donaghadee Town Centre and First Presbyterian Church

Free Event
Fun run 2pm, carol service and switch on 7pm

Info:, 028 9188 8667

For a full listing of our Christmas events within Ards and North Down Borough Council see

Make Someone’s Christmas



Our Christmas Story at The Market Place Theatre, Armagh continues with the magical, fun-filled, riotous extravaganza that is this year’s pantomime, ‘Cinderella’, running from Saturday 3 December right up to Christmas Eve. You’ll have to be quick to book your tickets, as this annual festive treat is sure to be packed to the rafters.

You shall go to the ball this year with the classic rags-to-riches tale – ‘Cinderella’, with more singing, dancing and jokes than you can shake a magic wand at!

The world’s greatest fairytale has captivated audiences for generations with its spellbinding story, memorable music, and unforgettable characters. Now, the story sparkles as never before as a fabulous cast of larger-than-life characters tell the tale of glass slippers, glistening carriages and glamorous gowns.

Will Cinderella get to go to the ball, will she meet the prince of her dreams and live happily ever after, or will she forever remain in the evil clutches of two of the ugliest [and nastiest] sisters you’ve ever clapped eyes on? Be amazed as a little bit of romance and a lot of magic combine to create mayhem at midnight…

Traditional panto at it’s very best, ‘Cinderella’ promises an unforgettably festive experience coupled with The Market Place Theatre’s renowned reputation for high quality, professional pantomimes that are acclaimed as among the best in Ireland.  Recommended for children aged 5 to 95! The clock is ticking… book now!

And there’s no need to rush off when the curtain falls – you won’t turn into a pumpkin! Stay and enjoy the magical Cinderella fairyland, don your best fancy dress and try on the glass slipper, have your photo taken in Cinderella’s carriage to win a prize, visit the enchanted Gingerbread Alley, and keep an eye out for wandering pantomime characters!

‘Cinderella’ is kindly sponsored by Public performances will take place from Saturday 3 until Saturday 24 December at various times. Tickets are priced £15 and £12.50 (concession), with a ticket offer of £12 and £10 (concession) for the performances on Saturday 3 December only. There are BSL signed, captioned and relaxed performances during the run. Please contact the Box Office for full details.

Tickets for all performances can be booked through the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at And to keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter ( where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews. For information on Christmas In Armagh visit | #ourstoryofchristmas

‘Magical Christmas Kingdom’ Unwrapped For Dungannon

A new ‘magical kingdom’ is to form the centrepiece of Dungannon’s Christmas celebrations for 2016.

Ranfurly House, at the heart of the town centre, is to be the gateway to a festive kingdom for the weekend of 25th to 27th November, becoming home to Santa’s elves and a host of Christmas workshops and film screenings, while the viewing tower on the Hill of the O’Neill is to be transformed into Santa’s grotto.

The dome on the hill is to become a space dedicated to children – ‘Little World’ – and will be filled with traditional fun fair rides and activities, street performers, face painters, and alongside more than 30 stalls filled with crafts, food and Christmas gift ideas will form a Christmas Fair in a snug, heated marquee.

Throughout the weekend, Christmas arts and crafts activities and workshops will take place in the art studio in Ranfurly House, with story-telling, Christmas sing-alongs and film screenings of Frozen and the Polar Express also on offer.

The weekend gets underway on Friday 25 November with a light performance, live music and children’s entertainment, including the naughty, but lively pirates Cook and Line from Cbeebies’ ‘Swashbuckle’ TV show, before Santa arrives in Market Square on a reindeer-drawn sleigh, ready to switch on the Christmas tree lights.

“This is a special event for Dungannon and the aim is to use the fantastic facilities we have at Ranfurly House and the Hill of the O’Neill to create a magical experience for children, families and shoppers,” said Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Trevor Wilson. “The weekend will help to draw people to Dungannon, build a buzz around the town centre and be a truly festive start to the Christmas season”.

The Magical Christmas Kingdom takes place at Ranfurly House and the Hill of the O’Neill, Dungannon, from Friday 25 November to Sunday 27 November. For more information call 028 8772 8600 or visit

Win a Golden Ticket courtesy of Stewartstown panto!

Stewartstown Amateur Dramatic Society have teamed up with Northern Ireland’s very own Willy Wonka to produce a special pantomime themed bar that will give five lucky winners the chance to win free tickets to this year’s amazing panto at the Burnavon, Cookstown (from 6th – 28th January).

The ‘Willy Wonka: The Pantomime’ chocolate bars, produced by local firm Foster’s Chocolates, are on sale for £1 each in Daly’s Newsagents and Spar supermarket, Stewartstown; Newell Stores in Dungannon and Coalisland and Sheehy’s Newsagents in Cookstown.

Fosters Chocolate have been producing their hand made chocolate and confectionery products in Northern Ireland for over 25 years now, and are well known for chocolate bars and their famous honeycomb. They are pleased to support Stewartstown Dramatic Society in producing the fantastic ‘Wonka Bars’.

There are five golden tickets contained within the specially produced chocolate bars that could be anywhere, and those lucky children (or adults!) that pick one of the winning bars will receive a family pass to the finale night on 28th January.

Pat Smith, Chairperson of the Society, said, ‘This seemed too good an opportunity to miss, and we are delighted that Foster’s Chocolates, such an important local company, are supporting us in this way. We’d also like to thank the stockists of these one-off scrumptious treats who represent the local business community for supporting their local community. It is fantastic that these local businesses are leading the way, investing in the culture of the Mid Ulster area.”

There is a special preview night of the panto on Friday 6th January at 8pm, with tickets priced at £7. All other shows are priced £10 / £8 and a group booking offer – buy 8 tickets, get 2 free is also available.  Friday shows are at 8pm, and Saturday shows are a matinee at 2.30pm and an evening performance at 8pm.

To book your tickets, call into the Box Office at the Burnavon, telephone on 028 8676 9949, or book online at

Ballyclare’s Christmas Market in the Square

On Friday 25 and Saturday 26 November the Square, Ballyclare will be bursting with Christmas Fayre.

An artisan food and craft market is taking place from 12pm to 8pm on Friday and 11am to 6pm on Saturday. The free family event is being organised by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and everyone is welcome.

Come along for family entertainment including a magician, the playbus, arts & crafts, face painting and amusements.

Bonkers Betty Bizarre Bazaar will be making their debut in Ballyclare with a host of food and craft stalls offering their fantastic goods for sale at the market. With so many stalls over the weekend, it is ideal to pick up a unique Christmas gift.

For more information about the event please contact Karen Steele on 028 9446 3113 ext. 31376 or visit

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…Who’s the Fairest of them all?

Ballyclare will light up for Christmas on Saturday 26 November 2016 with an array of family fun activities at the annual Christmas tree switch on.

Come and see Snow White and friends in their Enchanted Forest from 1.30pm in Ballyclare Town Hall with craft sessions by Jumping Clay for the whole family.  Tickets are required for the Enchanted Forest, which also includes a free child’s visit to Santa’s Grotto.  Tickets for the three sessions at 1.30pm, 2.45pm and 4pm, are available from Sixmile Leisure Centre and cost £3 per person.

Children can also visit Santa’s Grotto at a cost of £2.50 per child which includes a gift from Santa.  Proceeds from the grotto will go to work supported by the Mayor’s Charities.

At 2.30pm the free family fun entertainment will kick off with local radio presenters ensuring the crowd get into the festive spirit.  At 5pm there will be Christmas readings, Carols and music before the much-awaited arrival of the Mayor along with his special guests Snow White, Santa and friends.  Together they will switch on the Christmas tree lights to light up Ballyclare for a magical Christmas!

Further details of the full Christmas programme can be found on our website

Be Enchanted in Antrim Town this Christmas

Antrim Town is the place to be on Thursday 24 November from 5.30pm as the Christmas lights switch on ceremony, organised in conjunction with Castle Mall, promises to start the yuletide season with festive fun and entertainment!

The action kicks off in Market Square with musical entertainment hosted by Sonya Mac from Q Radio, who will entertain with hits both old and new. Of course the evening wouldn’t be complete without a visit from Santa who will make his grand entrance with Snow White at 7pm.

One of the highlights is sure to be the special children’s prize draw with great prizes to be won, including a WowWee Chip Interactive Robot Dog. If you haven’t already got your prize draw slip, they are available from the Old Courthouse and can also be picked up at the event.  A spectacular fireworks display at 7.30pm will round off what will undoubtedly be a perfect festive evening.

Further details of the full Christmas programme can be found on our website