Jacqueline shares her pick of what’s on this week across NI


Bangor’s BIG Christmas Switch On brings a full day of festive fun this Saturday 17th November.  The Christmas market returns to the seafront, with an abundance of festive treats on offer. With over 20 local market stalls selling artisan foods and local crafts this is the perfect spot to kick off some early Christmas shopping. Grab a hot drink and soak up the atmosphere with music, face painting, a children’s carousel and much more – it will definitely put you in a festive mood!.  A lantern parade with over 100 lanterns will take you on a journey from Translink to the McKee Clock Arena led by Santa and the Mayor of Ards and North Down. Christmas Lights Switch On McKee Clock Arena 5.30pm.  The Mayor and Santa will light up Bangor’s Christmas tree followed by a spectacular fireworks display.


The 25th William Kennedy International Piping Festival at the Market Place Theatre presents a Uilleann Pipes Concert on Sunday 18th November.  The festival’s annual flagship event features 6 world renowned masters plus a special showcase of young pipers from across Ireland featuring Louise Mulcahy, Mick O’Brien, Paddy Keenan, Seán McKeon, Seán Óg Potts, Síle Friel.  Young pipers showcase – Aoife Smyth, Peter McKenna, Jane Walls, Iarla McMahon & Amy Campbell.


Never heard the Ulster Orchestra? Well here’s your chance to discover the magic of a full, live orchestra right on your doorstep at the Ardhowen Theatre this Thursday 15th November.  The Ulster Orchestra brings you Mozart’s beautiful Strassburg Concerto – the Strassburger being a popular folk tune which inspires the closing Rondo. Join star violinist Francesca Dego, conductor Daniele Rustioni and the Ulster Orchestra for a truly magical and memorable evening!


For the first time ever, the classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty is brought to the stage in a wonderful all singing and dancing interactive production at the Strule Arts Centre on Saturday 17th November.   Humpty is on a big adventure to climb the highest wall in the kingdom but needs your help. Singalong, solve puzzles and meet lots of famous characters including The Three Little Pigs, Little Bo Beep and the animals on Old McDonald’s Farm!  With amazing costumes, dazzling stage sets and a host of colourful characters.


Do you love running and dogs? Then this is the event for you and your canine friend!  Join Dog Trails NI on the stunning Benone Strand this Sunday for a canicross race and a day out your dog will love!  There will be a 5k race, and a novice and kids 3k race.  5k race 10.00am start.  3k race 11.00am start. Both races will be seeded fastest first with plenty of twists and turns on a course your dog will love!  Visit dogtrailsni.com for more information and to enter.


Glengormley Lights Switch on and Christmas Market takes place this Saturday 17th November. Create a bear at the Christmas Fair Workshop at 1.30pm, 2.45pm or 4pm in Glengormley Pavilion. Tickets must be bought in advance from www.theatreatthemill.com and are priced at £5 per child, £2.50 per adult and include a visit to Santa’s Grotto. The Lillian Bland Community Park will be transformed with cosy cabins lining the path filled with Christmas gifts, food and treats from local traders as well as Bonkers Betty’s Bizarre Bazaar’s festive craft market. Santa and his bear friends will arrive at 5pm to officially light up Christmas in Glengormley.


CastleCourt’s much-loved Christmas parade will return to the streets of Belfast city centre on Saturday, 17th November, officially marking the shopping centre’s month-long calendar of festive activity.  Setting off from Writer’s Square at 12 noon, Santa will again lead this year’s exciting line-up in his train and sleigh, joined for the first time by Mrs. Claus and Rudolph the Reindeer. The trio will lead the magical parade past St. Anne’s Cathedral along Donegal Street, arriving at Royal Avenue at 12.30pm.  Families are invited to follow the parade, alongside an amazing line up of giant characters and riveting performers, including glistening snowmen, sparkling Christmas trees and the cast of Belfast Operatic’s Elf The Musical, which will give spectators an exclusive preview performance of their new Christmas production.  The procession will culminate at CastleCourt, where Santa will take up residence in this year’s fabulous grotto at 1.00pm, and delight thousands of visiting children and their families until 24th December.

For more details on these events and to add your events free go to 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.