School’s Out For Summer at V36

Come along and celebrate School’s Out for Summer at V36 at the Valley, on Friday 28 June from 6pm-9pm.

Join us for Free Family Fun including Fairground Attractions such as Cups & Saucers, Bungee Trampolines, Bumper Cars, Inflatables, Face Painting, Balloon Modelling and Street Theatre to keep the little ones entertained.

Tempt your taste buds with some of the great food stalls available and enjoy the live music and performers throughout the evening. 

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth commented “It is great to see this Free Family Fun Event at V36, this is a fantastic opportunity for children to celebrate the end of the school year whilst bringing communities together at this shared space”.

This event is supported by the EU’s PEACE IV programme managed by the special EU programme body (SEUPB).

Offers of the week!

Northern Ireland boasts an irresistible collection of places to stay including beautiful B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and great value self-catering properties. Discover NI has selected the best offers of the week to help you plan a short break.

·         Spa Experience, Roe Park Resort, Co. Londonderry from £114.50 per person sharing

The four-star Roe Park Resort is one of Northern Ireland’s premiere golf and spa resorts. Set amidst the gorgeous surroundings of the Roe Valley Country Park it overlooks its own stunning 18-hole golf course and is the perfect place to unwind. Offer includes an overnight stay with full Irish breakfast the following morning, plus a traditional Swedish back massage followed by an Elemis taster facial. To book call 028 7772 2222. Offer available until 31 December 2019.

·         Freddie Mercury Tribute Package, Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast  from £69.50 per person sharing

The ideal place to stay when you come to Belfast, this three-star, family-run hotel is located in the fashionable Malone Road area. The Wellington Park Hotel offers a personalised service and is famous for a casual and relaxed atmosphere with value for money. The Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens and many great restaurants are just steps away. Billy West, who is regarded as one of Europe’s top Freddie Mercury tributes, will be preforming his unmissable show at the Wellington Park Hotel. This offer includes overnight accommodation with a full Irish breakfast the next morning and tickets to the incredible Freddie Mercury tribute show. To book call 028 9038 1111. Offer available on 27 July 2019.  

·         Dinner, Bed and Breakfast Special, Glenavon House Hotel, Co. Tyrone from £80 per person sharing

The three-star Glenavon House Hotel is situated on the outskirts of Cookstown. Overlooking the Ballinderry River and set in nine acres of its own mature grounds, this luxurious hotel offers a wide range of high standard facilities. The hotel’s central location makes it an ideal base to explore Northern Ireland. Offer includes overnight accommodation, a four-course dinner in the Cellar Restaurant and a full Irish breakfast the following morning. To book call 028 8676 4949. Offer available until 31 December 2019.

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

DiscoverNorthernIreland.com has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week (24-30 June)

1.       Enniskillen Road Race, Enniskillen, 28-29 June. Quiet country roads will once again come alive to the sounds of motorcycle racing on closed public roads.

2.       Cycling Ireland National Road Championships, Derry~Londonderry,  27-30 June. Hosted by Foyle Cycling Club, this three day festival of racing will gives visitors to the city an opportunity to see the best of Irish racers, while taking in the sights of the historic city.

3.       Pirates Off Portrush, Portrush, 29-30 June.  A full programme of events will take place throughout the town starting with the Treasure Hunt, Pirate Dress and Dance Competitions. Through drama and entertainment, performed in the Amphitheatre and Antrim Gardens, the battle between the Leprechauns and Tavish’s Pirates is played out. Movement between locations is staged as a journey or pursuit with costumed characters, street entertainers, floats and musicians all taking part in a grand street parade.

4.       Belfast City Blues Festival 2019, Belfast, 28-30 June. This year’s programme has something for everyone. With over 60 free live gigs, ’Blues On The Boat ‘ music cruises and the festival’s new attraction ‘Blues At The River, Music And Food Fest‘ live from Donegal Quay at the Big Blue Fish, this year’s Belfast City Blues Festival is not to be missed.

5.       The Irish Game Fair & Fine Food Festival, Antrim, 29-30 June.  The Irish Game Fair at Shanes Castle is in its 41st year, a serious county sports competition and as a fun-filled family day. There is action right across the fairgrounds and an all-day arena entertainment programme.

6.       Mourne International Walking Festival 2019, Newcastle, 28-30 June. The long-standing and perennially popular walking event returns to the Mourne Mountains. It provides a range of walks suitable for all ages and abilities, from lowland routes to traversing the highest peaks.

7.       The Magic Flute, Belfast, 27-29 June. A handsome prince, a damsel in distress, sorcerers, priests and a bumbling bird catcher – all are given life in Mozart’s sublime blend of lyrical love duets, folk-like ditties and the explosive coloratura of the Queen of the Night arias at the Grand Opera House.

8.       Causeway Coast Foodie Tours – Heart of Portrush Tasting Tour, Portrush, 28 June. Join your friends and embark on a 4.5 hour walking tour of Portrush’s only craft beer brewery and finest gastronomic establishments, visiting four venues to sample award-winning local produce. This tour is about getting together and sharing food, drink, experiences and stories.

9.       Comber Earlies Food Festival, Comber, 29 June. Expect interactive cookery demonstrations, an artisan food market, potato themed children’s craft, a vintage tractor display, Jump, Jiggle and Jive children’s dancing, Ark farm animal roadshow, a hay bale picnic and music from Cleland Memorial Band, the Lily of the Valley Accordion Band and the Comber Silver Band.

10.   Omagh Food Festival, Omagh, 29-30 June. The event is aimed at bringing together local producers and people with a love for food. There is something for all the family at Omagh Food Festival. In addition to the wide range of exhibitors & live cooking demos there is music, face painting and cupcake decoration for kids, all part of the line-up to the free event.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com.

DALI, BANKSY, WARHOL AND PICASSO TO GO ON SHOW THIS WEEK AT CULLODEN ESTATE & SPA

Thousands of art fans are expected to attend Ireland’s largest sculpture exhibition, including the biggest collection of Salvador Dali works ever seen here, when Art in the Garden opens at the Culloden Estate & Spa on Saturday (June 15).

In conjunction with Gormleys Fine Art, 14 pieces from the Dali Universe in Switzerland will lead the exhibition which contains more than 120 sculptures, some of which are valued up to £500,000, and will be exhibited both in the grounds of the 12-acre estate and in the hotel until Sunday June 30.

Inside the hotel there will be rooms devoted to Warhol and street artist Banksy as well as a Modern Masters Collection in the Ailsa Suite featuring Picasso, Miro and Lucien Freud.

Less well known than his painting, Dali’s sculpture is equally mind boggling, and includes three dimensional versions of his famous melting clocks.

The outdoor sculptures will include Dance of Time III and Lady Godiva by the legendary surrealist, Salvador Dali.

Both pieces measure almost two metres tall and will be displayed outdoors in the hotel’s landscaped grounds. Twelve further works by Dali will be displayed within the hotel.

Ireland’s own surrealist sculptor, F.E. McWilliam (1909-1992) was a native of Banbridge, Country Down and fittingly, his work is also included in the exhibition.

Among the 40 artists featured at Art in the Garden are Patrick O’Reilly, Anthony Scott, Ian Pollock, Eamonn Ceannt, Michael Quane, Orla De Brí, Paddy Campbell, Sandra Bell, Bob Quinn, and Eamon Higgins.

Paintings by Damien Hirst, Robert Indiana, Grayson Perry, Tom Wesselmann, Keith Haring and Julian Opie will be on show in the hotel along with work by Irish artists such as Peter Monaghan, Stephen Johnston, Stephen Forbes and Kenneth Webb.

Howard Hastings, Managing Director of Hastings Hotels said: “Art in the Garden promises a unique opportunity to view these incredible pieces of work in the charming surroundings of the Culloden Estate & Spa. With its landscaped gardens and carefully manicured lawns, each location within the estate will act as a perfect backdrop to the biggest collection of sculptures to be displayed in Ireland.  We have created a delightful range of dining options to complement the exhibition including private dining and Afternoon Teas and there will also be private tours available.”

“We are delighted to be showing so many Dali’s for the first time in Northern Ireland alongside works by our leading Irish artists and all enhanced by the beautiful surrounding of the Culloden Estate,” said Oliver Gormley.

Art in the Garden promises an entertaining spectacle for both day trippers and serious collectors and, with prices to suit all budgets, is a good introduction for people wanting to begin a collection.

The exhibition runs from June 15-30, 11am to 7pm, with guided tours around the installations daily at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.

To book an Art in the Garden Afternoon Tea, private dining or overnight stay call the Culloden Estate & Spa on 028 9042 1066 or go to www.hastingshotels.com

Global Stars set to shine at Air Waves Portrush

One of the world’s most prolific air show performers has given Air Waves Portrush a first class endorsement.

Mark Jeffries, winner of multiple titles for his aerobatic prowess, made his comments as he prepares to take part in the event with both individual and team performances to look forward to during the annual aviation extravaganza. It returns to the resort for two days of top class entertainment on August 31st and September 1st.

Organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, the weekend draws huge visitor numbers to the seaside town with its unrivalled mix of air and land attractions.

While the Red Arrows won’t be on the bill this year as they embark on a landmark tour of America, the flying schedule still guarantees to thrill and delight, with Mark and his Global Stars teammates leading the way.

Looking ahead to their appearance, Mark said: “The unique display setting at Portrush could not be more spectacular and is a favourite amongst pilots in their UK display calendar. So please come and join the Global Stars for an exciting weekend of display flying among the best the UK has to offer.”

Mark will take to the skies with the Global Stars four-ship formation showcasing the best of freestyle flying and gravity defying manoeuvres. Having recently returned from the Bahrain International Air Show in India, get ready for mirror formation flying, Mark’s incredible solo performance and an unmissable finale featuring a distinct ‘love themed’ smoke trail.

On the ground, visitors can look forward to an extensive range of exhibits headlined by the STEM Village where the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics come alive in an interactive and engaging way. There’ll also be a showcase of the Destination’s artisan sector at the local food and craft market along with themed areas including a fascinating look back in time with the Ulster Aviation Society.

A not-to-be-missed dusk display will take place in Portstewart on Saturday evening (August 31st).  Introduced a number of years ago, it has proved to be a popular addition to the event and the 2019 display will be the biggest so far. The Global Stars, headed up by Mark and featuring three other former British champions, will light up the skies with an exciting mix of close formation air displays and pyrotechnic magic with their trademark WiFi controlled smoke.

Planning is well under way and you can keep up to date with the very latest news including upcoming announcements on hospitality packages by following our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter or go to www.airwavesportrush.co.uk

We look forward to welcoming you to Portrush for one of the area’s most anticipated annual events. Air Waves Portrush is brought to you by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council with support from Tourism NI.

Roof-Raising band at the Market Place Armagh

Hunkpapa have taken the Northern Ireland music scene by storm. Describing themselves as ‘four eccentrics, with a loose grip on social norms and reality’, not only are their sets incredibly fun and energetic, but they also ensure their live shows are all varied and keep the crowd coming back for more.

Hunkpapa take their audiences somewhere enthralling, liberating and truly wild.  Although relatively new, the band have been selling out some of the biggest venues in the country. Hunkpapa will perform at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh on Saturday 29 June. Entry is by wristband and costs £10. Catch them before they embark on a UK wide tour – simply not to be missed!

Tickets are available from the Theatre Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at www.visitarmagh.com/marketplacetheatre. To keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/marketplacearmagh) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mptarmagh) where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.

Come and Explore Randalstown’s Unique History

Join us on Saturday 22 June at 11am for a tour around the award winning Randalstown by our qualified Blue Badge Guide. Explore and discover a town steeped in rich history and heritage with some tasty treats along the way. The trail will take you round some of the most historic sites of an award winning town.

Discover a unique bridge from the glory days of steam and take in the many reminders of the areas industrial heritage and links to the linen and iron industries. The influence of the Old Bleach Linen Company and the O’Neill Estate will be explained and the links to the historic traditions of fairs and markets. One of the highlights of the walk will be crossing Charles Lanyon’s magnificent viaduct which affords wonderful views over the town and into the Shanes Castle demesne.

A project supported by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council through Randalstown town team will see tours in the town take place on the fourth Saturday of each month at 11am or by appointment at any other time. Tours last for up to two and half hours and will cost £5 per person. Already visitors from Northern and Southern Ireland as well as England, Scotland and Australia have been delighted to be taken through the ages with stories of Old Randalstown as well as being personally welcomed and offered hospitality by business owners.

For further information or to book a tour contact Randalstown Local Information Office (situated in Kearney’s supermarket Main Street) T. 028 9447 9800 or E. kearneysrandalstown@gmail.com

Arts Centre to host Danny Boy Jazz and Blues Festival launch

Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady is proud to host the Danny Boy Jazz and Blues Festival launch night on Thursday 13th June at 7.30pm.

Now the longest running festival of its kind in Northern Ireland, the event will feature acclaimed singer Clara Rose who will be joined on stage by a host of special guests.

The much loved festival, now in its 23rd year, will run until Sunday 16th June allowing audiences to enjoy some of the very best jazz and blues musicians and singers.

Tickets for the launch evening can be purchased by going to www.dannyboyjazzandblues.com/tickets

All other events over the course of the weekend are free. For further information go to www.dannyboyjazzandlues.com

Local band Hunkpapa provide the soundtrack for Armagh Hostellers

Armagh band Hunkpapa’s track ‘Losing All’ is used as the backdrop to Armagh City Youth Hostel’s new minute long video.

‘Create Armagh Hostelling Memories’ transports hostellers through a year-round program of incredible things to do, pairing the homegrown soundtrack with evocative shots of Armagh’s unique events and vibrant festivals.

The video celebrates the hostel’s prime location, situated at the heart of the ancient cathedral city, adjacent to the beautiful St Patrick’s COI Cathedral and with spectacular views of the iconic St Patrick’s RC Cathedral. The hostel offers great value, modern accommodation for up to 56 people in twin, double and dorm rooms, all providing en-suite bedroom facilities. It welcomes groups of all sizes and interests, independent travelers of every age, families and has been awarded a 4* rating by Tourism Northern Ireland. The eighteen rooms include a fully equipped kitchen, spacious dining and lounge areas, a games room complete with pool table, free wi-fi, free spacious car-parking and a left luggage facility. The hostel opensApril through to October and welcomes larger group bookings during the period November – March and for the festival celebrations.

Armagh band ‘Hunkpapa’ have just increased their fan base after playing Open House Festival in conjunction with SnowPatrol’s Ward Park 3 concert. This follows Gary Lightbody’s effusive praise of the band’s songs and BBC Radio 1 presenter, Phil Taggart’s comment ‘Hunkpapa are the best band I have seen in ages with massive, massive tunes.’  Prior to their Ireland and UK tour in the autumn, Hunkpapa will be performing an intimate hometown gig in The Market Place Theatre on Saturday 29th June and students are encouraged to bring the ‘end of exams’ summer party to Armagh with a hostel stay, a very special music gig and a chance to explore Armagh’s distinctive and eclectic cultural history.

To view ‘Create Armagh Hostelling Memories’ video, please visit www.facebook.com/armaghhostel

Jacqueline shares her pick of what’s on this Father’s Day weekend in NI

Down

Family Day out at Bullsbrook Farm, part of the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend. Taking place across 15th and 16th June, the initiative is hoping to attract upwards of 16,000 visitors from rural and urban towns and cities. 21 participating farms will also have fun activities throughout the weekend such as petting farms, pony rides, competitions, live music and demonstrations.  

Armagh

Discover the ancient Chinese practice of Qi Gong with Fiona Jennings this Sunday  at the Elmfield Institute, Gilford. Find out how to give your body, breath and mind a full workout, at your own pace and level. This class is suitable for all. 

Fermanagh

The USPCA is recruiting participants to climb the stunning ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Cuilcagh Boardwalk on Sunday the 16th of June.  Cuilcagh is 665 metres high and is located on the border between Fermanagh and Cavan. It is the highest point in both counties. The starting point for the Cuilcagh boardwalk is at the Marble Arch Caves at 11.30am.

Tyrone

A charity Tractor and Truck Run will leave Kinturk Cultural Centre on Sunday 15th June 2019 at 5.00pm in Aid of Macmillan Nurses.  This will be followed by a barbecue and dance in Kinturk Cultural Centre at 8.00pm with music by Tiny Lions.  Admission is £10.

Derry

Join the Everglades Hotel on Sunday 16th June from 12.30pm – 3pm for a Father’s Day Medieval Banquet Sunday Lunch, with a selection of live performers including a Court Jester! Adults £28 | Children £16, with a gift for every dad!

Antrim

This Saturday 15th June, join RSPB NI Rathlin warden Liam McFaul on board a specially chartered boat to enjoy a tour of Rathlin Island from the water. Setting off from Rathlin Harbour, look out for gannets, gulls and guillemots. Keep your eyes peeled for seals and eider ducks too – they can often be seen lazing around the harbour. In summer, seabirds including puffins, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars gather in their thousands to jostle for space. Please book ferry to and from Rathlin prior to booking.

Belfast

Belcycle is back!  Belfast’s family-friendly festival dedicated to all things cycling will take place on Saturday 15th June at CS Lewis Square in East Belfast. Be inspired to get on your bike – whatever your age or ability and join in the FREE festival.