Invasion from Planet X comes to North Down Museum

On Friday 25 October, North Down Museum, Bangor is bracing itself for some intergalactic visitors when ‘Invasion from Planet X’ takes place in its historic building.

Find out of if you could survive an alien invasion at this fun event which is part of a series of after dark happenings across Northern Ireland, to encourage over 18s to try a different kind of night out at their local museum. 

On the night, museum visitors can expect storm trooper performances, escape rooms, alien walkabouts, live music and more!

The event is adults-only with an on-site bar, food, live music and a DJ, all the ingredients for a great night out.

Speaking about the event, North Down Museum’s Manager, Heather McGuicken said: “After the success of last year’s Zombie event, we are thrilled to host Invasion from Planet X. We do hope people will come along and enjoy this unique experience – something different for Halloween!”

Students from South Eastern Regional College are involved in the night and will be showcasing their artistic and theatrical skills with a fantastic programme of alien-themed antics.

‘Invasion From Planet X’ will take place on Friday 25 October in North Down Museum, from 8.00pm to 11.00pm. Tickets for this strictly over-18s event are £10 and available to book online:

The event is part of ‘The Late Shift’ – a series of after-dark, adults-only happenings in museums across Northern Ireland this autumn. The project is supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Tourism NI, and Department for Communities.

Return of the Comber Taste Festival!

Attention Foodies: feast your eyes on this!

Celebrate the abundance of flavours autumn has to offer with a distinctly local twist. #TasteOfComber is our third tasting tour this autumn, taking in some of the finest dining establishments in historic Comber on Thursday 31 October 2019

This guided food tour begins at the award-winning Indie Füde, experts at sourcing the finest artisan Irish produce. Enjoy your main course in the beautiful No 14 at The Georgian House, followe…d by dessert at the multi-award winning Sugarcane Cafe Bistro. The tour ends at McBrides On The Square, where guests will enjoy the finest local cheese paired beer and ale.

Tickets must be booked in advance: £47 per person

Full menu and booking details available on

Positive Ageing Event to be held at Ards Blair Mayne Wellbeing and Leisure Complex

To celebrate Positive Ageing Month, Ards and North Down Borough Council is hosting a Positive Ageing Event in Ards Blair Mayne Wellbeing and Leisure Complex on Monday 28 October from 10am-1pm.

Edwin Dunlop (Volunteer with AGE North Down and Ards) with Alderman Bill Keery (Mayor of Ards and North Down) and Dorothy Beattie (CEO, AGE North Down and Ards). Picture: Colin Maxwell

Aimed at those aged 55 and over, local agencies and clubs will promote their activities and ensure visitors are provided with important information about what’s on offer in the borough.

There will be an opportunity to try different sports and activities on site, including low-impact taster sessions in Tai Chi as well as ‘Active Ageing’ and ‘Gently Does It’ classes. And for those who want to be a bit more active, they can try badminton, pickleball, zumba and walking football!

This year’s theme is based around ‘Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing’ – a Public Health Agency campaign that aims to raise awareness of five simple actions to maintain and improve emotional wellbeing: Give, Be Active, Connect, Keep Learning and Take Notice.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery, said:

“The event will highlight the range of activities and clubs that are available in Ards and North Down. The number of older people in the world, including our borough, is increasing at an exponential rate so we want to bring them together and help them become more active and more socially connected.

“This growth in our population is one that should be viewed as a successful achievement and the Council intends to make Ards and North Down a great place to grow older as well as a place that is supportive, valuing and enabling for older people.”

The Positive Ageing event is free to attend and opens at 10am on Monday 28 October. A variety of exhibitions, workshops and activities will be on offer so remember to wear comfortable clothes and suitable non-slip shoes!

More information is available from Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Environmental Health Protection and Development department. For further queries, contact Jennifer Parkinson or Gareth McCausland on 0300 013 3333 ext. 40221 or email

Dolly’s Jukebox Band® Set To Rock Belfast Barge

Leading Dolly Parton tribute act, Donna Stewart is set to rock the Belfast Barge for a special show on November 15, not only showcasing the very best of the Queen of Country’s songs and other big country numbers.

After a string of sell-out shows across the country the County Down star, along with her live band Dolly’s Jukebox, is bringing her show to the city’s only floating arts centre.

Donna said: “I can’t wait to play this special show. The Belfast Barge has seen many great acts play, and I know everyone will have a ball singing along and dancing to Dolly’s songs and our carefully chosen hits from other award winning country artists.

“We want you all to rock the boat on the Lagan to the very best of country music.”

Fans can expect a set packed with hits such as 9-5, Coat of Many Colours, I Will Also Love You and Jolene, as well as hits from artists such as Hank Williams, Shania Twain, Johnny Cash and many more.

Donna has spent years perfecting not only the songs, but the Dolly look, spending thousands on the outfits, shoes, wigs and instruments to make sure her shows are as close to Dolly’s shows as possible, but adding in other famous artists to make her show unique.

In the last ten years Donna has spent a whopping £40,000 on her act with a staggering £15,000 of that on creating Dolly’s look alone.

Donna said: “Dolly Parton once said that ‘it takes a lot of money to look this cheap’ and she wasn’t wrong.

“But I’m not the kind of person that does things by halves.

“The show aims to emulate country icon Dolly Parton at her 80’s best right up until now, we also play songs from classic country, we aim to please everyone,” she said.

“We carefully chose the greatest hits that people love and remember and even if you’re not a die-hard Dolly fan you’ll certainly catch yourself toe tapping and singing along at some point throughout the night.”

The Belfast Barge show is a BYOB show meaning attendees can bring their own drink and food.

Tickets are available here:

Belfast International Arts Festival’s top picks

Belfast International Arts Festival runs from 15 Oct – 3 Nov in various locations across Belfast.  With over 200 events and 14 UK, Irish and world premieres, there is something for everyone.  This week’s top picks are:

To Da Bone, Fri 25 – Sat 26 Oct, The Grand Opera House,

Christine and the Queens fans will recognise the work of French arts collective (LA)HORDE from the video for Girlfriend, and from their stunning Glastonbury performance.

To Da Bone is a captivating, contemporary rebel-call to the social media generation and explores youth culture, identity and expression.  The cast of 11 dancers were crowd-sourced from across Europe through internet auditions, and have created this pulsing and electrifying performance of jumpstyle dance, with powerful intensity and emotion. High energy.  Stunning.

Real Magic, Tues 22 – Wed 23 Oct, The MAC,

Groundhog Day meets Samuel Beckett!  Real Magic creates a world of absurd disconnection, struggle and comical repetition. Part mind-reading feat, part cabaret act, part nightmare game show, this surreal adventure takes its cue from popular culture and current affairs, while questioning larger systems of control. A compelling commentary on the individual desire for change in the face of higher power.  Make your own political comparisons!

Before, Thurs 24 – Fri 25 Oct, The MAC,

Touchingly combining some of the best-loved songs from musical theatre with the story of an estranged father and daughter, this solo show is set on the closing day of Clery’s department store in Dublin. Writer and performer Pat Kinevane received the Herald Archangel Award at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival.

Staging Schiele, Sat 26 Oct, The MAC,

Four dancers inhabit radical artist Egon Schiele’s highly-charged world of colour, masterful lines and unusual perspectives that put the human body on visceral display. Shobana Jeyasingh’s award-winning choreography matches the raw intensity of Schiele, and scrutinises the relationship between male artist and female model; the viewer and the subject.

Unique Instruments, Expectant Spaces, Fri 18 Oct – Fri 8 Nov, Ulster University, York Street

Metaphor, simile and story-telling are at the heart of local architectural practice Hall McKnight’s work.  This large-scale installation, which appeared at the prestigious invitation-only 16th international Architectural Exhibition in Venice, cross-references a number of their projects including the re-imagining of new civic spaces from a variety of different perspectives. 

The Octavia Poetry Collective, Wed 23 Oct, Ulster Sports Club,

Octavia is a poetry collective for women of colour, founded by poet, Rachel Long in response to the lack of inclusivity and representation in poetry and academia. The evening will explore themes of representation, cultural identity, and equality.

Lanny with Max Porter, Tues 22 Oct, Black Box,

An innovative hybrid of fairy tale, fable, and myth, Lanny is Max Porter’s hugely anticipated second novel and was recently long-listed for the Man Booker Prize 2019.

The Worst Cafe in the World, Wed 23 – Sun 27 Oct, Worst Café (pop-up), Cotton Court

If reality TV had a lovechild with theatre, this is it.  A Big Telly special for Festival, there is just one week to get a table, place your orders and experience the gloriously mad ‘Worst Café in the World’. Pure comedy and pathos, this chaotic foodless venue promises a large serving of entertainment for people who like their theatre fresh. Make sure to book your dinner elsewhere!

For information visit: or to book call 02890 246609.


The Market Place Theatre in Armagh is thrilled to be hosting ‘Shackleton’s Carpenter’, the story of Harry McNish, carpenter on board the doomed ship ‘Endurance’ on her Antarctica expedition.

‘Endurance’ sank amidst the ice floes, leaving Shackelton and his crew of 27 stranded. McNish, brilliant carpenter and shipwright, played an absolutely vital role in ensuring all 28 were saved, but in so doing, had to defy The Boss, and paid the price.

For all his bravery and ingenuity, McNish was one of the very few who were never awarded the Polar Medal. His health impaired by the experience, he emigrated to New Zealand where his condition worsened, and he could no longer work.

Now, alone and destitute, one still night on the dockside, he challenges The Boss one last time. In his fevered mind he relives the Endurance expedition, pitting himself against Shackleton and plagued by the ghosts of his past. How did he antagonise the hero of Antarctica? How does he come to terms with it?  On stage on Friday 25th October.

Then on Saturday 26 October, be sure not to miss The Slocan Ramblers, the bluegrass band of the moment, direct from Canada. Rooted in tradition yet fearlessly creative, The Slocan’s have garnered a reputation for unforgettable live shows.

Their impeccable musicianship, inventive approach, and old-time sensibilities make for a show that hits every target. With an uncanny ability to convert anyone within earshot into a lifelong fan, The Slocan’s have been winning over audiences worldwide. They are a band at the very top of their game.

Tickets are available from the Theatre Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at 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.

Food Focus: 10 things to do in Northern Ireland

As part of the ‘Taste the Island’ initiative for 12 weeks will have the top three food experiences and events in their weekly  10 things to do listing. 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 including three food experiences and events (14-20 October)

1.       Dine and Stay, Kilkeel, 19 October. A pop up restaurant in The Barn at The Green Holiday Cottages will be the setting for a delightful evening meal. With a focus on local produce and producers the menu will be based on the fishing and farming heritage of the Kilkeel area.

2.       Goatober Supper Club, Ballycastle, 12 October. The forward-thinking  Broughgammon Farm is run by The Cole family, who aim to maintain high standards in the industry by paying particular attention to animal welfare, the environment and global food security. The theme for their supper club evening this month will be goat.

3.       Long Meadow Farm/Cider Tour, Craigavon, 19 October. Immerse yourself in this unique experience whilst being guided through our 30 acre orchard with various plantations and see how the famous PGI Status Bramley Apple is grown, harvested, processed and pressed to be transformed into brands of award winning artisan ciders, apple juice and apple cider vinegar.

4.       Wild About Food: Brilliant Berries, Larne, 19 October. Autumn is the perfect time to forage for wild berries and learn how to make your own delicious jam and chutney. Walk led by Forage Ireland expert Dermot Hughes.

5.       A Night of Belfast Music, Belfast, 19 October. With proceeds going to Extern charity, this show at the Empire features the talents of Leah McFall, David C. Clements, LARKS, Emma Wallace and Rebecca Fitch.  Enjoy some of the hottest up and coming talent that the city has to offer while supporting a good cause.

6.       Aly Harte Art & Food Workshop , Whitehead, 15 October.  Aly Harte is a talented local artist, who at this event will give you some fantastic painting pointers in a perfect coastal setting, while Lighthouse Bistro serves delicious freshly made canapés at the table using locally sourced produce.

7.       The Lurgan Lectures: ‘Place-names in Lurgan: From Plantation to Present, Lurgan, 14 October.  In this lecture at Brownlow House, Dr Frances Kane and Prof Michael O’Mannion of the Northern Ireland Place Names Project will provide an insight into the origins, meanings and transformation of the townland names of Lurgan and the surrounding area.

8.       Belfast International Arts Festival, Belfast, 15 October – 3 November. This festival brings an eclectic fusion of cutting-edge performances to Belfast with world-class theatre, dance, visual art, music, film, literature and talks. With over 200 events to choose from, the 57th edition promises to stretch minds, challenge perceptions, and to surprise and delight audiences.

9.       Athenry: Dance of the Celts, Belfast, 16 October. Ta Da Irish Dance Company presents the tale of the famous song ‘The Fields of Athenry’ as you’ve never seen it before at the Cabaret Supperclub.

10.   Ghosts and Gourds Spooktacular, Ballynahinch, 19-20 October. Halloween is approaching and at Rowallane Garden there is a strange feeling in the air. See the garden come to life with mystical and magical myths inspired by local folklore. Bring the whole family along for some good old-fashioned, eerie fun.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit For additional Taste the Island events, please visit

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.

·         1 x Night B&B, La Mon Hotel & Country Club, Co. Down from £85 per room per night

The four-star La Mon Hotel and Country Club is a superb venue, located just 15 minutes from Belfast and George Best City Airport yet in the heart of County Down. Whether you want to relax and unwind in the spa or get out and explore the area, the hotel provides the perfect base for both. Offer includes overnight accommodation with breakfast the following morning. To book call 028 9044 8631. Offer available until 15 November 2019.

·         1 x Night B&B, Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges, Co. Fermanagh from £140 per room per night

The award winning four-star Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel boasts an idyllic setting on the shores of scenic Lough Erne, bordered by private grounds and gardens, but just one kilometre from the historic town of Enniskillen. Offer includes overnight accommodation with breakfast the following morning. To book call 028 6632 3481. Offer available until 15 November 2019. 

·         1 x Night B&B, Causeway Hotel, Co. Antrim from £99 per room per night

The three-star Causeway Hotel is conveniently located close to Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway, providing the perfect base to explore the Causeway Coast. Offer includes overnight accommodation with breakfast the following morning. To book call 028 2073 1210. Offer available until 15 November 2019. 

Bloggers Set To Inspire On The New Libraries NI #GetBloggingNI Events

Co Down author, model and blogger Patience Bradley and Co Antrim author and entrepreneur Dr Ava Eagle Brown alongside Julie Reid, Libraries NI Service Development Manager with chartered marketer Christine Watson of Training Matchmaker ahead of the blogging inspiration event Derry Central Library on Thursday October 17th (6.30pm) as part of the Libraries NI and Training Matchmaker #GetBloggingNI series.

Get inspired to blog in Derry Central Library

Derry Central Library will host a free Blogging Inspiration session on Thursday 17 October from 6:30pm with well-known authors and bloggers Patience Bradley and Dr Ava Eagle Brown sharing their journey into blogging, their life experiences and years of expertise.

The Libraries NI event is designed to encourage potential bloggers to get started and will provide hints, tips and tricks towards success as well as giving participants an inside glimpse of the enjoyment of being a blogger. The session will be facilitated by chartered marketer Christine Watson of Training Matchmaker and will be hosted by journalist and content creator, Tina Calder of the Content Club and Excalibur Press.

Back row: Tina Calder (Journalist and content creator, Content Club and Excalibur Press), Julie Reid (Libraries NI Service Development Manager), chartered marketer Christine Watson (Training Matchmaker). Front row: Co Down author, model and blogger Patience Bradley and Co Antrim author and entrepreneur Dr Ava Eagle Brown. All pictured ahead of the blogging inspiration event Derry Central Library on Thursday October 17th (6.30pm) as part of the Libraries NI and Training Matchmaker #GetBloggingNI series.

Patience Bradley, model, author and blogger explained her path into blogging had its beginnings when she was making journals. 

“Finding blogging in my later years has given me an incredible lease of life. I am now able to blog about my life, my passions and my interests as well as then using that content to fuel my career as an author.

“Currently my blogs are health, fashion and wellness related and I’m looking forward to launching my doggy blogs later this year.

“I’m delighted to be on board with Libraries NI because I want to prove that no matter what age you are, you’re never too old to blog. And if I can do it having struggled with lifelong dyslexia then anyone can.”

“Libraries NI is pleased to offer this free Blogging Inspiration event to introduce people to the art of blogging,” said Julie Reid, Libraries NI Service Development Manager. “Storytelling is forever evolving and blogging, vlogging and podcasting is quickly becoming the new platform for telling stories through text, images and video. Whether you’re blogging for business, documenting your family history or keeping a record of travelling expeditions, you’re using the power of words to tell a story.

“We’re delighted to once again team up with Christine Watson to present this event at Derry Central Library on Thursday 17 October and look forward to welcoming speakers Patience Bradley and Dr Ava Eagle Brown as well as host Tina Calder to the Library.”

Co Antrim author and entrepreneur Dr Ava Eagle Brown and Co Down author, model and blogger Patience Bradley will be speaking at Derry Central Library on Thursday October 17th (6.30pm) as part of the Libraries NI and Training Matchmaker #GetBloggingNI series.

Explaining her path to become a blogger, author, entrepreneur and blogger Dr Ava Eagle Brown said: “I am delighted to be involved in such a great initiative as the blogging inspiration session in Derry Central Library.

“I started blogging as a way to deal with struggles in my life – it was a way to heal.

“Blogging helped me write my books The Mango Girl and The Musings & Thoughts of Ava Eagle Brown.”

Julie Reid, Libraries NI Service Development Manager with chartered marketer Christine Watson of Training Matchmaker ahead of the blogging inspiration event Derry Central Library on Thursday October 17th (6.30pm) as part of the Libraries NI and Training Matchmaker #GetBloggingNI series.

Christine Watson said blogging is no longer the preserve of the few.

“In recent years there has been a surge in interest in blogging, vlogging and podcasting across Northern Ireland.

“It’s a fantastic way to connect with like-minded people, immerse yourself in your passions, keep your mind healthy and active and an excellent excuse to get out and about and use your local library.

“Both Patience Bradley and Dr Ava Eagle Brown aren’t just bloggers, they are women who have taken their passions and turned them into a way to keep connected with their peers and communities.

“Our speakers challenge the stereotype of what a blogger is and show the real mental, physical and emotional benefits of expressing ourselves online in a responsible, measured and healthy way.

“Attendees at the Blogging Inspiration event in Derry Central Library will be sure to leave with the motivation, encouragement and practical knowhow they need to begin or amplify their blogging journey.”

The event in Derry Central Library is part of the ongoing Libraries NI series of #GetBlogging series which will run into 2020 across Northern Ireland.

Officially presented by Training Matchmaker in collaboration with Libraries NI, previous events in the #GetBlogging series included Blogging Inspiration sessions, a six-week get Blogging Course and five Blogging for Wellness roadshows.

This event is free and booking is essential. Book your place at Derry Central Library on 17 October at:

Fashion with Patience: 5 Autumn/Winter Coat Styles That Are Bang On Trend

I have to say for Autumn and coming in to Winter one of my staple pieces is a good Statement coat, this one I’m wearing here I recently picked up in Savida at Dunnes and I think the colours are perfect for Autumn. The rich brown is great to make any all black outfit, an Autumnal dream. 


Vinyl Coats are very on trend this year and you don’t just have to stick to black, you can find vinyl trench coats in green and brown tones too, which are perfect for this season. Green itself is a very on trend colour this year and will definitely compliment most outfits. 

Faux Fur

Chunky faux fur coats are definitely going to be a big trend this year, neutral tones like cream and beige are very popular for these coats and they can look great with an all neutral toned outfit, with tones of whites and light brown. Coming in to Winter these types of coats are also great for keeping you warm and cosy. 


Padded and Puffa coats haven’t gone anywhere and are still bang on trend for this season. Consider a longer and oversized style of puffa coat, for an instant fashion week chic look. These coats are perfect for daytime as they are also waterproof and will go with pretty much any outfit. They are the type of coat you can throw on over any outfit before you leave the house and still look put together. 


This season, the bigger the coat the better. Floor length coats are very in and can instantly take a simply jeans and top to a dressy and stylish outfit. These types of coats are everywhere and camel and beige colours are especially on trend. Wrap up with a scarf to break up the top of the outfit and you have the perfect Autumn/Winter outfit. 

Checked Pattern

Like the one I’m wearing in this picture I think checked coats are a great option to go for, they instantly give an expensive feel to any look. If you aren’t comfortable wearing colour you could even go for a black and white dogtooth style check which would be easy to pair with any outfit.