Here are ten exciting things taking place from 16 – 22 December.
1. Winter-Solstice Armagh, 20 December. Celebrate the Winter Solstice with a lantern-lit procession to Navan Fort. Take part in a solstice ritual of morning meditation, reflecting upon the past and welcoming new light. Appreciate the calmness and serenity of watching the sunrise over the site of Emain Macha, before returning to the Centre for breakfast.
2. Colin-Davidson-and-Oliver-Jeffers-In-Conversation Belfast, 16 December. Colin Davidson is a contemporary artist, living and working near Belfast. Since graduating in 1991, he has structured his practice in themes, and since 2010 his focus has been on painting grand scale portraits which have won widespread recognition and many international awards. His sitters have included Queen Elizabeth II, Bill Clinton, Liam Neeson, Brad Pitt and Ed Sheeran.
3. Bushmills-Pre-Christmas-Food-Tour Bushmills, 20 – 21 December. Join Irish Feast on a journey of local, gastronomic discovery. During the tour of Bushmills, you’ll discover old recipes and new trends. You’ll talk to people in traditional family-owned restaurants and in up and coming artisan cafes and eateries. You’ll taste history and culture and truly experience the creative future of our food industry on a scintillating, surprising, seriously tasty Irish Feast Food Tour.
4. Festive-Friday-at-Rademon-Estate Downpatrick, 6 – 23rd December. Learn all about their foraged botanicals, unique gin and whiskey processes. Stand next to their three beautiful copper pot stills and meet the founders Fiona and David. Just remember to take time to enjoy the views in their beautiful location with a pre/post tour cocktail at the bar!
5. Ulster-Orchestra-The-Magic-of-Christmas Derry~Londonderry, 18 December. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas at this magical night with the Ulster Orchestra. Conductor Richard Balcombe, Codetta Choir and West End stars Sophie-Louise Dann (Les Misérables) Alex Gaumond (Legally Blonde, We Will Rock You) will definitely get you and your family in the Christmas mood, with an enchanting programme including O Holy Night, The Polar Express and not forgetting everyone’s favourite, White Christmas.
6. Wild-Game-Butchery-Class Ballycastle, 15 December – 19 January 2020. This is the perfect class for anyone who is curious about using seasonal, small game or for those who enjoy shooting but would like to also know how to butcher their quarry. The class will give you all the skills you’ll need to be confident in prepping your own wild game for the kitchen. During the class they will also talk about the best ways to cook the different cuts and varieties. You’ll get to take away a selection of local game at the end of the class.
7. Carols-by-Candlelight Holywood, 13 – 20 December. Experience the atmosphere of the festive season in the 1900s at Christmas at Cultra event and make it extra special by joining the candlelit carol service in the atmospheric surrounds of the Omagh Meeting House, Ballycultra.Take in the Christmas atmosphere in the idyllic setting of the Omagh Meeting House period building in the Folk Museum, for an evening of singing carols and seasonal readings.
8. Aladdin Belfast, 20 – 22 December. Meet Aladdin, the rough and rugged hero struggling to find his purpose in life. Come along and have your wishes granted with a night of entertainment and a story that you’ve never heard told quite like this. With popular references to motion pictures and a soundtrack that is sure to leave you with your jaw on the floor, Aladdin is perfect entertainment for all the family this Christmas.
9. Christmas-Family-Activities-at-Hillsborough-Castle Hillsborough, 14 December – 2 January. Get crafty with the art facilitator and make yourself something wonderful to take home. Enjoy some festive and traditional tales of the season with renowned storyteller Liz Weir. See ladies dancing and lords a’ leaping this Christmas and prepare for your own Twelfth Night ball by practising some Georgian steps with the expert dance tutor. Join the ’12 Drummers Drumming’ this Christmas and participate in this fun family workshop run by drum circle facilitator Joe Loughlin.
10. Christmas-at-the-Cathedral Belfast, 20 – 21 December. World-class singers Peter Corry, Barbara Dickson and Patrick Smyth will be joined by the BSPA Voices for an enchanting show of seasonal celebration in the most stunning of settings. Peter Corry is finalising the full line-up of songs, but with Blood Brothers, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Elton John and the Greatest Showman in their combined repertoires, plus some seasonal favourites, Christmas at the Cathedral has the perfect experience and perfect present wrapped up.
For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com