10 things to do in Northern Ireland
1. Winter-Circus Belfast, 13 December – 1 January. Winter Circus is back again for its fourth year with The Winter Circus Show. The ever-popular show will be hosted in the fantastic, central location of Writer’s Square, Belfast. The Winter Circus Show will be an all human, all skill and all thrill event. Expect modern, high skilled acts, including acrobats, aerialists and jugglers in this one hour of hammer smashing Belfast inspired circus.
2. Visit-Santa-at-the-Ulster-American-Folk-Park Omagh, 6December – 5 January. Visit Santa at the Ulster American Folk Park and take the family back in time to experience the magic of a traditional Christmas this festive season. Gather around the warmth of a turf fire and enjoy readings from The Night Before Christmas, singalong with the Christmas Mummers, taste seasonal treats and meet Santa and Mrs Claus in their workshop.
3. The-Old-Inns-Glitter-Ball-Boogie Bangor, 13 December. Old world charm, meets the glitz and glam that only a party night in the dazzling Verina Suite can offer. Enjoy your red carpet entrance and your very own Onyx Champagne Bar at The Old Inn this season. Your glitz and glam party evening begins with a three course menu, then dance the night away with party favourites hosted by DJ Derek West until midnight.
4. The-Snowman-and-other-Christmas-Favourites Derry~Londonderry, 15 December. Join Derry’s new symphony orchestra as they celebrate Christmas with their friends from the Allegri ladies and Allegri kids choirs and present The Snowman. Allegri’s singers will join forces with a live orchestra for the first time to celebrate the spirit of Christmas through song. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy this family favourite, as well as a wonderful selection of other festive music.
5. Traditional-Irish-Bread-making-with-a-Christmas-twist Newtownards, 12 December. Join Tracey in her home, where you’ll be welcomed with the aroma of freshly made griddle breads, soda and wheaten, and a table laden with homemade treats. Learn how to make local Irish breads in a traditional thatched cottage on the shores of Strangford lough. If you’re looking for something off the beaten track and you’re keen to meet the locals and dine in a traditional home, then this is the perfect experience for you.
6. Christmas-Cracker-at-Rowallane-Garden Ballynahinch, 7 – 24 December. Visit Rowallane Garden for their Yuletide Market from 7 – 8 December where you will find locally produced gifts from one of the specialist stall holders in the Stableyard. Discover a range of artisan foods and hand-crafted curiosities. You’re sure to find something to share with your loved ones this Christmas. From 14-24 December you will also be able to decorate your very own Gingerbread man.
7. 12-Days-of-Christmas-with-David-Lyttle Hillsborough, 14 December. David Lyttle continues to mentor and introduce new talent with his dynamic Christmas concert at Hillsborough Castle which will feature three of Ireland’s most promising young jazz musicians: Derry guitarist Joseph Leighton and twin brothers Michael and Conor Murray, saxophone and double bass, from Donegal. His celebrated collaborations with a long list of music legends brings jazz to new audiences in unusual venues.
8. Wildlife-Wonderland-at-Belfast-Zoo Newtownabbey 14 – 15 December. Wrap presents for the animals and see Santa deliver these around the 55-acre site. You can also take part in Christmas crafts, win prizes with a reindeer trail, meet a selection of animals, and pose for photos with Santa and Mrs Claus. Wildlife Wonderland is suitable for both families and adults and does not include a Grotto experience. Normal admission price applies.
9. Lost-Childhood-Exhibition Derry~Londonderry, 1 December – 31 January. Beginning this December, the award-winning Museum of Free Derry will host one of their most poignant exhibitions to date entitled ‘Lost Childhood’.
10. Adam-Kay-Twas-the-Nightshift-Before-Christmas Belfast, 11 December. Join Adam Kay for his brand new festive show ‘Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas’ at the Ulster Hall for two incredible shows this December. Following the million-selling success of This Is Going To Hurt, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious peek behind the blue curtain at Christmas time. This brand new live show mixes highlights from the book with his award winning stand-up comedy and exclusive new content.
For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com