Families can step into the land of make-believe in Bangor this Easter with three days of free, family fun scheduled to take place in the seaside town – with its very own mystical maze taking centre ‘page’.
Inspired by children’s favourite, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Bangor Seafront will play host to dotMaze, a 20-foot installation that is travelling to Bangor all the way from America, from Saturday 31 March until Monday 2 April.
‘Sails and Tales, Stories by the sea’, takes place from Saturday 31 March until Monday 2 April coinciding with International Children’s Book Day 2018 on 2 April – the inspiration behind the event.
From Saturday 31 March until Monday 2 April, Pickie Fun Park will transform into Neverland with Peter-Pan inspired adventures, perfect for those that are not yet grown up (and those not quite ready to!) with a colouring in competition, treasure hunt for Tinkerbell and lots more family fun.
‘Main Street, My Street’ and Bangor Chamber of Commerce will host Bangor’s Big Bunny Hunt on Saturday 31 March and Monday 2 April. There will be an Easter Garden in Menarys, kids crafts in Bob and Bert’s and cupcake and biscuit decorating in the Heatherlea bakery. As well as competitions and giveaways in many stores, puppet shows will also take place in Focus Menswear on High Street on the Saturday, courtesy of the Council.
On Easter Monday, 2 April, families can step off the train at Bangor and straight into another ‘magical’ land at the Thomas the Tank Engine experience. Fans will be delighted to find Thomas and The Fat Controller waiting to meet them at intervals throughout the day. While a special display curated by First Bangor Model Railway Club will be a ’must see’ for railway enthusiasts.
The town’s popular annual Easter scavenger hunt will take place at the nearby North Down Museum where kids can follow the trail through the museum galleries and solve the clues to reveal the name of a popular book.
Little adventurers can discover the magic of nature as they follow a treasure trail through the popular Victorian, Ward Park and meet the little folk who live in big trees above, tunnel into the soil below and fly on the backs of winged beasts. Prepare to be enchanted!
For those with a sweet tooth: Project 24 at the seafront will be transformed into Bangor’s very own Chocolate Factory with chocolate making workshops and invention stations where children can make even more tasty treats. Special appearances from ‘Willy Wonka’ and the ‘Oompa Loompas’ will definitely make visitors go ‘doompety doo’.
From there, families should make their way to McKee Clock Arena and the must-visit mystical maze.
If they haven’t got lost in the maze, children can dress up in ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ with face painting, children’s crafts, distorting mirrors and more themed fun in a nearby, dedicated tent.
While a second tent plays host to ‘Mr McGregor’s Garden’ where children can plant their own radish and create all sorts of colourful crafts, inspired by Peter Rabbit and friends.
Also at the McKee Clock Arena, famous fairy tales such as ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and ‘Cinderella’ will be brought to life through dance by ‘Jump, Jiggle and Jive’ while classic tales and improvised yarns will be told from the ‘Shed of Stories’ pop-up library throughout the day. Children can also pen their own piece at a creative writing desk in the shed.
Visitors must also take time to ride the Land Train along the seafront.
Special boat tours, ‘Stories at Sea’ kids boat trip and ‘Sea Shanties’ sing-along can be pre-booked at visitardsandnorthdown.com. Tickets cost just £5 so book soon as they are sure to sell out fast!
Families should be sure to visit ‘Neverland’ at Pickie Fun Park if they haven’t already enjoyed a Peter-Pan inspired adventure.
Open House will also be at wowing the crowds in their own unique style with strolling storytellers popping up in the town throughout the afternoon. Storytelling will also take place in Eason on High Street, so no one need miss out on some tale telling!
The event is being organised by Ards and North Down Borough Council with support from Bangor Chamber of Commerce and ‘Main Street, My Street’. Translink, SERC and local churches are also partnering in the event.
For event times, prices and more information, keep up-to-date at: visitardsandnorthdown.com