10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Discover Northern Ireland has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are 10 exciting things taking place next week (18-24 December)

 

  1. Titanic Tea and Movie Experience, Belfast, 19 December. Join Titanic Belfast as they kickstart their programme of events celebrating the 20th Anniversary of ‘Titanic: The Movie’. Celebrate this milestone anniversary in the opulent Titanic Suite as Titanic Belfast host a red-carpet movie themed Afternoon Tea by the replica Grand Staircase – perfect for the ultimate movie fan to enjoy the film in First Class style.
  2. The Spectacular Aladdin, Belfast, 14- 27 December. SSE Airtricity, The SSE Arena and M & J Pantos have combined forces to announce Northern Ireland’s newest and biggest Christmas pantomime, The Spectacular Aladdin, starring Rhydian, Jake Carter, Nadia Forde, Nuala McKeever and Ross Anderson-Doherty. To book your ticket  visit SSEArenaBelfast.com.
  3. A Night With The Stars Christmas Show, Lisburn, 20 December. Following a sell-out show last year, the hugely popular ‘A Night with the Stars Show’ returns for an unmissable night of Country Music with a festive touch. The stellar line-up includes Ray Lynam, Ritchie Remo and many more.  All will showcase their biggest hit songs in the company of a fabulous line band. Book your tickets at LaganValleyIsland.co.uk
  4. 2017 Winter Gathering – Causeway Coast Foodie Tours, Coleraine, 22-30 December.  2017 Winter Gathering is an informal boat trip on the beautiful River Bann offering a relaxed and informative afternoon of whiskey sampling, food tasting and a light sprinkling of stunning scenery and wildlife on the Bann Estuary. A marvellous opportunity to appreciate this historic town from a different perspective at this most wonderful time of the year. Meeting at Waterside Pontoon, Coleraine.
  5. Winter Solstice, Co. Armagh, 21 December. Applaud the arrival of the Winter Solstice with a wonderful celebration which mirrors how the Celts would have celebrated such an occasion at the Navan Centre and Fort. In the company of the Celts, follow some traditions and customs associated with the Winter Solstice, before taking part in a lantern-lit walk to Navan Fort, where re-enactors will welcome the breaking of dawn.
  6. Johnny Brady Dance & Entertainment Night, Co. Down, 22 December. Known for his powerful vocals, energetic performances and charismatic personality, Johnny Brady has a unique sound and is continually pushing the boundaries in a new generation of Irish country music artists. Get your dancing boots on and head for the Millbrook House Hotel in Ballynahinch for a night of dance and Christmas entertainment.
  7. AMAZEing Christmas Crafts, Belfast, 16-31 December. Just like Hansel and Gretel, get lost this Christmas in The MAC’s aMAZEing crafty workshop. Make your own Christmassy 3D maze and unwrap the puzzle to help Hansel and Gretel find their way home. To book your ticket visit TheMacLive.com.
  8. Christmas Wonderland, Magherafelt, 1-23 December. The Jungle’s Christmas Wonderland is the perfect festive family day out. Share a meet and greet with Santa, have a giggle with his colourful Elves, enjoy The Jungle’s exciting adventure activities, get creative with a spot of arts and crafts or grab a cuddle with the curious creatures in the Woodland Petting Farm. To book visit TheJungleNI.com.
  9. Here Comes Santa, Co. Down, 9-22 December. Make magical memories this Christmas at Castle Espie and visit Santa in the enchanted gardens. Activities include snowflake making, golden snowflake hunt filled with winter wonderland surprises along the way, storytelling and marshmallow toasting.
  10. Bubbles in a Boat, Derry~Londonderry, 2-24 December. Go on a Christmas cruise with Bubbles the elf and help him find the missing items from Santa’s sleigh. Afterwards make a Christmas clay tile with Mrs Claus and enjoy hot chocolate and a Christmas cookie. To book call 028 7136 3133.

 

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

OFFERS OF THE WEEK

Northern Ireland boasts a unique collection of irresistible 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.

 

Phew It’s The Weekend, Kilmorey Arms Hotel, Co. Down from £120 per person sharing.

Nestled in the Mournes, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the three-star Kilmorey Arms Hotel boasts a prime location for any holiday. Includes two-nights’ accommodation, a cocktail on arrival, a three-course meal for two and a full Irish breakfast the next morning. To book call 028 4176 2220. Offer available until 7 July 2019.

 

Two Night Getaway, The Enniskillen Hotel, Co. Fermanagh from £80 per person sharing.

This four-star hotel situated in Enniskillen town, prides itself on being relaxed yet formal, quirky and quintessential, with rooms offer contemporary sophistication. Relax with a whiskey in their Oscar Wilde inspired bar, Wildes, or enjoy a meal in their Samuel Beckett inspired restaurant, Becketts Grill. Enjoy two nights in a double room or upgrade to a superior room from £10. Price based on two adults sharing. To book call 028 6632 1177. Offer available until 1 March 2019.

 

1-night Romance at the Inn, Bushmills Inn Hotel from £198 per room.

The luxurious four-star Bushmills Inn is situated in an enviable location; a stone’s throw from The Giant’s Causeway and Old Bushmills Distillery. Offer includes a bottle of chilled Prosecco and chocolate dipped strawberries on arrival. Relax and enjoy the ambience of the Gas Lit Bar, then indulge in a delicious a la carte dinner. Finally enjoy a restful night’s stay and full cooked Irish breakfast the next morning. A la carte dinner credit of £50 per room (does not include drinks). To book call 028 2073 3000. Offer available until 18 April 2019.

 

All offers are subject to availability.  For further information visit www.discovernorthernireland.com

 

Rev up your support for Triple World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea

The Council is revving up to support triple World Superbike Champion, Jonathan Rea in his bid to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.

On Sunday 17 December Jonathan will be aiming to round off a spectacular year and pick up the accolade. He faces tough competition from Harry Kane, Anthony Joshua, Lewis Hamilton and Mo Farah.

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Hamill, is encouraging the whole Borough to get behind Jonathan and take part in the public vote on Sunday evening: “Jonathan has achieved something amazing and to be shortlisted for the award is well deserved.  We are extremely proud to have him as one of Northern Ireland’s sporting ambassadors and I would urge everyone to cast their vote for Jonathan.”

Voting for the main award will be from a shortlist of contenders presented during the live show on Sunday 17 December 2017.

Voting will be available by phone or via the BBC website. The number to call for each contender will be revealed during the programme. There is no voting via email, Red Button or by text. The telephone numbers will be available through Red Button and via the BBC website.

The Discover NI Christmas gift guide

Struggling for the perfect gift? Buy an unforgettable experience in Northern Ireland

For those who have everything, or for that unique gift no one else will think of, check out these alternative gift ideas. Forget the bath sets, perfumes and making sure to get a gift receipt – instead give your loved ones something new and exciting right on their doorstep.

Tourism NI’s Communication Officer; Claire Cromie said: “This year Northern Ireland has seen an abundance of new and unique experiences emerge, many of which would make wonderful gift experiences.

“These activities create long lasting memories, whether it’s an insight into craft beer brewing, a Game of Thrones tour or a luxurious hotel stay.”

The foodie

For a budding baker or someone who enjoys having a go at new things, give the special gift of a traditional Irish bread-making experience with NI Food Tours in County Down. NI Food Tours offer a memorable lesson in a thatched cottage on the shores of Strangford Lough, in making potato bread, soda bread and traybakes.  Or learn to cook traditionally at home, with local food hero Norah Brown at the Grange Lodge, County Tyrone. Norah’s food really does represent the best in family cooking, traditional but nutritious, and full of new twists and flavours, emphasising the opportunity to make the best seasonal use of local produce. These food experiences in Northern Ireland are guaranteed to cook up a storm and leave you dishing out the best gift of the season.

The tea lover

From the lavish to the quaint, there are many stunning locations hosting some very special afternoon teas, from the renowned five-star Merchant Hotel’s afternoon tea in Belfast City Centre. to County Armagh’s Ballydougan Restaurant & Coffee Lounge.  The Merchant provides delicately served afternoon tea in the decadent surroundings of the Great Hall, on a silver tea stand with a choice of tea, coffee or for that extra treat, champagne. Ballydougan Restaurant & Coffee Lounge allows you to relax and enjoy scones and sweet treats in the wonderful surroundings of a restored linen barn. All freshly prepared with the finest local produce, and served on Ballydougan’s famous hand-thrown pottery. You can even make a day of it and join in on one of the pottery classes. The perfect gift for the tea lover with a bit of indulgence.

Something a little stronger

For the craft beer or gin aficionado a taste and tour experience would be the ideal unique gift. They can become immersed in a botanical journey and full Shortcross Gin tasting experience at the Rademon Estate distillery in County Down. David Boyd-Armstrong, the head distiller, talks through the fascinating process, from how they harvest local botanicals, draw fresh water from the distillery well, distill on a bespoke copper pot still and bottle and label the finished product on site. Or learn about the ancient craft of beer brewing at Hilden Brewery in County Antrim, a working brewery with licensed restaurant in a beautiful and historic setting at Hilden House. Visitors can discover the magic of brewing from the master brewer and share in his enthusiasm for the wonderful process which converts malt and hops into one of the finest beverages known to man, traditionally brewed beer.

For someone who deserves a spa break

If you’re looking a gift for someone who would appreciate some well-deserved relaxation time, treat them to a city day spa, ultimate getaway or beautiful retreat– depending on your budget, all offering luxurious pampering. Sitting proud in the Hollywood Hills overlooking Belfast Lough in County Down is the majestic five-star Hastings Culloden Estate & Spa. Just a short drive away from Belfast’s city centre, it’s the perfect retreat for couples looking for some sought after pamper time, great for a day-trip. Or the four-star Hilton Templepatrick in County Antrim, complete with 18-hole championship golf course, onsite restaurant, spa and swimming pool, makes for the perfect weekend break in Northern Ireland. These are just a few of the many spa options throughout Northern Ireland offering a range of choices for the perfect gift voucher.

For the Games of Thrones Fan

For “Thronies” who have enough DVDs, mugs, and novelty t-shirts, treat them to a Game of Thrones experience at Castle Ward Estate. Located just 40 minutes from Belfast, it was used extensively for the filming of George R.R. Martin’s epic adaption of his Game of Thrones® novels.

Bed down for a night in one of the quirky glamping pods deep in the forest of ‘Winterfell’. Explore the sprawling demesne and its many filming location hotspots and recreate your very own Game of Thrones® moments. Packages include archery, cycling and filming experiences.

Alternatively, for the thrill-seeking fan, try Cutting Edge Helicopter’s Game of Thrones Air Tour. Enjoy stunning aerial views and the picturesque scenery of the North Antrim coast used as film locations by HBO in the award-winning series plus the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle and Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge.

From boat tours, walking tours and door tours – there are enough Game of Thrones experiences in Northern Ireland to keep any fan busy until Season 8.

For the budding craftsman

For those who like to get their hands dirty, treat them to a blacksmithing class at Hot Milk Forge in Ballymena. An unmissable infusion of fire and artistic expression, create something truly traditional by welding with fire, not electricity. Learn the basic skills of bladesmithing, such as tempering and hardening as well as modern bladesmithing techniques, to ensure you gain a rounded insight into the art of blacksmithing. Attendees can create their own fireside set, wrought iron gate or knife.

For the starry-eyed romantic

Finally, for the perfect romantic gift, treat someone to a great escape with a star-gazing break at the Finn Lough Resort in County Fermanagh.  Immerse in the tranquility of nature with a unique night in a bubble dome in the middle of one of County Fermanagh’s forests. These unique domes feature 180-degree transparent walls, allowing guests to truly escape the noise of the outside world whilst admiring the beauty of nature.

For more Christmas ideas or short break inspiration, visit DiscoverNorthernIreland.com.

SLEEPING BEAUTY DELIGHTING AUDIENCES AT ARMAGH’S MARKET PLACE

It’s the one you’ve all been waiting for! The panto dreams are made of is now on stage at Armagh’s Market Place Theatre, and audiences just can’t get enough of this sparkling Christmas adventure.

Sleeping Beauty Production Shoot
Market Place Theatre Armagh Co.Armagh
4 December 2017
CREDIT: www.LiamMcArdle.com

This year’s spectacular combines wonderful music, song and dance, colourful costumes, memorable characters, and loads of audience participation, in a lively and fun-filled show for all the family.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a beautiful princess is born. The entire kingdom is delighted, apart from the evil fairy, who places a curse on the Princess, so that she will prick her finger on a poisoned spinning wheel on her 16th birthday! Who could possibly break such a terrible spell? And who will be brave enough to challenge the evil fairy? And what mad shenanigans will occur in the meantime? Come to The Market Place Theatre this Christmas to find out…

Featuring all your favourite panto characters, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ is guaranteed to be a fun-packed traditional family pantomime for all ages! Fun, frolics and laughter abound in this spectacular take on the thrilling and timeless classic. Audiences will recognise some familiar names in the cast line-up with Debra Hill playing the role of Sleeping Beauty-Full, Michael Lavery as the Prince, Karen Rush as everyone’s favourite baddie Maleficent, and of course, the fabulous Stephen Beggs back in the ‘funderful’ role of Nanny Magee.

Performances will run right up until Christmas Eve, at a variety of times to suit all ages! Ticket prices range from £10 to £15. Tickets are selling fast, with the best availability remaining on the last week.

To book your tickets for the most exciting pantomime of the season, phone the Box Office now on [028] 3752 1821. The house is sure to be packed to the rafters for this annual festive hit, so don’t be caught napping – book now, before it’s too late! We’d hate for you to snooze out! There are BSL signed, captioned and relaxed performances during the run. Please contact the Box Office for full details.

Tickets for all performances can be booked through the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at www.marketplacearmagh.com And 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.

 

Jacqueline shares her pick of what’s on this weekend across NI

Down

Are you looking for something to do with the kids this Christmas? Get yourself along to County Down’s Winter Wonderland at Clandeboye Estate, Bangor from the 16th to 23rd December. There will be markets and attractions including an ice rink, indoor cinema, arts and crafts, bouncy castle, face painting, Santa’s grotto, Mother Christmas, elves, snow machines and more. And here’s the good news – all the attractions are included in one amazing ticket price, so you can entertain the children all day without breaking the bank.  Santa has agreed to take time out from his busy schedule to see all the children at Winter Wonderland!

Armagh

Join the exceptional Cara Dillon for what will undoubtedly be a magical and memorable festive experience this  Thursday 14th December at the Marketplace Theatre.  Having recorded her highly anticipated Christmas album, ‘Upon A Winter’s Night’, Cara and her band will be performing classic carols, Celtic hymns and other Christmas songs to celebrate and share in the Christmas spirit. A tradition in the making.

Fermanagh

At Christmas, Castle Coole transforms into a magical Christmas wonderland until Sunday 17th December. Visit Castle Coole to check on how the elves are preparing for Christmas this year, and visit Santa and Mrs Claus by the range in the kitchen.  Visit Santa and Mrs Claus in their festive home as they prepare for the busy Christmas season. Each child receives a present and grown-ups can enjoy warming mulled wine and mince pies.

Tyrone

The Ulster Orchestra is bringing its hugely popular Christmas sing-along show across Northern Ireland! Soprano Marcella Walsh joins the party to bring you well-known festive classics and carols in this Christmas cracker of a night. Join them at the Alley Theatre Strabane this Saturday 16th December at 8.00pm.

Derry/Londonderry

It’s December, so it must be time for the Roe Valley’s annual Christmas film screening of It’s a Wonderful Life! Join them this Saturday 16th December for what is now a Roe Valley festive ritual – escape the hustle and bustle for a few hours, sit back and enjoy one of the most beloved films of all time with complimentary mulled (non-alcoholic) wine and seasonal refreshments.  Tickets only £5.

Antrim

Caroline Curran and Julie Maxwell return with a madcap Christmas comedy, set in the A&E of the local hospital. Make an appointment at Theatre at The Mill this Christmas and meet a heavenly host of hilarious characters, as they celebrate this very special holiday period! Runs until the 31st December.

Belfast

Stormont School of Singing is back with their annual Christmas concert in aid of NI Chest Heart & Stroke.  Join them this Friday evening at the Belvoir Players Studio for a magical evening of festival favourites & music for the season! Featuring students alongside professional performers. Ticket price includes mince pies & non-alcoholic mulled wine.

For more details on these events and to add your events free go to whatsonni.com. Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at fb.com/www.whatsonni.com for news, competitions and what’s on near you.

The Nightshift Before Christmas!

‘The Nightshift before Christmas’ written by and starring Caroline Curran and Julie Maxwell, is a must see this Christmas.

 

Join nurses Cindy & Ella as they work the nightshift in a busy A&E ward in the ‘Royal Abbey’ hospital on Christmas Eve. All five cast members who also include Abbey Gibbon, James Doran and Patrick Buchanan, play multiple roles in this festive delight.

Meet Belfast characters such as ‘Smasher O’Neill’, Santa Dave and the heavily pregnant Gloria. This show highlights the work of the NHS staff that we can all take for granted and the people they encounter on a daily basis – ‘Heaven isn’t the only place you will find angels’

Christmas can be such a special time but it is just another day for those in the medical profession who continue to save lives and look after the sick, day after day.

This show will have you laughing out loud and maybe shedding a tear or two but it will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

This Christmas comedy will run until Sunday 31 Dec. Tickets from Box Office T: 028 9034 0202 or www.theatreatthemill.com

 

Calling all teachers!  Fancy winning tickets to bring your class to see the biggest show of the season? 

The Millennium Forum is inviting all schools to enter its ‘Create A Beanstalk’ competition. All you have to do is create a beanstalk on an A4 page (drawing/digital art/painting) and email it as a jpeg or low res PDF to siobhanm@millenniumforum.co.uk

The art work will then be judged by the Millennium Forum and the show sponsor, the Richmond Centre. There will be a shortlisting of three entries which will then be put out to public vote on the Richmond Centre’s Facebook page so the artwork with the most likes at the end, wins!

The winning entry gets a prize of pantomime tickets for their whole school class as well as a meet and greet with the cast members for the show on Tue 19th December at 1.15pm! The runners up in the competition will win family tickets to the pantomime on the same date.

The deadline for the Create a Beanstalk competition is Monday 11th December at 5.00pm.  Good luck!

The Millennium Forum is well known for its outstanding Christmas pantomimes and this year’s production promises to be the best yet.  A gigantic beanstalk, Daisy the cow, magic beans, a goose that lays golden eggs and the nastiest of giants – it promises to be one giant festive extravaganza that all the family will love!

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at the Millennium Forum until Sunday 31st December.  Tickets are now available from the Box Office.  Telephone 71 264455 or visit www.millenniumforum.co.uk for bookings.

 

Competition Terms & Conditions

  • When submitting entries please include a name, age, school, address and contact details.
  • Only one entry will be accepted per person.
  • Winners must agree to be photographed for PR purposes.
  • If winner cannot be contacted another will be chosen.
  • Work might not be returned.
  • Tickets are non-transferable and are for the stated performances only.

Jacqueline from whatsonni.com shares her pick of what’s on this weekend across NI

Down

Take some time to leave the hustle and bustle of the high street behind and explore the candlelit Ballycultra village to experience Christmas from 100 years ago at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum this Friday 8th December.  Visit beautiful festive homes, sample seasonal treats by a cosy peat fire, and listen to the rousing, seasonal anthems performed by brass bands and carol singers. Opening hours 6pm – 9pm.

Armagh

Take a magical train journey around the Argory Estate in Moy to see Santa in his grotto and meet his team of helpers from the North Pole. Includes complimentary festive refreshments.  Booking Essential. 7th-10th and 13th -17th December from 4.00pm to – 8.00pm. Adult £7,  Child £15, Member Adult £7, Member Child £15.

Fermanagh

Join SHARE for a very special, festive cruise of Upper Lough Erne on-board the Inishcruiser on Saturday 9th December.  Christmas High Tea cruise will indulge you in tasty festive treats including mulled wine, shortbread and mince pies, alongside other traditional high tea treats. These can be enjoyed as you cruise beautiful Upper Lough Erne towards Crom Estate. The cruise lasts approx. 1.5 – 2 hours. Booking essential.

Tyrone

Join the Silverbirch Hotel in Omagh this Christmas for  a festive celebration for the whole family with their Santa Sunday Lunch.  The children will be thoroughly entertained with the kids Christmas party and disco from 2.00pm – 4.00 pm. Contact the Christmas co-ordinator to book Tel +44 28 8224 2520.

Derry/Londonderry

Step back in time to Westeros this Christmas & enjoy a Game of Thrones themed medieval banquet this Friday 8th December at the Waterfoot Hotel. The banquet will have Game of Thrones themed props & music, mulled cider reception.  You will then enjoy a 3 course meal plus live entertainment by The Hit Men & Silver Fox DJ.

Antrim

Enchanted Winter Garden returns to Antrim Castle Gardens bigger and better than ever before from Saturday 9th to Tuesday 19th December. This year’s event has even more of the stunning Gardens transformed, from entry at the Barbican Gate enchantment awaits as a magical journey through the Gardens unfolds. This year’s new features include the star attraction, ‘Antrim Eye’ – a 40m Ferris wheel where star gazing over Antrim Town and beyond will be one of the highlights of your visit to this fantastic event.

Belfast

Christmas Supper (a two course traditional Christmas dinner followed by Tea and Coffee) with a live performance from the fabulous Belfast Community Gospel Choir this Thursday 7th December at the Stormont Hotel from 7.00pm. Visit hastingshotels.com to book.

For more details on these events and to add your events free go to whatsonni.com. Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at fb.com/www.whatsonni.com for news, competitions and what’s on near you.

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 10 exciting things taking place this week (11-17 December)

 

  1. The Winter Fair, Lisburn, 14 December. Eikon Exhibition Centre is the meeting place for the dairy industry in Northern Ireland. Where top class cattle compete for the title of supreme champion and trade stands display innovation and industry advances. To book your tickets, visit WinterFair.org.uk.
  2. Shh! We Have A Plan, Belfast, 13-16 December. The award-winning Children’s Theatre Company, Cahoots NI, are casting a spell over young theatre goers at the Crescent Arts Centre this Christmas as they bring the enchanting tale ‘Shh! We Have a Plan’ to life. Based on the Chris Haughton book, this nonverbal, delightful and poignant tale follows the journey of some madcap characters. To book tickets visit CrescentArts.org
  3. South Eastern Music Service Winter Concert, Belfast, 11 December. Treat yourself to a selection of contemporary, pop and classical music, including some festive pieces to help spread the Christmas cheer.  The impressive and varied line-up features the Bangor Concert Band, Bangor String Orchestra, Castlereagh Concert Band, Castlereagh String Orchestra, Down Concert Band, Down String Orchestra, Lisburn Concert Band and Lisburn String Orchestra. To book tickets visit UlsterHall.co.uk.
  1. Days of Christmas Past with Santa Visit, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, 9-17 December. The Ulster Folk & Transport Museum has an extra special festive experience for the family to immerse themselves in the magic of a traditional Christmas. Gather around the warmth of the 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 his workshop. Take home a treasured memory of your day spent in Christmas past by purchasing a special photograph with Santa & Mrs Claus. To book visit nmni.com.
  2. A Christmas Carol, Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy, 14 December. Olivier Award-winning actor, Guy Masterson is famed for bringing multiple characters to vivid life in his enthralling one-man shows. Masterson recreates Scrooge, Marley, the Fezziwigs, Tiny Tim and many more in an enchanting performance that will dazzle and linger long in the memory. To book your ticket visit SeamusHeaneyHome.com.
  3. Christmas Dioramas, Co. Down, 16 December. Get your children into the spirit of the festive season, making their own little winter wonderland. Banbridge’s Old Town Hall hosts a children’s workshop creating a 3D Christmas scene with fairy lights to add the extra sparkle. Hazel Boland leads the workshop for 7-11 year olds, using recycled materials. To book call 028 4062 0232.
  4. The Whistlin’ Donkeys In Concert, Co. Fermanagh, 15 December. The Whistlin’ Donkeys are an Irish Folk band from County Tyrone, they have a unique spin on Irish Folk music, blending elements of traditional Irish with Celtic rock influences. See them perform a vibrant set at the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen, tickets £16.50.
  5. A Mid-Winter Tale, Co. Armagh, 15 December. Enjoy some traditional fayre at this most unusual Christmas event at the Navan Centre, Armagh. A Celtic themed celebration of the arrival of Mid-Winter and the Winter Solstice – the shortest and darkest day of the year. Darkness has descended and the people are gathered to see the Holly King fight the Oak King. If the Oak King defeats the Holly King darkness will end and light will return for the year.
  6. A Swingabella Christmas, Lisburn, 16 December. The close harmony vocal trio, Swingabella, brings back the sassy sound of the Swing Era of the 30s and 40s. Come and hear the jaunty ‘Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree’ and the ever-popular ‘In The Mood’, coquettishly sung by three broads in victory rolls and T-bar shoes. To book your tickets visit LaganValleyIsland.co.uk.
  7. Bubbles in a Boat, Derry~Londonderry, 2-24 December. Go on a Christmas cruise with Bubbles the elf and help him find the missing items from Santa’s sleigh. Afterwards make a Christmas clay tile with Mrs Claus and enjoy hot chocolate and a Christmas cookie. To book call 028 7136 3133.

 

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