Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (November 30 – December 6).
• Christmas At The Castle, Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough, Co. Down, December 4. There’s nothing more magical than a castle dressed for Christmas. So don’t miss your chance to enjoy an unforgettable day of festive experiences at Hillsborough Castle. With viewing of all the state rooms, drinks reception and a fabulous choral group singing in the Throne Room, it’s a majestic way to start the season. Bookings essential. From 7pm.
• Christmas Lights Switch On Ballycastle, The Diamond, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, December 3. Everyone is welcome to join in an evening of festive celebrations that offers something for all the family. The Christmas event will commence at 6.30pm with the annual interdenominational Community Carol Service followed by the ‘Big Switch-on’ of Christmas lights by Santa Claus. Santa will be in his grotto inviting children to meet him and receive an early Christmas present. A DJ will be entertaining the crowds with lots of fun and music until 9pm. Shops will be open late offering special discounts.
• Limavady Christmas Artisan Market, Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, December 5 Fresh aromas, vivid colours, eclectic treasures, buzzing crowds – a mere stroll amongst the many stalls of an Artisan Market are enough to invigorate the senses and whet the appetite. These markets aim to keep things authentic, providing a rare but enchanting opportunity to meet the many food and craft producers and suppliers from the North Coast and Glens area. From 11am to 4pm.
• Enniskillen’s Christmas Craft & Food Fair, Townhall and The Diamond, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, December 5. This event provides the perfect opportunity for shoppers to browse a wonderful range of high quality food and craft products. There will be fun for all the family with face painting, street performers and Christmas characters from 12pm to 4pm so come along and get in the Christmas spirit!
• Santa’s Pony Parade, Sheskburn House Car Park, 7 Mary Street, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, December 5. Come along and delight in this wonderful parade of horses as riders in festive fancy dress make their way through the town, stopping off in the Diamond area where they will assemble to sing Christmas songs. And don’t forget to bring your pooch as there will be a fun dog show with prizes for the best dressed. Santa will also be in attendance giving away children’s goody-bags. Horses and ponies will assemble in Sheskburn House car park at 12pm and depart at 1pm.
• Off The Cuff at Contained Village, Contained Pop Up Village, Donegall Quay, Belfast, December 1. Looking for a bit of craic on a Tuesday night? Off the Cuff is Belfast’s only free entry open-mic night for anyone and everyone. All styles, levels and mindsets of music are welcome. Each week will feature an improv session that is open for all instruments. 6pm til late.
• Days of Christmas Past at the Folk Park, Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, December 5-20. This festive season takes the family back in time to experience the magic of a truly traditional Christmas where the kids can meet Santa, Mrs Claus and all their festive friends. This event will take place on different days from 11am to 4pm.
• Santa’s Magical Elves @ Navan Centre & Fort, 81 Killylea Road, Armagh, Co. Armagh, December 5-22. Armagh will take you on an enchanted Christmas journey with Santa’s little helpers who arrive on their very own Elf Mobile! On your travels the Elves will stamp your Christmas ticket allowing you to unlock the gates on ‘Elf-ville’ to meet with Santa in his magical kingdom, where he has gifts for all the boys and girls!
• Santa’s Magical Workshop, McCrum’s Court, Armagh, Co. Armagh, December 5-22. Make a Christmas Wish and truly magical memories in Santa’s workshop. Experience the magical lights and trees as you make your way to see the elves in Santa’s workshop, take photographs with Santa, make a wish and hang it up for all to see. Register on the day only in the Mall Shopping Centre during workshop opening hours as listed. Registration is essential as availability can be limited.
• ‘A Christmas Carol’ The Musical – Ardhowen Theatre, 97 Dublin Road, Derrychara, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, December 3-12. Enniskillen Light Operatic presents A Christmas Carol, The Musical. The classic Dickens tale of the miserly Scrooge redeemed by visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future has been adapted for the stage by Lynn Ahrens and Alan Menken. The show is perfectly suited to getting you in the mood for the festive season. Show begins at 8pm and on Sat 5th December 3 and 8pm.
Please note some of the events require pre-booking. For more details on these and other events click on www.discovernorthernireland.com/events, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto www.facebook.com/discovernorthernireland.