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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
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.