10 things to do in Northern Ireland
Here are ten exciting things to do 27 November- 3 December
1. Walking with the Snowman™, Hillsborough, County Down, 27 November- throughout December. Raymond Briggs’ beloved Snowman™ is brought to life in a trail around the stunning gardens – a perfect Christmas treat for families and fans of all ages. Can you find the 12 giant Snowman™ sculptures, each beautifully hand painted by a different artist? Along your way, you may also discover a special garden play trail, a royal walled garden and meandering waterways along with plenty of space to explore and play. Finish off all that exploring with a warming hot chocolate and festive treat from the café. On select days, you can also see special screenings of the iconic animated film! Check website for details.
2. Ghosts of Winterly Manor, Belfast County Antrim, 2 December – 31st January. W5 brings a brand-new experience for the winter months in this low-light walk-through experience that will see W5’s AMAZE space transformed into the haunted Winterly Manor. Encounters with a range of ghosts, ghouls, phantoms and restless spiritsawait. Enter if you dare! Admission is free with general admission to W5 although pre-booking is essential.
3. Roe Valley Speciality Market, Limavady, County Londonderry, 2 December. A must for those who love great artisan fresh produce, speciality products and quirky handmade gifts. A great day out with plenty of ideas and gifts for Christmas.
4. Christmas Fair at the Argory, Moy, County Armagh, 2-3 December. This year’s fair promises to be bigger and better than ever with live music, food and crafts stalls all helping to create a festive atmosphere you won’t forget! You can also see this historic National Trust site decorated in the style of Christmas past. Trees will be groaning with garlands, and the table laid for a feast of old.
5. Santa at Montalto House, Ballynahinch, County Down, 2-3 December. Prepare to meet Mr and Mrs Claus in the wonderful surroundings of Montalto House! Wrap up warm as the Head Elf takes you through the Enchanted Christmas Trail, before reaching the big house where the magic really begins! There’ll be Christmas letter writing, gingerbread decorating and reindeer food making. You can even meet Santa in the library and receive a special present. You can also cosy around the Christmas Tree and enjoy a memorable sing-along and story telling moment with Mrs Claus. There’ll also be refreshments for the adults. Check website for booking and availability.
6. Festive Wreath Making at Everglades Hotel, Derry~Londonderry, County Londonderry, 2-3 December. Enjoy a little festive DIY and make your own Christmas wreath to gift to someone special or hang on your own front door. With the help of local florist John Paul, you will be given all the materials you need to create something wonderful. After all that creativity you can enjoy a well-earned afternoon tea, with sandwiches, fabulous cakes, and bakes.
7. Share Village on Ice, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, 27 November- throughout December. This indoor synthetic rink, which is wheelchair-friendly is open to all ages and abilities! Situated on the beautiful shores of Upper Lough Erne whether you're a budding skater or a dab hand don’t be afraid to join in the fun! The rink is set under a canopy twinkling lights. Recommended for those aged 3+ Check website for details.
8. Todds Leap Magical Winter Wonderland, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, throughout December. Here you get the chance to visit the elves in the Post Office, write your letter and board Santa’s off-road sleigh. You can help the elves test the toys in the workshop and meet Mrs Claus in the Christmas cabin. Enjoy some treats before meeting the man in red in his gift laden grotto. Receive a golden coin and pick a gift. It’s sure to be super fun but watch out for the Grinch who might be sneaking about!
9. Victorian Santa Experience @ Whitehead Railway Museum, Whitehead, County Antrim, 2-3 December.Fancy a unique Santa experience? Well, here’s your chance to see Santa and get a ride in a Steam Train! Jump onboard the heritage carriage complete with Victorian style decorations. Our guides will then take you to the magical forest to find Father Christmas. Look out for hidden animals in the trees. You can enjoy a drink and a cookie with the option of mulled wine for the grownups. When you reach the platform, you can see the enormous snow globe and post your letter to Santa in the chimney of one of the steam engines!
10. Winter Wonderland 2023, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, 1-3 December. Cancer Connect NI in partnership with the National Trust has created a wonderful festive experience at Castle Coole. Begin the adventure by boarding the Polar Express, a special road ‘train’ in the grounds of Enniskillen Model Primary where you will be greeted by Mrs Claus and her elves. Travel to the Castle where you will be invited to step back in time to meet Santa in his grotto. Mrs Claus will be whipping up some treats in her kitchen. Everyone will receive refreshments with stories and games as well as the chance to take pictures on Santa’s giant sleigh.
For more information on what’s on or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit https://discovernorthernireland.com/