FREE and Cheap Christmas Events for Children, Families, and Individuals across Northern Ireland 2018

November 16, 2018

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Get that festive feeling for less by checking out our top picks of the budget-friendly Christmas events happening across Northern Ireland this yuletide.

BELFAST

Christmas Lights Switch On

 

When and Where: City Hall (17 November)

Cost: Free

Once the Christmas lights have been switched on the countdown to Christmas can really begin. This year children’s TV favourites Marshall and Skye from Paw Patrol, will be joined by Fireman Sam to help switch on Belfast’s Christmas lights and welcome in the festive season. While the event is free to attend, you must apply for a ticket to secure your attendance.

Christmas Market

 

When and Where: City Hall (17 November – 22 December)

Cost: Free

For gastronomic delights, warm festive drinks, and handcrafted gifts, all with a healthy dose of yuletide merriment, there really is no better way to spend an afternoon than by taking a walk around Belfast’s Christmas markets. With live music and both a traditional and an Irish bar, you are guaranteed a great time.

Belfast Santa Parade

 

When and Where: Castle Court (17 November)

Cost: Free

Starting from Writer’s Square, this year’s parade will see Santa, Mrs Claus, and Rudolph on-board his train and sleigh, leading a host of performers and festive characters past St Anne’s Cathedral before finishing up at CastleCourt. Santa will then retreat to his grotto where he will stay until Christmas Eve, giving you plenty of time to take the children to meet the big man himself.

Meet Santa

When and Where: Belfast City Hall (17 November – 22 December)

Cost: Post box is free; extra charge to enter the grotto

Don’t miss the opportunity to take the children to visit Santa in his magical grotto. Every child will receive a present to enjoy plus a photograph for a lasting memory of the day. If you don’t get the chance to tell Santa your wish list in person, you can always post a letter in the special Lapland destined post-box in the market. Send this by 18th December and Santa will write back!

Festive Films at Rowallane Gardens

 

When and Where: Rowallane Gardens (17 & 18 and 24 & 25 November)

Cost: Free for National Trust members

Nothing says ‘Christmas’ like snuggling up and watching a festive film with your family or loved ones. Throughout the last two weekends in November, Rowallane Gardens are hosting a Christmas film event to really get you in the feeling festive. Christmas classics such as Home Alone and Polar Express will be shown in the Barn, complete with steaming mugs of hot chocolate.

Enchanted Winter Gardens

 

When and Where: Antrim Castle (7 – 17 December)

Cost: £2 per adult, £1 per child (Attractions vary)

Always a popular event, the Antrim Castle Winter Gardens are back and this year it is better than ever! Grab a bite to eat at the Festive Fayre before hoping on board the 35m Ferris Wheel and take it the spectacular views. The Enchanted Express will take you on a trip through the forest, while the Baubles and Bows gift shop has an array of unique Christmas present ideas.

DERRY-LONDONDERRY

Christmas Winterland Markets

Christmas market Northern Ireland

When and Where: Guildhall Square (13-16 December)

Cost: Free

The Christmas markets are the perfect place to cross the last gifts off your present list. If all your shopping is done then you can instead enjoy traditional European food, washed down with a glass of mulled wine or beer. Guaranteed to get you in the festive mood, a visit to the Christmas markets is a must.

Christmas Lights Switch On

 

When and Where: Guildhall Square (22 November)

Cost: Free

Come and celebrate the start of the festive season with the big switch on event in Guildhall Square. The city centre will be lit up with hundreds of lights to kick Christmas off in style. This free event is guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of the whole family.

LISBURN

Christmas Lights Switch On

 

When and Where: Market Square (22 November)

Cost: Free

An exciting evening awaits when the Lisburn Christmas lights are switched on in November. Entertainment will start with a parade featuring a ‘The Lion, The Switch On, and The Wardrobe’ theme, before the Mayor will be joined by Santa to officially turn on the over one million lights which make up this year’s display.

Light Shows

 

When and Where: City Centre (Nightly)

Cost: Free

Enjoy a 10 minute light canopy show across the length of Bow Street each night at 4.00, 6.00, and 8.00pm, or see a dazzling display when the 40 foot Christmas tree comes to life at 4.30, 6.30, and 8.30pm.

Live Nativity

Nativity play

When and Where: Market Square (8 December)

Cost: Free

Rediscover the true meaning of Christmas with a enactment of the Christmas Nativity live on Market Square. Featuring carols, prayers, and even a live donkey, this is a must-see performance this festive season.

Lawrence O'Hara

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