Enjoy the festive season in Belfast with the whole family! With lots of family experiences to choose from like visiting Santa on an inflatable grotto, catching a festive screening, or heading to see the circus. Here are our top picks for family friendly events happening around the city and beyond.
Winter’s Den at 2 Royal Avenue
Until 31 December
2 Royal Avenue
2 Royal Avenue has been refurbished and will open its doors again on 19 November, where it will be transformed into a beautiful Winter Den until the new year. Enjoy a range of free activities on offer – from Christmas crafting to seasonal sounds. The newly opened venue will also be a Cash for Kids NI Mission Christmas Drop Off Point.
Until 17 December
Treat yourself to some family fun this Christmas with Cinemagic Christmas Movies. Watch your favourite Christmas film at the Ulster Museum to get you into the festive spirit. From Home Alone and Arthur to holiday classics (Santa Claus), Cinemagic have the ultimate list of magical films.
An Enchanted Christmas at W5
Until 23 December
W5 are decking the halls for some festive family fun this Christmas. On selected dates, you can enjoy an array of seasonal experiences, including an indoor snowball fight, a brand-new immersive theatre show and magical storytelling.
Christmas at Hillsborough Light Trail
Until 31 December
Hillsborough Castle & Gardens
Over a million lights and seasonal sounds will once again fill the air at the historical venue, where glittering tunnels of light, dancing lakeside reflections and trees drenched in jewel-like colours will come to life amongst a trail of larger-than-life illuminations where mistletoe memories will be made.
A Magical Christmas Experience
Until 23 December
Watch the excitement unfold as Father Christmas and his Elves count down to their favourite night of the year! Journey through the Enchanted Forest, visit Mrs Claus in her cosy kitchen to hear Christmas tales and have your name checked off the ‘Naughty or Nice’ list by their Chief Elf. Make Christmas memories to last a lifetime!
Hydrobike Santa Experience
Until 23 December
Travel to see Santa on your very own hydrobike, hydrobike with kids seat, tandem hydrobike or on a family KatuKanu. Peddle up the River Lagan and follow the magic trail to find Santa’s secret floating grotto.
Until 15 January
Grand Opera House
Grab your glass slippers, your carriage awaits to whisk you off to the home of pantomime in Northern Ireland, where this year the much-loved classic Cinderella hits the stage.
Christmas Evenings at Ulster Folk Museum
Ulster Folk Museum
Experience a magical Christmas evening in Ballycultra and get involved with Christmas crafts, sample traditional fayre and listen to festive music performed by Fortwilliam Musical Society.
A Wartime Christmas
Northern Ireland War Memorial
Head to the Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum for Festive Fun with wartime games and toys. Learn how people celebrated Christmas under the restraints of rationing and try your hand in the lucky dip! Listen to well-loved Christmas songs, make a Christmas tree card and taste their ration recipe Christmas cake made with dried eggs.
Crafty Christmas in the Poor House
4, 11, 18 December
The Magic is in the History! Visit Clifton House for a special children’s Crafty Christmas in the Poor House as you are transported back in time to see what Christmas was like 200 years ago.
MAC Art Club Christmas Dress Up
Join the MAC in the Playroom to dress up in Yuletide attire and create a festive picture frame. They’ll then take a photo of you looking sharp and pop it into the frame so you can give it to your chosen person.
3- 18 December
Whitehead Railway Museum
Ho, ho, ho! It’s that time of year again to deck the halls and work out who has been naughty and who has been nice. What better way to welcome in the festive period by booking on the festive Santa Express Steam Trains?
16 December – 2 January
Writer’s Square, Belfast
Tumble Circus are back with Winter Circus. One hour of hammer-smashing Belfast-inspired Circus, comedy and riotous fun for all the family. Award winning circus company Tumble Circus will return to Belfast’s Writers’ Square with their spectacular Winter Circus show this Christmas for their sixth year of riotous family fun.
22 December – 4 January
The SSE Arena, Belfast
Holiday magic is back at The SSE Arena, Belfast with the return of Winter Skate! Running on selected dates throughout December and January, Winter Skate gives members of the public the opportunity to skate at the home of the Belfast Giants. Tickets are priced at £8 per person for standard skate sessions, including skate hire; £26 for a family of four or £31 for a family of five.
A Christmas Carol
16 – 23 December
The Sanctuary Theatre
Scrooge, Marley, the Ghosts, the Cratchits and all your Christmas favourites in an all action, jam packed roller coaster of a show. They sing, they fly, they disappear in puffs of smoke, and Scrooge (Glenn McGivern) gets his come-uppance from the Ghost of Christmas Present (Christine Clark).
Best Places to See Santa in Belfast
Come and meet Father Christmas in his grotto this winter. Santa has been very busy planning all the different places he will visit in Belfast and would love to meet all the children who have been very good this year.
All Christmas Events in Belfast
Experience a Belfast Christmas like no other this year! With a rich line-up of events, you’ll be sure to get into the festive spirit!
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