Soda and Champ’s Christmas Adventure
Daily from 16 November, Royal Avenue
Head to Royal Avenue to see a stunning light projection on the buildings opposite CastleCourt. The display will show a special animated story that tells the tale of Soda the cat and Champ the dog – an unlikely pair who embark on an exciting journey to make it home in time for Christmas.
Belfast Christmas Market
16 November to 22 December, Belfast City Hall
The Belfast Christmas Market is perfect for a festive day out with the family. Kids can visit Santa in his grotto, take a ride on the vintage carousel or a slide down the Helter Skelter. There’s also marshmallow toasting stations, sweetie stalls and tasty hot food to suit all tastes.
Father Christmas will be making an appearance at loads of places in Belfast and Northern Ireland this year. We’ve rounded up the top Santa experiences, grottos and places to visit the big man this Christmas.
Christmas Light Switch-Ons
The Christmas light switch-on events in Belfast and beyond promise lots of family fun. From face painting and food stalls to children’s light parades and Santa appearances, don’t miss the switch-on events in Belfast, Bangor and Newtownards.
Polar Express at Culloden Estate
19-23 November, Culloden Estate and Spa
Hop on board at Santa’s Train Station and get ready for an exciting journey through the grounds of Culloden Estate and Spa. Experience a winter wonderland, magical merry-go-round, festive face paint, Christmas stalls and sweet treats, before meeting Father Christmas himself.
It’s panto season… oh yes it is! Take your little ones to one of Belfast’s many pantomimes this season, including Beauty and the Beast at the Grand Opera House, a Christmas Carol at MAC or Waterfront Hall’s Frozen Princess Pantomime. There’s also a huge range of family friendly theatre and plays.
Santa Street at W5
30 November to 23 December, W5
W5’s Santa Street experience will take into magical streests of Snowtown, where you’ll wander through a maze of quaint shop fronts, seasonal displays and twinkling lights. Then, walk on the rooftops of Snowtown where you’ll feel the chill of the night air and see Santa set off on his big journey on Christmas Eve night. This endearing Christmas experience is included with admission to W5.
A Magical Christmas Experience at Titanic Belfast
24 November to 23 December, Titanic Belfast
Journey through the Enchanted Forest to find Santa, Mrs Claus, the elves and much more in Titanic Belfast’s stunning Christmas Experience. Kids can enjoy festive games, storytelling, arts and crafts, Christmas trails and letter writing before meeting Santa, posing for a photo and receiving a gift. They will also get the chance to step into the Old Curiosity Shop and see the elves in their workshop. A beautiful, festive day out not to be missed!
MAC Events for Tots
Various dates, MAC
The MAC has a fantastic range of events for babies, toddlers and children. Go along to Baby Wrap and Baby Wrappers for festive themed multi-sensory sessions for little ones ages 0 to six months and six to 12 months. Or join an interactive fairytale adventure for 12 to 24-month-olds at Tinsel Tots. Four to seven-year-olds can sing their hearts out at a Holly Jolly Singalong while four to 11-year-olds can get creative and decorate a clock at Tick Tock Christmas Clock. Kids can also enjoy wonderful winter stories at Festive Fables, where the storyteller will be doing a special reading of ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ on Christmas Eve.
13 December to 2 January, Writer’s Square
Tumble Circus’ ever-popular winter show is back. This breathtaking, family-friendly display is an all human, all skill and all thrill event. With modern high-skilled acts, including acrobats, aerialists and jugglers, the show features international circus artists and comedy characters that both young and old can enjoy. Step right up and prepare to be dazzled!
CS Lewis Festival
22-26 November, Various Locations
This year’s CS Lewis Festival takes its theme from the much-loved Chronicles of Narnia. During the five days of the festival you’ll be transported through the wardrobe into the incredible imaginative world of CS Lewis and his characters. Festival highlights include a walking tour, market, lectures and talks.
Santa’s Post Office
Selected dates, 21 November to 15 December, Royal Avenue
Step into Santa’s Post Box and discover what goes on behind the scenes as his elves work round the clock to make sure letters reach the North Pole on time! Kids can write a letter to Santa, have it sealed with North Pole approval and post it in the magical post box.
Lisburn Light Festival
22 November to 25 January, Lisburn city centre
Lisburn Light Festival Returns! Come and see Lisburn City Centre transformed by amazing displays of light and sound. As well as the stunning light canopies and Christmas tree shows, there will be plenty of family friendly entertainment including Frozen Spectacular, a live Nativity and a Christmas character meet and greet.
The Snow Man Family Concert
7 December, Waterfront Hall
Joined by some young guest soloists, Ulster Orchestra performs music to the beloved family film The Snowman. Guaranteed to leave your little ones spellbound and the family feeling warm and fuzzy inside, this is a one-day only event that’s not to be missed.
Heart of Winter
30 November, Queen’s Hall Newtownards
Heart of Winter is a magical new musical show which warmly celebrates family, friendship and the good fortune of finding the winter we really need and want. The show is suitable for ages three and up, and tickets start at just £5.
Santa’s Steam Train to Whitehead
Weekends in December, Lanyon Place Station
All aboard Santa’s Steam Train to Whitehead! Bring the little ones along for a magical journey by steam train from Belfast’s Lanyon Place station to Whitehead. Children will get a chance to meet Father Christmas, pose for a photograph and receive a gift. The two-hour round trip includes a brief stop at Whitehead Excursion Station and the Edwardian Tea Room.
Frozen Afternoon Tea
8 December, The Old Inn Crawfordsburn
Join Anna and Elsa for a Frozen-themed afternoon tea at The Old Inn! Kids can come in fancy dress (if they want) and enjoy tiers of savoury and sweet treats at this unique afternoon tea with an icy, fairytale feel. Book tickets online now.
7 December, Belfast Cathedral
Join Belfast Cathedral for their Christmas Craft fair! A day of family fun and excitement with a variety of Christmas themed arts and crafts.
Christmas in the Park
7 December, Cherryvale Playing Fields
A festive family fun day in Cherryvale park. Visit Santa in his grotto and feed his reindeers, or take a spin on some fairground rides (fees apply), toast marshmallows, and enjoy seasonal arts and crafts. There will also be free face painting and lots more fun so make sure it’s in your diary!
Enchanted Winter Castle at Antrim Garden
6-22 December, Antrim Castle Gardens
The Enchanted Winter Garden event returns to the award-winning Antrim Castle Gardens, transforming it into a magical world of enchantment. Attractions include a big wheel, Victorian Helter Skelter, Victorian Wave Swinger, Wonderland Wood, The Enchanted Express and mallow pit.
Belfast Carols at SSE Arena
14 December, SSE Arena
With a delightful and versatile score ranging from traditional carols to show-stopping Christmas hits featuring special guests, Belfast Carols will bring an exciting new dimension to the story of Christmas. The show will feature an orchestra, a choir of over 1000 children and a hugely festive atmosphere.