It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And there’s no better way to count down to Christmas than ticking off these festive things to do in the city. From merry markets to cracking events, here are the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit in Belfast.
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Sip on Mulled Wine at Belfast Christmas Market
Belfast Christmas Market is the hub of all things festive in the city, and it won’t feel like Christmas until you’ve sipped on a warming cup of mulled wine while wandering around the grounds of City Hall. Take in the twinkling lights and giant Christmas tree, and browse the stalls packed with handmade crafts, hot food and sweet treats from around the world.
Enjoy Christmas Attractions & Entertainment
Experience magical entertainment, street animation and something new around every corner. Have a go on the giant Snow Slide at Donegall Place, take in views of Belfast on the Observation Wheel in Cathedral Gardens and enjoy children’s carousel rides in Castle Place.
Visit Santa with the Kids
Simply watching the joy on your little one’s face as they queue up to meet the mysterious man in red, sit on his knee and tell him what they would like for Christmas is enough to make you burst with festive cheer, so make sure it’s on your Christmas to-do list! He’ll be visiting lots of venues across the city, including CastleCourt, Victoria Square, Belfast Christmas Market and more.
Go to the Pantomime
Pantomime’s are the ultimate feel-good family day out and a Christmas tradition not to miss. Belfast has loads of shows on offer this year, including Jack and the Beanstalk at the Grand Opera House and Beauty and the Beast in the Waterfront Hall. Book your tickets for a fun, family-friendly show and let the panto antics begin!
Indulge in a Festive Afternoon Tea
Relax by a roaring fire and tuck into a tiered serving of sandwiches, scones and pastries infused with beautiful, festive flavours. Many of the city’s hotels and selected restaurants offer a Christmas-themed take on their afternoon tea menu for the festive period, with a glass of bubbly or mulled wine there to make it even more merry and bright.
Watch your Favourite Festive Films on the Big Screen
Christmas films have that warm and fuzzy feel good factor, so go along to a festive flick on the big screen. Whether it's a screening of the Muppets Christmas Carol at Queen’s Film Theatre, Home Alone at Odyssey Cinemas or Miracle on 34th Street at Movie House Cinemas, there are lots of festive movie events across the city.
Go Ice Skating
Put on your winter woollies and take to the ice! Ice-skating is a great way to get into a wintry, festive mood and spend time with family, friends or your other half whilst doing a fun, seasonal activity. SSE Arena is opening up its ice rink, the playing ground for the Stena Line Belfast Giants, on selected dates throughout December for public skating.
Stay the Night
Turn your shopping spree into a weekend city break! There are loads of fantastic deals on hotels in the city this Christmas time, many of which include free meals, drinks and even shopping vouchers. Or, if you’re going on a night out in the city, plan an overnight stay so you don’t need to worry about a late night journey home.
Stock up on Tasty Christmas Treats
Christmas is a time for family, friends and great food. Luxurious chocolates, mulled wine, cheese boards and delicious chutneys are just some of the things you might stock up on this Christmas, and you have an array of tasty delicacies at your fingertips in Belfast city centre. Sawers, Co Couture and St George's Market are all the perfect places to pick up some Christmas treats or foodie stocking fillers.
Enjoy Late Night Shopping
There’s something about late night shopping that make it feel more like Christmas. Have a wander around city centre shops and enjoy Christmas music blasting from the sound systems and an added buzz in the air. If you’re looking for special gifts, check out our Christmas gift ideas for presents for him, her, kids, teens and couples. Shops are open until 9pm on weekdays from 29 November and to 10pm from 10 December.
Plan a Festive Night Out in Belfast
It’s party season! And what better way to toast to a merry Christmas than with a drink in one of Belfast’s many pubs? Delve into the city’s legendary night life with cocktails in heated rooftop bars, or pints in a traditional pub. You’ll find live music in most bars in the Cathedral Quarter and city centre. Book a Christmas party night in top venues or check out events like gigs, concerts, ice hockey games and even a circus.
Go to a Christmas Craft Fair
Going to Christmas crafts fairs and markets is a great way to feel festive. You can shop for loved ones among from stalls packed with crafty gifts or find festive handmade food to add to our Christmas day spread, often with the soundtrack of Christmas music or live bands in the background. Don’t miss the Christmas Twilight Market at St George’s Market, and of course the Belfast Christmas Market at Belfast City Hall.