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Trip the light fantastic in Lisburn this summer

Children are invited to capture creative light bulb moments as part of Lisburn's Island Arts Centre Children's Arts Festival 2015 this summer. Jenny Lee finds out more

Ready to join in the fun at the Children's Arts Festival at Lisburn's Island Arts Centre are Daire Kielty with Madison, Ruby and Lily Donnelly

LISBURN'S Island Arts Centre is set to brighten up children's summer breaks with its annual festival for young ones, this year celebrating International Year of Light and becoming a hotspot for immersive arts for anyone aged 18 months to 16 years.

Running from July 20 to August 15, highlights of the Children's Arts Festival include arts activity weeks, family light-bite workshops and a free interactive children's exhibition.

Families are invited to enter a 'neon sensory spectacle' in which young visitors can touch, feel and explore whimsical perspex mobiles, light projections and mirrors. Then they can turn artist in the Diamante Zone, take control of vintage projectors to create refracting art installations, become a TV star or make a shadow puppet show.

There'll also be a glow-tastic ultra violet adventure on offer in the UV Zone, we're assured, and optical fun in the House of Mirrors – where all will not be as it seems.

For creative sparks and working parents, the Let's Shine arts activity weeks may be just the ticket. Running on Monday to Friday from 10 to 4, with optional extended hours, classes are grouped into appropriate age bands. We're told that no two days will be the same, with visual arts, drama, dance and music activities going on.

Light-themed activities include dressing up in glow-in-the-dark costumes and performing in a super-sized light box theatre inspired by artist Jan Pienkowski.

Gigglers and wrigglers aged 18 months to five years and their grown-ups will adore Lullaby Lights which, crafted by specialised early years practitioners, includes music, dancing, props, sensory games, projection screens and lots of bubbles. And on August 1 and 8 there will be Twinkle, Twinkle Tea Lights Pottery Workshops where families can make porcelain tea-light holders.

:: To get your free copy of the Children's Arts Festival 2015 events brochure or to book events visit islandartscentre.com or telephone 028 9250 9509.

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