What's On: Santa arrives on his sleigh for a day of festive fun in Holywood

Jacqueline McGonigle of shares her pick of family events across the north this week

Christmas lights switch on in Holywood this Saturday November 24


Join in the festive fun and entertainment at the spectacular Christmas lights switch on in Holywood this Saturday. Holywood Chamber of Commerce have organised a Christmas market along Hibernia Street from 12-6pm, the perfect way to soak up the seasonal atmosphere and even purchase some gifts. A real highlight for children will be a giant inflatable snowman that they can climb inside. Holywood District Community Council will be providing free family activities throughout the afternoon at Holywood Library. They have an exciting children's fancy dress competition planned that will see the winner join Santa on his sleigh as he makes his way through the town centre and then the lucky child will join Santa and the Mayor of Ards and North Down on stage to switch on the Christmas lights at 4.30pm.


Join Armagh Planetarium this Christmas as they journey back more than 2,000 years to Bethlehem, and seek to discover an explanation for the star the Wise Men followed to find the baby Jesus in Mystery of the Christmas Star. The show opens on Saturday November 24 and runs until Saturday January 5. Show Times: Tuesday-Friday at 2pm, Saturday/School Holidays at 2pm and 4pm. Evening shows on Tuesdays December 4, 11 and 18 at 7:30pm. For more information on show times and to book online visit


Craigville Garden Centre Christmas Craft and Food Fair Enniskillen takes place from November 22-25. The Christmas market will be packed full of gorgeous gifts, freshly baked treats, multicultural cuisine and warm drinks, from Craigville's very own Log Cabin Coffee Shop. The fair also has great potential for some Christmas shopping as Crafters will be offering a range of unique handmade gifts. You are sure to find something special for your nearest and dearest. Entry to the fair is free and kids will have the opportunity to take a selfie with Elfie.


Make your way to Dungannon's Magical Christmas Kingdom at the Hill of the O'Neill and Ranfurly House, Saturday November 24 and 25 for lots of festive fun and entertainment for all the family to enjoy. In Ranfurly House you will find; face painting, arts and crafts, the Elf n Safety team, Jump Jiggle and Jive (Saturday only) and the Fizz Wizz Pop magic show (Sunday only). At the Hill of the O'Neill journey through the Nutcracker realms as you make your way to Santa's Grotto. Then visit Santa's stables to meet his real reindeer, make your own reindeer food, meet the LED spinning elves, enjoy a funfair ride, face painting and much more.


Visit the Magherafelt Christmas market from 11am on Saturday 24 and 1.30pm on Sunday Novembe 25 and enjoy the vast array of food, craft and entertainment on offer over the festive weekend. On Saturday evening from 6pm-8.30pm, Santa will arrive for a street party on Broad Street with a Samba band, fire performers and entertainment before counting down to the magical Christmas lights switch on and fireworks display. Over the festive weekend the Bridewell, Magherafelt will also be home to Santa's Grotto, Mrs Claus Storytelling and craft activities for children to enjoy. Opening times are: Saturday: 11am-5pm; Sunday: 1.30pm-5pm.


Stuart Robinson kicks off Christmas in Antrim this Friday evening. Santa and his friends will arrive at 7.20pm to officially light up the town but be sure to book the kids into the fun and furry teddy bear workshops beforehand. Taking place in Castle Mall at 4pm, 5pm or 6pm, tickets for the workshop are priced at £5 per child and £2.50 per adult. Tickets must be bought in advance from Adding to the festive spirit will be a Twilight Market which will line the Square offering everything from Christmas gifts, food and treats from local traders as well as Bonkers Betty's Bizarre Bazaar's festive craft market. A spectacular fireworks display will round off a great festive evening.


Winter Wonderland is coming to Belfast City Centre this Christmas. This Christmas spectacular will help you get into the festive mood from November 23, running daily apart from Christmas Day until Sunday January 6. Get your skates on for the covered open air ice rink. Other activities to enjoy include Gandeys Greatest Snowman Circus, Christmas Attractions, Big Wheel, Festive Games, Festive Food, Festive Bars and much more. Plus Santa's reindeer will be coming to visit on December15 and 22 . Opening times : 10am-10pm daily. New Year's Day 12noon-10pm.

For more details on these events and to add your events free go to Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what's on near you.

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