AS the goblins and ghouls come out to play this Halloween, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board has compiled a list of spooktacular events taking place across the region to make sure everyone has a Halloween extravaganza to remember.
“This year’s celebrations promise to be bigger and better than ever with a whole host of free events and family activities for everyone to enjoy,” said Ruth Burns, destination marketing manager from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
“As usual, the Walled City of Derry will be hosting its annual Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival which is a highlight in Northern Ireland’s events calendar and promises to be a jam-packed programme of family fun which will run over four days,” she added.
Head to the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival, the city of Derry’s biggest yearly festival, running from October 28 – 31. Explore haunted houses, cruise with pirates, listen to chilling ghost stories and enjoy a whole range of family activities from face painting and fancy dress to pumpkin carving and ghostly walking tours. The festival finale will take place on October 31 with the world famous carnival parade followed by a spectacular fireworks display over the River Foyle. Celebrations will continue into the night across the city with balls, discos and banquets.
The cosy cottage of Hezlett House in Castlerock will be transformed into a fangtastic delight on October 28 – 29 with crafts, ghostly games, ghost tours and a gruesome graveyard where only the brave hearted will make it to the end.
If you’ve ever been interested in the history of Springhill House then join its guides to uncover the truth of the strange happenings and events at the property over the past 300 years on October 30.
W5 will be a scene of ghoulishly good fun this Halloween with a range of events running from October 23 – 31 including Halloween Snappers, Monster Dip and the last opportunity to see the amazing Star Wars cloned props and replica exhibition and costumed characters.
Everyone can enjoy fangtastic fun at Streamvale Open Farm from October 27 – 3- where you can search for runaway scarecrows, have a peak in the ghostly manor and take a tractor ride.
Belfast Zoo is the place to be on October 30 with Boo at the Zoo which promises to be a day of eerie activities, creepy crafts, reptile displays, bat talks, spooky trails, fancy dress and a best carved pumpkin competition.
The Metro Monster Mash on October 31 in Belfast city centre will wow visitors with live music, street entertainers and drummers. All sorts of surprises will keep revellers on their toes and looking over their shoulders throughout the afternoon and there will be a fantastic prize for the creepiest costume. The celebrations will end with the biggest fireworks display in Northern Ireland taking place at 6pm.
The Halloween Carnival at the Ecos Centre in Ballymena on October 29 has stilt walking, fire jugglers, a fun fair, Halloween storytelling, a spooky wildlife walk and a spectacular fireworks display for the whole family to enjoy.
While at Carnfunnock Country Park in Larne visitors can enjoy some Halloween Medieval Magic on October 30 with a full medieval village including leather workers, chain mail makers, weaving and a medieval cook site. There will also be storytellers in the maze, magicians, dancing dragons, live music and the world-famous Knights of Damned performing a fantastic display of skilful foot fights with swords and flaming fireballs.
The Navan Centre & Fort is providing visitors with the chance to journey through the Tunnel of Death, enjoy ghostly stories and a spooky exhibition from October 25 – 31 with all visitors who arrive in fancy dress receiving a free gift.
The Armagh Ghost and Gore Walking tours on October 27 and 28 will take visitors on a haunting walk around the historic city of Armagh where they will uncover all the chilling and spooky tales of the people who once roamed the streets and the history of the buildings along the way.
The Saint Patrick’s Trian Visitor Complex has a host of activities taking place including the Monster Masterpieces Halloween Art Exhibition and Competition from October 29 – November 1, giving children the chance to get creative and design their very own spooky Halloween picture. There will also be screenings of Roald Dahl’s classic The Witches.
The Ark Open Farm is hosting a Halloween Spooky Special from October 25 – 30 with a special guest, Lena the Witch, who will tell spooky stories in her secret den and will hand out party food and treats. Visitors can also enjoy a pumpkin hunt, a fancy dress competition and a ride on the ghost train.
Castle Espie Wetland Centre in Comber will be all spooked up for Halloween on October 27 – 30 with the Witch’s Broom Cupboard and Pumpkin Trail event.
Mount Stewart will be transformed into an Enchanted Garden for a truly magical night with storytellers, twilight tours of the mansion and spooky surprises on October 30.
Experience the ancient festival of Halloween at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum on October 31. Visitors can listen to tales of things that go bump in the night, carve a turnip lantern to ward off evil spirits, taste traditional food and be transported by mystery and magic in the Rail Gallery.
At Cockle Row Cottages in Groomsport Harbour visitors can enjoy lots of Halloween fun with all sorts of creepy creatures, pony & trap rides and trick-o-treat lucky dips on October 31.
October 30 offers a fantastic choice of events to choose from in Fermanagh including the Halloween Extravaganza at Enniskillen Castle which promises to be a fun day for all the family with storytelling, workshops and children’s entertainment.
Over at the Ulster Farmers Mart, the Fermanagh Country Fair offers fine local food, craft and collectables, a scarecrow competition, pumpkin carving and face painting.
The 10th annual Fermanagh Fireworks Festival takes place at 8pm and visitors can enjoy a riot of colour to celebrate Halloween. The designated viewing area for the fireworks display is in the grounds of the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum.
The Share Centre in Lisnaskea is hosting a Halloween Howler with a ghost ship fireworks cruise, night paddles, pumpkin carving, storytelling, face painting and ghoulish games. There will be a prize for the best fancy dress and other spot prizes on the night.
On October 31, don’t miss the Halloween Fest & Craft Fair at Florence Court for an afternoon of pumpkin carving, magic, face painting, live music and spooky house tours and the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum’s Halloween Circus School with juggling, acrobatics, stilt walking and much more.
The Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh is holding a Halloween Festival from October 28 – 30 and will give visitors the chance to take a tour of the outdoor museum as darkness falls. Ghost stories, ghouls and witches will bring the museum to life as visitors are guided around the houses learning about Halloween past. There will also be the opportunity to sample traditional Ulster and American fayre including barnbrack, pumpkin and shoofly pie.
There will be a Halloween fireworks display at Omagh Leisure Centre on Saturday October 30 with entertainment running from 6pm including spooky stories, fancy dress and face painting.
Dungannon town centre will be getting in the spirit of Halloween with a feast of street entertainment, fireworks and celebrations for the whole family on October 29. From October 25 – 28 there will also be haunted tours of Dungannon’s most eerie establishments which date back many centuries ago.
Autumn breaks in Northern Ireland start at just £99 per person sharing for a two night weekend break. For more information on Halloween events, accommodation and tourist attractions click on HYPERLINK “http://www.discovernorthernireland.com” www.discovernorthernireland.com, or visit your local tourist information centre.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: For further information, please contact Alana Taylor of Duffy Rafferty Communications on 028 9073 0880.
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