Minnowburn Park belfastTHE Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (December 2 – 8).

Mystery of the Christmas Star, Armagh Planetarium, Co. Armagh, December 2. Journey back more than 2,000 years to Bethlehem and seek to discover a scientific explanation for the star the Wise Men followed to find the baby Jesus. This modern retelling of the Christmas story will charm and captivate audiences of all ages.

Retro Tea Dance, Ulster Hall, Belfast, December 3. Come along to the Ulster Hall for this latest night of old time dancing, music and fashion and get into the festive spirit by jiving, swinging and jitterbugging the night away. There will also be a mini retro market and a vintage photo booth.

Victorian Christmas Customs, Ranfurly House Arts & Visitor Centre, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, December 5. An opportunity to step into the past and see how the Victorians experienced the season of Christmas.

An Enchanted Winter Garden, Antrim Castle Gardens, Co. Antrim, December 5 – 24. Step inside a magical, twinkling wonderland of light as Castle Gardens is transformed into an enchanted garden. Follow the captivating reindeer trail for your chance to win a prize, indulge in some Christmas shopping and warm your hands in the coffee shop.

Santa’s Grotto and Sleigh Rides, Miller’s Hill Equestrian Farm, Markethill, Co. Armagh, December 6. Visit Santa’s grotto, experience the thrill of a ride on Santa’s Sleigh, visit and pet the animals, post your letter to Santa and make some reindeer food to take home with you.

Christmas Lights Switch On, Maguiresbridge, Co. Fermanagh, December 6. Santa and Mrs Claus will be arriving to distribute presents to the kids. There will also be a Christmas market, carol singing with Maguiresbridge Silver Band, mulled wine and mince pies.

Festive Food Fair, Burnavon, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, December 7. This new event gives foodie fanatics the ideal opportunity to get those goodies in for the festive season with a vast range of puddings, cakes, chutneys and preserves and orders on meat, cheeses and gift hampers for Christmas.

Here Comes Santa, Castle Espie, Comber, Co. Down, December 7 – 8. Meet Santa in his magical grotto and receive a gift, enjoy storytelling while roasting marshmallows, have a go at making crafts and check out the Christmas trail.

Yuletide Market, Rowallane Garden, Saintfield, Co. Down, December 7 – 8. Enjoy a fun day out with your family and soak up the Christmas atmosphere with craft and food stalls, Christmas trees, wreaths made by the gardening team and lots of festive fun including face painting and Santa Claus.

The History of Derry in 100 Objects, Tower Museum, Co. Londonderry, until December 31. An exhibition exploring the history of the City of Derry through objects suggested by the public. Many objects will be on display including those that have stood the test of time, those found by chance discovery and objects that will tell the story of the city’s recent past and the people who have shaped it.

For more details on these and other events click on www.discovernorthernireland.com/events, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto http://www.facebook.com/discovernorthernireland

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