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What's going on in our area in the run up to Christmas??

At this time of year in Antrim town usually the big attraction is the Enchanted Garden, but there are lots of other things going on in the area that don’t get the publicity that they maybe should and a chance for you to support local in your Christmas shopping. Here are a few things going on that you may not know about, and some links to other events in the area.

Enchanted Garden

Antrim Castle Gardens come to life with a magical Christmas experience for all the family.

The Antrim Castle Gardens will be lit up with 1000’s of lights through the trees in the run up to Christmas to create the annual enchanted winter garden. Take a wander through the gardens and meet the street theatre where characters will be spreading some festive excitement as well as getting up to mischief!

Visit the fairground and try out the different rides, and if you are brave enough take a go on the ‘Big Wheel’.

Have a winter-land wooded walk along the riverside where you will get to meet fairies and pixies, drop in to see Santa Claus and get a present and take your own photos.

There will also be plenty of food options available, so finish your evening with a snack and a drop of mulled wine.

The enchanted garden runs from November 26th to December 20th and tickets can be booked through this link:

Christmas lights switch on.

The Antrim switch on will be on Thursday 24th November in Market Square from 6pm to 7:30pm, there will also be an Artisan Market from 5pm to 8pm in the square.

The Crumlin lights switch on will also be on Thursday 24th November at the Crumlin Leisure Centre from 6pm to 7:30pm.

The Randalstown switch on will be on Friday 25th November in the John Street, car park from 6pm to 7:30pm, there will also be an Artisan Market from 5pm to 8pm that Wholesome-NI will be attending.

For other events happening in the borough check the link:

Artisan Markets.

As usual the last Saturday of the month market will be on at the Junction retail park.

Saturday 26th November from 11am to 4pm.

The Junction Christmas Market will be over the weekend starting Friday 9th December from 4pm to 9pm.

Saturday 10th December from 11am to 5pm Wholesome-NI will be attending

Sunday 11th December from 1pm to 5pm

Castle Mall Markets.

I also believe there will be markets running in the Castle Mall every Friday starting on the 25th November from 11am to 4pm right up to Christmas. There will also be a market in the mall on Thursday 24th November 4pm to 9pm to coincide with the Christmas Lights switch on in Market Square.

The Old Court House Theatre Antrim.

There are a few shows coming up in December to get everyone in the festive mood.

CHRISTMAS CROONERS “Baby it’s cold outside” Thursday 15th December 7:30pm

A romantic Christmas special.

Now in its twelfth record breaking year, Christmas Crooners is jam packed with festive favourites including the Christmas hits of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Ol’ Blue Eyes himself- Frank Sinatra.

The Polar Express – Saturday 17th December 11am

On Christmas Eve, a young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express, while learning about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

The Belfast Ma Sortin’ Christmas – Wednesday 21st & Thursday 22nd at 7:30pm

Back again this Christmas in the latest instalment of her comedy show. Sitting in her living room, having a wee feg and Bailey's, Sadie Devine, everyone's favourite Ma, tries to sort Christmas for the whole family. Watch as she makes the best Christmas for her long-suffering neighbour Patricia, Big fat Maureen, her sister Theresa, husband John and of course her favourite nephew Stevie.

Tickets can be booked through the following link and there are also plenty of other shows coming up in the new year.

Just a wee reminder, if possible, call in with local traders and independent businesses in Antrim, Randalstown and Crumlin when attending any of these events and do a bit of Christmas shopping, even nip in for a coffee, bit of lunch or a quiet drink. There is something for everyone in these towns, ranging from independent Bars and Restaurants, butchers, coffee shops, cafes, green grocers, hardware, florists, independent clothes shops, the list goes on, try and support local this Christmas, I know the traders are very grateful for the support of the local community.

Also, don't forget about the great walking trails and play parks in the area, in Antrim, the Mill Race Trail, Rea's Wood, and the Lough, in Randalstown visit the Randalstown Forest or Cranfield, and in Crumlin there's the Crumlin Glen.

Have a great local Christmas, until next time.....

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