Christmas markets and fairs in Northern Ireland: Guide to 2015 festivities
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend a fun day out with friends and family exploring one of Northern Ireland's Christmas markets or fairs.
Families can sample mulled wine and festive treats and buy gifts, while kids meet the man himself, Santa Clause.
Ruth Burns, destination marketing & PR manager at Tourism Northern Ireland said: “Christmas markets are an excellent way for the whole family to get into the festive spirit - the smells alone of cinnamon and roasted chestnuts, are enough of a draw for most of us."
She added: "Christmas really is a magical time in Northern Ireland."
Tourism NI has listed some markets that are available to visit all over Northern Ireland:
Lidl's Christmas Village at Buoy Park
Running for four days from Thursday, December 10 to Sunday, December 13, the market offers plenty of fun for the family and plenty of tasty treats at Buoy Park, just opposite the Belfast Telegraph in front of the university.
Thursday and Friday, December 10 and 11: 3pm to 8pm.
saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13: 12pm to 8pm.
City Hall market
Belfast Christmas Market is back at City Hall offering continental food, clothing, arts crafts and decorations from across Europe and beyond.
Monday - Wednesday: 10am - 8pm
Thursday - Saturday: 10am - 10pm
Sunday: 1pm - 6pm
St Georges Market
St George’s Market will be extending its opening hours again this Christmas. See Belfast City Council website for times.
The Fine and Dandy Christmas Market, University Rd, Belfast, December 6 and 20, 11.30am - 3.30pm
This monthly market showcases the work of independent artists, designers and crafters, as well as a wide collection of records, books, vintage wares, quality local food and drink and produce.
Frock Around the Clock, Belfast Castle, December 13, 12pm – 5pm
This magical Christmas Vintage and Handmade Fair will feature 45 select stalls of handcrafted and upcycled fashion, home wares and collectibles, textiles, décor, jewellery, sweet treats, toys, art, photography and much more.
Victorian Christmas Market at Ballance House, Glenavy, December 5
Take a step back in time at the Victorian Christmas Market at Ballance House and enjoy a glass of delicious mulled wine whilst browsing the craft stalls for gifts. Kids can visit Santa in The Parlour before treating themselves to a delicious mince pie in the Tea Barn.
Corrymeela Christmas Open Day Market, Ballycastle, December 12, 2pm - 6pm
This Christmas themed market will host a range of local produce and handcrafted goods. There will be activities for children, including games and face painting and even Santa will be making an appearance.
Christmas Fair, The Argory, December 5 & 6, 11.30am - 5.30pm
The Argory will host a range of crafts and food stalls as well as festive entertainment, afternoon tea and guests of honour - Santa and Mrs Claus.
Shambles Variety Market, The Shambles Yard, Armagh, December 22
Immerse yourself in all the wonderful sights and sounds of the holiday including songs, treats and mulled punch.
North Down Festive Market, Bangor, now until December 5
North Down is hosting a range of festive activities in the run up to Christmas.
A Christmas Market will be hosted in North Down Museum and local artists and crafters will provide a range of goods, while little ones get the the chance to make something special at the ‘craft to go’ stalls.
Combers weekly farmer market Christmas special December 3 at St Mary’s Parish Church
Visitors should pop in to ensure they are well stocked up for the Christmas holiday.
Christmas in Donaghadee, December 4-6
Donaghadee will have their Christmas lights switch on and celebrate the arrival of Santa, as well as the VIP arrival, there will be festive stalls and lots of entertainment followed by a parade.
Families can also expect to have fun time at the outdoor synthetic ice rink on Shore Street in Donaghadee before enjoying songs by the Community Carol Service and watching the Deputy Mayor of Ards and North Down switch the Christmas lights on.
Christmas Wonderland, Dromore, December 4-12
Families will get the chance to visit Santa and his elves as they prepare for their busiest time of year in their country cottage. Follow the special reindeer trail for lots of fun surprises and enjoy some festive nibbles and entertainment. Time slots are issued on booking.
Enniskillen Christmas Craft & Food Fair, Townhall & the Diamond, Enniskillen, December 5, 10am - 5pm
Shoppers can enjoy browsing a wide range of high quality food and craft produce. There will be fun for all the family with face painting, street performers and Christmas characters to entertain the kids.
Limavady Christmas Artisan Market, Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre, December 5, 11am - 4pm
This market creates a rare and wonderful chance to try the many food and craft producers and suppliers from around the North Coast and Glens area. Visitors can discover new flavours and crafts whilst savouring the unique buzzing atmosphere.
Christmas Craft Market at Flowerfield, Portstewart, November 14 - December 19, 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday, 10am - 2pm on Saturday
This award winning arts centre welcomes another fun Christmas Craft Market and exhibition. Get into the Christmas spirit by taking in the unique handmade crafts for sale at very reasonable prices.
Days of Christmas Past, 11am - 4pm, Saturday 5 December 2015 - Sunday 20 December 2015 at the Ulster American Folk Park
Step back in time to a traditional Christmas in Omagh with this magical family Christmas experience, where the kids meet Santa, Mrs Claus and all of their festive friends.
Santas Grotto, 10 December - 20 December at the Burnavon Arts & Cultural Centre
Enjoy a special visit to Santa's Magical Workshop where there will be an opportunity to write and post a letter to Santa, meet Santa and receive a special gift and photo of your visit.
For more information visit Discover Northern Ireland.
Belfast Telegraph Digital