Belfast Telegraph

10 things happening this week in Northern Ireland - from gin festival to Easter egg hunts

Here's our pick of 10 exciting things taking place across Northern Ireland this week (April 15-21).

1. Hillsborough Castle Easter Family Activities

  • Hillsborough, April 18–28

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A transformed Hillsborough Castle and Gardens will open its doors daily to visitors for the first time this Easter, with a host of exciting events and activities for all the family. ‘Be Our Guest’ offers families a chance to explore over 100 acres of majestic gardens. In a series of theatrical encounters meet fascinating characters from the Castle’s past including America's founding father Benjamin Franklin, and the third Marquess of Downshire who will entertain the audience with folk tales in the enchanting Glen.

2. Easter Surf Camp

  • Portrush, April 15–25

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Alive Surf School is the perfect place to take your kids this Easter with plenty of action and fun suitable for kids aged 5-16. As well as learning how to surf, the kids will learn about water safety and see a real improvement in their surfing. Everything is included from wetsuits to surf boards and even hot chocolate afterwards. Kids can come for individual days or more commonly for all four days. Parents are more than welcome to join in and go surfing each day with their kids.

3. Easter Exhibition by Adrian Margey

  • Ballymena, April 20–23

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Artist Adrian Margey will hold a major exhibition and sale of his work at Galgorm Resort and Spa this Easter. Adrian has been hailed as one of the ‘rising stars’ of a new generation of Ulster artists. His latest work has been largely inspired by the Causeway Coast and the Glens of Antrim. The exhibition will also showcase dramatic Belfast cityscapes, portrayals of Donegal and the Mournes, and representations of traditional Irish musicians and dancers.

4. Easter Street Theatre at the Causeway Coast

  • Ballymoney, April 20–22

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Visitors to the Causeway Coast can enjoy a weekend of free street theatre in the various town centres. Kids can watch exciting circus shows which incorporate a mix of slapstick comedy and circus skills including fire juggling, giant unicycles, stilt walking and fire breathing.

5. Easter Extravaganza - The Ark Open Farm

  • Newtownards, April 19-23

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There will be lots of cute and cuddly chicks, bunnies, and little lambs to bottle feed. With pony rides, quad barrel rides and tractor carriage rides there is something for all the family. Come join the Easter bunny trail and search for Easter eggs. Collect as many eggs as you can to win a prize.

6. Stones In His Pockets

  • Belfast, April 15–20

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A small village in rural Ireland is turned upside down when a major Hollywood film studio descends to make a historical blockbuster on location. A pair of extras, Charlie and Jake, watch with amazement, envy and delight as cultures clash. Two actors play a vast array of eccentric and lovable characters in this universally loved, thought-provoking and witty comedy which has won numerous awards.

7. Easter Egg Hunt

  • Magherafelt, April 20 – 23

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The Jungle’s Easter egg hunt experience is approximately 60 minutes in duration and entails a lengthy walk through the width and breadth of The Jungle’s enchanting forest. You’re sure to work up an appetite but fear not for there are a variety of hot food, savoury snacks and naughty nibbles, in addition to both hot and cold drinks, sure to leave you refreshed and refuelled, ready for your next adventure challenge!

8. The Three Billy Goats Gruff

  • Armagh, April 20–23

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Join the living history team at the Navan Centre's live action interpretation of the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff – the perfect Easter experience for all the family. Children can enjoy the Easter school holidays at the Easter craft club at the Palace Stables with traditional Easter crafts, egg decorating, arts and crafts, and games and of course the ever popular Easter egg hunt.

9. Easter Eggstravaganza

  • Portaferry, April 21-23

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Put your detective skill to the test by joining in on the Great Exploris Aquarium Easter egg hunt. You can pick up your activity sheet at the reception and begin your journey in the Viking room. Continue to hop around the aquarium searching for eggs and surprises along the way. Cracking good fun for all the family.

10. The NI Gin Festival

  • Belfast, April 20

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The NI Gin Festival returns this Easter to the Doyen! Enjoy a selection of over 50 gins from all over the world, all served up to perfection by gin experts and brand ambassadors. Learn all about the perfect garnishes and little touches to enhance the flavour profiles of your chosen gins. Meet the experts and creators as they share stories of the creation and inspiration behind their gins, plus great live music from local talent throughout the event

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