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10 things to do this week in Northern Ireland - from Derek Ryan to Belfast Gin School

Belfast Gin School

Here's our pick of the most exciting things taking place this week across Northern Ireland (February 3-9).

1. Under the Hawthorn Tree

  • Belfast, January 30 – February 9


The acclaimed production Under the Hawthorn Tree is returning to Belfast in a presentation by the award-winning children's theatre company, Cahoots NI and the MAC. Based on the internationally acclaimed book by award-winning author Marita Conlon-McKenna, Under the Hawthorn Tree follows the journey of three brave siblings as they fight for survival during the Potato Famine in Ireland, 1845.

2. Kirkistown Point to Point

  • Newtownards, February 8

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Kirkistown Point to Point

Kirkistown Point to Point

Kirkistown Point to Point

Point-to-point is the perfect day out for all the family where you can witness the future stars of the racing industry make their introduction into competitive racing. Unlike most racecourses, spectators can stand beside one of the fences and feel the power of the horses as they jump a fence in full flight. The track is also the perfect location for a picnic from the boot of your car where you can enjoy the action with your friends and family.

3. No Other Word for it

  • Londonderry, January 26 – February 9

An immersive installation combining music, sculpture, light, text and video mapping by Ailis Ni Riain. Ailis is an Irish contemporary classical composer and published writer for stage who aims to produce work that challenges, provokes and engages. A regular collaborator with artists in other art-forms, her artistic interests are diverse and combined with an unwavering desire to push and develop her artistic practice through each new project or commission.

4. Belfast Gin School

  • Belfast, January 25 – March 28

Through experiential learning, with master distiller, Ian, you will have the opportunity to see gin being distilled, learn about flavour combinations and make your own. Each participant will receive a goodie bag containing their own miniature bottle of gin to serve with their tonic of choice at home. A great afternoon with gin and cupcakes, what’s not to love?

5. Winter Bird Watching

  • Coleraine, February 9


It's the start of a new year so why not get out and enjoy a wildlife watching boat trip with Causeway Lass. Enjoy a river trip experience on board Causeway Lass whilst exploring the Bann estuary. Witness wildlife and scenery during this two hour trip with their eagle eyed guide.

6. Paranormal Investigation

  • Belfast, January 18 – March 31


On this four hour investigation you will be taken to the most active areas in the Gaol and will be given the chance to use equipment as used by experts while conducting your very own ghost hunt. The areas you will visit will include the reception, the condemned man’s cell, execution chamber, the tunnel and the flogging room.

7. St Columb’s School of Music's official opening

  • Londonderry, February 8


The Priests, Irish tenor and folk singer George Hutton, local concert pianist Ruth McGinley and jazz aficionados Scott Flanigan and Cathal Roche will be among the glittering line-up of performers at the official launch of St Columb’s School of Music which will be compered by RTE television and radio personality, Bryan Dobson.

8. Cakebread and Wine Dinner

  • Belfast, February 4

Berts Jazz Bar invites you to their unique Cakebread Wine Dinner. On the island for the first time, the team from the Cakebread Vineyard in California will be hosting a delightful evening, serving up a sumptuous five course dinner along with wine pairings hosted by Bruce Cakebread.

9. Derek Ryan

  • Belfast, February 8

Derek Ryan

Irish country sensation Derek Ryan’s road to stardom is set to continue with his biggest concert tour yet. Derek and his fantastic band are back on the road to perform many of Derek’s classic hits from Hold On To Your Hat, Down On Your Uppers and God’s Plan.

10. Seven Ages of Sam: An Evening of Celebration of the Life and Work of Sam McCready

  • Belfast, February 10

Sam McCready

Sam was a titan of Ulster Theatre. His profound impact on the theatre world here is vast and far reaching and his commitment to a creative life in all its aspects is inspiring and unique.

Belfast Telegraph