Belfast Telegraph

8 things for the whole family to enjoy at the NI Open

The annual NI Open golf tournament kicks off this week in Co Antrim and there's a whole host of family friendly events and activities in and around the event for everyone to enjoy.

From Thursday August 10 to Sunday August 13, professional golfers from across the globe will descend on the Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Ballymena for the highly anticipated European Challenge Tour event.

Around 40,000 spectators are expected to follow the golfing action on the parkland course during the free event – but there's also plenty to keep the kids entertained away from the main action.

1. Free golf lessons and a pitch and putt course

Little Rory McIllroys in the making can benefit from the free lessons and show off their skills on the course, opening the possibility of mum and dad having a sporting star of the future on their hands.

2. Junior NI Open

Boys and girls aged between 6-13 can take part in the Junior NI Open which will run alongside the main competition.

There's a chance to win numerous prizes including new clubs and junior membership at the Ballymena golf club.

3. Celeb spotting

One Direction star Niall Horan will be making an appearance as a representative of tournament sponsor Modest! Golf Management.

The singer will also be on the lookout for young talent during the Junior NI Open.

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Niall Horan will present the prize for the Junior NI Open next weekend.

4. Food festival

The NI Open food festival is one of the main attractions at the event and will showcase top local produce from across Northern Ireland.

A wide range of artisan producers and food traders are bringing their local offerings to Galgorm Castle for guests to enjoy throughout the tournament.

5. Pizza making at Fratelli restaurant

For families working up an appetite during their outdoor adventures, Italian restaurant Fratelli at Galgorm Resort and Spa is welcoming little 'foodies' to don their chef’s hat and cook up a perfect pizza.

6. Creative Gardens at Galgorm Castle

The Creative Gardens at Galgorm Castle are only a short distance from the main event, where adults and families can enjoy a huge range of colourful plants sourced both locally and from across Europe.

Younger visitors are also well catered for with a kids’ fun area on the Castle grounds and the chance to go on a hunt along the magical Castle Fairy Trail.

Galgorm Castle Golf Club - 15th fairway - NI Open.jpeg
Galgorm Castle Golf Club

7. Antrim Castle Gardens

This nearby historical gem hosts 400 gardens and a programme of activities suitable for the whole family, including a summer Minion Madness clay workshop during the week of the tournament. 

8. Raceview Mill

Set across 15 acres in the nearby village of Broughshane, Raceview Mill offers craft shops and cafes as well as an enjoyable walk along the river where families can keep a lookout for the hedgehog habitat.

Entry to the NI Open is free and you can register for free tickets online at U16s do not require an entry ticket.

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