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On the grapevine - November 17


Magic christmas at the zoo

The weekends of December 4 and 5, 11 and 12 and 18 and 19 are your chance to enjoy some festive activities with a difference at Belfast Zoo.

Santa and his elves will drop in from the North Pole to deliver Christmas presents in their magical grotto and there will be a range of festive treats for all the family, including Christmas crafts, animal feeding times and a winter warmer quiz. Children can also wrap presents for the chimpanzees and gorillas before watching them tear into their Christmas treats!

If you want to visit Santa in his grotto, pre-booking is essential as there are limited places available.

Tickets to meet Santa cost £6.50 per child and he will be available on the 4, 5, 11,12 and 18 and 19 December.

To book tickets call 028 9077 6277 ext 207 or visit www.belfastzoo.co.uk/events for more information. Activities start from 10.30am and last admission to the zoo is at 2.30pm. Normal zoo admission rates apply.

You can also start your Christmas shopping by visiting the ‘Zoovenir’ shop for some unique animal gifts. Or why not treat that special someone to a ‘purrrrfect’ gift — you can adopt any animal in the zoo. For more information visit www.belfastzoo.co.uk/adoption.

Cinderella panto

Shankill Players present Cinderella at St Matthew’s Parochial Hall (beside Shankill Graveyard), from Tuesday, December 7, until Friday, December 10, show starting at 7.30pm.

Shankill Players reach a landmark this year when they present the fifth annual pantomime, the much-loved Cinderella. This new version of the show, presented in the way only Shankill Players can, promises to be full of fun, laughter, song and dance.

Shankill Players have continued to grow over the years and are proud to announce that they “are putting their all into making this the best pantomime they have ever produced”.

Tickets are priced at £5 adult, £3 concession, £12 family ticket (four people). Special rates are available on request for groups of 10 or more. With pre-bookings already made, this promises to be Shankill Players most popular pantomime ever. Why go to a city centre venue and pay upwards of £70 for a family of four when you can see a local show by local people?

The players usually do a charity collection at the end of the show. This year, 20% of ticket money will be donated to FASA for suicide awareness.

You can book your tickets using the contact us link at the website www.shankillplayers.com, by joining their Facebook page and leaving a message, or by phone on 90581829 (leave a message and someone will get back to you).

Come and play sessions

Do your children like to play and make new friends?

Then bring them along to Come and Play, for special play sessions taking place in Castleton Playground, North Queen Street until December.

The sessions are suitable for youngsters aged five to 11 and will give them the chance to play outside and meet other children, under the supervision of professional play staff.

Activities will include games, arts and crafts, dressing up and ‘messy play’.

The sessions will take place from 3pm to 4.30pm on Wednesdays, and will be running until December 15.

For more information about our play sessions, email play@belfastcity.gov.uk or call Jenny on 028 9075 3897 or 07920 817120.|


Global entrepreneurship

Newtownabbey Borough Council kick starts Global Entrepreneurship Week by encouraging local schools to take part in its Big Idea! workshops.

The Economic Development Section of the council, in partnership with Advantage NI will deliver nine separate workshops during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Gerry Ford, director from Advantage NI said: “Our Big Idea workshops allow us a great opportunity to harness the creative and innovative thinking of our young people and involve them as active residents of the borough.

“We really value the input of the borough’s young people, we’re challenging them to tell us how to make Newtownabbey a better place to live and the ideas generated at the workshops will be presented to council for consideration.”

Newtownabbey Borough Council’s economic development officer, Nadean Lowe, said: “Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship week enables the council to provide a programme of workshops and support for young people and local business owners, championing enterprise throughout the borough.”

If you would like any further information about Global Entrepreneurship Week please contact the Economic Development Section of Newtownabbey Borough Council Tel: 90340073. If you’re aged 16-24 and want to find out more about starting your own business contact Advantage NI at www.advantage-ni.com.

Big switch on in glengormley

Glengormley Christmas Lights switch on will take place on Saturday, November 20.

The free live entertainment begins at 2pm, courtesy of Citybeat 96.7/102.5 FM At 3.30pm The Big Kahuna band will be performing Christmas classics.

At 5pm, there will Christmas readings, carols and music leading up to the arrival of Santa at 5.30pm. He will be joined by Ben 10, Dora the Explorer and the Mayor.

Meanwhile, at Farrier Court from 2pm to 5pm, there’s Santa's Christmas Wonderland and community snowball competition.

Children’s reading group

Eight to 11-year-olds are encouraged to come along to Glengormley Library’s Reading Group on the last Monday of every month at 4pm.

The group is free to join, lasts for an hour and provides an opportunity for young people to meet new friends and read and chat about books.

Branch manager Rosemary Hope said: “ The aim of the children’s reading group is to develop and encourage an interest in reading and to boost confidence so that children can talk about the books they enjoy and even the ones they don’t.”

For more details about the reading group telephone 028 9083 3797 or email glengormley.library@librariesni.org.uk.

Belfast Telegraph