12 things to do in Northern Ireland

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The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 12 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week.

* Festival of Christmas Trees, Shambles Yard, Co. Armagh, November 20 – December 22. Follow the magical glistening trail to see wooden trees decorated by children from local schools set among an enchanted forest of Christmas trees adorned with white lights.

* Gingerbread Alley, Armagh Shopping Centre, Co. Armagh, November 24 – December 22. See the beautiful creations of Armagh’s local chefs that have produced incredible, edible works of art including churches, castles and even a replica of one of Armagh’s cathedrals.

* RSPB Talk, Cathedral Hall, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, November 27. A talk by Dr James Robinson, Director of RSPB NI, on Rockhopper penguins in the South Pacific. Starts at 8pm.

* Banbridge Christmas Lights Switch-On, Banbridge, Co. Down, November 30. It’s time to deck the halls and dust your jingle bells for a hamper full of festive fun as Father Christmas and a host of other characters entertain the crowds during the annual Christmas lights switch-on.

* Benburb Christmas Extravaganza, Benburb Priory, Co. Tyrone, November 29 – December 2. Follow the magical trail, meet Mrs Claus, post your letters to Santa and make your own Christmas decorations during this magical Christmas extravaganza.

Christmas Fair in the Square, Comber, Co. Down, November 29. A Christmas fair boasting the best in local food, arts and crafts with fun for all the family.

* The Magic Flute Unwrapped, Grand Opera House, Belfast, November 30. A free hour-long taster session that introduces the music, characters, plot and back stage secrets from director Sir Thomas Allen’s take on Mozart’s most inventive opera. A unique opportunity to meet the creative team responsible for Scottish Opera’s latest production.

* Christmas Exhibition, The Saint Patrick Centre, Downpatrick, Co. Down, November 30 – December 24. Children can visit Santa in his magical grotto and also post a letter to the North Pole in the Christmas post box to make sure all their wishes come true.

* Victorian Christmas Market, Ballance House, Glenavy, Co. Antrim, December 1. Visit Santa in the parlour, eat mince pies, drink mulled wine and visit the craft stalls to browse for presents for your loved ones.

* Northern Ireland Photographic Association Annual Print Exhibition, Ballymoney Town Hall, Co. Antrim, December 1 – 29. An exhibition showcasing the best work submitted by club photographers throughout Northern Ireland including portraits, natural history, landscape, seascapes, architecture, sport and street scenes.

* Ava Fairs – Antiques, Vintage and Art Fair, Everglades Hotel, Co. Londonderry, December 2. Visit this antiques fair and discover a wide range of vintage garments, antiques, vintage accessories and vintage furniture.

* Nightrider, Castle Ward, Strangford, Co. Down, until December 13. Cycle the dark depths of Castle Ward with only the light of the moon and stars to guide you.