Fun Things You Should Do In Northern Ireland This Summer

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Weatherman Barra Best is telling us to bust out our shades? 😎 We're pretty sure that means the Great Northern Irish summer has arrived! Here are some ways to celebrate.

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Portaferry Gala Festival

14 Jul 2018 - 20 Jul 2018

"Welcome to Portaferry" sign

The 51st Annual Portaferry Gala Festival takes place from 14 July to 20 July. The annual float parade will be held on Friday 20 July. You can find more information on the gala website.

 

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Head down to the Orchard County

Food & Cider Festival, Armagh - 20 to 23 September

jar of cider on a table

Armagh Food and Cider Festival is held right in the heart of the Orchard County. You can experience the fine foods, ciders and a wide range of other activities from artisan markets, art tuition, fiction and even a murder mystery set in the orchards. Find out more on the VisitArmagh website.

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Meet the ducklings at Castle Espie Wetland Centre

Take the kids to meet the precious baby ducklings at Castle Espie during Downy Duckling Week from Monday 2 July - Sunday 8. Go on a tour to discover how ducklings develop inside an egg, hatch out of the shell and then grow. Then meet the cutest and fluffiest arrivals! Advance booking required. More info here

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Protect our mellow meadows

Pack a picnic and head to a meadow near you on Saturday 7 July for National Meadows Day, a day of guided walks, wildlife hunts, storytelling and events to help protect the vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife, for which County Fermanagh is well-known. Details here.

 

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Go camping with your kids to connect them with nature ⛺️💤

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RSPB NI is returning to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra on Saturday 21 July for its Big Wild Sleepout 2018. It’s a chance to camp under the stars with your family. With numbers of hedgehogs in the Northern Irish countryside plunging in recent years, it’s important that kids connect with creatures that come out at night. Details here.

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Enjoy Northern Ireland's glorious parks

Rose Week Lady Dixon Park

Head down to Sir Thomas And Lady Dixon Park in Belfast for a celebration of its world-class rose garden from 16-22 July. As well as stunning roses, grown using top-quality compost made from your recycled food waste, Rose Week features bouncy castles and Punch & Judy shows for kids. Details here

 

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Be transported by jazz at Mount Stewart

Settle down on the lawn with your family for an afternoon of swing music! Jazz In The Gardens takes place on the last Sunday of each month at Mount Stewart (near Newtownards) between May and September. Dogs on leads are welcome. Find out more or search for other Mount Stewart events here

 

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Go down to the woods today in Derry 👀🐻

Did you know Northern Ireland is one of the least wooded regions in Europe? It has just 8% woodland cover compared with the European average of 46%. Prehen Wood in Derry is one of this country’s rare ancient woodlands with trees dating back to 1600. A place of great beauty, pay it a visit this summer or find a wood near you here.

 

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Revive yourself at a summer arts festival

Unwind at one of Northern Ireland’s many family festivals this summer. The biggest is The Dalriada Festival at Glenarm Castle from 14-15 July featuring Alabama 3. Or head to Botanic Gardens on 26 August for Belfast Mela which celebrates diversity and cultures from all nations. An absolute must for fans of dance and world music! Details here

 

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Shop for vintage items at a Portstewart craft fair

Creative types will enjoy the Last Days Of Summer Fair on Sunday 19 August at Portstewart Town Hall. Shop for handmade and vintage items, holistic therapies, fashion accessories, jewellery, homewares, textiles, art, artisan food and much more. So many crafts, so little time. More details here

 

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Recycle #OneMoreThing To Cut Waste In NI

 

Whether it’s peelings or plastic bottles, pledge to recycle one more thing on social media this June to show your support for reducing waste in Northern Ireland. Dame Mary Peters, Pamela Ballantine and Paula McIntyre have committed to making one small change, why not join them? Tell us what action you plan to take @MyNILife #OneMoreThing.

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Enjoy a real taste of Northern Ireland

Toast the end of summer with a tall glass of cider at Armagh Food and Cider Festival from 20-23 September. Taking place at venues throughout the county, this family-friendly festival celebrates Armagh's world-class apples. Enjoy fine foods, sharing plates and a murder mystery set amongst the orchards. More details here.

What's on your summer to do list for 2018? Tell us what fun things you're doing in Northern Ireland this summer and we might add your suggestion to our list.

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