20th Belfast Children’s Festival
Fri 9 - Wed 14 Mar
This fab family-friendly event brings together a wealth of international and local arts events and experiences for children and young people to enjoy. Check out the free Big Botanic Birthday Bash over the main festival weekend. For more info visit www.youngatart.co.uk/festival.
St Patrick’s Day parade and concert
Sat 17 March
A Global Belfast theme envelopes this year's carnival parade celebrating Ireland's Patron Saint (whose grave is at Downpatrick's Down Cathedral). The parade starts at 11:30 and is followed by a free concert from 13:30 at Custom House Square starring JLS's Aston Merrygold and featuring lots more local and international entertainers.
Sat 24 March to Fri 20 April
HMS Caroline, Titanic Quarter
This fun-filled festival marks the opening of HMS Caroline’s new visitor centre at the newly restored Pump House beside this Battle of Jutland veteran. There’ll be activity trails, arts and crafts, educational family events and an exciting chance to handle replica objects and artefacts from this historic ship. And you can also dive into nautical themed activities including knot tying, and trails with ship’s mascot Blucher the Bunny. During the 30 March – 3 April Easter Weekend make your own pom pom bunny with Woolly Workshops, create a Blucher the Rabbit headdress and enjoy Punch and Judy shows, storytelling sessions by Captain the Puppet and sea shanty singalongs with Sailor Dan. To find out lots more visit www.hmscaroline.co.uk.
18th Belfast Film Festival
Thu 12 - Sat 21 Apr
Over 100 exciting, eye-catching and diverse film events, together with movies from the early 80s to now complete this year's celluloid line-up. Keep up-to-date at www.belfastfilmfestival.org.
Titanic commemoration service
Sun 15 Apr, 12:00
Titanic Memorial Garden, Belfast City Hall
2018 marks 106 years since the sinking of RMS Titanic, and this annual service of remembrance reflects on the lives that were lost. For more info on organisers, the Belfast Titanic Society, visit www.belfast-titanic.com.
Sat 21 & Sun 22 April
Barnett Demesne, Malone House, South Belfast
Get into the open air and enjoy this annual celebration of all things Spring with floral art, flower shows, exotic reptiles, swooping falcons, live music, entertainment, dancing and children's activities. Check ahead for parking and public transport options. www.belfastcity.gov.uk/events
19th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival
Thu 3 - Sun 13 May
Cathedral Quarter, various venues
Eleven days of music, comedy, theatre, literature and visual art entertains the faithful at this fabulously eclectic event. Among the headline acts confirmed at time of print are singers Kimmie Rhodes and Kate Rusby, and comedian Rob Newman. Check out the full line-up and book tickets at www.cqaf.com.
Lord Mayor's Day
Sat 28 April, 12:00 - 17:00
Belfast City Hall lawns
The city's First Citizen, Cllr. Nuala McAllister, continues the Global Belfast theme with this free family fun day of music, arts & crafts, tours and street performances.
Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon
Mon 7 May
Over 17,00 runners are expected to hit the streets of north, south, east and west Belfast for this cavalcade of fitness and fundraising. The race starts at 09:00 at Belfast City Hall and finishes at South Belfast's Ormeau Park. Find out more at www.belfastcitymarathon.com.
Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival
Sat 19 & Sun 20 May
10:00 - 18:00
Queen's Quay and Titanic Quarter
Maritime-themed family fun, food and frolics take over this bumper weekend. Climb aboard magnificent tall ships and naval vessels to meet the captain and crew and learn a bit more about life at sea. Fairground rides, outdoor fun and games and water-based ‘come and try it’ sessions continue the quayside fun and games. Get seaworthy at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/events.
20th Belfast Children’s Festival