Plenty of family-friendly events will encourage everyone to open up and explore their own imagination at venues in east Belfast and beyond. To help you plan your festival experience, here are five special family highlights:
1. Christmas at C.S Lewis Square 22nd - 24th Nov
A fantastic two-day programme of activities kicks off the festive celebrations at C.S. Lewis Square, including festive market stalls, a special Father Christmas experience, dining under the stars, music, arts and crafts, family entertainment and much more. On Fri 22nd Nov at 7pm there will be a Christmas Lights Switch On with entertainment for all the family.
The Literary Fairy has all the best stories in her very special library - The Most Magical Library of the Best Stories Ever (22nd, 23rd & 24 Nov), and because Christmas is coming she has an extra-special story to tell. The evil Snow Queen doesn’t like Christmas and she has been up to mischief, planning on ruining Christmas for everybody. Can you help the Literary Fairy, her friend The Faun, and the Very Interesting Creatures sort out this terrible mess and foil the Snow Queen’s rotten plans? Bring your imagination and your favourite, loveliest words, and join the characters on their quest to save Christmas. You may even get to meet Santa if your mission is successful. Grown-ups can come too if they promise to behave.
2. Jack’s Journey (22nd Nov, Lanyon Train Station) is a whimsical re-imagining of the childhood journeys of C.S. Lewis as he ‘stops’ along the way to his eventual career as the writer of the Narnian Chronicles. The story is told through music memories and significant episodes from his school days, up to his entry into Oxford. Living almost entirely in his imagination as a small boy, the seeds of the Narnian world are already beginning to grow in his writing and drawings. This unique tribute to his childhood journey will be performed by pupils from Campbell College Junior School, St. Joseph’s and Strandtown Primary Schools, with members of the Ulster Orchestra.
3. Through the Wardrobe and into the Woods - Stories of Magic and Wonder (22nd Nov, Ballyhackamore Library, 23rd Nov, Woodstock Library). Join Janice Witherspoon on a storytelling journey into the woods to meet the magical insects and animals that live there and hear tales of brave birds and dancing trees. Suitable for all primary age children and their parents.
4. Interactive Musical Adventure at C.S. Lewis Reading Corner (23rd Nov, Connswater Shopping Centre) “In your mind, you can find, a whole world of pure imagination... let’s go somewhere today!” To the beach! Perhaps, if the sun shines. Maybe a woodland walk or a trip to the movies. Who knows where we’ll go! Through music, story and song we’ll travel to a place of our own making. This mini adventure is perfect for curious souls, big and small.
5. Through the Wardrobe Family Fun Day (24th Nov, EastSide Visitor Centre) Enjoy this free Narnia-themed treasure hunt and super-fun craft activity, write your own story with children’s author Myra Zepf and explore C.S. Lewis Square.
For more info visit www.eastsidearts.net, follow on Facebook/CSLewisFestival, Twitter @CSLewisFest #CSLewisFest.