New Year’s Eve. It seems to be one of those days that people love or loath. Some love nothing more than celebrating out on the town with the other crowds of merry revellers. However, to others, the thoughts of queues at the bar being 8 people deep and the never-ending wait for a taxi at the end of the night sounds like a living nightmare. But whether you’re a party animal or a sit on the sofa and celebrate type, Belfast has something to offer everyone for a memorable New Years’ experience!
Firstly, to those of you who enjoy painting the town red… You’re in the right place in Belfast! Crumlin Road Gaol and The MAC theatre are hosting their annual New Year’s Eve parties this year. The Governer’s Ball at Crumlin Road Gaol promises a night to remember in the famous setting of one of Belfast’s top tourist attractions. Kicking things off with a drinks reception, you’ll also dine on a three course meal and then dance the night away to a host of hits from five piece band Conspiracy. There’s also the I HEART NYE: Big Top Party at The MAC. As the name suggests, you’ll see off 2018 in style with dancing, karaoke, dancing and music from their in-house band. Tickets for both of these exciting events can be obtained through their websites.
However, maybe you prefer to see where the night takes you? In this case, Belfast has an abundance of bars and clubs awaiting you. The ever popular cobbles of Cathedral Quarter are sure to be crammed with New Year’s revellers who are ready for a party. From the more traditional settings of The Harp Bar and The Duke of York, to the more modern settings of The National and 39 Gordon Street, there’s a bar to suit everyone’s tastes. With live music spilling onto the streets, you’re sure to have a ball! There’s also the increasingly popular Linen Quarter, home to the chic rooftop bar Perch. With delicious cocktails and views across the city, it’s certainly a memorable destination to ring in the New Year. However, remember to wrap up warm as it is outdoor! Just downstairs, there’s also Rita’s, offering a touch of sophistication with its plush and stylish décor. Nearby, you can also enjoy the cosy surroundings of Sweet Afton. The options really are endless!
It is worth pointing out a few caveats of information, however. It is important to bear in mind that the city is likely to be even more busy and bustling than usual. With that you’ll get the usual increase in queues at the bar, queues to gain entry to some bars and the dreaded wait for a taxi at the end of the night. If you can, plan ahead and do some research to see if you can reserve tables in bars, or book your taxi in advance. Every little helps to make your night run smoothly and stress-free. Taxi companies may also charge double fares: check when booking your transport to avoid any nasty shocks!
Maybe a day filled with some family fun is more your cup of tea. Don’t despair, Belfast can sort you out! Pantomimes are still running in some of Belfast’s theatres: why not watch Beauty and the Beast at the Waterfront Hall, or catch Jack and the Beanstalk at the Grand Opera House? You’re sure to have an experience packed with fun and laughter for all the family. The Winter Circus has also come to town and can be found at Writer’s Square. The Tumble Troop and ready and waiting to entertain you with an exciting extravaganza to remember! It is an all human circus with performances taking place in a full heated Big Top Tent. Enjoy amazing acts such as aerialist, acrobats, jugglers and comedy acts, all performed to a modern soundtrack. Greatest Showman, eat your heart out!
Families who enjoy a more active day out may enjoy the challenge of staying upright whilst at one of the Winter Skate sessions at the SSE Arena, home to the famous Belfast Giants Ice Hockey team. There’s even inclusive sessions on offer with reduced numbers on the ice, no flashing lights and no loud music. Last, but by no means least, you could call in to see Belfast’s most famous visitor. Dippy the Natural History Museum’s iconic Diplodocus dinosaur skeleton is currently a resident of the Ulster Museum and has been delighting families who have been dropping by for a visit. However, he’s a popular dinosaur: it’s recommended you pre-book your free tickets to the exhibition. While you’re there, you could see some of the other popular residents of the Ulster Museum, including Takabuti the Ancient Egyptian Mummy.
Party animal or family fun, Belfast will help you to bring in the New Year with a bang!