12 Christmas light switch ons still to light up across Northern Ireland

By Chloe Langton 

Halloween has had its turn, it’s time for the countdown to Christmas to begin and what better way to begin festivities than attending your local Christmas lights switch on? 

Everyone is in high spirits as our cities, towns and villages across Northern Ireland light up and come together to celebrate the start of the festive season. 

Santa has been busy visiting every borough across the country and he still has a few more stops before heading back to the North Pole, here are 12 Christmas light switch ons still to light up across Northern Ireland: 

  1. Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council 

Thursday 23 November from 6 pm in Lisburn

From Thursday 23 November and throughout the Christmas season Lisburn’s city centre will transform into a magical light show. 

Lisburn will be lit up every night with the Light Canopy on Bow Street, Enchanting Christmas Tree and the Christmas Garden Light Trail in the Castle Gardens. 

The Christmas switch on will begin at 6 pm and feature special surprise guests, we’ve heard the Grinch could be out to cause chaos. 

And don’t forget if you’re in the Castlereagh area to visit the illuminated Arctic Fox in Carryduff and the spectacular Reindeer in Dundonald.

  1. Ballycastle and Coleraine 

Thursday 23 November from 3 pm and Friday 24 November from 3 pm

Santa has a busy time ahead, as he will make his way around the Borough to mark the beginning of Christmas celebrations. Santa and his elves will be stopping off in Ballycastle for the lights switch on to kick off the festivities. 

There will be a Christmas parade commencing at 6:45 pm on Quay Road, Ann Street, Market Street, Clare Street, Castle Street, Diamond, and Ann Street and finishing back on Quay Road. 

You can also find out if you’re on the nice list by visiting Santa at his grotto which will be open from 7 pm at the Diamond Co-Op car park. 

Coleraine’s switch on will happen the day after (Santa needs a rest too) and the parade will start from Coleraine Leisure Centre and make its way through the town, Railway Road, Kingsgate Street, Church Street, The Diamond, Church Street, Kingsgate Street, Railway Road and Coleraine Leisure Centre. 

  1. Newry

Thursday 23 November from 6 pm

Newry Christmas Lights Switch on will take place in Newry City Centre on Thursday 23 November from 6 pm – 9 pm in Marcus Square, Hill Street and Newry Town Hall. There will be live performances by local artists and musicians who will serenade the crowd with beloved Christmas tunes, creating a magical atmosphere.

No Christmas light switch on would be complete without a special guest appearance from Santa Claus, who will spread cheer to children of all ages with his grand entrance at 7:30 pm on Marcus Street. 

A variety of delicious seasonal treats and warm beverages will also be on offer from local food vendors and Newry Town Hall will become a winter wonderland as it hosts a Christmas Artisan Market full of festive treats. 

  1. Derry/ Londonderry and Strabane

Friday 24 November from 6 pm and Saturday 25 November from 5 pm

Derry/Londonderry Christmas celebrations will begin on Friday 24 November 6 pm and Strabane will take place on Saturday 25 November from 5 pm. 

Santa will be the guest of honour on a magical procession through the streets of Derry and Strabane, switching on the Christmas lights as he passes by. The processions will feature a number of festive characters and beautiful bespoke Christmas-themed mobile installations.​

  1. Cookstown

Friday 24 November from 6:30 pm

Cookstown will light up this year, on Friday 24 November, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm.

William Street will come alive with entertainment from Stewartstown Panto, Tullylagan Pipe Band and Double Whiskeys, finishing with a fantastic Showstoppers Parade to count down to the Lights Switch On by Santa, who’ll arrive in style. 

On street entertainment includes face painting, The Gaming Bus, and Character Walkabouts for those Christmas selfies. The Christmas Lights Switch On will take place at approximately 7:25 pm.

  1. Banbridge

Friday 24 November from 6 pm

Banbridge will come alive with a festive stage show with plenty of lights, an impressive line-up of live entertainment, and plenty of festive family fun. 

To conclude, Santa himself and the Lord Mayor will make an appearance to lead the countdown with all the boys and girls as they get into the festive spirit. 

  1. Magherafelt, Market Square

Saturday 25 November from 2 pm

Festivities featuring for the first time are a new Children’s Christmas Village, with a variety of children’s shows, musical entertainment, crafts and activities taking place. 

There’ll be a Christmas Street Party on Broad Street from 6:30 pm to 8 pm, before Santa arrives at 7:30 pm to switch on the Christmas Lights. A fireworks display will take place from 7:35 pm

  1. Dungannon

Saturday 25 November from 6 pm

Dungannon is also a hub of festive fun on Saturday 25 November from 6 pm to 8 pm. Family focused festive fun will take place in Market Square including music to get you in the festive mood from an on-stage DJ, a performance from Bardic Theatre’s ‘Cinderella’ and a sing-a-long with The Snow Sisters. 

The fun doesn’t stop there, you will be able to meet Spiderman and other festive walkabout characters throughout the evening. The arrival of Santa and Christmas Lights Switch On will take place from approximately 7:50 pm.

  1. Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

Saturday 25 November From 5:30 pm

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will light up Enniskillen and Omagh town centres with a programme of festive family fun on Saturday 25 November 2023. Throughout the day there will be Christmas carols, music and performances by community groups finishing with the Christmas Lights Switch on at 5:30 pm.

Enjoy Christmas ensembles performed by local bands including St Eugene’s Brass and Reed Band, St Mary’s Silver Band and Ballyreagh Silver Band as they get everyone into the festive spirit.

In both towns, there will be an Elf trail for families to participate in. Follow the clues in shops and businesses around the town centre to locate the names of each of the Elves and enter the free draw to be in with a chance of winning a Family Ticket to the Pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, in Strule Arts Centre or the Ardhowen Theatre in January 2024.

Children can also enjoy festive face painting and interact with the Christmas characters as they stroll through the streets of Enniskillen and Omagh.

  1. Donaghadee

Friday 1 December from 5 pm

The Christmas festivities for Donaghadee will begin from 5 pm at the Market with a Disco on the pier from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, Santa will arrive by a lifeboat and parade to the market. Children are welcome to come along and parade, extra nice points from Santa if you come in fancy dress. 

  1. Maghera Walled Garden and Town Centre

Saturday 2 December from 3 pm

In The Walled Garden, from 3 pm to 5 pm, you can meet Santa in the Potting Shed (pre-booking essential) and be entertained as you stroll around the garden, or get crafty for Christmas in the Lurach Centre, where all the family can make a Christmas Badge, write their letter to Santa and post it in The Walled Garden post box, make a Christmas Decoration or special reindeer food, or get your face painted. 

This year, Santa will leave from the Fairhill car park at 5:30 pm to make his way to Hall Street for the Lights Switch On at the St. Lurach’s Road Junction at 5:45 pm.

  1. Coalisland

Sunday 3 December from 5 pm

Christmas comes to Coalisland on Sunday 3 December from 5 pm to 6:30 pm in the main public space. There will be free face painting, the opportunity to take a selfie with festive characters or to meet Santa in his grotto. 

Live music and entertainment aplenty as there will be an on-stage DJ, live band and Craic Theatre will knock your Christmas socks off on stage from 5 pm to 7 pm. The Christmas Lights Switch-On will take place at approximately 6.50 pm.

Scroll to Top