Saturday, February 25, 2012

Belfast Children's Festival (9-16 March)

Belfast Children’s Festival is back after an absence with a week of events aimed at weans aged zero and up.

Some old favourites are back. Belfast Waterfront is hosting the Baby Rave for toddlers and their parents on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11. Cost £5.

Cardboard Cities is back, this time in the Assembly Rooms. All ages of children (that includes you!) can adapt and rebuild the cardboard city using the supplied raw material. Friday 9 (3-6pm); Saturday 10 and Friday 16 (11am-6pm). Free.

2007 Belfast Children's Festival

Probably my favourite sessions from previous Belfast Children’s Festivals have been Tea and Tales / Sos agus ScĂ©alta. Boxes of books (in English and Irish) and comfy beanbags. Heaven. This year in Assembly Rooms. Drop in on Saturday 10-Friday 16. Free.

The NI Housing Executive are sponsoring My House: a special house with a furry ceiling where the rooms and chimneys change and grow. A theatrical experience suitable for 18 month to 3 year olds to explore with all five senses. Crescent Arts Centre, Thursday 15-Friday 16. Cost £5.

Once Upon A Time is for 5-9 year olds who will help “the Very Trusted and Nearly Excellent Guardians of Tall Tales and Small Stories” find the last missing story after a fire destroyed their Most Extraordinary Wonderful and Magical Library. Assembly Rooms, Thursday 15. Cost £5.

Photographer Mervyn Smyth will be running a Pinhole Camera Workshop at Belfast Exposed on Saturday 10 (2.30pm-4.30pm). Make a camera, and then take it out for some street photography. Aged 7-10. Cost £6. SOLD OUT

Fancy some opera? Spark Opera Bites in association with NI Opera’s Young Artist Programme presents two short works – The Monster in the Dark and Science – for 7-11 year olds in the Harty Room at Queen’s University. Wednesday 14. Cost £3.

Belfast Children's Festival banner

The wonderful Wireless Mystery Theatre company are performing Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds in the Studio Cinema belonging to Northern Visions and Belfast Film Festival above Belfast Exposed. Sunday 11 at 3.30pm and 7.30pm. 9-12 years. Cost £5. Recommended.

The Waterfront is also the venue for four family films over the festival’s opening weekend: FernGully (Sat 1.30pm), Up (Sat 4pm), Ponyo (Sun 1.30pm) and Fantastic Mr Fox (Sun 4pm). Cost £3.

QUB Sonic Arts Research Centre is hosting a two day workshop in its world-beating centre which truly offers surround sound. Children aged 9-12 will work with doctoral students to develop a piece of sonic art. There’s a live showcase – Big Ears Sonic Arts for Public Ears – on Sunday 11 at 3pm. Workshop £20. Showcase £5.

Two hour Stop Motion Animation sessions in the Belfast Waterfront on Saturday 10 and Sun 11 (12.30-2.30pm, 3-5pm). For 6 years and older. Make your own mini-movie. Cost £7.

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