Derry Halloween: Treat your little terrors this autumn half-term
13 September 2019
This autumn half-term, conjure up some magical family memories at the Halloween headquarters of the world: Derry, Northern Ireland.
The award-winning Derry Halloween, from 25 October to 1 November, is a week-long spectacular of bewitching kids’ activities, jaw-dropping installations and shows, out-of-this-world costumes, and a spellbinding carnival and fireworks finale.
A feast for your family’s senses, there will also be a LegenDerry food event, mesmerising live music, Little Horrors storytelling and performances, a Monster fun fair and children’s dance and crafts workshops.
For three nights before Halloween, Derry’s 400-year-old City Walls come alive with more than 40 installations and performances by local and international artists. On October 31, the festival will culminate in an amazing parade of sculptures, lanterns, circus and dance performances.
And while other international destinations host their own Halloween celebrations, there’s nowhere more authentic to spend this Celtic-rooted festival.
Halloween’s origins are in Samhain, when ancient Celts believed the boundary between this world and the other was at its thinnest, allowing spirits to pass through. This is reflected in this year’s theme, The Other World Awakens.
Once you and your family have feasted on our festival highlights and local attractions - which include our Peace Bridge and much-photographed new Derry Girls mural – this welcoming city is perfectly located for further exploration.
As the gateway to the acclaimed Causeway Coastal Route – including the must-see Giant’s Causeway, built by volcanic activity or feuding giants, depending on who you talk to – and the bracing Wild Atlantic Way. Breath-taking beaches and world-famous attractions are right on your doorstep.
A trip to Derry Halloween also represents excellent value for money, with numerous free events and wallet-friendly accommodation and food options.
The city is hugely accessible, with direct access to City of Derry Airport from London Stansted, Liverpool, Glasgow International and Edinburgh. A regular shuttle service travels between Derry city centre and Belfast International and Belfast City Airports.
Northern Ireland also has first-class ferry connections with England Scotland and the Isle of Man.
There is an abundance of family-friendly accommodation for all budgets, ranging from luxury, award-winning boutique hotels to chain hotels, local guesthouses and apartment rentals.
But with Derry’s reputation as the Best Halloween Destination in the World (as voted for by USA Today in 2015) and Best International Experience (at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards 2019), and thousands of international visitors expected, it’s best to get booking soon to avoid disappointment.
For more information on what’s on, where to stay and how to get there, visit derryhalloween.com or follow @DerryHalloween on social media #DerryHalloween