Down District Council


Christmas Extravaganza at the Old Gaol

Released: 25 November 2011

Down County Museum’s annual Christmas event, a programme packed with seasonal family entertainment is available for all to enjoy on Saturday 10 December.

This fantastic array of festive fun offers everything from Christmas shows and music, to children’s crafts and Santa’s grotto. 

Topping the bill will be the Armagh Rhymers with their traditional Christmas mummers’ play. The Armagh Rhymers are one of Northern Ireland’s most popular performance groups and their lively shows are always highly entertaining and designed to appeal to young and old. Mummers’ plays have a long tradition in Britain and Ireland and have entertained rural and urban audiences for generations. The Armagh Rhymers’ shows present a host of colourful characters interacting with each other in verse, music and dance. There will be three shows throughout the day.

Seasonal music will be provided during the afternoon by the Newtownards Silver Band who will be playing a range of carols and Christmas songs, guaranteed to create a festive atmosphere.

Santa’s Grotto, open all day, is located in one of the cells of the Old Gaol and this makes it one of the most unusual grottos in Down. The grotto offers high quality gifts and photos.

Visiting children can also attend the craft workshops and create some fantastic festive decorations to bring home. A display of trees decorated by local school pupils will also be on show. Classes in local schools have been working hard to produce themed Christmas decorations which demonstrate their considerable artistic talent. Chosen themes include Victorian and traditional styles, using recycled materials and even edible baubles!

And if all that is not enough visitors can still enjoy the Museum’s exhibitions which include our permanent display on the history of County Down, Down Through Time and our special exhibitions, Art of Down and Off to Play

Admission to the Museum including this packed programme of entertainment is free. A visit to Santa’s grotto costs £5 which includes present and photograph.

Down County Museum is open from 11am to 5pm on Saturday 10 December.  For full details of all Museum events contact Linda McKenna on 028 4461 5218.