Spring Has Almost Sprung 

As I write this month’s Ulster Tatler column, it is less than a week to go until spring and all of the tell tale signs are presenting themselves. 

The early morning commutes to the station are getting brighter, evenings are getting longer and my inbox is filling up with outdoor work events for the coming months. It really is the little things in life – the thought of iced coffee and gig-hosting when it is not absolutely freezing feels tantalizing!

Below are my top picks for events and activities across Northern Ireland in the coming months that will hopefully help you to feel like spring has finally sprung… and yes, I have taken the liberty of checking that these aren’t yet sold out!

1. Van Morrison – ‘Live at Botanic Gardens’ on Sunday 26th May 

The only thing I love more than live music, is live music outdoors. The Northern Ireland native will be performing at Botanic Gardens on Sunday the 26th of May this year. The ‘Live at Botanic Gardens’ events have been continuously increasing in popularity over the last number of years, and having worked alongside them in hosting roles with CoolFM and Downtown Country previously, this comes as no surprise to me. Watching live performances in this leafy location as the sun goes down really is something else.

Van Morrison – ‘Live at Botanic Gardens ‘on Sunday 26th May

2. The Crafty Vintner – Lisburn Road

Nothing quite says spring like dining Al Fresco. One of my favourite spots to eat or sip outdoors is The Crafty Vintner on the Lisburn Road – a perfect location for people watching and heading into the city centre afterwards if the notion takes you. Their outdoor terrace is fully heated and covered – always good to know just incase our unpredictable Northern Ireland weather does decide to make a showery appearance. For coffee, food or an evening of beverages, this is one I highly recommend checking out.  

The Crafty Vintner – Lisburn Road

3. Streamvale Farm – Open again from the 16th of March

If you are a regular reader of this column, you will know that Streamvale’s pumpkin picking events are one of the highlights of the autumn months for me. My obsession continues into 2024, as they will be reopening from the 16th of March. Grabbing a coffee from their on-site cafe and wandering around the farm is not to be underestimated. It’s perfect for families or date days with a range of animals, food areas and events throughout the year.

Streamvale Farm – Open again from the 16th of March

4. Pizza & Pottery Nights at Mud Ireland – Friday and Saturday evenings

This one is at the top of my NI activity bucket list right now! Located in Moira, Mud Ireland offers an array of pottery-themed fun from hen parties to mug painting. The particular event that caught my eye is their Pizza and Pottery nights. Every Friday and Saturday evening you can book in advance for a night of pottery followed by pizza and there is even the option to BYOB.

Pizza & Pottery Nights at Mud Ireland – Friday and Saturday evenings

5. Balmoral Show – 15th– 18th May 

Of course I couldn’t round off some my favourite Northern Ireland events and activities without giving the Balmoral Show a mention. A staple in my childhood years and now a staple in my job as a radio presenter. Spring will have well and truly sprung by the time the event kicks off on the 15th of May. Alongside enjoying a day out, I can’t wait to bring out my inner country girl as I will be broadcasting live with Downtown Country over the various days, judging the talent portion as ‘Star of the Show’ makes it’s return and hosting the ‘Best Dressed’ competition alongside CoolFM. 

Balmoral Show – 15th- 18th May

I hope this provides some inspiration to get you well and truly in the spring spirit and look forward to catching up next month when the evenings will be even brighter. 

Links to each event are attached to the photos.