2013 Belfast Children's Festival Launches

View the full programme of events taking place in venues across the city from March 8-15

Back for its 15th year, the Belfast Children's Festival makes a welcome return from March 8 -15, with a week-long series of unforgettable productions and creative experiences for children aged 0-14, their families, schools and groups.

Jam-packed full of storytelling, arts activities, music, theatre and dance for children – including national and international productions – this year the festival also features a variety of free events to be enjoyed by children of all ages.

Ali FitzGibbon, Director of Young at Art, the company behind the festival, said: 'We are thrilled to have performances and events taking place from some of the finest artists working in Northern Ireland today, as well as an international line-up of top work from countries including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Finland.

'This year’s Belfast Children’s Festival may be the first time some children step into a theatre, museum or gallery and that really excites us. Viewed by many as serious and sometimes somber places, these spaces are opening their doors to families to reveal some surprisingly exciting and entertaining experiences.'



Some of the 2013 Festival highlights include the gigantic inflatable Space Pups installation on the ceiling at the Ulster Museum, and musician and composer Brian Irvine’s international hit Melonhead. The ever-popular Baby Rave returns, alongside a brand new musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Little Red Riding Hood.

Carál Ni Chuilín, Culture Minister, said: 'Since 1998 Young at Art have pioneered the way in bringing high quality arts and entertainment to children and young people in the north. Arts performances and activities have always provided the key to unlocking untapped creativity and curiosity in children, breaking down barriers and providing an outlet for young imaginations.

'Throughout the year Young at Art are committed to providing access to the arts by delivering outstanding education and outreach programmes. This is a wonderful example of how arts events designed for children have multiple benefits including supporting education, cultural ownership and access, creativity and also promoting family activities and shared space.'

Belfast Children's Festival runs from March 8 - 15. Visit the official website for more information.