Make the most of the weeks ahead by getting out and about with the family to enjoy some of the exciting things to see and do across Northern Ireland.
Rachel Quigg, Communications & Destination PR Officer at Tourism Northern Ireland explains why Northern Ireland is the perfect place to experience a family fun day out:
“The holidays are the perfect excuse to get away for a day or a short break this winter. If you are looking for things to see and do with your family over the coming weeks then NI really does have something for everyone.
“There are so many places to explore and whilst we may not always get the weather we would like, that doesn’t matter as there are indoor, as well as outdoor, options for everyone to choose from to make your adventure a time to remember,” added Rachel.
Tourism Northern Ireland has put together a list of things to see and do with family over the coming weeks:
FREE! Ulster Museum and Botanic Gardens – Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present houses a rich collection of art as well as dinosaurs, an Egyptian Mummy and fascinating modern masterpieces. The museum is in the ground of the Botanic Gardens which was established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, in response to public interest in horticulture and botany. Originally known as the Belfast Botanic Garden, the site is home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine.
Titanic Belfast – The must-see attraction, located in the heart of the Titanic Quarter, tells the story of the world famous ship, built in Belfast, through a state of the art visitor experience.
W5 – A great day out for the whole family, W5 is an award-winning interactive science centre encouraging both young and old to touch, feel, smell and press everything in sight.
Troggs Surf School, Portrush – Located at the new North Coast Water Sports Centre in Portrush the surf school aims to provide a fun, informative and safe introduction to the world of surfing.
Carnfunnock Country Park, Ballygally, Larne – Covering 191 hectares of mixed woodland, colourful gardens, walking trails and spectacular coastline, Carnfunnock also has a maze, family fun zone with miniature railway, and much more, making it the ideal spot for a family day out.
Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills – The iconic polygonal columns, the myth and legend of Finn McCool and the visitor centre showcasing the stories and science behind the formation makes a trip to the Giant’s Causeway unforgettable.
Snowdrop Day, Benvarden Garden, Ballymoney, February 21. This is a special open day to show the wonderful display of Snowdrops which carpet the grounds of Benvarden Gardens & Estate. Families can enjoy a magical stroll to see the first signs of floral life after the long winter months.
Armagh County Museum – The museum captures centuries of stories relating to people who lived, worked and had connections with the famous city and historic county.
Armagh Planetarium – The Planetarium offers visitors the chance to try a 3D experience in the Digital Theatre, travelling to the International Space Station as well as enjoy interactive displays learning about cosmos and the latest space news
Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Killeavy – Step out for a leisurely walk around the walled garden or put your walking boots on for the various trails across the mountain and take in the breath-taking views of the Ring of Gullion, Mourne Mountains and the Armagh Drumlins. The Forest Park also offers a scenic drive, an adventure playpark, courtyard with coffee and a Giants Lair children’s story trail.
101 Annual Ploughing Competition, Richardsons Estate, Portadown, February 27. This family focussed event hosts over 5,000 visitors each year and has something for everyone including model tractors, local artists, cupcakes, books and a Shopping Village.
Castlewellan Forest Park & Peace Maze, Castlewellan – Make the most of the beautiful collection of shrubs and trees by wandering through the gardens or taking a stroll through the forest. Why not try and find your way through one of the world’s largest permanent hedge mazes.
WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre, Comber – On the shores of Strangford Lough, Castle Espie is a tranquil and friendly centre offering hides and nature walks allowing you to get close to wild and endangered birds. The Secret Swamp offers a natural, active play experience and a tranquil setting to enjoy the sights and sounds of this secluded habitat. Children will love exploring the wishing tree, zip wire, wobbly bridge and log den hide out.
Mount Stewart House and Gardens –This beautiful location has been voted as one of the top ten gardens in the world and boasts a wide range of rare plants and stunning lakeside walks making it a great place for a family picnic.
Giant LEGO Brick Animal Trail, Castle Espie Wetland Centre, Comber, Co. Down, February 13 – March 20. Opening on Saturday 13 February, sculptures made from the world’s most popular toy will be sitting alongside their real life cousins along the trail. The awesome models include a giant otter, a massive mallard and a colossal kingfisher. Follow the trail around the nature reserve and discover how many bricks have been used to make each animal.
Crom Estate – Set on the shores of Upper Lough Erne, Crom Estate is a 2,000 acre demesne with ancient woodland, tranquil islands, estate cottages and Old Crom Castle as well as rare species of animals and wild deer.
Florence Court House – Families can enjoy glorious walks around the grounds which include a pretty walled garden and holiday cottage. Other interesting features include a saw mill, ice house and summer house.
Castle Coole – If you are looking for stately grandeur then Castle Coole is a rare treat. Surrounded by a stunning landscape park on the edge of Enniskillen, this majestic 18th century home of the Earls of Belmore, was created to impress. The surrounding wooded landscape park sloping down to Lough Coole is ideal for long walks.
Derry ~ Londonderry
Historic Walls of Derry, City of Derry – One of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe, the walls were built during the period of 1613-1618 and they provide a unique promenade to view the original town.
The Jungle NI, Moneymore – An outdoor adventure centre offering a range of activities from paintballing to zorbing and the first High Wire Tree Top Adventure course in the country.
The Guildhall – Following extensive refurbishment the Guildhall is a beautiful building and is well worth taking time to see or take a guided tour. Fashioned in neo-gothic style, it boasts stunning examples of stained glass windows which illustrate the intriguing history of the city.
Brick Wonders, The Nerve Centre, City of Derry, February 6 – May 2. The amazing Brick Wonders Exhibition will showcase over 70 LEGO models and covers as well as stunning scenes created by artist Warren Elsmore. This not to be missed event is a perfect day out for all the family.
Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh – Experience the adventure of Irish emigration that will take you from the thatched cottages of Northern Ireland, on board a full-scale emigrant sailing ship to the log cabins of the American Frontier.
Blessingbourne Mountain Bike Trail and Pump Track, Fivemiletown – In the heart of the Clogher Valley, Blessingbourne offers trails full of technical features and can cater for all ages and abilities, offering a fun day out for the whole family.
River Blackwater Canoe Trail, Dungannon – Enjoy an amazing canoe trail on the beautiful River Blackwater as the river meanders through the stunning countryside of County Armagh and Tyrone before arriving into Lough Neagh.
For more information go to www.discovernorthernireland.com.