Categories: Family Friendly

Yes, it’s true. While our disposition is always beautifully sunny, you may get the occasional wet day here in Northern Ireland. Though don’t let that dampen your spirits. Northern Ireland is well prepared for rainier spells with indoor pursuits and attractions to brighten everyone’s day – whether it’s a trip to an energy-burning water sports centre or a brain-stretching look at the solar system.  

Be an all-action hero at We are Vertigo 

Bounce, ski, play and climb whatever the weather. We Are Vertigo is an Inflata-Park, Ski and Adventure Centre all rolled into one. Everyone from tots to teenagers and twenty-plus (plus, plus, plus, plus) adults will find lots to do in this inflatable fun world. From the Wipeout Assault course to the climbing wall and the skiing and snowboarding slopes. 

Lagan Valley LeisurePlex 

Go with the flow at Lisburn’s Lagan Valley LeisurePlex, Northern Ireland's biggest indoor water sports centre. Flumes, a lazy river, aqualand, water slides and a diving pool – bring it on.  

Dundonald Ice Bowl 

Water, water everywhere… and this time, it’s frozen. There’s bowling and skating, though not simultaneously. Plus plenty of fun with Penguin and Snowman skating aids to help your mini-skaters take to the ice. And if you’ve got a Dora the Explorer or young Indy in your midst, there’s a world of adventure waiting for them at Indiana Land. 

Odyssey Pavilion 

There’s bowling and more at Belfast’s Odyssey Pavilion. An arcade, pool tables, and a multi-screen cinema complex are just some of the extras you’ll find here. Plus some tasty eateries to keep you going along the way. 

Cheeky Chimps 

Coleraine’s Cheeky Chimps adventure play centre is the perfect place for, well, your little monkeys to let off steam on a rainy day. While you chill with a coffee and the latest magazines.  

AMAZE yourself at W5 

W5, Belfast’s award-winning science and discovery centre, brings science to life in a uniquely entertaining way. Immerse yourself in W5’s new technological space ‘AMAZE’, scale the heights on ‘Climbit’ - the multi-storey climbing structure. Or meet W5’s humanoid robot ‘Robothespian'. Plus there’s a changing daily programme of live science demonstrations and shows.  

Stargaze at the Armagh Planetarium 

This is as close to ‘out of this world’ as you can get. Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is a leading centre for astronomical research and a star attraction for kids. Look out for the largest meteorite in Ireland – it weighs 152kg – and check out the digital theatre, a window to the wonders of the universe. 

A deep dive at Exploris 

See eye to eye with all sorts of marine life at the amazing Exploris aquarium. You’ll meet everyone from the locals - the fish of Strangford Lough -  to the overseas visitors from the colourful coral reefs of tropical oceans and the dark depths of the Amazon Rainforest.  

At home with Seamus Heaney 

Lose yourself in the life and works of Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, and you won’t even notice the rain. The Seamus Heaney HomePlace brings together personal stories, photographs, artefacts, videos, audio recordings and readings by the poet himself- all in his own home place of Bellaghy. 

Past and present at The Ulster Museum 

Dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies and modern masterpieces all have their place at Belfast’s Ulster Museum. So whether you’re an art lover, a history enthusiast, a science fanatic, or a child in search of interactive activities, there’s something here for you. 

Titanic Belfast – the daddy of them all 

On the very site where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912, Titanic Belfast is a world-leading must-see attraction. Nine interpretive and interactive galleries explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic – and the city and people who made her. A monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage and its most famous ship, get ready to drop anchor because you’ll be here for a while. 

All aboard for the Ulster Folk Museum and Ulster Transport Museum 

It’s time to go back in time at the Ulster Folk Museum. Thatched cottages, an old-time picture house, a post office and a corner shop set the scene for life one hundred years ago. There’s also an impressive collection of steam locomotives at the Ulster Transport Museum - horse-drawn carriages and goods wagons to explore, along with vintage motorbikes and cars. 

Time for a potter round Belleek 

Pottering around out of the rain takes on a whole new meaning at Belleek Pottery, home to the world-famous Belleek Fine Parian China. Enjoy a guided tour, visit the on-site museum, audio-visual theatre and showroom. Or browse the gift shop for a unique souvenir or present.  

An Creagán 

Want to know what the weather was like in ancient times? They could probably tell you at to An Creagán. This fascinating place, in the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains, is packed with activities for all ages. Interpretive exhibitions will help you get into the spirit of Celtic culture and traditions through the archaeology and natural history of the area.  

Tayto Castle 

A crisp and crunchy visit to see, taste and experience how Northern Ireland’s most famous snacks are made is sure to be the silver lining on any cloud-filled day. Take the family along to see the magic at Tandragee’s Tayto Castle. 

The Linen Green 

A little drop of rain never gets in the way of a good shop – especially when it’s all thoughtfully gathered together in one place for you. The wonderful Linen Green in Moygashel is an experience in itself where you’ll find your fashion fix and lots of other unexpected treats too. Check out the Paul Costelloe Factory Outlet, Helen McAlinden and The Ulster Weavers Gift Store among others. 

Crumlin Road Gaol  

It’s fun being ‘inside’ on a rainy day and a guided tour of Crumlin Road Gaol is a fascinating way to spend your time. Learn about the daily routines of prisoners and prison officers, stand in the condemned man’s cell and see the tunnel linking Crumlin Road Gaol to the old courthouse.   

Enniskillen Castle  

Enniskillen Castle stands guard at one of the few passes into Ulster. So it’s always had an important strategic position in Northern Ireland’s history. Built 600 years ago, by the Gaelic Maguires, its chequered past is brought to life in two fascinating museums and an exciting programme of tours, living history and crafts activities.   

Derry-Londonderry’s Guildhall 

Sitting within reach of the 400-year old walls, the Guildhall’s most stunning feature is its collection of stained glass windows - representing everything from fishmongers to musicians. It also houses an exhibition on the Plantation of Ulster and is the backdrop to the city’s world famous Hallowe’en celebrations. 

With so much going on indoors in Northern Ireland, you’ll hardly have time to notice the weather on a rainy day in Northern Ireland. In fact, the chances are you’ll be left with just one thought. Rain? What rain? Now, where to next?