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 one of our world-class attractions 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 at Dundonald International Ice Bowl. 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.  

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. (Winner of Most Innovative Business (Large) at the Giant Spirit Awards 2022).

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 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.    

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? 

We Are Vertigo
Image shows various inflatables in the main area of We Are Vertigo

We Are Vertigo is Northern Ireland’s number one family entertainment complex, featuring the world's largest Inflatable Action Course, Indoor Ski Slopes and an Adventure centre. Located just 15 minutes from Belfast's City Centre.

Lagan Valley LeisurePlex
Swimming Pool
Image shows swimming pool with lots of brightly coloured slides

Based in the heart of Lisburn City, the LeisurePlex boasts the largest leisure pool in Northern Ireland.

Science Centre

W5 is an award-winning science and discovery centre, firing the spirit of discovery with limitless fun for everyone including eight new zones packed full of interactive exhibits that will excite and inspire.

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
Observatory / Planetarium
Girl smiles at life size model of astronaut suit

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is “the place for space”. Watch an amazing Full Dome Theatre show and explore the Universe. Immerse yourself in the latest scientific research in our exhibition area, and take a relaxing walk through our Astropark.

Exploris Aquarium & Seal Sanctuary
Zoo / Aquarium

Enjoy a diver's view of marine life from around the world without getting wet. A sunken galleon, friendly sharks and a snappy crocodile, a Waddle of Penguins, all star in Northern Ireland’s only aquarium and seal rehabilitation centre.

Seamus Heaney HomePlace
Visitor Centres & Museums
Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Word Hoard

Seamus Heaney HomePlace takes you on an inspiring journey through the life and work of one of Ireland’s greatest writers. Situated between his two childhood homes at Mossbawn and The Wood, and only a few hundred yards from St Mary’s Church, Bellaghy, which he chose as his final resting place, HomePlace is at the heart of the area that inspired so much of the poet’s work.

Ulster Museum
Visitor Centres & Museums
Ulster Museum

Ulster Museum is home to Northern Ireland’s treasures past and present. There’s something for art lovers, history buffs, inquisitive kids and the culturally curious!

Titanic Belfast
Visitor Centres & Museums
Recreation cabins in The Fit Out gallery of the Titanic Experience

Located at the very place where RMS Titanic was designed, built and launched, Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic tell the authentic story of the world-famous ship, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. Unmissable and unforgettable, just like the Titanic herself.

Ulster Folk Museum
Visitor Centres & Museums
Children enjoying the autumn leaves in the museum grounds

Refresh the connection at Ulster Folk Museum, a place where traditions and heritage skills are preserved and celebrated to help shape future generations.

Ulster Transport Museum
Visitor Centres & Museums
Vintage double decker bus

Celebrate the history of invention and innovation through engineering, design, and technology at Ulster Transport Museum

Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre
Visitor Centres & Museums
exterior image of the Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre, view from main road

When you step into the world of Belleek Pottery you enter one of Northern Ireland’s oldest and most fascinating attractions. Unique pieces are made using traditional methods passed down from generation to generation.

An Creagán
Visitor Centres & Museums
An Creagán

Situated at the foothills of the Sperrins, An Creagán is distinctively designed to mirror the archaeological sites of the area and give you the opportunity to step back in time. It also offers a range of archaeological and environmental information.

Crumlin Road Gaol
Visitor Centres & Museums
Crumlin Road Gaol

On the 31st March 1996 Crumlin Road Gaol slammed shut its doors for what many thought would be the final time, but, on the 19th November 2012 the chains fell off and HMP Belfast was reborn as one of Belfast's most popular visitor attractions.

The Guildhall
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
The Guildhall

Fashioned in neo-gothic style, the Guildhall is one of the most striking buildings in the North West and was originally built in 1887. The building now boasts a multifaceted tourism experience providing a central hub for visitors exploring the city