Categories: things to doFamilies

Ideas for families heading to County Antrim

For slides and climbing frames, the superb 45-acre Ballymena’s People’s Park is a great place to start, plus there's lots of ducks nearby who love to be fed with delicious seeds. Antrim Lough Shore Park on the shores of Lough Neagh has sea-themed playgrounds, a miniature railway and mini-golf for wee pirate adventurers…har-haaar!

If the weekend weather is kind, you could take the older ones to Sandy Bay and hop aboard one of the Island Warrior boat trips to Ram’s Island for an island adventure and picnic or a Carnlough Bay Boat Tour to spot dolphins and seals on the converted ship’s lifeboat ‘Curiosity’. It’s a real hoot at the World of Owls in Randalstown where you can meet fascinating birds of prey up close and personal, or saddle up the perfect pony at Sheans Horse Farm in Armoy. And there is no end of open farms to visit like Watertop Farm in Ballycastle or Kilcregggan Urban Farm in Carrickfergus for a great day out in the fresh air.

Teens can make a big splash at The Lake Kilrea.  Northern Ireland’s largest water park near Coleraine with loads of inflatables, slides and fresh water lake activities but the 11-acre park is suitable for ages 6 and up. A thrill-a-minute walk on The Gobbins cliff path in Islandmagee will live long in the memory. The Insta pics alone will make them famous!

Ideas for families hitting the Causeway Coastal Route & Glens

For the wee ones, rockpooling at the Portrush Nature Reserve to spot crabs, starfish, seals and porpoises is a lovely gentle thing to do in the gorgeous sea air. But if they - or let’s face it, you - are looking for a bit more energy-zapping stuff, Larne’s Carnfunnock Country Park is the spot with its hundreds of acres of walks, trails, family fun zone and activity centre.

On this stunning coastline, a visit to Giant’s Causeway has to be made with your older ones. There is a bit of walking involved on the trails to the stones so they’ll need to be reasonably fit. But the resulting views and pics will be worth the effort. For water fanatics, try hovercrafting with the peeps at Limitless Adventure Centre in Limavady or kayak with Causeway Coast Kayaking and see the coast from a unique angle. And of course, a boat trip to Rathlin Island to see the puffins, ‘upside down’ West Light lighthouse and amazing wildlife will stay in their memory banks for a long, long time.

Ideas for families exploring Belfast

For your little explorers The Maritime Mile Treasure Trail is a fun self-guided adventure along 18 stops on the waterfront where they uncover facts and answer questions about what they see – plus a chance to win prizes online! On fine days, Belfast Zoo is always a treat as is Colin Glen with its delightful Gruffalo Story Walk where they get to meet characters from everyone’s favourite storybook on this charming walking trail.

Curious older minds gravitate to W5, a must-see interactive experience. With eight zones packed with over 250 interactive exhibits to excite and inspire, it’s a no-brainer for families with kids from 6 years old and upwards. Not far outside the city, you can take them on fun and thrilling mountain biking trails in Barnett Demense where different coloured trails will suit all abilities. Or pay a visit to Streamvale Open Farm and hold cute liitle chicks, feed the rabbits, visit the deer – or maybe take a tractor ride for the first time! If the weather is unkind, go indoor bouncing, skiing or climbing at We Are Vertigo in Newtownbreda while your teens could have a go at getting airborne by skydiving indoors at Vertigo Titanic Park in Belfast’s Titianic Quarter.

Ideas for families touring around County Armagh

For great family days out and fun for the small ones, simply head to Gosford Forest Park outside Markethill and enjoy the Little Explorers playpark for the under-5s or Squirrels Drey for the over 7s. Hop across to the hidden gem of Lurgan Park - all 259 acres of it – will keep them occupied for the day too as will the wee delights of the playground and walking trails of the Palace Demesne Public Park in Armagh.

You can’t leave the Orchard County without a trip to Slieve Gullion Forest Park where all ages are covered with The Giant’s Lair Children’s Story Trail to keep the young ones enthralled and the action-packed Adventure Playpark for the older ones. Check out the state-of-the-art play park at the People's Park in Portadown too or let Oxford Island in Craigavon spoil you with miles of walking paths, ponds, birdwatching hides and meadows.

For budding stargazers, Armagh Observatory & Planetarium is out of this world for indoor fun. And for some outdoor adventure, they can learn all about Cuchulainn and his warrior gang - and meet ‘Iron Age Celts’ in person - at The Navan Centre and Fort.

Ideas for families visiting County Down

With superb forest parks like Rowallane Garden there’s loads of fun to be had on the climbing wall, fireman’s pole, rope-bridge – there’s even a giant spider at ‘Animal Wood’ in Castlewellan Forest Park, and don’t forget the mind-boggling Peace Maze there too. Between Bangor and Holywood is Crawfordsburn Country Park where kids can choose between the natural play area or spotting hedgehogs, rabbits, badgers, seals and herons.

If you’re out Downpatrick way, get your gang into Delamont Country Park for adventure playground fun or a chug around on the miniature railway. Which reminds us that The Ulster Transport Museum is well worth a visit too with its collection of amazing machines including the iconic Delorean car! The fun never stops at Bangor’s Pickie Funpark which is great on sunny days with an outdoor paddling pool and big sand pit for playing, plus swan-shaped pedaloes for everyone to enjoy. Elsewhere you can just let those little and large imaginations run wild on the Narnia Trail or have a gentler time on the Fairy Glen walk at Kilbroney Park in gorgeous Rostrevor.

Ideas for families holidaying in County Londonderry

In Derry city itself, The Playtrail is one of the most fun places around with junior play park, sensory garden and an enchanting woodland fairy walk.

Stop by Creggan Country Park for a raft of watersports such as their inflatable water assault course, aqua zorbing, canoeing and kayaking, pier jumping, and raft building. Land activities are also available like an assault course, paintball and treasure hunting. White Horse Adventure and Faughanvale Stables offer pony riding and trekking while also connecting with nature, of course. A few miles south, Jungle NI is choc-a-bloc with exciting activities, like a Tarzan treetop adventure course.

For your older crew (and even yourselves) Far and Wild run bespoke urban and wild adventures such as city rollerblading and paddleboarding, or moonlight kayaking and wild hiking and biking experiences.

Ideas for families aiming for County Fermanagh

Fermanagh is lakelands heaven, so naturally there’s lot of water-based family adventures waiting for you. Take a trip on Lough Erne on the MV Kestrel waterbus or aim for Share Discovery Village which works for the inclusion of disabled and non-disabled people and the perfect spot for thrilling outdoor activities. You’ll find soft play areas for the wee ones next to Enniskillen’s Lakeland Forum while your older kids will spend the day in tunnels, slides, swings and net climbers. If that doesn’t tire them out, Cuilcagh Boardwalk & Marble Arch Caves will, and is always a memory-packed visit for everyone with its awesome subterranean caves, sinkholes and rivers, or the gorges, waterfalls and ancient woodlands above ground.

Ideas for families spending time in County Tyrone

As our largest county, Tyrone is the daddy when it comes to fun and adventure. For high energy stuff, the award-winning Todds Leap has over 20 action-packed activities including off-road driving, 500-metre zipline, freefall drop-zone…and the Big Yella slide. Kids who love mountain biking will love Davagh Forest with its fast red trails but there are family-friendly trails too - or give the short skills course a go. Or aim instead for Blessingbourne Country Estate to meet working farm animals and they can bring their bikes along too to bop along on the fun bike trails.

Make memories at An Creagán nestled in the ancient and majestic Sperrins foothills, where you can follow the river, forest and wildlife trails or dive into a day of mini-adventures, with bike hire, an adventure playground, on-site café and all you need for a family picnic by the community garden and pond. Why not step back in time at the Ulster American Folk Park where you can learn all about the brave emigrants who left for America hundreds of years ago. Meet costumed characters with stories to tell of life before mechanisation, household appliances and TV – your kids will gasp in horror – step on board a life-size ship or grab a selfie in period costume. And of course, a family picnic in the stunning woodland tranquillity of Gortin Glen Forest Park nestled nicely in the Sperrins is one of life’s simple pleasures

Like we said, loads to do for families with kids of all ages. Your only problem is which thing to do first…thankfully we don’t have to work that one out for you. But do share your experiences with us on our hashtag #MyGiantAdventure… when you figure it out!

The People’s Park
Public Park
The People’s Park

45-acre urban park in the heart of Ballymena with something to do for all the family - you can check out the lake full of ducks, modern playground, urban art, sports facilities, delightful flowers and onsite community initiatives.

Antrim Lough Shore Park
Public Park
Families on a riverside path with many docked boats.

Situated on the shores of Lough Neagh, the Lough Shore Park in Antrim is a popular destination for visitors and residents at all times of the year. It is an area steeped in history and natural beauty with many attractions and activities to enjoy.

Island Warrior (Boat Trips to Ram's Island)
Sightseeing
Image shows a walkway and various types of boats in a marina

The Island Warrior is a licensed passenger boat that takes visitors to Ram's Island.

Carnlough Bay Boat Tours
Boat Tours
Curiosity boat leaving historical Carnlough harbour

Memorable, invigorating boat trip in this area of outstanding natural beauty. Passengers have the chance to spot an array of marine life including dolphins, seals, porpoises and various seabirds.

World of Owls
Nature Sanctuary
A closeup picture of an eagle owl flapping its wings.

World of Owls hopes to bring people, young and old, from all sections of the community to a beautiful location where they can be shown the need for conservation by one of nature’s most wonderful creatures.

Sheans Horse Farm
Land Adventure
Sheans Horse Farm

Whether you’re a total beginner or a confident rider, experience the freedom, fun and buzz of horse riding at Sheans Horse Riding and Heritage Centre. Located close to the village of Armoy, adjacent to the Glens of Antrim on the Antrim Coast.

Watertop Farm
Camping & Caravan Site
Caravan pitches

Watertop is a family farm in the Glens of Antrim offering Caravan and Camping facilities in a peaceful, scenic location

Carrickfergus Urban Farm & Garden Centre
Open Farm
Carrickfergus Urban Farm & Garden Centre

Carrickfergus Urban Farm and Garden Centre at Kilcreggan is a free popular attraction for local families and visitors. Visitors can handle and feed a variety of animals, enjoy our picnic areas, explore the bug hut and play area plus relax in our onsite café.

The Lake Kilrea
Water Sports
The Lake Kilrea

The Lake Kilrea is an outdoor adventure and water park, offering a wide range of family-friendly activities including a water-based inflatable adventure park, canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, climbing wall and zipline.

The Gobbins Cliff Path
Outdoors
A view of the tubular bridge with flowers on the rock face and the ocean beyond.

On the thrilling Gobbins Experience, nature isn’t content to just sit back and be admired. It completely engulfs you: from the all-enveloping Irish Sea winds and the dolphins dancing off the coastline. Pull on your walking boots and enjoy this 2.5-hour walking tour through tunnels and bridges with the waves crashing at your feet.

Portrush Nature Reserve
Nature and Wildlife
Portrush Nature Reserve

Portrush reserve hides a tale of heated debate around the origin of rocks. It was also seen as the battleground of two schools who had different views and debated on the formation of basalt when geology was being developed as a science 200 years ago.

Carnfunnock Country Park
Public Park
Signpost at Carnfunnock Country Park

Packed full of fun family activities and attractions, Carnfunnock Country Park offers over 191 hectares of mixed woodland, colourful gardens, way-marked walks and spectacular coastline, with panoramic views of the Antrim Coast and North Channel.

Giant's Causeway
The National Trust
waves lap over the basalt stones at the giants causeway

Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs, the Giant's Causeway is a geological wonder and home to a wealth of history and legend. The 40,000 basalt stone columns left by volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago, has captured the imagination of all who see it.

Limitless Adventure Centre
Activity Centre
Limitless Adventure Centre

If you’re up for a challenge, then Limitless Adventure Centre is definitely for you. Adrenalin junkies and thrill seekers will love the array of experiences on offer including hovercrafting, operating a Powerturn Buggy, football golf or lasertag.

Causeway Coast Kayaking
Canoeing & Kayaking
Causeway Coast Kayaking

Fully guided tours and experiences of the Causeway Coast by kayak, including twilight/moonlight paddles and a Game of Thrones ® location tour. All beginner friendly.

Rathlin Island
Causeway Coastal Route
Rathlin Island

Amidst the rugged landscape of this isolated island, you can let your mind wander and discover a tranquillity and beauty that is so unexpected.

RSPB Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre
Visitor Centres & Museums
RSPB Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre

Just six miles off County Antrim's north coast with must see views of Northern Ireland's largest seabird colony and a chance to explore Rathlin's unique 'upside down' lighthouse part of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland Trail.

The Maritime Mile
Self-guided tour
The Maritime Mile
Belfast Zoo
Zoo / Aquarium
Belfast Zoo

Belfast Zoo is home to more than 130 species of animals. Come along and say hi to Asian elephants, giraffes, lions and if you're brave enough enter the reptile and amphibian house.

Colin Glen
Forest Parks
River Rapid, Ireland's longest zipline. Available to book at Colin Glen.

Colin Glen is Ireland’s leading adventure park - a land of storytelling and a state of the art sports park with world class attractions. From Alpine coasteering to laser tag, golfing to the Gruffalo Trail, Colin Glen has adventure for everyone.

W5
Science Centre
A mesmerising exhibition at W5 with a young boy walking through an optical illusion

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.

Barnett Demesne
Walking & Hiking
Barnett Demesne

This route explores an historic estate in Lagan Valley Regional Park, taking in Malone House, meadows, woodland and along the River Lagan.

Streamvale Open Farm
Open Farm
Image shows cartons of ice-cream with a cow in a field nudging one of the cartons

Streamvale farm is nestled in the rolling hills on the edge of Belfast. The family farm has lots to offer including baby animal cuddling, lots of fantastic play areas and many live shows and demonstrations for all the family to enjoy.

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

With inflatable floors, inflatable doors, inflatable walls, inflatable falls you are invited to bounce, ski, play and climb. at We are Vertigo. Explore The Mechanical sweeper, The Travelator, The Inflatable Ninja Area, The High Slides, The Wipeout Assault Course. Or for little daredevils that love to climb over everything? Bring them along to the adventure centre and watch them play and explore. For 2 hours, let them scale the 30ft climbing wall, conquer their fears on the high and low ropes course, or play in the 3-tier soft play village.

Vertigo Titanic Park
Skydiving & Parachuting
Vertigo Titanic Park

Vertigo Titanic Park, located just 5 minutes from Belfast's City Centre is home to two completely unique, adrenaline-fueled activities. Indoor Skydiving and Ninja Master Course, suitable for ages 4+. It's a great day out for all ages.

Gosford Forest Park
Forest Parks
Family enjoy a cycle through woodlands at Gosford Park

Gosford Forest Park comprises some 240 hectares of diverse woodland and open parkland. Enjoy facilities for all including playparks, mountain bike, horse and walking trails and a pump track.

Lurgan Park
Public Park
Lurgan Park

Lurgan Park is the second largest public park in Ireland, and is enjoyed by as many as 2000 people every day. The beautifully landscaped parkland contains a number of well maintained paths which provide excellent walking and running ground.

The Palace Demesne Public Park
Public Park
The Palace Demesne Public Park

Situated within walking distance of the City Centre, for over two hundred years the undulating parkland of the Palace Demesne has been one of the glories of Armagh.

Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Adventure Playpark and Fionn's Giant Adventure
Forest Parks
Children playing around a giant book in Slieve Gullion Forest Park

Slieve Gullion is Ireland's Mountain of Mystery. The Forest Park offers walking trails, a scenic drive, an Adventure Playpark, Fionn's Giant Adventure children's story trail and Courtyard with coffee shop.

Portadown People's Park
Public Park
Portadown People's Park

For a fun family day out in Portadown come on down to the People’s Park and discover all of the unique attractions, activities and events on offer.

Oxford Island Nature Reserve
Nature and Wildlife
Oxford Island Nature Reserve

Oxford Island National Nature Reserve is a peninsula created by successive lowering of Lough Neagh. Four miles of footpaths, five birdwatching hides, woodland, ponds, wildflower meadows, picnic and play areas.

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 the exhibition area and take a relaxing walk through the Astropark taking in our trails.

Navan Centre and Fort
Visitor Centres & Museums
Navan Centre and Fort

Navan Centre, located just two miles from the Cathedral City of Armagh, interprets one of Ireland’s most important ancient monuments, Navan Fort; the ancient capital and seat of the Kings of Ulster.

Rowallane Garden
The National Trust
Rowallane Garden

This unique garden has grown from the 19th century beginnings of the Reverend John Moore and his nephew Hugh Armytage Moore. Their vision created a place where you can leave the world behind and immerse yourself in nature's beauty.

Castlewellan Forest Park
Forest Parks
View of the Annesley Walk in Castlewellan Forest Park

Castlewellan Forest Park boasts a stunning Victorian Castle, incredible panoramic views, scenic walking trails, 27 km of mountain bike trails, nature play perfect for the kids, an on-site multi-activity centre, hedge maze and equestrian centre, making it a must-visit for all ages.

Crawfordsburn Country Park
Country / Royal Park
Leafy pathway through the country park

With tranquil walks through peaceful meadows and wooded glens and a stunning waterfall, Crawfordsburn Country Park provides a relaxing natural retreat.

Delamont Country Park
Public Park
Child climbing and another on a slide in the play park, at Delamont Country Park.

Situated on the shores of Strangford Lough in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh offers peace, beauty and tranquillity. The stunning views across Strangford Lough and the relaxing atmosphere make Delamont Country Park a place to enjoy that 'away from it all feeling'. It is home of the Strangford Stone - the tallest megalith in Ireland. This beautiful 200-acre Country Park offers a great day out for visitors of all ages. Whether you are a keen walker, a nature lover or simply looking for a great day out for all the family you will find plenty to entertain you in Delamont Country Park.

Ulster Transport Museum
Visitor Centres & Museums
Vintage double decker bus

Celebrate the history of invention and innovation through engineering, design, and technology at the Ulster Transport Museum. Check out the famous DeLorean, a Ferguson tractor and the motorbikes of some of Northern Ireland's biggest road racing legends!

Pickie Fun Park
Adventure Park / Playground
Photo of people enjoying rides on the Giant Swans pedal boats on the blue waters of the man made pond at Pickie Funpark

Enjoy a fun day out at Pickie Fun Park. Try out the 18-hole mini-golf course, giant pedal swans, Pickie Puffer train, children's play area, children's electric car track and more.

Kilbroney Park
Forest Parks
Children being photographed in Kilbroney Park

Kilbroney Park Forest features riverside walks and an arboretum. There is a two-mile forest drive which showcases panoramic views over Carlingford Lough. There is also a Play Park with children's play area and tennis courts, an Information area and a café all on site.

The Playtrail
Public Park
The Playtrail

The Playtrail is an outdoor play & educational resource that hosts an on-going programme of activities for children.

Creggan Country Park
Activity Centre
Creggan Country Park

Creggan Country Park is a not for profit watersports, outdoor pursuits and angling facility based in Derry.

White Horse Adventure
Tailor-made Tours
White Horse Adventure

Listen to stories of locals, times gone by and nature as you trek whilst taking in panoramic views of Derry, Donegal and beyond. Spend the night in the 4-star White Horse Hotel where you can relax in the hotels Leisure Club facilities.

Faughanvale Stables - Riding School, Pony Club and Trekking Centre
Equestrian
Faughanvale Stables - Riding School, Pony Club and Trekking Centre

Faughanvale Stables has a wide range of facilities including 2 indoor arenas, an outdoor arena, floodlit, fantastic hacking and a cross country course for the more advanced riders.

The Jungle NI
Activity Centre
The Jungle NI

Nestled in an enchanting woodland in the very heart of Northern Ireland, just 45 minutes from Belfast, The Jungle is the perfect location to engage with life and put to test your sense of daring and adventure. Some of the activities on offer include high ropes Tree Top Adventure for kids and adults, archery, coasteering, kids Polaris Quad Bikes, Llama trekking, segway tours and downhill zorbing.

Far and Wild
Outdoor Activity/Pursuit Centre
Group overlooking the Peace Bridge in Derry city on the Foodie Cycle Tour

Far and Wild is the leading eco-adventure company in the North West of Ireland, bringing you activities including Moonlight Kayaking, Coasteering, and Stand Up Paddle Board tours.

Erne Tours (MV Kestrel)
Boat Tours
Erne Tours MV Kestrel

Erne Tours offers daily sailing to Devenish Island on board the MV Kestrel. New for summer 2024 the Kingfisher is the latest addition to the prestigious Erne Tours fleet.

Share Discovery Village
Activity Centre
Share Discovery Village

You are in for a fun time when you visit Share as we offer 30+ activities on water and land that include an action-packed Wibit Water Park, stand up paddleboarding, dinghy sailing, canoeing, archery, banana skiing, indoor and outdoor climbing wall, mountain biking, kayaking, windsurfing, orienteering and a wide range of creative arts.

Cuilcagh Lakelands UNESCO Global Geopark
Forest Parks
Old Castle Archdale Forest

Cuilcagh Lakelands UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the rugged mountainous uplands and the gentle rolling lowlands of Counties Fermanagh and Cavan, stretching from the northern shores of Lower Lough Erne in County Fermanagh to the southern shores of Lough Oughter in County Cavan.

Marble Arch Caves
Cave
Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark

Marble Arch Caves- Magical, Unique and Memorable. The Marble Arch Caves is a major tourist attraction, set in the picturesque foothills of Cuilcagh Mountain, just a short journey from the Island town of Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Todds Leap Activity Centre
Activity Centre
Todds Leap Activity Centre

Days outs at Todds Leap are all about getting outdoors, spending time with friends and having lots of fun! There are over 20 action packed activities available including off road driving, a 500m zipline, a giant swing, a free fall drop zone, woodland trails and the Big Yella Slide, all spread across a purpose-built off-road track, so getting around is really fun!

Davagh Forest Trails
Mountain Biking Trails
Davagh Forest Trails

Located approximately 6 miles north west of Cookstown, in the heart of the Sperrin Mountains, Davagh Forest offers gentle mountain biking and walking trails as well as an impressive 16km red trail with some rock slab drops you will never forget!

Blessingbourne Mountain Bike Trails and Pump Track
Mountain Biking Trails
Blessingbourne Mountain Bike Trails and Pump Track

The Blessingbourne Mountain Bike Trails, near Fivemiletown, lie in the heart of the Clogher Valley and are packed full of technical trail features such as berms, tabletops and rock drops. The trails at Blessingbourne are suitable for all ages and abilities and always provides a fun day out.

An Creagán
Visitor Centres & Museums
An Creagán

Set in breathtaking surroundings you can recharge your batteries and enjoy one of the many walks and cycle trials on the grounds and take in the sights and sounds as you pedal or walk through the open landscape and forest trails. Or perhaps just enjoy the beauty, peace and quiet and relax in our picnic area by the community garden and pond.

Ulster American Folk Park
Visitor Centres & Museums
Ulster American Folk Park

Journey back in time at the Ulster American Folk Park, from the Old World of Ulster to the New World of America. Learn what life was like in rural Ulster, step on board the full-scale emigrant ship and enjoy craft demonstrations performed by guides in traditional costumes.

Gortin Glen Forest Park
Forest Parks
Gortin Glen Forest Park

There are over 10km of walking trails, a 6km scenic drive, wildfowl enclosure and deer enclosure and a new children's playpark to enjoy and explore.