Find something for all the family to enjoy with our picks for family fun attractions in both Ards and North Down and Lisburn and Castlereagh, only a few minutes away from Belfast.
This wonderful centre is set on the shores of the stunning Strangford Lough. Get up close to Ireland’s largest collection of native and exotic waterbirds and migrant birds whilst taking in stunning estuary views. Explore the secret swamp, build a den in the Wildwood natural play area and feed the birds directly from your hand.
Hillsborough Castle and Gardens
This stunning Georgian mansion, the official residence of the Royal Family when they’re in Northern Ireland, promises a majestic day out with the family. Take a tour of the castle to discover the treasures within, or explore the expansive grounds and walled garden. Hillsborough Castle and Gardens regularly hosts family friendly events with activities for little ones.
Ulster Transport Museum
Be transported back in time and explore one of the most comprehensive transport collections in Europe at the Ulster Transport Museum. Learn about the history of transport in Northern Ireland and beyond and gain insight into how it has developed and transformed over the centuries. A well of inspiration for the designers, engineers and adventurers of the future.
Dundonald International IceBowl
Northern Ireland’s Olympic sized ice rink offers a great day out for all ages. Public skating sessions are available seven days a week, with DJ sessions at weekends. The attraction also offers tenpin bowling and a kids adventure play area.
Ark Open Farm
See lots of cute and cuddly rabbits, chicks, guinea pigs, pet lambs, kid goats and ponies. Get up close and enjoy lots of interaction, supervised by the friendly staff. Tour the farm on board the Bumble Bee Quad Train and enjoy fun on their Kangaroo Jumper.
Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum
Explore the rich history of Irish linen through friendly guides, interactive displays, and live spinning and weaving demonstrations. Visitors can see the heritage of craft skills in the daily demonstrations of hand-spinning and hand loom-weaving and admire the treasured collection of damask linen and costumes.
With 100’s of Native & Tropical species, your journey will begin with a focus on the lough and Irish Sea before venturing into a tropical paradise. Their recently expanded outdoor area is not only home to the Seal Sanctuary but includes their Asian Short Clawed Otters, Humboldt Penguins and Hector the Capybara. Enjoy the new “Under the Sea Experience Exhibit” which includes a tunnel through the largest tank!
Lagan Valley LeisurePlex
Bring the whole family to enjoy a session at Aqualand and the Lazy River in the largest leisure pool in Northern Ireland. Dominated by a great sunken pirate ship, complete with water cannons and mast, you’ll find a variety of exciting water rides and Ireland’s longest water slide. Due to its popularity, we advise booking in advance online.
Pickie Fun Park
One of Northern Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions, the park provides a fun day out, featuring an 18-hole mini-golf course, giant pedal swans, Pickie Puffer train, children’s play area, electric car track and splash pads. Open weekends 9am – 4pm in winter.
High Rise Indoor Adventure Centre
High Rise is an adventure centre in Lisburn with lots of activities for all the family. Clip ‘n Climb is for kids aged 4+ (and adults!) and soft play is for little adventurers up to age 8. The centre has been designed to be inclusive and accessible to allow the whole family to enjoy outings together, and includes a Changing Places accessible toilet. Located just 10 minutes from Belfast and just off the M1 at Sprucefield, High Rise should be top of the list for anyone planning a family day out in Northern Ireland.
Seapark Recreation Ground
Seapark Recreation Ground is a seafront facility perfect for all the family. Holywood’s main parkland and recreational area has a variety of activities including tennis courts, a bowling green, putting green and a children’s safe playground. The area is right on the seafront and has panoramic views overlooking Belfast Lough.
Hillsborough Forest is set in the picturesque Georgian village of Hillsborough and sits just a few minutes’ walk from Hillsborough Castle, adjacent to Hillsborough Fort. Visitors can now enjoy upgraded pathways throughout, stunning lakeside viewpoints with seating, additional picnic benches, extra car-parking facilities, and a state-of-the-art woodland-themed outdoor children’s play area.
Ulster Folk Museum
Step back one hundred years and discover the traditions and heritage of Ulster’s past at Ulster Folk Museum. Discover how keeping the heritage of our ancestors alive can help us reconnect with our past to grow and thrive in the world today. Explore authentic exhibit buildings, speak to historic characters and meet the makers as they perform daily craft demonstrations such as basket making, blacksmithing and baking.
North Down Museum
The museum is located in the picturesque grounds of Castle Park in the centre of Bangor. This free attraction is popular with all ages. The displays reflect the pivotal role nearby Bangor Abbey held in early Christian Ireland and throughout Europe. Discover how the monks met their fate at the hands of the Vikings and visit the full-sized Monk’s Cell and Viking Long-house.
A beautiful park perfect for families, located only a short distance from Holywood. Close to the attractive old town of Holywood, you can wander among twenty acres of woodland and lush parkland which run alongside the famous Bangor Road. The park is open all year and has wonderful displays of wild flowers throughout the seasons. Great fun can be had at the children’s playground as well as collecting conkers amongst the leafy wood – a perfect day out for the whole family.
A perfect park in the centre of Bangor and an ideal spot to enjoy the local wildlife and feed the ducks. It also has a chain of small lakes providing wildfowl sanctuary with many interesting specimens and dry pens containing a large variety of exotic birds.
Moira Demesne is a parkland offering beautiful walks, picnic sites and a children’s play area. The popular landmark which contains a varied selection of award-winning rose beds and is situated off Main Street, providing a quiet escape from the busy village.
Ballyholme Beach and Park
The beach is used all year round by wet suited windsurfers who come from all over Northern Ireland to skim along its waves in the breeze. Children love to paddle here and build sand castles, it’s the perfect place for a family day out with a bucket and spade.
Mount Stewart, the Irish family home of the Marquesses of Londonderry. Filled with the spirit and character of Edith, Lady Londonderry, the house, gardens and demesne reveal the history, grandeur and enchantment of Mount Stewart, bringing it to life in a glorious celebration of people, power and plants. With imagination, colour and passion, Edith created a sanctuary for world renowned guests, a playground for children and a place alive with her spirit of adventure and fun.
Lagan Valley Island
Lagan Valley Island is one of Northern Irelands’ premier venues. A striking purpose built venue, Lagan Valley Island caters for up to 402 people, with an extensive choice of rooms’ available, full disabled access and Lighters Restaurant onsite.
Cockle Row Cottages
Only 10 minutes from Bangor, these old fisherman’s cottages now house a heritage display, visitor information and weekend family events. The cottages feature a range of visitor and heritage information as well as a small gift shop. Whether it’s a weekend of free family fun or an afternoon away, Cockle Row Cottages are the perfect place for you!
Lagan Valley Regional Park
Between Stranmillis, Belfast and Union Locks, Lisburn, Lagan Valley Regional Park covers 4,500 acres of countryside and 11 miles of riverbank. The Regional Park is a mosaic of countryside, urban parks, heritage sites, nature reserves and riverside trails.
Millisle Beach Park
Millisle Beach Park is a rural beach off the Ballywalter Road on the Ards Peninsula. The park provides a small sandy beach, play and picnic facilities, a jetty and two slip ways. Car parking and public toilets are provided and there is also disabled access. Also situated nearby is a children’s playground which includes interactive equipment, the first of its kind in the Ards Borough.
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