We have all heard the phrase “We will travel when they’re grown” but why deprive your children and yourself of the amazing memories of travelling together, experiencing new cultures and enjoying valued family time. Deciding to take your young ones on a vacation can be a scary thought at first but with the right research and planning it can be a fun and enriching experience for the whole family.
Now Northern Ireland may not be the first place you think of when you are planning a vacation. However, we have put together a small list of family-friendly activities that are some of Northern Ireland’s top attractions that are going to make you want to pack your bags immediately.
1) The Giant’s Causeway
Who doesn’t love a good Irish Folk tale? The story of two giants, one from Ireland called Finn McCool and one from Scotland called Benandonner (who are not the biggest fans of one another) so they decide to build a pathway between the two countries for an impending battle. The story is about using your wits rather than violence and the children always get a kick out of hearing that Finn pretended he was a baby.
Located a couple hours north of Belfast, there are multiple day tours to the Giant’s Causeway from Belfast that make it super easy for a family to travel around. It is also a surefire way to get them tuckered out after a long day of sightseeing. Many of these tours also stop at the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, a restored 350 year old bridge suspended over the Irish Sea onto a small fisherman’s island. Crossing the bridge is not mandatory but for those with real adventurous kiddies, this is one for the memory book!
2) W5 Science Museum/Odyssey Pavillion
Located in Belfast City Centre at The Odyssey Pavillion is the fantastic W5 Science Museum. Inside are over 250 interactive exhibits that are both fun and educational and suitable for kids of all ages. Along with the museum’s permanent exhibits, you can find live science demonstrations, temporary exhibits and events. In addition to the museum, there are many other activities you and your family can do while at The Odyssey. No joke, you can spend an entire day here between the museum, a cinema, bowling alley, shopping centre and an ice arena which hosts the Belfast Giant’s ice hockey club.
Right behind the Odyssey Pavillion is the Titanic Quarter, home to the world’s leading Titanic experience, the Titanic Museum. Inside are nine interactive galleries that feature various themes such as her birth in Belfast, her faithful maiden voyage and eventual discovery on the seabed. It is a self-guided tour meaning you can go as fast or as slow as you and your family would like. Outside of the museum is also the Wee Tram, which takes you on a guided tour around the Titanic Quarter.
Now both the Odyssey and Titanic Museum are located within walking distance of the city centre, however there is a Belfast hop-on hop-off tour that will bring you out front of both of those locations. Weather dependent, your kids will enjoy the experience on an open-top double decker bus while cruising through Belfast taking in all the top sights the city has to offer.