There's fantastic family fun everywhere in Northern Ireland this Easter
There's so much to do and discover right on your doorstep here in Northern Ireland and Easter is no exception with a whole host of events taking place. There's also lots of cool places to stay and a wealth of indoor activities for you to check out just in case the weather doesn't play along.
Armagh and Down: There’s so much more to explore
The fun at Funny Farm Adventures in Castlewellan starts with the huge 8-ft tall Maize Maze. After that, you’ve got pedal karts, a bouncy castle, mini assault course, giant slide, crazy golf, splash zone and a sand pit – not to mention the quad barrel train, mini sand digger, archery and even laser clay shooting.
With stunning views across Strangford Lough, Delamont Country Park outside Downpatrick has a five star camping and caravanning site, outdoor adventure playground, miniature railway, picnic and barbecue areas and outdoor gym alongside a range of walking and biking trails from easy to difficult.
Out on Strangford Lough, a Clearsky Sea Safari will take you past ancient castles and lighthouses, a shipwreck, the famous whirlpools – and even the world’s first electricity-generating tidal turbine. Along the way you may even spot the local seal colonies, some rare birds and maybe a dolphin.
The 3D StarDome show at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium leads you on a breathtaking tour of the night sky, through the constellations and round the planets. Then, once you’ve your feet back on the ground, take a stroll through the Planetarium’s gardens known as the Astropark, where there’s a scale model of the solar system to explore.
Derry: The Maiden City is made for Fun
How about some glamping at Carrowmena Activity Centre? There’s something for every age, ability and interest – from zip-lining, archery and wall climbing to surfing and kayaking. And after all that, what could be better than relaxing around the campfire for a story and a singsong?
In the mood for some high-octane adventure? Then head for Foylehov Activity Centre. You can take a hovercraft out for a spin or whizz around the racetrack in a Powerturn Buggy. Then there’s laser tag, archery, clay pigeon shooting and footgolf. What - you’ve never tried footgolf? It’s time you did.
Prefer to take things at a gentler pace? Then a two-day Slow Adventure Horseback Tour through the beautiful Faughan Valley is the perfect way to connect with nature. The tours include expert tuition and guides, accommodation, hire of a horse and riding hat.
Fermanagh and Tyrone: From bikes and boats to buns - it’s all here.
Davagh Forest outside Cookstown offers a range of mountain biking and walking trails ranging from gentle and relaxing all the way up to white-knuckle expert level. Full tuition is offered, and bikes, boots and other equipment are available for hire.
Got a budding little Masterchef in your house? If so, then a visit to Wee Buns Cookery School outside Moy is a must. The school offers classes just for children where they bake and decorate their own cakes – and then take them home for everyone to enjoy.
In the beautiful Fermanagh lakelands, Finn Lough offers a true touch of luxury – with a full spa, boating, kayaking, pedal crafts, fishing and walking all on offer. There’s also a wide range of accommodation, including catered suites, self-catering cottages and the famous bubble domes (suitable for grown-ups only).
At Drumbaragh Stables there’s trekking, pony camps and professional lessons for everyone from absolute beginners up to more advanced riders. And if you are just starting out, don’t worry - the staff are experts, and the animals are all well trained.
Belfast: Big city fun for everyone
We Are Vertigo is Europe’s largest indoor activity centre – and there’s certainly plenty to choose from, including indoor skydiving, dodgeball, stunt pits, the huge Inflata-Park and loads more!
If your kids are crazy about animals, be sure to visit Streamvale Open Farm. There’s a complete agriculture-themed play village, plus the children get to cuddle puppies and baby chicks, help feed the new lambs, groom ponies, watch real-life milking, go for a tractor ride – and so much more.
Let’s Go Hydro, Ireland’s newest and largest aqua park, offers everything from kayaking, paddleboarding and wakeboarding to the fantastic water obstacle course. The glampsite has a range of accommodation pods, plus there’s a house boat and safari lodge. Wetsuit hire and full tuition available.
Generations of children have grown up loving The Chronicles of Narnia, but do yours know that the author was from Belfast? At CS Lewis Square there are seven bronze sculptures from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, including Aslan, The White Witch, Tumnus, The Beavers, The Robin and The Stone Table. Free to visit.
Causeway Coastal Route: Brilliant beaches, a wobbly bridge – and dodgems too
The spectacular Causeway Coastal Route has some of Ireland’s best beaches. What’s more, six of them – Portstewart Strand, Portrush East and West Strands, Whiterocks, Downhill and Benone Strand at Magilligan – hold Blue Flag certificates for their safety, general cleanliness and water quality.
Beaches that are perfect for a family day of swimming, paddling, playing or just relaxing include Portstewart Strand, Castlerock, Portrush, Benone and Downhill.
If you’re looking for somewhere suited to action sports like surfing, kite surfing and paddleboarding, jet skiing and kayaking, try Runkerry, Whiterocks or Portballintrae.
And speaking of action and adventure, you must see Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. 20-metres across and 23 metres up in the air (sea birds are flying beneath you!), the walk across is an unforgettable – and slightly wobbly – experience!
A genuine Northern Ireland icon, Barry’s in Portrush has been entertaining families and kids of all ages for generations, with rides such the Big Dipper, the Cyclone, Ghost Train, Carousel – and of course, everyone’s favourite – the dodgems.
In Carnfunnock Country Park you’ll have a chance to explore a maze, ride a miniature railway, play mini golf, climb into a Walk on Water (WOW) ball, have a bounce on a bungee run – and set sail for fun in the maritime-themed outdoor adventure playground. They’re all here– along with acres of forest, nature trails and a mysterious walled garden…
Discover it all this Easter by planning your short break today at discovernorthernireland.com