Fun Things To Do in Northern Ireland for Families to Create Lifelong Memories 

things to do in northern ireland for families

Updated On: April 17, 2024 by   Sara LynchSara Lynch

Northern Ireland is a fantastic destination for families seeking to explore nature, culture, history and art. It is home to stunning landscapes, idyllic coastal towns, vibrant city life, and hidden gems peppered throughout the land. 

There are many family-friendly things to do in Northern Ireland and in this article, we will discuss our favourites. Whether you want to bring the family along for an action-packed adventure or a peaceful retreat filled with strolls along sandy beaches, you can find something find in this list that the whole family will enjoy. 

Top Things to Do in Northern Ireland for Families

Start creating family memories that you will cherish for years to come, with these top things to do in Northern Ireland. Whether you need something age appropriate for young children or an activity that will get your older kids to lift their heads out of their mobile phones, we have the perfect family-friendly activity that will create lifelong memories fo the whole family. 

Visit the Giant’s Causeway 

This natural wonder is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-see attraction in Northern Ireland. The kids will love exploring the unique rock formations and hearing the legend of Finn McCool – a mythological Irish Giant who was said to have created the causeway in order to cross the Irish Sea and face his rival Scottish giant, Benandonner.  

You should also explore the Causeway Coastal Route while on this family trip. Take a scenic drive along the coast and stop by the picturesque towns and idyllic villages along the way.

Things to do in Northern Ireland for families – Giants Causeway

Cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Crossing the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is sure to be a thrill-seeking experience that the whole family will remember for years to come, although it is perhaps better suited to families with older children. 

The 250-year-old bridge towers over the crashing waves below and you can’t help but look down, even when you’re trying not to! Although it brings a great sense of bravery and reward when you have successfully crossed over – definitely one of the more adventurous things to do in Northern Ireland for families. 

things to do in Northern Ireland for families
Things to do in Northern Ireland for families – Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Take a Game of Thrones Tour

Northern Ireland is the filming location for many scenes in the hit TV series Game of Thrones. There are several tour companies that offer guided tours of the filming locations, which is a great way to bring the show to life for fans of all ages. 

Things to do in Northern Ireland for families – Game of Thrones

Some of the notable places you’ll stop off at include Ballintoy Harbour,  Portstewart Strand and the mystical Dark Hedges. 

Things to do in Northern Ireland for families – Dark Hedges

Go kayaking in Strangford Lough

Strangford Lough is a scenic sea inlet, that boasts stunning views of mature trees, gentle waves and historical ruins. It is also a great place to go kayaking, with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife such as seals and seabirds. It’s a great way to introduce your children to the world of nature around them in a fun and exciting way that will create moments of family bonding. 

Things to do in Northern Ireland for families – Strangford Lough

Fun Things to Do in Northern Ireland for Families

There are plenty of fun things to do in Northern Ireland for families. Whether you want to burn some energy with physical activities or explore the world of science, NI is full of incredible experiences that will stick with your family for years to come. 

Visit W5 

W5 is an interactive science centre in Belfast and is a great place to learn about science and technology through hands-on exhibits and workshops. Let your little scientists run free and learn about the world around them. 

Things to do in Northern Ireland for families – W5

Take a Belfast Bike Tour 

See the sights of Belfast on two wheels with a guided bike tour. Highlights include the Titanic Quarter, the political murals of West Belfast and the River Lagan. This is an ideal experience for families with older children. 

Go horse riding in the Sperrin Mountains 

Bring your children along for a scenic walk or horse riding session that is surrounded by the picturesque beauty of the Sperrin Mountains. Your kids will love the experience of exploring nature on horseback and embracing the stunning landscapes around them. 

If you like the thought of bringing your family along on a nature walk, check out the top places for an Autumn walk in NI

Visit Exploris Aquarium 

This aquarium in Portaferry is home to over 100 species of marine life, including sharks, seahorses, and rays. Your kids will love seeing the variety of sea life that live in the depths of the ocean. 

Escape the Maze at Castlewellan Forest Park

Castlewellan Forest Park boasts a stunning lake view that is surrounded by mature forest lands. There is plenty of family-friendly activities to do here, including bike trails, camping, water sports and of course, the top attraction – The Maze. find your way out with your family or split into teams for a race to the centre – it’s an amazing experience and one of our favourite things to do in Northern Ireland. 

Things to do in Northern Ireland for families – Castlewellan

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast is a bustling city full of vibrant city life. Bring the family here and enjoy family activities before working up an appetite to sample the delicious range of restaurants and cafes in Belfast

Explore Belfast Castle 

This historic castle is set against the idyllic backdrop of Cavehiil and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and an adventure playground. You could spend the whole day here with the family, whether you want to make the hike up to the Napolean’s Nose or simply enjoy the picturesque settings of the castle. 

With an onsite cafe, a regular ice cream truck and picnic benches that are peppered throughout the country park, it’s the perfect place to escape city life without having to travel far out from the city centre. 

Things to do in Northern Ireland for families – Belfast Castle

Visit St George’s Market 

St. George’s Market is an indoor market in Belfast and a great place to pick up local food, arts and crafts. It is a hub of Belfast culture and full of energy on the weekends. There is also regular live music being played and is one of the more unique things to do in Northern Ireland with your family. 

Visit Ulster Museum 

The Ulster Museum has a great collection of art, history, and science exhibits for the family to enjoy observing. It tells fascinating stories of the people of Ireland and provides an immersive experience of art, history and culture. It is also one of the free things to do in Northern Ireland for families. 

Visit Belfast Zoo 

This award-winning zoo is home to over 1,000 animals and is a great day out for families. Highlights include the Asian elephant and the Malayan sun bear. Bring your whole family along for a day to see your favourite animals, it is suitable for all ages and is sure to create a memorable experience. 

Check out this article for more fun things to do in Belfast for families.

Explore Things To Do in NI for Families 

Northern Ireland is a wonderful destination for families, with a range of activities, experiences and attractions to suit all ages and interests. 

Whether you’re exploring the natural beauty of the coast and picturesque mountains or delving into the history and culture of NI cities like Belfast Northern Ireland is sure to provide a memorable family experience that you will cherish for years to come. 


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