There are plenty of things to do in Belfast, but it helps to plan some family-friendly excursions when you’re traveling with the kids. Now that I have two young kids, I find that everyone is happier on vacations when the kids can pick out a few activities to mix with our general itinerary. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do in Belfast with kids that should satisfy everyone from toddlers to older kids.
You’ll find a variety of things to do with kids in Belfast, such as children’s museums, hikes, gardens, water parks, and more. You may even find it hard to continue your Northern Ireland trip with all the activities you want to do here!
Keep reading for some of the most popular kid’s attractions in Belfast.
1. Stroll Rowallane Garden
The Rowallane Gardens is a beautiful spot for your toddler to feel like a true prince or princess. Enjoy a colorful day out with the kids in this woodland and a seemingly magical garden. A range of unusual plants and a few sculptures bring this landscape to life.
Here, you and your family can take pictures beside the water features or picnic on the lawns. This dog-friendly park is great for birthday parties or a treasure hunt to find all the various plant species in and around this area.
This is a wonderful place for budding botanists or mushroom foraging. If nature and the environment are a fun dinner table topic, this is the perfect hidden gem for you and your family.
2. Get Wet at Andersonstown Indoor Aqua Park
The Aquapark is one of the only things to do in Belfast for kids that includes water. Who doesn’t enjoy a dip every now and then? This is also the largest water park in all of Northern Ireland, offering fantastic fun for everyone in the family.
There are water slides, a surf simulator, and a play area for kids to enjoy at this popular kid activity in Ireland. The three water slides vary in difficulty (or bravery) and open up the exhilarating experience to everyone – not just the daredevils.
If your kids would like to surf, around five meters of wave sheet will challenge each budding surfer regardless of age or skill level. Be sure to pre-book your sessions so you don’t get turned away from all the fun, as this is one of the more memorable things to do in Belfast with kids. This is an advantage when looking at Dublin vs Belfast to visit.
3. Hike the Gruffalo Trail
If you’re looking for magical things to do with kids in Belfast, why not take them to an enchanted forest? This activity is perfect for any Robin Hood or fairy princess, and the deep woods offer a trail for kids to hunt for the carving of Gruffalo characters.
Located in the Thorndon Country Park, the trail is great for parents looking to hike while giving their kids a reason to enjoy hiking. The path can take around 45 minutes to complete so that it won’t be too hard on toddlers.
The Gruffalo Trail was designed to help kids better understand the woodlands and surrounding areas. The trail is based on the Gruffalo story by Julia Donaldson – so it would be fun to read the book first and explore it later.
4. Spend the Day at Colin Glen
Family days out in Belfast can include tons of adventure at Colin Glen. Right in the heart of Belfast, the kids can get their adrenaline pumping with a range of thrilling activities.
Colin Glen offers leisure, mountain, and river activities. Putt some balls at the indoor golf course, zip your way through the forest in a Flyover Zipline or catch a game of laser tag.
Kids can choose history and heritage walks, archery, or try their hand at the Black Bull Run. Colin Glen is an ideal day trip from Belfast for the whole family as there is something for everyone.
5. Pretend You’re a Farmer at Streamvale Open Farm
The Streamvale team is open and friendly and makes farm life look easy. Visitors can help them out too. Whether you’d like to feed, milk, or even cuddle the animals, you are more than welcome to. The happy staff is excited to help and guide you.
There are also tractor rides, pony grooming, and barrel rides, among many other unique activities. This farm is usually open during the spring in Ireland as well as the summer, so be sure to check it out if you’re in the area.
Since this is a working farm, parents will want to call in and check which activities are available as things depend on the weather and farming necessities.
6. Learn About History at Ulster Museum
On a rainy kids’ day out in Belfast’s Ulster, the museum makes for a culturally enriching and uber enjoyable trip. The museum is filled with art, history, and natural sciences to intrigue the mind, making it one of the more educational things to do in Belfast with kids.
You’ll learn plenty of fun facts about Ireland as you wander through the museum.
Belfast has a list of fun activities for tiny humans, and this part of the list speaks to the older kids. Tweens and teens who may not be as delighted by the Gruffalo trail can find some fun Belfast activities that they wouldn’t mind snap-chatting about.
7. Explore Titanic Park
On a tour of Titanic Park, you’ll be able to explore the intriguing details of the Titanic itself, although this activity is better suited to older kids that have watched the movie before. Although, the interactive displays and presentations detailing the ship’s construction could also be interesting to little ones.
For the nautical enthusiast, a shipyard ride is an exhilarating experience that shows visitors a simulation of the shipbuilding using special effects. The Titanic was built on this site and pays homage to the first voyage and enriches minds both culturally and intellectually.
There are two cafe options around the gallery. Here, you and your family can sip on something refreshing before leaving the exhibit.
Looking for a hotel? There are many places to stay in Belfast near the Titanic Quarter.
8. Observe Wildlife at Window on Wildlife
The WOW (Window on Wildlife) offers bird enthusiasts a spectacular opportunity to learn about birds and wildlife from around the earth. The nature reserve provides educated staff and volunteers that will teach you more about the animals and help you distinguish one from the other.
The Belfast Lough Reserve consists of around four different sites, Window of Wildlife is one of them. On the same stretch of land, you can also see places like Harbor Meadows, Whitehouse Lagoo, and Holywood Banks.
If you’re thinking about things for kids to do in Belfast surrounding conservation, your kids can enjoy animals, wildlife, and a little bit of ornithology, at the Window on Wildlife. If a birding safari was ever on your bucket list, this is a stunning location to improve your bird-watching skills and learn about the earth’s various birds.
9. Play Mini Golf at Lost City Adventure Golf
The Lost City is an 18-hole golf course that promises an adventure. The best part is that the whole family can join and the activity welcomes some healthy competition. The golfing takes place on a rainforest-themed golf course.
It is situated right outside the Belfast city center and makes for a great day trip with a tiki bar on the premises. After you’ve given the little ones a run for their money, the family can sit down for some delicious snacks and refreshing drinks.
10. Test Your Knowledge at Prison Island
Activities in Belfast are quite broad, and this escape room proves just that. Get the family together for a quick attempt at your own version of Prison Break. This task may be a lot better for the older kids and could help bring your family just a tad bit closer.
The Prison Island cells make use of a range of challenging skills. You may have to use some intellectual and physical superpowers. But, we guarantee that the experience is worth all of the effort. Finally getting out of the cell makes up for any arguments that may or may not occur while trapped inside.
11. Walk Through Botanic Gardens
The gardens are a fascinating place to be, especially if you’re a nature lover looking for a touch of paradise in the wintered heart of Belfast. Visitors can expect a rose garden, bird feeders, sculptures, and an alpine garden.
It’s the ideal spot for spontaneous picnics or organized park events. If you’re in Belfast at the right time, you can catch a light show for Christmas, festivals, or art showcases.
12. Ice Skate at Dundonald Ice Bowl
If you’re looking for a range of things to do in Belfast with kids all in one place, the Ice Bowl is the perfect location (especially for families of mixed ages). While the center is most popular for ice skating, a range of fun activities like tenpin bowling, and Indiana land is also available.
The ice skating rink has sessions with a DJ, or Santa and even offers ice-skating lessons, while the tenpin bowling is interactive and reflects lots of UV lights to spice up the atmosphere. The center also has a Sinnamon coffee shop and Starbucks takeaway for snacks.
13. Have Fun With Science at W5
The first word to describe W5 is “explore.” This interesting location allows young people to explore the bounds of science and nature, imagination, and creativity. There are around eight exhibition zones and over 250 interactive exhibits.
Kids can go from the skull cave to the Lost Planet and MED-Lab for pure childlike play and limitless fun. This science center also allows kids to understand the basics of physics and engineering through play. With added exhibits inspired by Peter Pan and a top-notch art studio, your kids can enjoy a well-rounded day of exhilarating education.
14. Admire the Beauty of Giants Causeway
The Giants Causeway is best known for its beauty, covering around 40,000 basalt columns that meet the sea. The causeway offers lush beauty along the Antrim Coast that mixes the magic of myth and science to provide a wondrous location that you can’t find anywhere else in the world, making it a popular Irish landmark.
A Giants Causeway tour allows you to cover the UNESCO World Heritage site in the countryside. You and your family will have a tour guide that takes you through the main attractions like the Carrickfergus Castle and the Old Bushmills distillery (for the parents, of course).
Regardless of where you stay in Belfast, there are tons of things to do in Northern Ireland for families. Unique day trips are available for every kind of family with any type of budget (such as a day trip from Dublin to Belfast if you’re just in town for the day).
Not renting a car while in Belfast? Grab a spot on this Giant’s Causeway tour that will take you straight there from the city.
15. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory
Nestled in east Belfast, this candy store has been around since 1953 and has opened its doors to magic and wondrous excitement. Homemade candies are a great way to treat your kids.
At Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory, the kids can shop to their heart’s content and get tons of cool gifts for their best friends in the process. Your options range from fizzy to chewy, toffee to mint and traditional bonbons are a firm favorite too.
There are also tons of workshops available which show kids how to make a variety of delectable goodies like chocolate pizza and hard candy. Kids can even mess around making slime. Most workshops last about an hour and a half, but be sure to get a booking as the workshops fill up fast.
16. Visit Narnia at CS Lewis Square
If you’re a fan of Narnia and are looking for the literary side of Belfast with kids, you can find this exciting space in the east of Belfast. Currently, there are over 300 trees and seven statues by Maurice Harron, an Irish artist.
The square was inspired by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, characters from C.S Lewis’ book. Here, you can explore coffee bars featuring locally sourced coffee and enjoy interactive screens, as well as a wall map that brings this square to life.
17. Ride a Train at Whitehead Railway Museum
Kids in Belfast can also enjoy a ride around the tracks at the Whitehead Railway Museum, which introduces them to the fascinating inner workings of trains. Your kid can learn all about a 140-year-old engine and get to know the kinds of trains in Ireland.
When you’re ready for a pitstop, your family can find a seat at the in-house cafe, Platform 3. Enjoy the broad range of food and hot foods while surrounded by historically themed settings.
There are tons of things to do in Belfast with kids, so now you can get started on planning out which ones sound best!