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100 brilliant ideas to keep kids happy this summer - Belfast



Belfast mystery treasure trail

Belfast mystery treasure trail

Belfast mystery treasure trail

Here's our pick of the most exciting things happening in Belfast:

1. The Belfast Mystery Treasure Trail

Donegall Square


• Trail booklet £6.99

Belfast is a historic city with all sorts of secrets hidden on its streets; uncover a few on the Belfast Mystery Treasure Trail and find out once and for all whodunnit!

The self-guided trail begins at City Hall on Donegall Square, from where you and your team of codebusters can nip down every nook and cranny and see if you can’t uncover any other long-held mysteries.

Visit www.treasuretrails.co.uk/things-to-do/co-antrim/belfast

2. Pirate Takeover at HMS Caroline

July & August

• Adult £10.75, child £4.25.

Step on board and test your sea legs as you experience life at sea over 100 years ago. Explore the ship with a Pirate Treasure Trail and see if you can find all the clues hidden throughout HMS Caroline. You can even find out if you are destined to become a sailor or a pirate! Make sure to drop into the learning room where you can walk the plank and get creative with a range of family craft activities.

Find out more at www.nmrn.org.uk/caroline-whats-on

3. Land of Legends 


Land of Legends

Land of Legends

Land of Legends



Until September 1

• Free with admission (adult £10.80, child £8.50)

Northern Ireland a land forged in fire, born in volcanic fury and sculpted by ice, wind and water. That’s how our story begins… ‘Land of Legends’ at W5 will take visitors of all ages on a whirlwind tour through some of Northern Ireland’s most spectacular landscapes and uncover some thrilling tales along the way. Find out more at w5online.co.uk/whats-on/land-of-legends

4. Better Kids Summer Bundle

Better leisure centres

Until September 8

• £10 per week or £40 for 6 weeks

Across all nine of the Better centres in Belfast, your child will receive access to unlimited swimming and use of a one hour tennis court hire a day. This offer also includes aqua splash sessions, soft play, badminton, squash and access to a Multi Sports Programme where your child can try a full range of sports. Visit www.better.org.uk/activities-for-kids-belfast

5. Bring your grandparents to the park

Botanic Gardens

August 21

• Free

Bring your grandparents to the park for some ‘It’s a small world’ themed fun. Try out the solar system, jungle and under the sea themed areas. Take a ride in space on the simulator, make jellyfish from slime, see a mermaid show, take a ride on the safari train, arts and crafts, face painting and much more.

6. Bright Sparks Summer Camp, W5

July 15-19

• Child £125

Calling all budding scientists! Bright Sparks is W5’s unique and exciting week-long summer camp for inquisitive young minds aged 8 to 11. Participants in Bright Sparks will get hands-on in a range of exciting, science-based activities such as crime labs, rocket races, animation and building challenges. Each day will have its own theme and our young experimenters will be encouraged to explore and learn in a fun and positive environment. Find out more at w5online.co.uk/whats-on/bright-sparks-summer-camp-1

7. Bumblebee Safari

Sir Thomas &  Lady Dixon Park,

July 26

• £3.50 per person

Come along and learn all about bumblebees and the wildflowers they visit.  Join Aoibhinn Corrigan from NIEA and the Lagan Valley Regional Park team for a walk through the summer meadows and gardens, hunting through the wonderful world of bugs and beasts and the habitat they live in. Suitable for children aged 5 and over. Find out more at laganvalley.co.uk/event/bumblebee-safari

8. Butterfly Ramble

Lagan Valley Regional Park

July 27

• Free

Discover butterflies on a peaceful meadow walk and learn how to survey these wonderful insects. This event is free, but booking is essential. Find out more at http://laganvalley.co.uk/event/butterfly-ramble-0

9. Streamvale Open Farm

Open every day

• Adult £8.20, child £7.60

Streamvale is not just a farm but a fantastic family experience with many opportunities for children and parents to learn and play together. Feed farm animals, stroke rabbits, hold cute chicks, cuddle adorable little puppies, get a free tractor or barrel ride and watch Chase complete a dog agility course! Find out more at streamvale.com 

10.Belfast Zoo’s Explorers’ Club


Belfast Zoo (Photo by Paul McErlane for Belfast Telegraph)

Belfast Zoo (Photo by Paul McErlane for Belfast Telegraph)

Belfast Zoo (Photo by Paul McErlane for Belfast Telegraph)


Belfast Zoo

August 12-16

• £35 daily rate, £125 for the week

Keep your little explorers busy this summer with the adventure of a lifetime at Belfast Zoo. Open to those aged 7-11, children will have the chance to explore the wonderful world of animals during a five-day programme of encounters, experiences, crafts and the change to meet zookeepers. Visit www.belfastzoo.co.uk

11. Bugsy Malone

Grand Opera House, Belfast

August 1-3

• Tickets £15.75-£24.25

Based on the 1976 film Bugsy Malone this gangster comedy musical tells the story of two gangs who are in a rivalry of Caponesque standards.Professionally directed and choreographed with a full live band accompaniment, the Grand Opera House’s production of Bugsy Malone features 150 talented 10 to 18-year-olds.

12. VR CityX

Cityside Retail Park, Belfast

Open every day

• £12 for 30 minutes, £20 for 60 minutes

Experience Virtual Reality like never before. Hop onto a VR future bike to beat the record lap while avoiding a dragon and lava or experience a thrilling ride on some of the scariest roller coasters on the VR space pods. With eight VR stations and 280 fun games, there’s something for everyone (over 7 years old). The future of gaming is here. Find out more at vrcityx.co.uk 

13. Girls Rock School Summer Camp

Oh Yeah Music Centre

August 19-23

• £10

Form a band, learn an instrument, write songs and perform live on stage over the summer holidays with Oh Yeah. Applications are open now. For more details visit ohyeahbelfast.com

14. We Are Vertigo Inflata Park


Open every day

• From £10.95 per person

We Are Vertigo’s 30,000 square feet inflatable playground is where childhood fantasy is a reality. The inflata park features inflatable floors, walls and slides, a sweeping arm plus a wipe-out assault course, making it the ultimate fortress of fun. The Inflata Park is suitable for all ages – so even the big kids can get in on the fun. Visit wearevertigo.com for more information.

15. Acoustic Picnic

Oh Yeah Music Centre

Usually the second Saturday of each month

• Free admission

Acoustic Picnic is a family-friendly lunchtime event at Oh Yeah Music Centre featuring live music with activities, games and crafts for children in a relaxed space for all the family. The cafe is open for coffee and light snacks but feel free to bring your own picnic. More at ohyeabelfast.com

16. We Are Vertigo Ninja Master Course

Titanic Quarter, Belfast

Open every day

• From £9.95 per person

Inspired by the hit TV show Ninja Warrior, We Are Vertigo’s two-lane assault course separates the students from the masters. Thrill-seekers are pushed to their limits to overcome a series of physically challenging obstacles as part of the race to sound the klaxon and claim their title as a true bone fide Ninja Master. Suitable for anyone aged 6 years old and up.  Visit  www.wearevertigo.com for more.

17. Movies at the Museum

Ulster Museum, Belfast

Until September 28

• £3 admission

This summer, National Museums NI, in partnership with Cinemagic, will be screening classic movies and family favourites at the Ulster Museum on the last Saturday of the month. The films will be screened in the Ulster Museum Lecture Theatre. For more information, visit www.nmni.com/whats-on

18. Storytelling Sessions

Ulster Museum

July & August

• Free admission, booking required

Bring your littlest learners along to free, interactive storytelling sessions and activities. Each month has a different theme – bugs and beasts, dinosaurs, space travel, and more! Plenty of adventure, inspiration and craft activities ensure that this is a fun way to learn. In July, the story will be the Singing Mermaid and Henry & the Bad Knight will be the chosen story for August and September. For more information, visit www.nmni.com/whats-on

19. Coderdojo

Ulster Museum

July & August

• Free admission

Coderdojo teaches young people how to write computer code for websites, apps, programmes and games through free clubs. Perfect for getting your budding software engineer up and running with one of today’s most valuable skills. Suitable for 8–15-year-olds. For more information, visit www.nmni.com/whats-on

20. The Lost City Adventure Golf

Cityside Retail Park,


Open every day

• Admission from £4

The Lost City Adventure Golf is fantastic fun and suitable for everyone. Experience the challenge of playing amid a thunder and lightning storm on the “carpeted” greens and you’ll meet talking statues, an alligator inhabiting the vast waterfall, a majestic Bengal tiger keeping watch and maybe a giant skull or two! Choose between two courses – Explorer Falls or The Sunken Skull Ridge. Find out more at www.lostcityadventuregolf.com/belfast

21. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Lyric Theatre, Belfast

July 17-21

• Admission £12

Join the intrepid family of adventurers and their musical dog on a quest to find a bear as they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud! Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes, plenty of adventure and a few surprises along the way. Based on the much-loved picture book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, this mischievous celebration of play is the perfect treat for families with children aged 3 and up.

22. Summer of Science

W5, Belfast

Until August 31

• Free with admission (adult £10.80, child £8.50)

Throughout June-August, W5 will host a wide range of science-linked, drop-in, family activities for you to enjoy. These daily events will excite curious minds, explore new ideas, and provide make and take activities that offer fun-filled opportunities for all the family! Find out more at w5online.co.uk/whats-on/summer-of-science

23. Mini Moon Sensory Disco

The Black Box, Belfast

July 20

• Free admission

The Black Box is hosting a sensory disco, supported by Children in Need, for ages 0-7 with any kind of disability. The music will be low, there are coloured lights and moving visuals, soft cushions, sensory toys, bubble machines, and lots of dancing. Visit www.blackboxbelfast.com

24. Lyric Summer Programme 2019

Lyric Theatre, Belfast

July and August

• Child £125

The theme for the Lyric Theatre’s Summer Programme this year is ‘Home’. In four weeks of workshops running from Monday to Saturday, the theme will allow young people to explore different interpretations of Home from landmarks across Northern Ireland to Northern Irish playwrights, while older classes will have the opportunity to devise their own pieces of theatre based on what home means to them. Find out more at lyrictheatre.co.uk/creative-learning/summer-school/

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