Belfast Telegraph

100 brilliant ideas to keep kids happy this summer - the full list

Belfast Zoo (Photo by Paul McErlane for Belfast Telegraph)
Belfast Zoo (Photo by Paul McErlane for Belfast Telegraph)

No matter what the weather's doing, there's no need to be bored. Rachel Dean and Sarah Tulloch present their guide to an action-packed couple of months. Here's the full list:

1. The Belfast Mystery Treasure Trail

Donegall Square

Anytime

• 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

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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

W5

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

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

Newtownbreda

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, Belfast

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/

25. Dalriada Festival

dalriada.jpg
 

Glenarm Castle, Ballymena

July 13-14

• 2-day tickets from £41.53, under 12’s go free

Northern Ireland’s biggest family festival weekend, the Dalriada Festival 2019, makes a huge return to Glenarm. Enjoy a feast of music, amazing food and fun for kids including Tractor Ted and Paw Patrol. Visit http://www.dalriadafestival.co.uk

26. Mini Beasts for kids

Antrim Castle Gardens & Clotworthy House

August 10

• Free admission

Children aged 6-12 are invited to join park rangers on an activity packed and fun-filled workshop focussing on the amazing world of insects. See and learn about the many different mini beasts that live right under our noses. Adults welcome too! Visit www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk 

27. Beach Investigations

Jordanstown Loughshore Park, Newtownabbey

August 19- 21

• £2 admission

Get up close to the creatures which rely on our seashores. Come along every day or drop in on the days that suit. Sessions are aimed for primary school aged children, however all ages are welcome. Visit www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/beach

28. Brighter Nights

Lilian Bland Community Park, Glengormley

Fridays, July 5-August 30

• Free admission

Make the most of those long summer nights. Rain, hail or shine, Brighter Nights offers free family fun every Friday with different themes every week including Animal Antics, Dance & Fitness, Science & Nature, Sports, Circus and others. Find out more at www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk

29. Troggs Surf Camp

Troggs Surf School, Portrush

July and August

• £95 for five-day course or £25 for a single session

The Troggs Quiksilver Kids Surf Camps are a fun way for kids to learn how to surf and to meet new friends.

They’ll cover all the basic elements on surfing, safety and ocean awareness. Find out more at www.troggssurfschool.com 

30. Causeway Coast Summer Street Entertainment 

Various resorts

July 8 - August 31

• Free admission

Visitors to the Causeway Coast and Glens region can enjoy a variety of street theatre shows in the various resorts. Suitable for all ages this annual family event is popular with locals and visitors each year.

Come along and enjoy the street theatre, featuring exciting circus shows which incorporate a mix of slapstick comedy and circus skills including fire juggling, giant unicycles, stilt walking and fire breathing. Find out more at www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com

31.The Ould Lammas Fair

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Rachel Rose from Newtownabbey turns into a butterfly at the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle, County Antrim
 

Ballycastle

August 24-27

• Free admission

Two days of trading, bargaining, traditional music and dance, horse trading village, amusements, artisan market and street theatre complimented by activities over the preceding weekend to add to the atmosphere in the beautiful seaside resort of Ballycastle. Find out more at http://www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com

32. Puffin Express and  Carrick-a-Rede Sea Safari, Ballycastle

Every Saturday in July

• £35 admission

The sea safari departs from Ballycastle Marina across the Rathlin round to the south west corner of the island. Hopefully you will see seals and find puffins, gannets, gullimots, fulmars and razorbills. Enjoy the amazing views and keep a look out for dolphins and basking sharks, then speed across to Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge to enjoy the views. Next stop Kenbane Castle before returning to Ballycastle. Bookable through all visitor information centres.

33. North Coast Summer Scheme

County Antrim

July 22-26

• £75 for the week

Join us for a ‘50 things to do before you’re 113/4’ inspired week of activities. Site visits to special places like the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Downhill and Rathlin Island as well as lots of fun and games! Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/whats-on

34. Need4Speed Indoor Karting

Doagh

Open every day

• Admission from £12

Need For Speed Indoor Karting offers a medium octane, high adrenaline experience great for kids of all ages so long as they’ve over 4ft 8in tall. Speed around the track on cool 270cc Honda-powered Karts and Mini Motos. There are kids’ karts available and you don’t need any previous experience in order to thoroughly enjoy yourselves. Find out more at need4speedkarting.com

35. Little Wingers Pizza Workshops

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Little Wing pizza workshop
 

Little Wing pizzerias  across NI

Every day, booking required

• £7.95 per child

Homegrown pizzeria brand Little Wing offers fun and interactive pizza-making workshops across all eight of its restaurants. During the workshop, ‘Little Wingers’ will be kitted out in chef attire and taught about the origins of pizza.  Once the basic training is complete, they will get the opportunity to make a pizza from scratch, from rolling out the dough to adding the toppings.  Fresh dough sticks and homemade garlic butter will be at the ready while the creations cook in the oven.  Find out more at http://www.littlewingpizzeria.com

36. Barry’s Amusements

Portrush

Open every day

• Free admission, 50p per token

Barry’s is Northern Ireland’s longest running amusement park, with more than 90 years behind it and it remains a fun-filled destination for friends and families to visit. Whether you’re looking for the thrills of The Big Dipper or a ride on their traditional carousel, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Barry’s. Find out more at www.barrysamusements.com

37. Shoreline Festival

Jordanstown

Loughshore Park

August 24&25

• Free admission

Enjoy a bank holiday weekend of free family fun and music, including amusements, street theatre shows, live music and arts and crafts activities.

38. Fossil Hunting

Ballintoy

July 5

• Free, but booking required

Calling all fossil hunters! Join the ranger team in Larrybane Quarry and go hunting for exciting fossils and identify what you find. Learn about common fossils to be found along the Causeway Coast. Visit www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com/whatson/fossil-hunting

39. Geology Walk

White Park Bay

August 31

• Free admission, donations welcome

Geology tour in association with Earth Science Ireland. Learn about the geology of Ballintoy Harbour and White Park Bay coastal path. Booking is essential. Find out more at www.nationaltrust.org.uk

40. The Galgorm Castle Fairy Trail

Galgorm Castle,Ballymena

Open every day

• Admission: Adult £2, child £3

Discover an enchanted route through Galgorm Castle’s woods where every detail has been lovingly handcrafted to complement the local flora and fauna. Amongst the trees spy a fairy village complete with miniature wonders, including an outdoor library.

You’ll even be able to pay a visit to the tooth fairy! Little believers can knock on her door, drop off their teeth and await a special surprise in the morning. Visit www.galgormcastlefairytrail.co.uk

41. Wetland Explorers

Castle Espie Wetland Centre, Comber

Until September 1

• Free with admission (adult £7.52, child, £4.17)

There are loads of exciting wetland challenges waiting for you including pond dipping, mini-beast hunts and den building. Pick up your free Wetland Explorer log book and trail map at Wetland HQ on arrival and set off into the wild to learn how to light a fire, track wild animals and become a wetland detective with our expert rangers. It’s a wild day out for the whole family!  Visit wwt.org.uk

42. Fair Weather Fridays

Conway Square, Newtownards

August 9, 16, 23 and 30

• Free

Bring on that Friday feeling with dazzling acts and street theatre including acrobatics, fire-juggling, comedy and more! Fun for all the family! Find out more at  www.ardsarts.com

43. Hillsborough Castle and Gardens Food Festival

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Hillsborough Castle

July 5-7

• Adult £13.90, child £6.90, under 5s go free

Join us for the first ever food festival in the grounds of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens this summer. Enjoy a majestic day out exploring 100 acres of beautiful gardens and pick up some fabulous local food and drink produce. From live cookery demos from chefs and experts to entertainment on the bandstand, it’s set to be a fun weekend for all the family. Find out more at www.hrpfoodfestivals.com/hillsborough-castle

44. Exploris Aquarium’s 3rd Birthday Bash

Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry

August 15

• Adult £9.45, child £8.10

Head to Exploris Aquarium for a day of birthday fun as they celebrate turning three with you and over 200 underwater species and reptiles. There are lots of fun-filled activities for all the family and Exploris are offering free entry to anyone celebrating their own birthday on August 15 too! Visit www.explorisni.com/events/3rd-birthday-bash/

45. Summer Doggy Fun Day

Hugh McCann’s, Newcastle

July 7

• Adult £5, children & dogs go free

This is Little China Dog Rescue’s first annual doggy fun day, with all proceeds going to their rescues. With face-painting, a dog themed market, food for both you and your pups and an exciting dog show, this is sure to be a great day for the whole family, including your four-legged friends. Find out more at facebook.com/LittleChinaDogRescue

46. Children’s Arts Festival

Island Arts Centre, Lisburn

July 22-August 16

• Admission fee varies

Young people aged 4-13 years will join like-minded creatives to create, design and turn their ideas into action through group and solo projects. The choice of four exciting weeks will include visual arts, drama, dance and music. Find out more at Islandartscentre.com

47. Horrible Histories Live on Stage

Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough

August 10-14

• Included with admission (adult £8, child £4)

We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! Join in the Hanover Handover and meet all the King Georges. Help cure the Mad King and watch the Duke of Wellington try to give someone the boot. And explore the gruesome hospital conditions with Florence Nightingale. Learn the horrible history of Britain with the nasty bits left in! Visit www.hrp.org.uk/hillsborough-castle/whats-on

48. Tropical Butterfly House

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Seaforde
 

Seaforde

Open every day

• Admission £6.30 for adults, £4.20 for children

The Tropical Butterfly House is the atmospheric, jungle home to myriad species of free-flying butterflies from the Blue Morpho to the King Page Swallowtail. Visitors are encouraged to wander around the heated jungle and enjoy a close-up experience with these colourful and exotic butterflies. Find out more at seafordegardens.com

49. Aqua Park Inflatable Obstacle Course

Cable & Wake, Carryduff

Thursdays-Sundays

• Admission: £12

Test your skills at this inflatable obstacle course on water, ideal for adults and kids alike! All welcome from age 7 (110 cm tall) but you must be comfortable in the water and able to swim. Climb up the XXL Action Tower and jump off into the water or bounce around on the water trampoline.

New pieces to arrive just in time for the summer holidays! Find out more at www.cableandwake.com/aquapark

50. Beanstock Music and Arts Festival 2019

The Little Green

Allotments, Lisburn

July 20-21

• Tickets £27-50

Beanstock is back and better than ever for its 3rd year running to celebrate the best of NI musical and creative talent. The festival is not just for the big festival goers, but the little ones too – there’s a Mr Hullabaloo puppet show, Kidz Farm NI, Zaza Makes Arts & Crafts tee-pee, Fete Games & Wildlife Watch. Visit www.thelittlegreenallotment.co.uk/beanstock-2019

51. Rock Pool Picnic

Strangford Lough

July 26

• Admission: Children £3

Young wildlife enthusiasts will love this day out at the magical Kearney Village on the outer Ards Peninsula. Discover the amazing creatures lurking beneath the seaweed and slithering through the pools. This promises to be a great day out for all the family. Wellingtons are highly recommended.

52. Pickie Fun Park

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Pickie Fun Park
 

Marine Gardens, Bangor

Open every day

• Free admission, attraction prices vary

This is one of Northern Ireland’s favourite venues for people of all ages to enjoy traditional seaside fun and games and there’s more on offer than ever before, with new and exciting features including a splash pad, children’s electric cars and an 18-hole nautical themed mini golf course! Find out more at www.pickiefunpark.com

53. Let’s Go Hydro

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Lets Go Hydro
 

Knockbracken Reservoir, Carryduff

Open every weekend

• From £12 per person

Splash into summer with Let’s Go Hydro, Ireland’s largest water sport, activity and accommodation resort. It offers a range of aqua-based activities for all ages to enjoy.  Its popular, larger-than-life aqua park guarantees the ultimate day of inflatable fun on the water. For more information, visit letsgohydro.com

54. Folk Movie Club

Ulster Folk Museum

Every other Saturday, until September 28

• Included with admission (adult £9, child £5.50, under 5s go free)

Let your kids watch the films you watched as a child in the museum’s authentic 1850s Gilford Picture House as you dust off some nostalgic family movies. The first Folk Movie Club will be kick off with a showing of the original Jungle Book. See www.nmni.com/whats-on for more information.

55. Children’s Ceili at the Museum

Ulster Folk Museum

August 10

• Included with admission (adult £9, child £5.50, under 5’s go free)

Side-step and spin your way through a social ceili! A traditional ceili was a chance for everyone to get together for some socialising with raucous music and dance. Friendly guides will be on hand to teach your little ones a few jigs and reels. For big kids too!

Visit www.nmni.com/whats-on.

56. Donkey Weekend

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The Donkey Breed Society Championship Show takes place at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum on August 4 and 5
 

Ulster Folk Museum

August 3-4

• Included with admission (adult £9, child £5.50, under 5s go free)

Fancy cheering on your favourite donkey as they take part in a fancy-dress competition? The annual Donkey Championship  will see a host of these adorable animals and their handlers taking part in competitions, alongside egg and spoon races, sack races, food sampling and music. Entry to this event is included in a general admission ticket to the Ulster Folk Museum. For more information, visit www.nmni.com/whats-on

57. Makers in the Museum

Ulster Folk Museum

August 18

• Included with admission (adult £9, child £5.50, under 5s go free)

Come along to this unique craft and food fair to pick up some traditionally-made items that you’d never find on the high street. See how passionate makers and bakers are keeping traditional know-how alive. Try your hand in a range of craft workshops and demonstrations running throughout the day.

58. East Coast Adventure Summer Day Camp

Drop off and collect in Warrenpoint

Every Monday-Friday in July and August

• £110 per child for the week

With a wide range of activities available utilising the best of the Mournes and Carlingford Lough, East Coast Adventure Centre caters for children aged 8-14. They offer a fantastic list of activities throughout the week, everything from zip line, archery, canoeing, banana boating, mountain adventures, sports for all and many more. Visit www.eastcoastadventure.com/summer-activity-camp/

59. Family Bike and BBQ

Mount Stewart

July 27

• £8.50 per person

Ever wanted to cycle the trails at Mount Stewart? Now you can. In conjunction with Cycling Ireland, the grounds of Mount Stewart will open for families to enjoy an evening of cycling, BBQ, free bike maintenance and bike marking. Visit nationaltrust.org for more information

60. Pirates’ Picnic

Castle Ward

July 12-13

• Included with admission (adult £9.50, child £4.75)

Ahoy me hearties!  Captain Ward is back from sailing the seven seas for a fun filled two days at Castle Ward. He’s looking for fresh swashbucklers to join him. Join or prepare to walk the plank! Come dressed in your pirate finest and discover some hidden treasure.

61. Kids' Nature Trail

North Down Museum, Bangor

August 14

• Child £3

Join this fascinating interactive nature trail led by Patrick Cregg from the Woodland Trust and bird expert Dot Blakely. They will teach you and your children all about the natural habitat of the birds and animals who live in the picturesque grounds of Castle Park, Bangor. Visit www.northdownmuseum.com/

62. Dundonald International Ice Bowl, Dundonald

Open every day

• Activities from £3.60

Get your skates on  and take to the ice rink for a literally cool day out, scamper through hidden tunnels and swing over daring rope bridges at Indianna Land or become king of the lanes in the bowling centre with spectacular glow in the dark sessions and interactive games. Visit theicebowl.com

63. InterAct - Youth Arts Festival 2019

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InteRact Youth Arts Festival
 

Millenium Forum, Derry

July 3-6

• Free

This four day festival really is something exciting for any young person aged 12-21 to get involved in. It offers free access to a range of workshops involving dance, music, gaming, costume design, art, writing and much more. Visit www.millenniumforum.co.uk/education/interact-youth-arts-festival-2019/

64. Summer Movies for Kids

Waterside Theatre, Derry

Wednesdays in July

• Admission £1.50

Throughout the summer, the Waterside Theatre will be showing kids' films on Wednesday afternoons. Movies include Wonder Park, Dumbo, A Wizard’s Tale and others. Find out more at www.watersidetheatre.com/content/whats-on/3

65. Sperrin Fun & Heritage Farm

Feeny

Tuesdays-Sundays in Summer

• Admission: £5.50

Enjoy a fun-filled day for the whole family with indoor and outdoor play areas, bouncy castles, quad train rides, chicken runs, and lots of friendly farm animals. Find out more at www.sperrinfunfarm.com/

66. Carrowmena Summer Camp 2019

Carrowmena Activity Centre, Limavady

July 15-19, July 29-August 2 or August 12-16

• £90 for 3 days and £120 for 5 days

This year’s Carrowmena Summer Camp brings adventure and fun back to the North Coast. Divided into age groups, children aged 8-16 can experience the excitement and adrenaline that Carrowmena has to offer while making new friends and having new adventures. This camp offers both land and water activities such as archery, canoeing, abseiling and much more. Visit carrowmena.co.uk/product/kids-summer-camp-derry

67. Locknload Laser Tag Centre

Springtown Industrial Estate, Londonderry

Open every day

• Admission prices from £5

Come all guns blazing to Locknload in Londonderry. Let your mini-fighters take part in a shooting experience suitable for children and teenagers. Choose between Airsoft, Paintballing, Laser Tag or Nerf Wars and enter your game. Find out more at www.facebook.com/airsoftderry

68. Summer of Sport at Springhill

Moneymore

July and August

• £7 for adults, £3.50 for children

Experience the great outdoors, learn a new skill and take in that fresh air with an abundance of sporting activities throughout the school holidays. Challenge friends and family to a game of football, tennis or table tennis while little ones have their own tailor-made mini challenges in the Laundry Yard. Have a go at horseless showjumping – four-legged friends can try this one too! For more info visit nationaltrust.org

69. JumpLanes Trampoline Park

Glenaden Complex, Coleraine

Open every day

• Admission from £5

Bring your children (aged 5 or over) to JumpLanes for a fun workout they’ll love. It provides an alternative approach to having fun, keeping fit and playing with friends or family.  Take part in some of the games the staff organise or jump to your heart’s content. Find out more at www.coleraine.jumplanes.com

70. Under 5’s Bounce JumpLanes

Coleraine

Every Saturday morning

• Admission: Child £5, parents go free

Every Saturday at 10am, JumpLanes operate an under 5s trampoline class where children, along with their parents, can run, bounce or skip in the trampoline centre of slide down the sloped sides. Find out more at www.coleraine.jumplanes.com/under-5s

71. Stendhal Festival

The scene at the Karma Valley stage at Stendhal 2017. Photography by Ciara McMullan.jpg
Stendhal Festival in 2017 / Credit: Ciara McMullan
 

Limavady

August 15-17

• Tickets from £40

Stendhal Festival is a multi-award winning music and Arts Festival which takes place each year in the stunning, scenic surroundings of Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady. Stendhal is proud to be a family friendly festival that strives to introduce the arts to a new generation. Along with workshops, there’s  a fantastic line-up of family and children’s entertainment lined up to perform at the festival. For more visit stendhalfestival.com

72. Family Fun Days

The Jungle NI, Magherafelt

Selected Mondays and Sundays until September

Similar to a fun-fair, The Jungle’s Family Fun Day is an open-park day and offers a range of outdoor activities such as archery, bungee trampolining, wall climbing, a crazy golf cart challenge, face-painting, an inflatable assault course, kids mini quad bikes, a paintball target range, pedal boat rides and much more. Visit www.thejungleni.com/event/family-fun-days/

73. Kite Festival

Portstewart Strand and Downhill Demesne

July 29-4

• Included with admission (adult £6.85, child £3.45)

This high-flying spectacle returns as a week long festival on the North Coast, offering fun for all the family. Award winning kite displays, stunt kite performances and synchronised kite teams make this a festival not to be missed. For more visit nationaltrust.org.uk

74. Forest Summer School Scheme

The Jungle NI, Magherafelt

July 23-25

• £36 for all 3 days

Children learn best when challenged and interested, their self-esteem grows and they interact better with others. The Jungle NI appreciate the impact being surrounded in nature can have on your health and well-being. Highly skilled and accredited Forest School leaders deliver specialised Forest School sessions, aiming to  provide a good foundation of knowledge on our physical and natural environment, bring awareness to the importance of being in nature and most of all to have fun while doing it. Visit www.thejungleni.com/event/forest-summer-school-scheme

75. Heroes and Legends

Armagh Planetarium

July 6-7

• £5.50 admission

Marking a special return to kick off this year’s exciting summer programme, Heroes & Legends takes place every day between 10am-4.30pm and promises to take your space enthusiasts on an experiential journey of discovery. Come along and meet iconic costumed characters including Harry Potter, Spiderman, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Star Wars and many more. Bring your camera to make those memories last!

76. Teddy Trails

Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Craigavon

August 6-10

• Child £3

A week dedicated to encouraging young ones to learn and appreciate the world around them in the beautiful surroundings of Oxford Island. Activities will include woodland walks, minibeast hunts, bird watching and arts and crafts. Who knows, if you are lucky enough you may even meet a Gruffalo on your walk! Visit www.oxfordisland.com/bookings

77. The Gathering: Stories Through Fire

Navan Centre & Fort, Armagh

August 3

• Adult £15.25, child £10.00, under 4s go free

The Navan Centre & Fort celebrate their annual Celtic festival of Lughnasa, marking the beginning of the harvest season.Enjoy a fun-filled evening of musical entertainment, dancing, spectacular fire performances, face painting and a dedicated children’s area- guaranteed fun for all the family.

78. Lazy Sundays

The_Argory.jpg
The Argory
 

The Argory, Dungannon

Every Sunday, July and August

• Included with admission (adult £7, child £3.50)

Packed with activities for all the family, with everything from kids’ entertainment, BBQ and laid-back tunes, you can relax and enjoy your ‘Lazy Sunday’.

79. Superdrive Karting

Armagh

Mondays-Saturdays

• Price varies

Superdrive Karting is home to some of the fastest, most exciting outdoor karting and rally tracks in Northern Ireland. Your little Revheads can get their whoosh on with super charged 160cc and 270cc karts! The star attraction is the additional Junior Rally Experience: it includes full equipment, training and briefing, concluding with a heart thumping high speed demonstration by current rally drivers, with you in the literal passenger seat! Not something they’re going to forget in a hurry! Visit www.superdriveni.com/

80. C&J’s Animal Park

Portadown

Open Tuesday-Sunday

• Adults £6, children £5, under 3s go free

C&J’s Animal Park is a great place to take the kids to meet a wide variety of animals and is easy to get around, with customised paths, and easy access to the aviaries, animal pens, and the ever popular reptile house. Fluffy friends for the kids to meet include rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, and chipmunks, plus they have a number of animals from other continents such as wallabies, emus, skunks, and parrots! They also have some really cute micro pigs, and some not so cute reptiles such as snakes, lizards and even crocodiles! Visit www.cjsanimalpark.com

81. Waves Leisure Complex

Lurgan

Open Monday-Saturday

• Admission: Adult £5, children £4

Waves Leisure Complex offers an action-packed day to suit all ages. With 25m of deep blue water, there’s plenty of space for the kids to show off their swimming skills. And there’s an infant pool for the little ones who just want to paddle.  Outdoor fun can be had too with the vast array of watersport activities on offer. Be daredevils and try your hand at the exhilarating banana boating, or climb aboard the new aqua park and challenge yourselves. Visit getactiveabc.com/facility/waves-leisure-complex

82. The Science of Dragons

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium

August 16-17

• £5.50 per person

Join Scientific Sue on this most historical and creative journey of scientific discovery. The live science show is based on the book written by Cressida Cowell: How to Train Your Dragon. Find out if Cressida is a Scientific genius or just a fantastic story-teller. Scientific Sue will need lots of brave volunteers to help her investigate and explore the science of how dragons fly. Then, using some of the science behind different ‘fire types’ (steam, ice fog, explosive gases, burning rocks, flammable gases and of course smoke and flames) she will create her own dragon.

83. Space Quest Laser Tag

Sheepbridge Family Entertainment Centre, Newry

Flexible opening times

• £10 for two games

Space Quest is one of the largest laser adventure arenas in Northern Ireland, holding up to 20 players at one time. This super modern combination of hide and seek and laser rifles is an epic war game without the war wounds: no bruises, no mess, just harmless lasers and loads of fun! Visit www.sheepbridgefec.com/space-quest

84. Loughgall Country Park

Loughgall, County Armagh

Open every day

• Free admission, car park charge £2.20

Loughgall Country Park offers peace for parents and fun for the children. The exciting adventure play area and Junior Adventure Trail are styled like a mini assault course with swinging steps, Burma Bridge and Tram Tracks for kids to burn off some energy and get some exercise. Similar but physically larger Trim Trails around the park offer random opportunities to get in even more clambering about, with things like the Pole Climb, Balance Beams and Ladder Walk. Visit https://www.loughgallcountrypark.co.uk/

85. Go Batty

Ardress House, Portadown

August 2

• Included with admission (adult £6, child £3)

Did you know there are over 1,200 different species of bats? Go and find out about the resident bat population at Ardress House. Help identify all eight of Northern Ireland’s bat species that live at Ardress and make some batty crafts to take home. Visit nationaltrust.org.uk

86. Lady of the Lake Festival

Irvinestown

July 11-21

• Free

Folklore has it that the legendary lady of the lake walked amongst the mists and islands of Lough Erne bringing a sign of good times ahead. This festival sees 10 days of entertainment, music, dance, family fun, truck convoy, sports, fancy dress, competitions and plenty more.

87. Marble Arch Caves Geopark

Fermanagh

Open every day

• Adult £11, child £7.50

The Marble Arch Caves allow visitors to explore a fascinating, natural underworld of rivers, winding passages and lofty chambers. Lively and informative guides conduct tours past a bewildering variety of cave formations. Tours last for 75 minutes and are suitable for people of any age and of average fitness. For more visit marblearchcavesgeopark.com.

88. Castle Archdale Countryside Centre & War Museum

Enniskillen

Open every day

• Free admission

The country park boasts beautiful woodland and lough shore walks, an insect garden and wildflower meadow. Exhibitions at the castle explain the role it played during the Second World War and displays items such as old parts of aeroplanes, fuel tanks and old documents.

89. Forest School

An Creagan, Omagh

July 5 and 26, August 2 and 30

• £25 for 4 toddler sessions, £40 for children aged 5-11

The Summer Toddler Forest School lets little ones discover outdoor play and learn through the environment while The Forest School Club is a great opportunity for children aged 5-11 to enjoy a couple of hours letting off steam, having fun exploring the woods, learning new skills and cooking tasty treats over the campfire. Activities include shelter building, bug hunting, making potions, art projects, whittling, fire lighting and cooking as well as lots of traditional outdoor games. For more visit an-creagan.com

90. Share Discovery Village

Lisnaskea

Open every day

• Admission: £8

Up for an adventure? Head out to Share Discovery Village  - an action-packed activity centre for the whole family where you can choose from a fantastic range of water, land or art-based instructor-led activities. Find out more at sharevillage.org

91. Creatures of Crom

Crom Estate

July and August

• Included with admission (adult £6.50, child £3.25)

Experience a guided outdoor tour with one of our rangers every Thursday at 2.30pm to hear all about what lives and lurks around the magnificent Crom estate.

92. Florence Court Honey Show

Florence Court

August 25-26

• Included with admission (adult £7, child £3.50)

Come along to Florence Court and see the busy bees at work and meet local Fermanagh beekeepers. Have a go at making a ‘busy bee hotel’ with your little ones to take home and use in your own gardens to help care for our bee populations.

93. Casey’s Creatures

Ranfurly House Arts & Visitor Centre, Dungannon,

July 7

• £6 entry

Bring your youngsters to visit a range of animals including a meerkat, snake, skunk, hedgehog, owl, giant frog, armadillo and a raccoon dog! Pet and hold interesting and unusual animals while learning all about them at this interactive show. Visit https://dungannon.ticketsolve.com/shows/873606368

94. Junior Summer Golf Camp PGA Tuition

Magherafelt,

July 24-26 

• Admission: £41.20

Tee-off this summer at Tobermore Golf Club where kids can enjoy the environment of learning and playing with others. From the novice to elite juniors, anyone over the age of seven is welcome. Enrol via Tobermore Golf Centre on 028 7939 7939

95. Summer Coding Workshop

Burnavon Arts & Visitor Centre,

• Admission: £10 for kids aged 10-12, £20 for those aged 13-15

Delve further inside the world of coding and explore how to make coding fun using a variety of different platforms including iPads, Microbit and Minecraft. Find out more at burnavon.com

96. Tots and Teddy’s SingAlong

Strule Arts Centre, Omagh

July 6

• Child £5

Join the children’s favourite singer Tom Sweeney for a fun-filled hour of singing, action songs, rhymes and dancing. This will be a very special time for the whole family don’t forget to bring your teddy bear! Visit struleartscentre.co.uk/show/tots-teddys-sing-along

97. Annaginny Park Farm

Dungannon

Open every day

• Admission: Adult £4, child £2

Annaginny Farm Park is a family business, home to an exciting range of animals, including giant emus, wallabies, goats, fish and much more.  Let your little ones go wild on the bouncy castle while you fire up a delicious BBQ. You could even go sit back and relax around one of the 5 fishing lakes, casting a line if you feel lucky. Visit www.annaginny.com

98. Todds Leap

Big_Yella’_Ride__3_.jpg
Tayto Thrills with Launch of ‘The Big Yella’ Ride
 

Dungannon

July & August

• Activities from £15

Ireland’s biggest activity centre is a place where friends and family can come along and have a muddy good time taking in part in activities including zorbing, paintball, off-road driving and it’s newest attraction, The Big Yella, a 180ft long four-person slide.

For bookings visit www.toddsleap.com

99. American Independence Day

Ulster American Folk Park

July 4

• Admission £9

Party like it’s 1799 celebrate American Independence Day with a festival for all the family. American revolutionary soldiers will be preparing for battle in their encampments, fur trappers and traders will ply their wares. Get up and dance to live bluegrass and American folk music or watch the antics of Punch and Judy. An incredible day when the past comes to life. For more information visit nmni.com/whats-on

100. Summer School of Rock

Alley Theatre, Strabane

July 22-26

• £70

Unleash your inner rock star in this five day masterclass. Be truly immersed into the world of music with guitar and drum lessons, singing/songwriting training and music reading. This summer school is designed to nurture confidence, bring out the best in young people on and off stage and encourage creativity, effective communication, planning and teamwork skills but most of all, have a great week of fun! For more visit alley-theatre.ticketsolve.com

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