Making plans for the midterm break? How about a fun filled break in Northern Ireland! This Autumn is packed with fun days out, spooky festivals, outdoor adventures and more! Check out our guide to short breaks and great days out for all the family this Autumn.
Spooky, dazzling, jaw-dropping and brilliant… it must be Derry~Londonderry this Autumn – your perfect getaway for a mid-term break and some unforgettable family memories. Get ready for the five-day Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Carnival, one of Europe’s biggest and spookiest Hallowe’en carnivals with the Big Halloween Carnival taking place on 31st (Free event). Check out the full line-up here: derrycity.gov.uk/
Derry-Londonderry is a fantastic city to walk around with many of the top attractions only minutes from each other. Explore the historic city walls, stroll across the Peace Bridge, explore Ebrington Square and discover the famous warm welcome for yourself! Kids will love the Tower Museum and Riverwatch Aquarium. It’s easy to get here and great value to stay so, get booking!
Explore the Causeway Coast
This 120-mile driving route (with nine scenic loops) running along the coast between Northern Ireland’s two main cities was voted 5th in the world’s top scenic views (Jacobs Creek, 2006) and when you drive it, you’ll see why. And there’s plenty of great stopping points along the way that will keep the whole family entertained. First stop The Giant’s Causeway, this is an unforgettable place of myths, legends and mind boggling vistas so take time to explore it. The fantastic new Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre is kitted out with all kinds of kid-friendly wonders, from giant animations to fantastic audio guides. Explore the centre and then head outside to take in the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk on the famous stones and gaze out at the sea views. Afterwards, cross the amazing Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge – if you dare! With stories, legends and sky-high adventures this is a day your kids won’t forget.
Belfast City breaks
Begin in the big city with a trip to the unmissable Titanic Belfast. Your little darlings will love playing in the interactive galleries, peering at the wreck on the ocean floor and marvelling at the full-scale reconstructions. The Titanic Experience takes visitors on a journey through no fewer than 9 galleries from the late 19th century, right up to the present day. This midterm, Titanic Belfast will be celebrating with 4 days of fun with face painting, arts and crafts and even a fancy dress competition with great prizes to be won! And for something a bit different visit the famous Crumlin Road Gaol. The Gaol Tour comprises of a qualified guide exploring the prison with your allocated group. The tour will cover all aspects of the Gaol from the tunnel linking the courthouse on the other side of the Crumlin Road to the Hanging Cell, the Historic Holding Cells, Governors Office, Centre Circle, C-Wing, Hospital and Graveyard. Family admission £22
No family visit to Belfast is complete without a trip to Belfast Zoo, which is home to over 1,000 animals & 150 species. Belfast zoo is a perfect family day out & one of our best loved attractions. Zoo highlights include the giraffe & elephant enclosure, Rain forest house & bird park. The zoo also offers picnic & play areas, gardens & souvenir shop.
Stop off at W5, Belfast’s popular science and discovery centre, promises a full day of fun and exploration. With nearly 200 interactive exhibits in four dynamic areas – START, GO, SEE and DO – there is lots to see and do. This week you can also brave the special Monster Dip or try your hand at making a Halloween Snapper to scare your family and friends.
And finally head to The Ulster Museum, Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present, is home to many engaging displays and hands-on activities – everything from Ireland to the South Pacific. There’s something to interest the whole family.
Check into a great family-friendly hotels. La Mon Hotel & Country Club is just one on the outskirts of Belfast and comes with family suites, a swimming pool and family mealtimes. You can get some relaxation while the children enjoy kids menus, movies, games and cookies and milk before bedtime!
Great Days Out
Keep the little ones entertained this Halloween with a great day out in Northern Ireland. There’s lots happening and plenty of top attractions open all year round. Here’s some of our top picks.
Enjoy the great outdoors this Autumn in Castle Ward with a walk or cycle along the Lough trail or through the sheltered woodlands and spot some local wildlife, alternatively go canoeing on the lake with Clearsky Adventure Centre. If you have time stop off at the enchanting Tollymore forest, the perfect spot for a family walk!
And for something a bit more adventurous, take a trip to The Jungle, a huge wilderness wonderland with all-day adventuring and jungle huts to sleep in. The Jungle NI is an award winning outdoor entertainment centre located in Co. Londonderry and is sure to keep the whole family entertained. Set on 200 acres of enchanted woodland – The Jungle NI offer a range of activities suitable for whatever family size or age, big kid or wee kid, the centre has activities to suit all from Archery, Boat rides, Clay Crafts, Fun Zorbs, Llama Trekking and Segways, this fantastic array of activities can be enjoyed by anyone over 4 years.
Step back in Time this midterm at the Ulster American Folk Park. Immerse yourself in the world famous story of Irish emigration at the museum that brings it to life. Follow the emigrant trail as you journey from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full scale emigrant sailing ship leading to the log cabins of the American Frontier. Meet an array of costumed characters on your way with traditional crafts to show, tales to tell and food to share.
Delve into the history of Enniskillen Castle in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands. The historic castle hosts many family fun living history days throughout the year – which are perfect for any family day out. Or enjoy the fun and games at the annual Halloween Howler at Share Discovery Village from 31st October – 2nd November. Expect spooktacular treats and ghostly goings on at this year’s Howler including a Ghost Ship cruise, Haunted forest trails, fireworks, pumpkin caring and more!
Armagh Planetarium in Armagh City is also well worth a visit, with a range of shows suitable for all the family and extra showings this week for half term. Kids will also love exploring the nearby Astropark, a scale model of the universe where visitors can walk around the Solar System and into the Milky Way and beyond.
For more family fun ideas check out our top 10 family attractions guide: discovernorthernireland.com/10-family-fun-attractions/
Make a break of it
If you fancy turning a great day out into a short break – we’ve got lots of great value offers for staying over starting from £49*per room. Northern Ireland has some super family friendly hotels, with large rooms, children’s dining options and even organised activities with kids clubs running at different times throughout the year. Check out our top family hotel picks: Roe Park Resort Limavady, La Mon Hotel and Country Club orKillyhevlin Hotel and Spa.