Over the past few decades, Belfast has established itself as a top international tourist destination. People of all ages love Belfast for its history, culture, and adventure-packed days out. Of course, there are plenty of things to do in Belfast with kids.
From incredible outdoor spaces, to unique visitor experiences, Belfast is filled with family-friendly attractions, for kids of all ages.
Top Things to Do in Belfast With Kids
With that in mind, here are seven of our favourite things to do in Belfast with kids.
1. Belfast Zoo
Belfast Zoo is one of the city’s best loved family attractions. First opened in 1934, the zoo has been a favourite destination for family days out ever since, with a wide variety of exotic animals including lions, tigers and bears.
In total, there are over 600 animals on the site, including several endangered and protected species. The zoo is also widely recognised around the world for its research and conservation efforts, as well as high standards of animal welfare.
Of course, children all have their own favourite animals. With everything from rockhopper penguins to Malayan sun bears and Barbary lions, the whole family will love getting up close and personal with a range of different animals.
The zoo also offers incredible views over Belfast Lough, from its position high in the Belfast hills.
2. Titanic Belfast
Voted the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2016, Titanic Belfast is the city’s newest major visitor site. Set on the docks where the world’s most famous ship was actually built, it tells the story of Belfast’s maritime history throughout the centuries, as well as the construction and eventual fate of the Titanic itself.
The building itself is a marvel. Standing at over six stories in height, and taking its inspiration from a ship’s hull, it has quickly become a defining feature of Belfast’s skyline, and a symbol of the city.
Within the museum, you’ll find a wide variety of interactive learning experiences, films, artefacts, and even a recreation of the Titanic’s iconic staircase.
3. The Ulster Museum
The site of countless school trips, the Ulster Museum is a must-see when visiting Belfast. Situated in the heart of the Queen’s Quarter, this free attraction has been delighting people of all ages since the Victorian era.
With exhibitions covering everything from the Egyptians to the modern day, as well as a vast collection of artworks, the Ulster Museum has something for everyone.
The museum has a strong focus on telling the stories of life in Northern Ireland throughout the millennia. Highlights for young visitors always include the artefacts recovered from the Spanish Armada, off the North Coast of Ireland.
After your trip round the museum, why not relax and reflect in the on-site cafe, or take a stroll round Botanic Gardens, which are right on the doorstep.
4. Barnett Demesne
Even locals are surprised to learn that Belfast is one of the top cities in the UK in terms of greenspace. Amazingly, it has more parks, forests and other outdoor areas than just about any other major city.
In Barnett Demesne, you won’t feel like you’re in the city at all. Located on the banks of the river Lagan, along the Belfast to Lisburn tow-path, Barnett’s, as the locals call it, is a vast and open outdoor space, with a variety of plant and animal species.
Kids will enjoy the space to play in the great outdoors, or to sit down to a family picnic under the wide blue skies. For the older kids, there are even kayak rentals and mountain biking trails nearby at Shaw’s Bridge.
5. We Are Vertigo
With everything from trampolining to indoor skiing, We Are Vertigo is Belfast’s leading indoor attraction for thrill seekers of all ages. Kids are bound to enjoy a visit to Northern Ireland’s only dedicated trampoline park.
With dodgeball, basketball, electric quad bikes and a 40m zipline, there is truly never a dull moment at We Are Vertigo.
For something a little bit different, why not try your hand at indoor skydiving, or the incredible Ninja Master obstacle course? For refreshments, head over to Cargo by Vertigo, the nearby restaurant and bar complex.
6. Cave Hill Country Park
Cave Hill is one of the best-love outdoor spaces in Belfast. There are two routes to the summit, with the Southern one being relatively gentle, and the Northern approach more challenging.
At the top, you’ll be rewarded with unrivalled views across the city and Belfast Lough, as well as an incredible sense of achievement. Keep in mind though, that the trails might be a little bit too much for some younger children.
In the nearby Belfast Castle Estate, you’ll find some more child-friendly walking paths, as well as the Mo Mowlam Playpark, and a visitor’s centre and cafe inside the castle itself.
7. HMS Caroline
For the history lovers in the family, HMS Caroline is a lovingly restored WW1 battleship, which was the only vessel to survive the Battle of Jutland. In this family friendly museum, you’ll learn all about life at sea, from maritime communications, to life on the decks.
The ship’s interior has been thoroughly restored, with a wide variety of different cabins and working spaces to explore. As well as getting a feel for the authentic lives of sailors 100 years ago, there are a range of educational materials throughout HMS Caroline.
End your tour with a visit to the Galley Cafe, which serves a variety of family friendly treats.
Family Friendly Accommodation Near Belfast
When thinking about all of the amazing things to do in Belfast with kids, you must also consider what accommodation will best suit your needs during your stay.
For families, you want the space to spend quality time to unwind and reflect on your adventures. Choosing self-catering accommodation is the best way to do this.
Coach Road Cottages offers boutique self-catering accommodation in Holywood and Comber, both a mere stone’s throw away from Belfast’s buzzing atmosphere. With stunning views, cosy interiors and the freedom to explore to your heart’s content – Coach Road Cottages is the perfect place to relax after a busy day out with the family.
For more things to do in Belfast with kids, check out Visit Belfast’s website to get inspired!