If you’re in search of the best things to do in Belfast with kids you’ve landed in the right place.
Since publishing our Belfast guide a few years back, we’ve had countless emails from people asking about fun activities in Belfast that’ll keep the kids amused.
Luckily, Northern Ireland’s capital has something to tickle every fancy, with everything from indoor attractions to places for great family days out in Belfast.
In the guide below, you’ll find a mix of our favourite kids activities in Belfast, with plenty of places thrown in that adults can enjoy, too!
The most popular things to do in Belfast with kids
The first section of this guide is packed with what are arguably the most popular places for family days out in Belfast.
Below, you’ll find everything form Belfast Zoo and Andersonstown Indoor Aqua Park to the Gruffalo Trail and more.
1. Belfast Zoo
There are few family days out in Belfast that rival the zoo. Located on the side of Cave Hill, Belfast Zoo has a huge variety of species with over 1000 animals. It’s known as one of the oldest visitor attractions in Northern Ireland and the popular place sees over 300,000 visitors each year.
While you can easily spend a full day admiring Asian elephants, penguins, giant ant-eaters, kangaroos and Sumatran tigers, there’s also a whole program of activities.
There are daily talks and feeding sessions that you can join, as well as a learning centre for the whole family to get involved in. The zoo has been one of the most popular things to do in Belfast with kids for decades now, so you know you’re onto a winner here.
2. Andersonstown Indoor Aqua Park
This indoor aqua park is the largest one in Northern Ireland, so it’s set to be a great day out with the kids. They offer three high speed water slides of varying thrill levels, a surf simulator and young children’s play area including a shallow little lagoon, so there’s something for all ages.
The surf simulator is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, so its perfect for all skills levels to try and improve those surfing skills.
You’ll also find a 25m swimming pool for family swim sessions which has a rather nice year-round water temperature of almost 30 degrees. If you’re looking for things to do in Belfast with kids when it’s raining, this is a great option.
3. Vertigo Titanic Park
Vertigo Titanic Park is probably one of the coolest things to do with kids in Belfast. It’s located near the iconic Titanic Belfast Museum and is home to the only indoor skydiving centre in the region.
You can try flying with no wings with the incredible gusts of wind reaching over 120mph. It’s suitable for kids aged 4 and above who can enjoy the feeling of being suspended completely in the air, under the watchful eye of trained instructors of course.
Otherwise, the park also has a Ninja Master Course with walls, hoops and challenges and a massive inflatable park, which is suitable for kids of all ages. This is one of the most popular kids activities in Belfast for good reason.
4. Gruffalo Trail
If you’re in search of active things to do in Belfast with kids, The Gruffalo Trail is worth checking out. This is a recent addition to Colin Glen Forest Park and it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular family-friendly walks in Belfast.
The trail will definitely encourage the kids to enjoy a walk through the fresh air of the forest, with each character from the popular picture book, The Gruffalo, brought to life as sculptures along the trail.
The sculptures were created by Andrew McIntyre and are scattered throughout the forest along the Colin River. The kids will love meeting the silly old fox, owl and snake, as well as the incredible 8-foot Gruffalo from their favourite book.
5. Colin Glen
Perhaps one of the best things to do in Belfast with kids, Colin Glen Forest Park is one of the leading adventure parks in the whole country. Spread out across 200-acres of parkland on the Colin River in Belfast, there’s an endless number of things to do here.
The Gruffalo Trail as mentioned above is here, but you can also try the SKYTrek high-ropes course, archery, laser tag, golf course and indoor sports dome.
If that wasn’t already enough, new additions to the park include the Black Bull Run alpine coaster and River Rapid zipline, which are set to take the adventure park to a whole new level.
Great places for family days out in Belfast
The second section of our guide tackles the best spots for family days out in Belfast, with a mix of indoor and outdoor attractions.
Below, you’ll find everything from Victoria Park and Lost City Adventure Golf to Belfast’s Window On Wildlife and more.
1. Streamvale Open Farm
Situated in the beautiful hills on the edge of the city, this family farm offers the perfect day family day out in Belfast.
You can try cuddling baby animals, taking part in live shows and demonstrations such as bottle-feeding lambs and dog agility shows, as well as letting the kids run wild on the play areas.
The farm also has a delicious Creamery Café onsite with homemade ice cream and snacks for a nice afternoon picnic. Streamvale Open Farm is the kind of hands-on fun the whole family will love.
2. Belfast’s Window On Wildlife
Window On Wildlife is often abbreviated to WOW, which is quite fitting if you’re an animal lover. The nature reserve located in the Belfast Harbour Estate offers the perfect place to stop and enjoy the sighting of a variety of birds and wildlife right from the platforms.
There are helpful staff at the visitor centre as well as binoculars and telescopes supplied so you can gaze out across the lagoon for konik ponies, wintering wildfowl and birds like lapwings.
The visitor centre also has plenty of information boards and refreshments for your visit. If you’re looking for educational kids activities in Belfast, this is a great shout.
3. Barnett Demesne
This park is the perfect place for some fresh air and a picnic in Belfast. Barnett Demesne is located next to Malone House in the south of the city and features an arboretum, daffodil garden, eco-trail, orienteering courses, bike trails and a playground.
The original estate was first opened to the public in 1951 and is now popular with walkers, joggers and families looking for some fun and exercise in the outdoors.
It’s also the venue for the annual Spring Fair held in April, with music and entertainment for the whole family.
4. Lost City Adventure Golf
Another handy option for those of you looking for things to do with kids in Belfast when it’s raining is Lost City Adventure Golf.
It has two indoor jungle-themed courses where players of all ages can tackle the obstacles and simulations and try to get a hole in one.
The golf course is open every day of the week until late all year round, so it’s perfect no matter the weather. You’ll also find some food and drinks available to enjoy after the game, with pizzas, snacks, milkshakes and mocktails.
5. Victoria Park
Victoria Park is one of the nicest parks in Belfast (alongside Lady Dixon Park and Ormeau Park), located to the east of the city near the airport.
It’s home to a lake with water birds such as swans, geese and ducks, as well as plenty of walking trails around the water to stretch your legs.
For the high energy kids, there’s a football pitch, bowling green and a cycling and BMX track where they can join some other kids for some fun.
Things to do in Belfast for children when it rains
Rainy days can be a nightmare when you’ve energetic kids, but there are some excellent things to do in Belfast for children where you can dodge the rain.
Below, you’ll find everything from Prison Island and W5 Belfast to bowling, Ulster Museum and much more.
1. Prison Island
If you’re looking for things to do in Belfast with kids that’ll also appeal to adults, this prison-themed challenge is well worth checking out.
The 25 cells are inspired by the Crystal Maze and requires a combination of physical and tactical skills in teams of two to four. While it’s not an escape room as such, the aim is to score as many points as possible in the given time.
There’s also a live scoring system, so you can feel the pressure as you compete against other teams. It’s suitable for everyone aged from nine to 99, so you can take the whole family to have some tactical fun.
2. Ulster Museum
If it’s drizzling outdoors, then heading to Ulster Museum is never a bad idea. The family favourite spot in Belfast’s Botanic Gardens houses a vast collection of curiosities from past and present, with something of interest for all ages.
Some of its standout displays include of dinosaurs, mummies and a huge art collection, combining history and natural sciences.
With free admission and plenty of interactive programs on offer year-round for all ages, it’s definitely the perfect place to keep the kids entertained even when its raining.
3. Dundonald Ice Bowl
Just to the east of Belfast city, this international ice bowl has plenty of activities under the one roof. It’s home to Northern Ireland’s only public Olympic size ice rink which is the real highlight so you can head off ice skating at any time of year.
The rink is open to the public every day, or you can opt for some of the designated ice-skating lessons for the younger kids if it’s there first time. The venue is also home to the Xtreme Tenpin Bowling Centre and Indiana Land play kingdom, so there’s endless fun.
4. W5 Belfast
W5 is arguably one of the most unique things to do in Belfast with kids an interactive science centre with an incredible 250 exhibits spread across four galleries.
You can literally spend an entire rainy day here with plenty of things to do to both entertain and teach the kids about science and discovery.
There’s Spacebase for young kids from 3-7 years old, a VR Zone for simulated scenes and experiences, as well as, W5’s very own humanoid robot, Robothespian which can greet and interact with the kids.
There are plenty of other temporary and seasonal exhibits and programs, so there’s always something new going on to enjoy. There are few kids activities in Belfast that can go toe-to-toe with W5.
5. Xtreme Bowl
And last but by no means least in our guide to the best things to do in Belfast with kids is Xtreme Bowling. Here, it’s all about playing in the dark, with glowing balls, pins and ultraviolet lights for the best experience.
There’s also a DJ, entertainment, prizes and disco lighting, so it’s perfect for a party or fun night out for the whole family. If you’ve got little ones with you, there’s also the option of bumper lanes to help them out.
FAQs about the best things to do in Belfast with kids
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from what are the best spots for family days out in Belfast to what are the best kids activities in Belfast when it’s raining.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best things to do in Belfast with kids?
In our opinion, the best kids activities in Belfast are the Gruffalo Trail, Vertigo Titanic Park, Andersonstown Indoor Aqua Park and Belfast Zoo.
Where are the best places for family days out in Belfast?
Colin Glen Forest Park has a bit of something for all ages. Barnett Demesne and W5 Belfast are two other solid options.
What are the best rainy-day kids activities in Belfast?
If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Belfast when it’s raining, Lost City Adventure Golf, Prison Island, Dundonald Ice Bowl, Ulster Museum and W5 Belfast are good options.