Things to Do With Children in Northern Ireland

Written by miranda brumbaugh
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Things to Do With Children in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland has several outdoors activities for children. (Ireland image by Loreti from Fotolia.com)

Whatever you choose to do while in Northern Ireland, there is no doubt children of all ages will be entertained and enlightened with the hillsides in 40 shades of green, the Mourne Mountains and the Irish Sea. Beyond the suggestions here, you can visit the Giant's Causeway, a nature anomaly of layered boulders resembling large piles of neatly stacked coins, or stop by the Glens to experience a country fair.

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Dundonald International Ice Bowl

The Ice Bowl, located in Castlereagh, sends chills of excitement through children as they enter the massive complex. Children can go ice skating on an Olympic-size ice rink, or they can venture over to the Xtreme Tenpin Bowling Center to toss a few bowling balls down the lane. The Ice Bowl even has an indoor jungle gym, called Indiana Land after Indiana Jones, for children who are younger than 12 and shorter than 5 feet tall. Babies and toddlers have their own jungle gym play area that features interactive activity stations to kindle their imaginations. The Ice Bowl is open every day during the week with activities opening at various times depending on the day. If you are celebrating a birthday or special event ask about the party packages that include a private party room, meals and choice of activity.

Dundonald International Ice Bowl

111 Old Dundonald Road

Castlereagh, BT16 1XT, Northern Ireland

011-44-028-90809-100

theicebowl.com

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle, built in 1177, served as a military garrison and prison until 1928, according to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Today visitors get to experience the castle's history on a walking tour through the fully constructed grounds thanks to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. Sitting on a cliff edge overlooking the ocean water's of Belfast Lough, Carrickfergus Castle is shown in historical accuracy. Children will have a blast traipsing about the castle. The castle offers its vaults for children's birthday parties, and there are educational opportunities for schoolchildren featuring guides in costume, storytelling and online learning materials. The operating hours for the castle are daily starting at 10 a.m., and closing at 4 p.m. during the winter months and 6 p.m. for the summer.

Carrickfergus Castle

Marine Highway

Carrickfergus, BT38 7BG, Northern Ireland

011-44-028-9335-1273

ni-environment.gov.uk/places_to_visit_home/historic-monument

Rathlin Island

Off the coast of Northern Island, across from Ballycastle, floats Rathlin Island. According to Lonely Planet, the island is a natural habitat to seals and seabirds. Get a glimpse of puffins, kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills as your family ventures onto the island. Modern-day amenities include a restaurant, pub, two shops and accommodations. Raided by Vikings in A.D. 795, an ill-attempt as a safe haven for some as well as a source of inspiration for others, Rathlin Island has a long historical presence. Today the island is appreciated for its natural, scenic beauty. Places of interest that capture the attention of children and adults alike are Kebble National Nature Reserve, RSPB West Light Viewpoint, the Old Coastguard Lookout and the Boathouse Visitor Center. Admission is free to each of these sites.

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