Gather the kids, pack some snacks, and get ready for an adventure through bustling streets; we’re on a mission to uncover some fun things to do in Belfast with kids! Here are 12 fantastic and free Belfast attractions for families in Northern Ireland’s capital.
Best Ways To Get Around Belfast With Kids
Belfast offers several public transport options that you can use to get around the city with your kids. These systems are generally safe and convenient for families wanting to get around Belfast:
- Metro Buses: Belfast’s Metro system uses a network of buses that cover the city and surrounding areas. They offer an affordable and reliable means of transportation. Metro buses come with wheelchair ramps and can accommodate strollers if needed.
- Ulsterbus: The regional bus service in Northern Ireland, including Belfast, provides services to various destinations outside the city and can be a good option for day trips or exploring the surrounding countryside.
- Glider: This high-frequency bus rapid transit system in Belfast connects East and West Belfast, making it easier to move across the city quickly. The Glider buses have facilities for strollers and wheelchairs.
- Trains: Translink operates the Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) service, connecting Belfast to other cities and towns in Northern Ireland. Train travel can be a comfortable and efficient way to explore the area with your kids. Consider purchasing family tickets for cost savings.
- Belfast Bikes: If your children are old enough to ride bikes, you can look towards the Belfast Bikes service. These are public bicycles available for rent at various locations throughout the city. It’s a fun and eco-friendly way to explore Belfast!
12 Free (& Fun) Things To Do in Belfast With Kids
1. Victoria Park — Where the Swans Steal the Show
Victoria Park, a lush swan sanctuary in Belfast, is the perfect start for your family adventure. This park doesn’t just have a bird-filled lake and a delightful playground; it’s a wonderland for kids and adults!
The many lovely horticultural displays paint a vibrant picture of nature’s beauty. The park offers soccer pitches for budding athletes, a traditional bowling green, and even a cycling and BMX track for any adrenaline junkies looking for adventure on wheels.
Swans, geese, ducks, and herons swim gracefully in the waters, creating a picturesque scene that will fascinate you and your kids. The open spaces here are perfect for spreading out your blanket and enjoying a delightful meal in the heart of nature. This is also an ideal spot for a friendly game of frisbee.
2. Belfast City Hall — Not Just for Politics
Behold the majestic Belfast City Hall! Even if politics isn’t your thing, the City Hall’s stunning architecture, exquisite gardens, and interactive exhibitions will entertain the kiddos. You can enjoy a free tour inside or simply stroll through the well-kept grounds.
3. Ulster Museum — Fun & Educational
Fuel those young minds at the Ulster Museum. With dinosaurs, mummies, and art exhibitions, it’s a win-win for the whole family. This is Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and the present. Home to a rich array of art, history, and natural sciences, entry is completely free to all visitors!
4. Botanic Gardens — A Lush and Leafy Oasis
Greenery galore awaits at the Botanic Gardens on College Park Avenue (right next to the Ulster Museum). Stroll through this tropical ravine or let the kids run wild in the Palm House. This public park is popular with locals and has been awarded a Green Flag as one of the UK’s finest open spaces.
And if that isn’t enough to grab your attention, did we mention the residential red squirrels? They’ll have your kids squealing in delight in no time!
5. Titanic Quarter — Sail Around the Seas
Enjoy some of Belfast’s maritime history at Titanic Quarter. Walk along the Titanic Slipways and explore the Titanic Belfast Museum’s exterior for some sea-themed fun. Plus, the wide-open spaces are perfect for playing tag!
In just over 10 years, the Titanic Quarter has gone from a creative conception to a scenic spot for major TV and film productions, visitor attractions, and one of Belfast’s most wanted residential waterfront developments. No matter where you walk with the kids, there will be plenty to delight all the senses.
6. Cave Hill Country Park — Climb Like a Kid
Feeling adventurous? Scale Cave Hill in the Country Park and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Belfast. Just be sure to pack your energy bars and juice boxes! Park features include adventurous playgrounds, archaeological zones, a visitor centre, an eco-trail, and beautiful gardens.
7. St. George’s Market — A Foodie Playground for the Family
Give your taste buds a whirl at St. George’s Market. Sample local treats, shop for crafts, and enjoy live music. It’s a feast for the senses. This market is more decorated than a cake at a bake-off, having snatched up local and national titles for its irresistible combo of fresh, local goodies and an ambience that’ll have you and the kids giddy with joy.
St. George’s Market was crowned the UK’s Best Large Indoor Market of 2023 by the prestigious NABMA Great British Market Awards. It’s open for business from Friday to Sunday with live music setting the groove.
8. Connswater Community Greenway — Riverside Adventures Await
Connswater Community Greenway is a creative urban regeneration project which aims to transform East Belfast by combining improved flood protection alongside gorgeous public spaces and pedestrian/cycle routes. Follow the Connswater Community Greenway to the water’s edge. This scenic trail offers ample opportunities for birdwatching and picnicking with the family.
9. Titanic Memorial Gardens — Tiny Tots’ Paradise
The Titanic Memorial Garden, a poignant tribute to the 1,512 souls lost aboard the ill-fated RMS Titanic in 1912, stands on the east side of Belfast City Hall. Up top, you’ll find a nine metre–long plinth (almost like a stage) for honouring the names of those who met their fate on the Titanic.
For the little ones, the Titanic Gardens are a treasure trove of sensory delights. Water features and sculptures, along with various hues of foliage and flowers will keep them enchanted all day long.
10. Ormeau Park — Picnic Perfection Personified
Ormeau Park is the oldest municipal park in Belfast, first officially opening to the public in 1871. It is one of the largest and busiest parks in the city and contains wide open spaces, duck ponds, and playgrounds. Bring along your blankets and some sandwiches for an afternoon of family fun!
11. Lagan Towpath — Rambling Along Riversides
The Lagan Towpath carries its walkers along the river and canal system through a variety of wetlands, riverside meadows, and mixed woodland between Belfast and Lisburn. Take a leisurely stroll as a family along the Lagan Towpath, watch boats glide by, and listen to the soothing sounds of the river.
12. Shaw’s Bridge — A Fantastic Spot for Family Cycling
Grab the bikes and head to Shaw’s Bridge. The scenic Lagan River route is perfect for family cycling. You’ll love the adventure that Shaw’s Bridge offers. This dynamic bridge has a charming stone arch that is open to cyclists and pedestrians. It isn’t just a path; it’s a fun journey through Belfast’s history, one step or pedal at a time.
Belfast is brimming with opportunities for fun things to do with kids, and as you can see, there’s no need to break the bank. Now, get out there, embrace the fresh air, and make some cherished memories with your little explorers.
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