Categories: Things To DoFamilies

Welcome to Mid & East Antrim, where you'll find family adventures in every corner you look. Whether you're a local looking for new activities or a visitor eager to explore, this picturesque region of Northern Ireland promises a treasure trove of family-friendly activities. From historic landmarks to fun escapades, there's something here to delight every member of the family. So, gather your troops and let's dive into the heart of Mid & East Antrim!

1. Carnfunnock Country Park

Two children (boy & girl) running through Carnfunnock Country Park looking excited

Embark on a journey through enchantment at Carnfunnock Country Park, where sprawling greenery meets endless fun for the whole family. Nature trails wind through lush woodlands, perfect for leisurely strolls or adventurous hikes. But the real magic awaits within the park's bounds – from captivating gardens to whimsical maze adventures, there's never a dull moment. Kids can unleash their imagination at the outdoor adventure playground, while parents relax amidst stunning scenery. And don't miss the chance to unravel history at Carnfunnock's historic sites, adding a dash of culture to your family escapades.

2. Carrickfergus Castle

Step back in time at Carrickfergus Castle, a majestic fortress steeped in centuries of history. Towering over the picturesque harbour, this iconic landmark invites families to explore its ancient walls and hidden chambers. Young knights and princesses will delight in the castle's interactive exhibits, where tales of knights and battles come to life. There's even the chance to play dress-up! Climb to the dizzying heights of the battlements for panoramic views that will leave you breathless. With its rich heritage and immersive experiences, Carrickfergus Castle promises an unforgettable journey through time.

3. Ballymena Ecos Centre

Discover the wonders of nature at Ballymena Ecos Centre Nature Park, a hidden gem nestled within the heart of Mid & East Antrim. Explore winding nature trails that meander through lush woodlands, offering glimpses of local wildlife and serene ponds along the way. Kids can unleash their curiosity at the interactive exhibits, learning about sustainability and conservation in a fun and engaging way. With its tranquil surroundings and educational offerings, the Ecos Centre Nature Park is the perfect destination for families seeking a blend of nature and learning.

4. Glenarm Castle & Gardens

@Glenarm Castle

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Glenarm Castle & Gardens, a botanical wonderland bursting with colour and charm. Explore winding pathways that lead through meticulously manicured flower beds, each an impressive display of vibrant blooms. Kids will delight in the garden's enchanting play areas, while parents relax amidst the serenity of this idyllic retreat. For something memorable why not take the mini-Landrovers for a spin! From fragrant rose gardens to tranquil water features, every corner of The Walled Garden promises a feast for the senses. For families seeking a peaceful escape amidst natural splendour, Glenarm Castle's enchanting gardens are not to be missed.

5. Slemish Mountain

Embark on a journey to the summit of Slemish Mountain, where legend and landscape collide in a breathtaking vista. Revered as the legendary first home of Saint Patrick, this iconic peak offers more than just stunning views – it's a pilgrimage into the heart of Irish history and culture. Families can tackle the gentle slopes of Slemish together, thanks to its easily followed trail to the summit, and not forgetting the toilet facilities and parking at the base. Whether you're drawn by the allure of history or the thrill of adventure, a visit to Slemish Mountain promises an unforgettable family experience.

6. Carnlough Harbour

Discover the picturesque Carnlough Harbour, a charming coastal village nestled along the Causeway Coastal Route. Stroll along the quaint harbour, where colourful fishing boats bob gently on the sparkling waters. Book a private boat tour of the beautiful coastline aboard the bright yellow "Curiosity" for a unique and unforgettble experience! Kids can try their hand at crabbing off the pier, while parents soak in the scenic views of rugged cliffs and rolling waves. Don't forget to explore the village's delightful shops and eateries, where you can sample fresh seafood and local delicacies. With its tranquil atmosphere and stunning vistas, Carnlough Harbour offers a relaxing escape for families seeking coastal charm.

7. Blackhead Coastal Path

The Blackhead Coastal Path offers a memorabe adventure for families along the stunning Causeway Coastal Route. Starting from Whitehead, this scenic trail provides panoramic views of the Irish Sea and dramatic cliffs. Kids will love exploring hidden coves and ancient caves while searching for shells and sea glass. Don't forget to bring a picnic and binoculars for birdwatching opportunities. With its family-friendly amenities, large car park and breathtaking scenery, the Blackhead Coastal Path is perfect for a fun-filled day out in Mid & East Antrim.

8. Whitehead Railway Museum

Embark on a journey through railway history at the Whitehead Railway Museum, where vintage locomotives and historic exhibits await discovery. Explore restored train carriages and steam engines dating back to the golden age of rail travel, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past. Kids can climb aboard interactive displays and learn about the inner workings of these magnificent machines, while parents delve into the museum's rich heritage. With its captivating collection and immersive experiences, Whitehead Railway Museum promises a day of adventure for the whole family. Be sure to refuel at the Cups & Carriages cafe at the museum!

9. Arthur Cottage in Cullybackey

Step into the past at Arthur Cottage in Cullybackey, a quaint historic homestead steeped in local heritage. Explore the restored 18th-century cottage and gardens, where the ancestors of Chester Alan Arthur (21st President of the United States) once lived. Kids can discover the simple pleasures of yesteryear with hands-on activities and traditional skills, while parents soak in the nostalgia of bygone days. Don't miss the chance to explore the surrounding countryside, where scenic walking trails offer glimpses of rural life in Northern Ireland. With its timeless charm and immersive experiences, Arthur Cottage promises a family day out filled with history and heart.

10. Portglenone Forest

Escape into the enchanting woods of Portglenone Forest, a natural haven for families to explore and discover. Located along the banks of the River Bann, this ancient woodland boasts a network of walking trails weaving through towering trees. Kids can let their imaginations run wild as they venture through the branches, building dens and searching for fairies! With picnic spots nestled amidst the greenery, families can relax and enjoy a leisurely lunch surrounded by nature. For a memorable day out immersed in the wonders of the great outdoors, Portglenone Forest is the perfect destination in Mid & East Antrim.

In Mid & East Antrim, adventure knows no bounds – from historic castles to scenic landscapes, there's a world of wonder waiting to be explored. So, gather your loved ones and embark on a journey through this enchanting region, where every moment is an opportunity for discovery. With its diverse array of family-friendly attractions, Mid & East Antrim offers a truly unforgettable escape for families of all ages. Come and create memories that will last a lifetime in this magical corner of Northern Ireland.

Still looking for more ways to create lasting memories with your loved ones? Click here for even more family-friendly ideas in Mid & East Antrim.

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