I love to get away with the family and to experience somewhere new. I'm ashamed to say that I've never been to Northern Ireland and only a couple of times to Southern Ireland, so surely it must be high time for this to be rectified.
Belfast seems the perfect place to travel to for a first visit, it is the capital city after all. So what can Belfast offer to a family like mine with primary school-aged kids who like variety, fun and somewhere new to explore?
Loads is the answer I found when I started to investigate. There is everything you would expect of a big city, like fabulous and varied shops, nice gardens and grounds to walk around and superb quality hotels, like the Fitzwilliam Hotel from Hotel Direct. There are also loads of places to explore -
Like most kids, mine love to see the animals and enjoy a zoo experience and I'm sure this 55-acre zoo won't disappoint. I was super glad to see that there are giraffes, elephants, bears and other large animals there. Of course, there are lots of small ones too with over 150 species and 1000 animals. The newest of which are baby twin pygmy marmosets.
I love looking around gardens and seeing all the different flower species and of course, the beauty of gardens is that they have loads of space and the kids can run free and enjoy exploring and just being young. Also during June they can enjoy some children's entertainment sessions including face painting, balloon modelling, music performances and a bouncy castle.
You can visit the worlds largest Titantic state-of-the-art visitor experience and discover the story of Belfast's most famous creation. This iconic six-story building is easily assessable and not to be missed, it has won various industry awards in the last couple of years.
T13 Urban Sports Park
My 10-year-old son JJ might think I'm the coolest parent ever if I take him to T13. Here he can discover a world of BMX, Skateboarding, Kick Scooter, Break Dancing, Urban Art & DJing. You can get involved by grabbing a BMX or Skateboard and having a go, joining in with a Break Dance or Free Running class, or just popping in to check out the live DJ's and the amazing space and art galleries.
I think it is really important for our children to learn about their countries history and at the moment over 60 peace walls still stand in parts of Belfast. Many were built to be temporary protection between the catholic and protestant fighting of years gone by but they still stand over 15 years after the Good Friday Agreement which ended the troubles.
This just gives you a taster of the kind of things you can find in Belfast, there is so much more and it is worth checking out the Discover Northern Ireland and the Visit Belfast websites.
I hope you have a great visit if you decide to travel to Belfast.