From rolling Easter eggs downhill to cuddling fluffy newborn animals, families keen to get out and about this Easter need look no further than their own doorstep.
This April will be jam-packed with spring fairs and Easter events taking place right across Northern Ireland and the school holidays are the perfect time for families to enjoy some time outdoors and explore the many tourist attractions on offer.
Tourism Northern Ireland’s Destination PR Officer, Claire Cromie, says there will be something to suit everyone this Easter.
“There is so much going on this year to celebrate Easter including egg trails, craft days, a scenic boat ride, the chance to meet and feed newborn animals and even the opportunity to help create some Lego masterpieces,” said Claire.
“As well as the wide range of events there are also lots of places to visit and sights to see all over Northern Ireland. With the brighter weather and the children off school, Easter is a great time of year to plan a family day experiencing all the fantastic events and attractions that are on offer,” she added.
To help you have a fun time in the run-up and during the Easter holidays, Tourism NI has highlighted a range of events taking place.
Hop on over to Belfast Zoo this Easter as they host an Easter Extravagan-zoo event from 14 – 18 April. As well as visiting your favourite animal at feeding time, little explorers can follow the Easter egg trail around the zoo. Don’t forget to search high and low for the Easter egg signs hidden around the zoo, to be in with the chance of winning a special prize before posting a selfie with the mascot characters, who will be out and about the park.
Join Titanic Belfast from 16 – 18 April for some Easter family fun. Challenge the kids with the special Easter Explorer Trail throughout Titanic Belfast over the weekend. All those who successfully complete the trail will receive a special treat at the end.
For those families who love seeing and cuddling newborn spring animals, a visit to the Easter Petting Zoo at the MAC from 17 – 18 April is perfect. Get up close to all your favourite farm animals at the petting zoo. With lambs, chicks, bunnies and lots more, cuddle, feed and stroke your farmyard favourites to your heart’s content.
Easter Celebrations are taking place at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh from 16 – 18 April. If you’re looking for a place where the whole family can work off those chocolate Easter eggs, then their range of traditional Easter activities is just the ticket. Bring your own decorated egg and take part in the great egg-rolling experience down Bleach Green Hill and don’t forget to wear your Easter Bonnet to enter the Easter Bonnet Competition to win a prize.
Easter marks the opening of Watertop Farm, Ballycastle. The farm will have its annual Egg Rolling competitions on Easter Sunday and Monday at approx. 3pm. There will be lots of prizes for all age groups including mums and dads. As well as the many prizes on offer, other available activities include pony rides, assaults course, pedal karts and much more.
Join Batman and Emmet for a Lego Extravaganza in Market Square, Lisburn this Easter Saturday on 15 April. Get involved in the superhero themed Lego building workshop from Bricks 4 Kidz, Lego racing and a Lego clay workshop from Jumping Clay. Enjoy other free activities including face painting, balloon modelling, a carousel and meet the chicks and rabbits at the mini mobile farm.
Ballymoney’s Castlecroft Square on 15 April will see the return of the ever popular Artisan Market with a diverse mix of local produce, intricate gifts and exquisite art.
The Ballymoney Old Vehicle Club will also be holding a Motor Show at Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre grounds concluding with a Cavalcade through the town.
There will also be a fantastic fun day of live entertainment and Children’s Activities in Megaw Park, including stunt displays, Punch and Judy shows, face painting, live music and much more.
Armagh gets in on the action this Easter too with the exciting The Wheels on the Bus at Navan Centre & Fort on 15 April. Bus Conductor ‘Charlie Smiles’ is waiting to click your ticket as you go on a ‘sing-along-a-along’ journey but like all adventures something gets in the way! What could it be, well only one way to find out, hop on board and join in the fun! This is a fun and interactive play with lots of audience participation, you’ll be moving and singing in your seats.
Don’t miss A View of the Cross: Concert for Palm Sunday on 9 April. Cappella Caeciliana, one of Northern Ireland’s leading choirs, is delighted to be joined by guest conductor Eamonn Dougan for this spectacular evening of music. The choir will present a special concert of music for Palm Sunday and Holy Week, in the magnificent setting of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. The programme includes the Irish premiere of Stabat Mater by Alissa Firsova and Miserere by James MacMillan.
Looking for something a little more adventurous? There are lots of activities taking place this Easter at Carrowmena with Easter glamping, an Easter egg canoe hunt and glamping trail. Visitors can book an action packed Activity Adventure Day and receive 20% of full and half-day activities. Available dates are 16 – 19 April.
Children young and old can celebrate this Easter at Downhill Demesne between 15 – 18 April with the Cadbury Egg Hunt. Children will have the opportunity to play detective by hunting high and low for clues, around the beautiful surroundings of Mussenden Temple, which will lead them to a delicious chocolate surprise.
Bangor town centre will be bustling with activity on 17 April at the Spring Street Carnival. The McKee Clock Arena will transform to become a competitive zone for World famous trail bike master Adam Raga who will demonstrate his jaw dropping skills in the Trial Bikes Show. As well as this, more family fun will take place throughout the town including a land train, street theatre and much more.
You’ll need to use all your special detective skills and search high and low around the beautiful nature reserve of WWT Castle Espie between 8 – 26 April to find all the missing ducks in Dusty’s GIANT Easter Egg Hunt to be in with a chance of winning a yummy chocolate treat. As well as completing the duck hunt challenge, children can also take part in cute Easter bunny themed craft activities.
Visit the picturesque setting of Cockle Cottage and enjoy some free family Easter Fun from 2 – 4pm on 16 April. Activities include Plant and Play Garden Workshops, Easter crafts, archery and the ‘Tales of the Wild’ Animal Roadshow.
Or why not hop along to Rowallane Garden in Saintfield between 15 – 17 April from 10.30 – 3.30pm for the Easter Egg Hunt and explore the nooks and crannies around the beautiful garden while following the clues to find an Easter surprise. Egg trails costs £1 per child.
Are you ready for an Easter Extravaganza? Castle Archdale invite you and your little ones to the caravan park for a fun filled afternoon on 15 April. At noon there will be a Treasure Hunt around the site with the winner going home with a bumper basket of Easter eggs followed by a Comedy Variety Show at 3pm. There will also be evening entertainment supplied by The Treblemakers.
Join in the Easter Madness at Castle Coole in Enniskillen between 15 – 18 April for a day of treats and fun for all the family.
Also on in Enniskillen between 15 – 21 April is the Share Centre’s Easter Activity Extravaganza. Over the Easter holidays, kids and adults can enjoy a variety of outdoor and indoor activities at fantastic prices! Activities include climbing, banana boating, stand up paddle boarding, circus skills, t-shirt printing and much more.
Or why not soak up the beautiful Co. Fermanagh scenery with a cruise around Upper Lough Erne with an Easter Cot Trip at Crom on April 17 between 1 and 5pm – the Cot is Crom’s 100-year-old traditional craft.
To find out more about events and places to see over Easter click on www.discovernorthernireland.com or visit your local tourist information centre.