A fun-packed half term with @NationalTrustNI

With February half term fast approaching, now is the time to get out of the house and enjoy a great day out for the whole family.

No matter what the weather has in store, the National Trust has plenty of ways to inspire your kids to leave their game consoles behind and discover new surroundings.

Go on an outdoor adventure and take on the challenge of the conservation charity’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’.

Megan, aged 11 from Belfast and a member of the National Trust’s Outdoor Explorers Group said: “I love doing the 50 things activities and will be trying to tick off lots more over half term. I love exploring my local National Trust place, Rowallane Garden, and I discover something new each time I visit.”

With the help of a pair of wellies and a raincoat there are lots of things to see, do and enjoy at the Trust’s special places and spaces. And if the sun does decide to put on a show, there’s everything you need to spend family time together.

Take advantage of the National Trust’s ‘two months free membership’ offer and enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of days out. If you join between 15 to 28 February 2014, you’ll get 2 months free as part of your membership.

Here’s the Trust’s top tips for wet weather exploring this half term;

Wild about nature
The rain brings all sorts of amazing creatures out of hiding, so brave the weather and you never know what you might find. From animal tracks to bugs and beasties, be a wildlife detective and see what natural wonders you might discover at The Argory.

Signs of spring
Snowdrops are the first signs of life after the winter months – discover white magic on a self guided walk at The Argory (weekends in February) and at Springhill (Sundays in February). Or take a guided walk through carpets of snowdrops and hear what goes on behind the scenes at Downhill Demesne on 15 and 16 February.

Listen to the birds
Help Springhill rejuvenate its bird boxes on 16 February. Learn how to build your own nest and make some bird feeders to take home. Join the Murlough Nature Reserve rangers on 22 February for ideas on how to encourage wildlife and to build your own bird boxes and bug hotels.

Fantastic photos
Capture the weather on camera. See if you can find the biggest puddle, the muddiest wellies or crashing waves at the Giant’s Causeway. Take a #giantexperiences photo and share it with everyone to be in with a chance of winning a lovely break on the North Coast.

Visit the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre during February for oodles of fun and special events – more details at www.giantscausewaytickets.com

Puddle jumping
Get your wellies on and make a splash. See how many splashes it takes to get the water out of a puddle, or see what you can find floating in different pools – run wild at Florence Court and have fun while everyone else is hiding away.

Time for tea
A sudden downpour is the perfect excuse to pop into one of our tea-rooms or restaurants. Eat a delicious home-cooked lunch, stop for a cup of tea, or give in to the urge to eat a delicious slice of cake at Mount Stewart’s Bay Restaurant.

Shelter to shelter
Some of our glorious gardens and parks have lots of temples, follies and ruins to find and explore – why not jump from shelter to shelter at Downhill Demesne as you discover each one?

Wild water
Embrace the wet weather and discover how it makes such spectacular water. Discover what’s in a rock pool or go geocaching around Strangford Lough (more details at www.geocaching.com). Watch out for the wild water.

Looking up
You call tell a lot from watching the sky – keep your eyes peeled and see if the rain is stopping anytime soon, what clouds are floating by, or even keep an eye out for a rainbow at Rowallane Garden.

Go enjoy the great outdoors this half term!


Post Author: Belfast Times

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