Father’s Day is almost upon us and to help you give your dad a day he won’t forget, Tourism NI has put together an exciting list of things to see and do around Northern Ireland from adventure activities to history days out, interesting tours and nature experiences.
June 19 is the perfect time to show your dad just how special he is and whether you are looking for a relaxing afternoon or a more adventurous time, there is no better way to spend the day than out and about in Northern Ireland.
Tourism NI’s Communication & Destination PR Officer, Rachel Quigg explains why no one should be stuck for things to see or do this Father’s Day:
“There is a wide range of fun activities and fantastic events taking place around the country as well as an endless number of must-see tourist attractions and we have pulled together some of the top highlights so your dad can have a unique and special day,” said Rachel.
HISTORY MAD DAD
There are many things to do and places to see for those fathers who love history and heritage. Treat your dad to a great day out and become photographers for the day on the Father’s Day Titanic Taster Photography Tour.
On this interactive tour you will be transported around Belfast’s Titanic Quarter on the Wee Tram, learning top photography tips and techniques while exploring Belfast’s maritime heritage. The Titanic Taster Photography Tour takes place on June 18 at 10.30am.
Other history themed activities include a trip to the Walled City of Derry~Londonderry, home to the magnificent 17th Century City Walls. Crammed full of history, charm and a vibrant cultural scene, Derry~Londonderry is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples in Europe.
A fun day out on Father’s Day can also be had at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone, as there is a fascinating open-air museum telling the story of Irish emigration to the New World.
NATURE LOVING DAD
If your dad enjoys the great outdoors, then there are plenty of places to go this Father’s Day, like one of the many beautiful forest and country parks around Northern Ireland. Why not bring your Dad to Roe Valley Country Park, along the banks of the River Roe in Limavady, which boasts spectacular riverside views and opportunities for trout and salmon fishing; or to Tollymore Forest Park in Castlewellan, County Down, which was a filming location for HBO’s Game of Thrones®.
An Creagán in Co Tyrone is nestled in the ancient landscape of the Sperrin foothills and is the perfect place to spend a day with your dad with lots of walks, cycle paths and areas to explore.
Spend a family afternoon in Belfast Zoo, which is home to 150 species of animal, many of which are endangered, in their natural habitat. Popular attractions include the Asian elephants, giraffes, sea lions, Malayan tapirs and giant anteater.
Your nature-loving dad might also enjoy a visit to Castle Espie Wetland Centre, on the shores of Strangford Lough in County Down. Home to wild and endangered birds from around the world, you can follow the nature walks to get close to the wildlife, have a picnic or visit the Loughshore Café.
SPORTS MAD DAD
For those dads who want to get out and about this Father’s Day, there is plenty going on to get their adrenaline pumping.
It is the closing weekend of the NI Festival of Cycling, packed full of events and festivities to get dad on his bike whilst taking in some of Northern Ireland’s stunning scenery.
Events taking place over the weekend include Banter By Bike, a leisurely yet challenging ride around Ballypatrick Forest, Ballycastle, and Bike Polo in Ormeau Park, Belfast, where two teams will battle it out on bikes instead of horses to be Bike Week Champion 2016.
You and your family could go on a day out to We Are Vertigo just outside Belfast, which has a wide range of activities from climbing walls to sky trail high ropes plus a ski centre and a huge trampoline park, or if your dad is a speed junkie, take him off – road driving at Todds Leap in County Tyrone or karting at Campsie Karting Centre near Derry~Londonderry.
Alternatively, if your dad prefers to watch sport, the Official Euros Fanzone at Titanic Belfast will be open on June 18, showing all of the day’s Euro 2016 matches on the biggest screen in the country with lots of delicious food options, a fun fair and entertainment before and after the games.
FOOD AND DRINK LOVING DAD
It is Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, so why not celebrate with your dad by sampling some local specialities at one of the many events and tours on offer!
On Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June, the Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival 2016 takes place in Bushmills, County Antrim, with food, drink, live entertainment and cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend, including free whiskey tasting at Bushmills Distillery and Naturally North Coast and Glens Market on the streets.
There are also many food tours happening across Father’s Day weekend, such as the Belfast Food Tour. This fun and relaxed tour will give you and your dad a taste of the food available around Belfast and the best places to find it.
There is also the Ballycastle Food Tour, focusing on the town’s varied cultural history with local producers providing breakfast, lunch, supper and dessert throughout the day.
For further information check out www.discovernorthernireland.com/fathersday/