Activity Ideas To Fill Your Summer

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'School's out for summer' are words every child and teacher longs to hear, but the holiday period isn't always as joyful for parents. The unpredictable weather, inevitable boredom and complete lack of routine can have many mums and dads wishing their little ones were back at school come the second week of July.
With a few hours out of the house however and a run around in the fresh air, the next two months might just be a time to relax, reset, and if we're lucky- enjoy some fun in the sun.

Below are some ideas to help you turn your summer into an exciting family adventure and enjoy the holiday period you've always wished for.

The Ark Open Farm
Situated between Newtownards and Bangor, The Ark Open Farm is an engaging environment with plenty of exciting animals to see and pet. From llamas to meerkats and baby chicks to reindeer, there's something for everyone.
As well as making your way around the farmyard, you can also enjoy a tractor or barrell ride, a visit to The Creepy Loft, a pony ride for the little ones or a bounce on the Kangaroo Jumper.
Take a walk to Goat Mountain, bring some bread to The Duck Pond or visit the Fairytale Forest- the newest magical addition.
Summer opening hours are 10-5 on weekdays and 2-5 on Sundays.
Children under three go free, while child entry is £6.50 and adults will pay £7.

70's Superstars Headline Party in The Park, Antrim
The music of the 'Super Seventies' will take centre stage at this year's Party in the Park at Antrim Castle gardens. If you're from the area or are a fan of the seventies you can enjoy four hours of fabulous music with tributes to Smokie and the Bay City Rollers, followed by Cher NI and This Way Up!
The free festival has something for everyone, so add it to your diary for a fun family day out. Activities include crazy golf, arts & crafts, swing boats, balloon making, face painting, bungee trampolines and of course a range of food and drink for you to indulge in at the food fayre.
When? Saturday 03 August
Where? Antrim Castle Gardens

Wake The Giant Festival, Warrenpoint
Wake the Giant Festival is back this August Bank Holiday weekend in Warrenpoint and is the last of this year's Giant Adventure festivals. Visitors and locals will be treated to a new twist in the tale to wake the impressive 32-foot giant, Finn, assisted by a merry band of acrobats, drummers, sprites and fairies.
Now in its fourth year, 'Wake The Giant' has established itself on the district's events calendar as a must-see spectacle of colour and wonder on the shores of Carlingford Lough. With plenty to see, it's a perfect way to wrap up the summer holidays
Price? Free
When? Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 August
Where? Warrenpoint Municipal Park

Let's Go Hydro
Let's Go Hydro is Belfast's newest watersports and accommodation resort and the latest option for an exciting day out in Northern Ireland. Perfect for individuals, families and large groups, it offers a number of water activities including kayaking, wakeboarding and stand up paddle boarding.
Beat the obstacles at the Inflatable Aqua Park if you're feeling brave, or if you fancy a getaway- extend your visit to an overnight stay in a glamping pod for just £60 per pod.
Wetsuits are available to hire for all activities from £5 per person.
The Aqua Park is priced at £12 per person.
Visit the Let's Go Hydro website for more details and booking information.

Street Entertainment On The Causeway Coast
A variety of street theatre shows will bring some excitement to the Causeway Coast and Glens during the months of July and August.
Suitable for all ages, this family event is popular with both visitors and locals every year. It features exciting circus shows with skills such as fire juggling, giant unicycles, stilt walking and fire breathing on display.
The programme will run from Monday 08 July-Saturday 31 August on selected days. Visit Causeway Coast & Glens online for further details.

Mo Mawlam Play Park, Stormont Estate
The newly refurbished Mo Mawlam Play Park at Stormont Estate in east Belfast is an excellent choice if you're hoping to get the little ones out from under your feet for a few hours to burn off some steam.
Now fully accessible, it was specially designed so children of all abilities can play together.
Entry is free and there are over 40 different pieces of equipment.
The updated park now boasts:
• Castle themed area.
• Multi sensory play area.
• Twin cableway and five point swing zone- offering dynamic play for older children with three flat swings, one trapeze seat and a spinner.
• Adventure play area with a wave embankment slide.
Also to be explored is a fully inclusive zone with a wheelchair accessible swing, a toddler zone and natural play area.
The play park is open seven days a week from 9.30am to 8.30pm, perfect for the bright evenings.
The car park can be accessed about 100m country bound past the main gates to Stormont Estate.

Image Credit: Let's Go Hydro


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