Wondering what to do in Belfast in September with kids? We’ve been having fun exploring the area, and we’re building up a bucket list for next year, too. There’s a lot to do, and more events and activities are created all the time. Northern Ireland is a lot more tourist and family-friendly than it was when I arrived here almost 13 years ago, and that makes raising a family here easier. Whether you’re here for the day while on a cruise, or here for 2 weeks like a Canadian family I met yet last week at St. George’s Market…or even if you’re here for a lifetime; don’t stop exploring!
September 1 & 2 – This weekend is the Portrush Airshow on the North Coast. Head up for a day of free entertainment in the skies. The program differs on each day, so check out the day that works best for you, or attend both days!
September 8 & 9 – Each year for one weekend in September is the European Heritage Open Days when you can access properties around the country, often for free, and some not open to the public during the rest of the year. From castles to lighthouses to private residences. Tour around the country exploring its heritage and culture.
If you’re in County Antrim, you don’t want to miss exploring the Glens of Antrim. Glen translates as valley, and there are 9 in the Glens of Antrim area. Go hiking in Glenariff along the path to the beautiful waterfalls while enjoying the autumn colours. Have a fun day out at Carnfunnock Country Park with mini golf and a maze, climb up Slemish Mountain (where St. Patrick herded pigs while captive), or enjoy a last summery day at one of the beaches along the way.
One must for anyone that visits Belfast is to go on a Black Cab Tour along the peace walls and murals of West Belfast. Learn about ‘The Troubles’ and how that period of time has influenced the city. I went on this tour twice in my first 3 years here. I’m not sure if the gentleman who did my tour is still working, but there are lots of tours available through several companies. Here’s one that is highly rated on Trip Advisor.
September 21 – If you’re looking for a little culture, this is the time! Belfast Culture Night is back with 250 family friendly activities and performances all across Belfast.
When we were in Newcastle last August for the Festival of Flight I stopped in the info centre and picked up a brochure about the Granite Trail, and I think it looks like an interesting walk. It looks like some areas of it may be more challenging than others, so you may want to research more. The walk course is here, and there are some lovely pictures taken along the way here.
Until September 25 there is a Great War exhibition with items from Japan, Canada, France, Russia, Great Britain and more, that tells the story of each of these items.
If you enjoy wildlife and waterfowl in particular, take a trip to Belfast’s WOW (Window on Wildlife) Centre on Belfast Lough. It’s been recently renovated and you’ll find comfortable surroundings and knowledgeable volunteers on hand to help you get the most from your visit. Reference books, binoculars and telescopes are provided for you to use while there. Take an hour or an afternoon and observe the birds from the comfort of a heated building (or one of the outdoor hides). I’ve been here myself, and I think the children would really enjoy it, too!
September is one of the best times to go foraging, and Northern Ireland has much to offer. We’ll be out foraging blackberries, and we hope to find some apples as well. If you’re new to foraging, take a guided walk with Dermot either in Belfast or elsewhere, and you’ll be in good hands.
September is back to school, and fresh beginnings are in the air. Why not sign up for a class and learn something new! Whether for the kids, or even for yourself, have fun! I’m doing this myself with a course on bookbinding and another to cross stitch a Pochon Noel My first stop for fun classes in Belfast is the Crescent Arts Centre, and this is where I learned a little Traditional Irish Flute before we moved out of Belfast, and I’m happy to say Davy is still teaching there!
More great Belfast craic
If you’d like more ideas of what to do in Belfast and area, check out these other posts; most things mentioned can be done year-round!