Black holes, the Sun’s surface and space robots – explore these and more at this world-renowned astronomical institution.
Build a rocket, see what happens when a meteor hits the earth and recreate the space shuttle landing. The Armagh Planetarium offers a wealth of educational workshops aimed at a variety of age groups.
The planetarium is located some 40 miles west of Belfast. Also in its grounds is the Astropark, which includes a scale model of the universe. Those daring enough to climb the “Telescope” Horizon can get eye-to-eye with Uranus and Neptune – planets that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Armagh Planetarium College Hill Armagh BT61 9DB Northern Ireland
Check out the Armagh Planetarium website.
Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park can offer a varied day out for individual, family or school groups, with a chance to see some of the most unspoilt upland country in Ireland, a vast national park, a large herd of red deer and maybe, just maybe, a glimpse of a golden eagle.
The visitor centre at the northern end of Lough Veagh, near the edge of the park. This gives an introduction to the park and its natural history through audio-visual shows and extensive displays and exhibits. There are meals and snacks available in the restaurant.
Glenveagh National Park, Church Hill, Co Donegal.
Find out more about Glenveagh National Park
Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry, Co Down
The aquarium is on the shore of the Strangford Lough marine nature reserve. Learn all about the fascinating variety of Irish marine life with its tank displays, discovery pools and working seal sanctuary.
The aquarium has been involved in seal rehabilitation since the late 1980s and a purpose-built seal sanctuary was opened in 2000.
There are also display tanks on Strangford Lough and on the Irish Sea, plus “discovery pools” where you can interact directly with the sea creatures.
Exploris Aquarium, The Rope Walk, Castle Street, Portaferry, Co Down, BT22 1NZ.
Check out the excellent Exploris website
Build a robot, make your own cartoon, or see if you can fool a lie-detector. If that’s not enough, go inside a video game, play a laser harp, or sail boats in a multi-level pool with its own waterfall.
These are just a few of the activities at W5, the science centre in Belfast. Named for the key questions “who, what, where, when, why”, W5 is hands-on science that is so much fun that it brings out the experimenter in everybody, young or old.
W5 is part of the Odyssey Centre entertainment complex on the Belfast waterfront. There are good transport links, or the Odyssey is a walkable distance from the city centre.
W5, 2 Queen’s Quay (The Odyssey Centre) Belfast BT3 9QQ.
Visit W5′s website