What to do on a Rainy Day

Well let’s face it – we don’t have the 40 shades of green here without some rainfall! Of course there are the various types of rainy days, and they have a different impact of how your day might go. Whilst out in Rostrevor’s Kilbroney Park with a group of German guests, it began to rain but one of them announced there was no need to head home, sure it was only “dry rain”. Obviously he had spent too long in Northern Ireland and had learnt the difference! On the other side is what we call “Scotch Mist”, one of those days when the climate is what seems to be a misty day, but in reality is very fine (but of the soaking variety) steady drizzle. The joke being that only the Scots and the Irish would dismiss it as “mist”! Unfortunately today we’re facing what can only be described as torrential rain, so as the outside gets a good cleaning, what is there to do indoors?

What to do on a Rainy Day? 

Film Watching. There is nothing better than a rainy day to have the excuse to head to the cinema, buy yourself some popcorn, and get lost in the story for a couple of hours. We have 3 cinemas within easy driving of Rostrevor. Newry Omniplex gives you the chance to do some shopping in the Quays. Don’t forget to pick up your free parking coupon when paying. Further afield, Queens Film Theatre in Belfast shows a mixture of new and classic world cinema.

A trip to the Museum 

The range and diversity of themes is enormous – from maritime history and mythology to transport and trade; Irish language and Ulster linen to militaria and music; old schools and old mills to cutting-edge art and science.

Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an Egyptian Mummy and see modern masterpieces with a visit to the Ulster Museum. As Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present, the museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and free to all visitors. From Ireland to the South Pacific, ancient relics to hands on activities, the museum offers something for everyone from the simply curious to the enthusiast. Museum opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm, open bank holiday Mondays.

Saint Patrick’s Trian Visitor Complex, Armagh


This visitor complex in the heart of Armagh City; it incorporates 3 exhibitions The Armagh Story, Patrick’s Testament and The Land of Lilliput. The Armagh Story which details Armagh’s historic Pagan monuments through to the coming of St Patrick. While Patrick’s Testament exhibition takes a more in depth look at St Patrick through ‘The Book of Armagh’. The third exhibition is The Land of Lilliput which is inspired by Jonathan Swift’s book Gulliver’s Travels.

The museum is located in the historic buildings of the eighteenth century County Gaol of Down. In addition to walking through the restored complex complete with cells, visitors can learn more about 9000 years of human history in County Down in the newly launched exhibitions Down Through Time.

How about a visit to a planetarium? The Armagh Planetarium offers a chance to explore the universe with hands on computers in the Hall of Astronomy. The multimedia Star show is a unique visitor experience

Water, water, everywhere… 
Why not take lead from this example and head to a swimming pool or a spa? Or perhaps go to an aquarium.
Kilkeel Swimming Pool Ozone pool (no chlorine) with Jacuzzi, Sauna, and Steam Room. The pool has a split level floor so can be a 25m pool, or a 18m pool with beginner pool. Friendly staff. It is advisable to ring for opening times. Mourne Esplanade, Kilkeel. From Kilkeel centre follow signposts. 028 4175 4666Lagan Valley LeisurePlex, Lisburn A really fun pool, with good slides. Opening times alternate, so it is worthwhile ringing to check when to visit. I would advise visiting when all water flumes and slides are open. Lots of fun for all ages! , Leisure (028) 9267 2121
There is plenty to do in the surrounding area as well, with a cinema, and plenty of places to eat. Could be an ideal option after a visit to Belfast, or a rainy day.
Peak Time prices are Child £5, Adult £6.50, with different prices and offers on.

Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry. 

Exploris is Northern Ireland’s public Aquarium and seal sanctuary. Discovery pool demonstrations, run by experienced guides at regular intervals throughout each day, give you the opportunity to interact with a variety of living marine animals.

You can see how Exploris rehabilitates Northern Ireland’s sick, injured or orphaned seals back to health in the seal sanctuary. The Aquarium presents the wonders of the Irish Sea through an enjoyable and interactive experience.
If you wish to leave your car and go as a foot passenger, the aquarium is less than a 5 minute walk from the ferry. Phone: 028 4272 8062
Prices: Adult £7, Concession and children £4. Family (2A, 3Ch) £22. (1A, 3 Concessions) £19.50. Under 4s Free.
Opening Hours: Off Peak 10-5 Mon-Fri, 11-5 Sat, 1-5 Sun. Peak 10-6 Mon-Fri, 11-6 Sat, 12-6 Sun

Soak Seaweed Baths, Newcastle 

A modern take on an old tradition, seaweed bathing has enriched the lives of the people on this island for more than a century. In Victorian times hot seawater baths were all the rage.

The Spa at Slieve Donard rivals any other Spa in Europe today. Designed in conjunction with ESPA, the world’s leading Spa company, the Spa is situated over two floors, with stunning views across the Irish sea and the Mourne Mountains.

Some other ideas:
Climbing Wall at Tollymore Mountain Centre, Tollymore Forest. Ring 028 4372 2158 for further details.Ice Skating at Dundonald, Belfast 028 9080 9100Olympic size ice rink. Public sessions throughout the week with DJ sessions at weekends and on holidays. Ring for details. Ten pin bowling and indoor Indiana Land playground (for ages up to 12) also on site. Ring for details on opening hours and prices. Outside is Pirates Adventure Golf, a 36 hole adventure golf course.W5 Who What Where When Why, Belfast 

With nearly 200 amazing interactive exhibits in four incredible exhibition areas, W5 provides a unique experience as well as fantastic fun for visitors of all ages. In addition to permanent exhibits, W5 also presents a changing programme of large and small scale temporary exhibitions and events. We have a daily programme of live science demonstrations and shows throughout the day.

W5’s location, on the bank of the River Lagan, at Odyssey, the Northern Ireland Landmark Millennium Project, provides spectacular views of Belfast and the River and is only a short walk from Belfast City Centre.

Advertised Opening Times (Please ring and check) Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, last admission 4pm, Saturday 10am – 6pm, last admission 5pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm, last admission 5pm

Directions: From M1 approaching Belfast cross straight onto Broadway and then straight onto the Westlink following signs for M3/City Airport. Once on the M3 take the first exit entitled ´Queen´s Island´. Turn left at the lights onto Sydenham Road, the Odyssey complex is situated on the right and carpark on the left. On site car parking (charged).

Prices: Adult £7.70, Child: £5.70 (3 – 16, U3s Free), Concessions £6.20, Family from £21 (1A, 3Ch).

Coco’s Indoor Playground 

Main Promenade, Newcastle. www.cocosplayground.co.uk 028 4372 6226
Opening Hours:
Summer, July and August, 10am – 9pm daily
Bank Holidays 12.30pm – 8pm
Rest of the Year weekdays: 1.30pm – 8pm, Sat & Sun: 10am – 8pm
Disco every Friday, 7-10pm, 5yrs – 14 yrs, £3.50 admission.
Coco’s is situated opposite the Newcastle Centre just off the Main Street, Newcastle.
Normal Admission, 90mins, 3yrs and under £3.30, 4yrs and over £4.50, special needs, free.
Facilities include café, toilets, birthday parties, and group rates.

Sheepbridge Bowling and Cheeky Monkeys

028 3026 0000
10 pin bowling Price £4.50 per adult £4 per child, reduction of 50p on second game.
Cheeky Monkeys is an indoor playground for children up to the age of 12.

Directions. From Newry take the road sign posted Belfast. At roundabout before motorway, take the road signposted Sheepbridge. The bowling centre and cheeky monkeys building is on your right. Ring for opening times.