So we took a trip, myself (Niamh here), my other half (Andy) our little guy Cillian (17 months) and last minute my niece Sadhbh (6) came along with us to Belfast for New Years Eve weekend. It had been on my wish list for some time now to go visit the Titanic Museum there. Although I was warned to plan the visit to Titanic accordingly during Cillian's nap time, as with a lot of historical museums, there is a lot of data and information to read along the way. I had booked 2 nights in the Park Inn Radisson in Belfast, based on its proximity to the City Centre.
The journey took 1 hour 50 from out north Dublin home and I was glad that Sadhbh had come along to keep Cillian occupied by singing songs along the way. We checked into the hotel, having pre-booked a double room with a cot. To our delight there was no extras' to pay for Sadhbh. We went straight to restaurant 'rgb' in the hotel, as the pangs of hunger started to kick in.
We had a lovely bite to eat! The food was good quality and they had a good choice for both adults and kids, with a choice of a 3 courses for kids to enjoy. Pasta bolognaise was the order of the day for Cillian and Sadhbh indulged in the typical chicken goujons and chips. Two extra sides each were given for the kids, corn on the cob and garlic bread for Sadhbh and mash and veg for Cillian! More than enough. Mam and Dad (me and the oh) went for the peanut butter chicken wraps! Delicious. Fanta for Sadhbh, water for Cillian, glass of wine for mam and pint of beer for dad, all for just £22.00 pound. We couldn't believe it. When I looked at the waitress curiously, she simply informed me that kids eat as well as stay free! It was superb value for all that food. What a great hotel! I hadn't realized Park Inn Radisson offer kids stay and eat free. I know what hotel we'll be staying in, in future!
( Click here for more details https://www.parkinn.co.uk/hotel-belfast )
We enjoyed a lovely leisurely walk around Belfast city that evening, which was literally a 5 minute walk from our hotel! Belfast city hall, was beautifully lit up with Christmas lights. We stumbled across an 'American Candy Store' that sold every american 'candy' you can think of, from Twinkies, Hershey's, Lucky Charm cereal to all flavors of drinks.
We bought some mixed candy bags. Pricey but yum. We strolled around the busy shops for the evening before returning to the hotel, where all 4 of us were literally out for the count for the New Years Eve countdown. Oh how things have changed for for mom and dad. Gone be the days we were only getting started midnight!
Next day bright and early we headed off for the Titanic museum. Well worth a visit! A little boring at parts for the little one's as I had been advised, but it did work out well as Cillian napped most of the way through. There was however some, interactive parts along the way to keep the kids entertained, if you flew through all the reading bits. The best being the cable carts. They were slow enough for the kids, but an enjoyable ride none the less, learning all about the tough work of the men who built the Titanic in Belfast.
After the Titanic museum, the W5 centre was next on the agenda! Having looking up stuff to do for families in Belfast for New Years, I came across the W5 who had a Christmas train running until mid January. Having visited I was delighted I had looked into it! It was fantastic! W5 is an 'Interactive Discovery Centre' and is so educational and fun for kids.
It's massive with 5 different floor levels and everything from science and educational activities and tools, to a mini supermarket and play centre and a theatre that hosts regular shows and sessions for kids. It is suitable for all ages in my opinion, from toddler right to teens. We literally spent the entire day here and had so much fun. The winterland express train was brief but enjoyable. Check it out here: http://www.w5online.co.uk/ I would highly recommend a trip to Belfast for those of you with toddlers and/or older kids. You won't be disappointed!
PS: In case your wondering....W5 stands for Who, What, Why, When & Where........... of course.