ECOS Millennium Environmental CentreBallymena, County Antrim
The ECOS Centre was created amidst 150 acres of rich river flood plain to showcase environmental issues, which they do with an eye to it being aimed at families, so the majority is pleasingly accessible for kids.
Through their hands on interactive exhibits in the high tech galleries all ages can have fun exploring the natural world and discovering how they can help it along! Learn the secrets of alternative energy production, enjoy nature walks and see if you can find the duck pond, plus there are cycling routes and fishing spots within the park too.
Or have a peaceful woodland picnic before following the Snail Trail as part of the fun (and free) Ecosquiz, which will have the kids dragging you all over the park. Some of the walks take you over bridges, some through a cute willow fairy ring, plus you can stroll around the lake and up along the Braid River. Check out the maps at the centre to see which trail suits your group's preferences and mobility levels.
Kids will love the duck feeding so take your crusts, plus there are ride on toy tractors, a remote control boat game and several small play parks dotted about with variety of equipment on offer. At certain times of year there are vast swathes of wildflowers and hundreds of attending butterflies, so it's well worth asking about their seasonal recommendations and taking a camera or two.
All in all whether you're after education, enlightenment or exercise you can find it all here in abundance. Just be prepared for the kids to bin all your CFCs when they get home!
Currently closed for renovation.
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