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Visiting Mount Stewart with Family

Visitors exploring house dressed for Christmas at Mount Stewart
Visitors exploring house dressed for Christmas at Mount Stewart | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

There are lots of things for families with children to see and do at Mount Stewart.

Christmas Tree in the Entrance Hall at Mount Stewart
Christmas Tree in the Entrance Hall at Mount Stewart | © Annapurna Mellor

Find out what's on at Mount Stewart

Christmas at Mount Stewart House

The fire will be lit, the lights will be twinkling and the House is getting ready for Christmas. We invite you wander in, get a photo in front of the tree and take a stroll around the house to see all the festive decorations in all their splendour.

The Big Christmas Reveal

Stay a little later and get the first look at the House dressed for Christmas in the evening

30th November 2023

Be one of the first visitors to see the Big House decorated for Christmas! On the 30th November Mount Stewart will have a late night opening so you can sip hot chocolate under the starlight and then wander through the House all dressed luxuriously for the festive season. Don't miss this one off chance to wander the House at night in the warm glow of twinkling lights and a cosy fire.

Normal admission applies, members free.

Festive family fun

Rockin’ Robin Festive family trail

25th November 2023 – 31st December 2023

Embark on a magical winter adventure at Mount Stewart this winter with our festive family trail. Take a leisurely stroll around the picturesque lake and as you wander, be on the lookout for our festive friends – the charming robins! See how many you can find with our Rockin' Robin challenge. So embrace the winter chill, wrap up warm and get out in nature this festive season!

The trail takes place from 2nd December to 31st December from 10am -3pm. Snap a picture of the trail map in the courtyard.

Normal admission applies, members free.

1950's Estate Party in the House

9th, 10th, 16th & 17th December 2023

Go back in time and experience the lead up to Christmas in the 'Big House'.

Go back in time to December 1950 and find out how the grandchildren of the late 7th Marquis are helping their grandmother prepare for the annual Christmas Party for the staff and tenants. Discover the Big House with a tour specially created for children and the young at heart and finish up the visit with toy time in the nursery.

The tour is free, sign up at reception on arrival on a first come basis. Normal admission applies, members free.

Christmas storytelling

9th, 10th, 16th & 17th December 2023

Bring the family along for festive story time in the second-hand bookshop. Don't forget to write your letter to Father Christmas and pop it in our postbox before you go!

The sessions take place throughout the day; check with reception for start times.

Northern Ireland Concert Band Christmas Performance

17th December 2023, 2pm (Front of House)

Come and enjoy some festive favourites and comforting carols to get you in a merry mood, with the Northern Ireland concert band this December.

Mrs R'ganics Childrens Bathbomb Workshop

9th December 2023

Calling all christmas elves! Come and make your own organic bath bomb, it could be a gift for someone special or keep it for yourself!

Workshops will last approximately 20 minutes. Suitable for children 4+ years old. Each child will learn to make their own bath bomb to take home on the day.

Please note that each session is on a first come, first served basis. Please sign up at reception on arrival. Max 6 children per session. (Sessions are free, normal admission applies, members free). Adults must accompany children at all times. Max of 2 adults per child.

Check out our What's on page here

Planning your family visit

  • Children under 5 go free.
  • Hit the trails and head up to the Natural Play area where hours of den building fun and exploring opportunities await you.
  • Tracker packs available to borrow to add to your adventure.
  • Calm (sensory) bags available to borrow free of charge from the visitor reception for visitors with additional needs.
  • Accessible buggy-friendly paths around the lake, gardens and up to the Natural Play Area.
  • Some parts of the woodland may present a challenge to buggies.
  • High chairs and children’s meals available in the Tea-room.
  • Children must be supervised at all times as there are water features in the formal gardens and uneven surfaces on site.
  • Baby changing facilities located in disability access toilets in the Carpark Toilets, Visitor Reception toilets and the Courtyard.
  • The Tea-room offers a selection of tasty kids meals and treats. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
  • You're welcome to bring a picnic. There's plenty of picnic tables, benches, and spots to lay out a blanket. Please use the bins provided when you're finished.
  • Spotter sheet to complete as you explore the house
  • Seasonal activity sheets available to the courtyard.
  • Scooters, balance bikes and bikes with stabilisers can be used at Mount Stewart (adult and bikes without stabiliser not permitted)

Where to start...

  • Head off round the lake to do a spot of bird watching and on your way stop by the Squirrel Hide to see if you can spot some of Mount Stewarts resident Red Squirrels.

  • Hit the trails where adventure awaits, with 10 miles of trails, dotted with bridges, streams and folly's to discover and then head up to the Natural Play area for a spot of den building.
  • Take a wander round the Mansion house and hear how the Londonderry family children lived and the adventures they had. Stop by the Tea-room for a treat before finding a good read in the children's section of the second-hand bookshop & shop.
Girl in the natural play area at Mount Stewart, County Down
Explore the Natural Play area | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Explore the Gardens and Lake

Take a gentle stroll around the lake walk and see how many different birds you can spot and the rainbow colours of the Rhododendrons blooming everywhere. Get lost in the Fernery and have fun finding your way through the winding paths and over bridges to find your way out. Say hello to the White Stag which is surrounded by wild flowers in the summer. Quietly make your way up to the squirrel hide and you might just see one of the Red Squirrels who call Mount Stewart home.

Hit the Trails

With more than 10 miles of trails set in ancient wood and farm land to explore, pack a picnic and set off on an adventure. Take in the ancient Folly on the Red Trail which is surrounded by a carpet of Bluebells in spring and take a moment to lie down and do a spot of forest bathing while you're there on the log beds. Toilets can be found by behind the Temple of Winds overlooking Strangford Lough.

Wander up to the Natural Play Area inspired by the story The Magic Ink Pot written by Edith Lady Londonderry for her children. Tip toe your way along the balance beams, seek out the carved woodland & fairytale figures and build yourself a cosy den to hide in.

Family spotting squirrels at the hide
Spot some wildlife at the Squirrel Hide on Brownsea Island, Dorset | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Tick off more of your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’

Head outdoors and get your little ones closer to nature this winter. Are you ready to try out 50 of the wildest, most fun-packed and exciting things to do in the great outdoors? Do your favourite activities over and over again, or try all 50: the choice is yours.

Things to do at Mount Stewart

Families exploring the Sunk Garden

Explore the garden at Mount Stewart 

Take a stroll through the world-class garden at Mount Stewart and discover an extraordinary scope of plant collections and original, historic features.

Seasonal treats in the Tea-room, Mount Stewart

Eating and shopping at Mount Stewart 

Tuck into a menu of freshly prepared dishes made with local and seasonal produce in the tea-room, and treat yourself or someone special in the gift shop.

Visitors stopping to enjoy the view of Srtangford Lough from Mount Stewart, County Down

Exploring the estate at Mount Stewart 

Pull on your walking boots, choose your route and head out for a walk on the Mount Stewart estate. Spot seasonal wildlife as you go, or run wild in the natural play area.