Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to pre-book my visit?

A: To ensure your visit is as safe and enjoyable as possible we are reducing the number of people in the museum at any one time and visitors must pre-book their arrival window on our website. Once inside the museum, there is no time limit to your visit and you are invited to enjoy everything the museum has to offer at your leisure.

Please arrive during your arrival window to make your day and the queue run a little more smoothly. We cannot guarantee admission if you have not secured your arrival window. Our Visitor Team will be there to answer your questions, navigate your arrival, direct you to the ticket validation queue (e-ticket or pre-printed) and make this experience as easy as possible for you.  

Arrival Windows are available Tuesday to Sunday from 10am. Our last time slot is at 3.45pm as the museum closes at 5.00pm. We recommend you arrive no later than 3.30pm to have at least 1.5 hours to enjoy the full experience on both the Old World and the New World. 

For any queries related to booking online please call our special booking line 028 9042 8428. For general advice about your visit, please call Ulster American Folk Park on 028 8224 3292.

Q: What if I need to change a booking, seek a refund or change my original date?

A: Tickets booked are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you have made an error in your booking we will endeavour to reschedule this to a suitable date and time provided you have made us aware of the error 48 hours in advance. Please note we cannot guarantee that your chosen date and time will be available. Please send any requests to reschedule to info@nmni.com, or contact us on 028 9042 8428.

Q: Can I make a group booking?

A: Yes. Group bookings of up to 15 people can be made online. Group bookings of 15 people or more will receive a 10% discount. For bookings over 15 people, please email us at info@nmni.com to discuss your risk assessment which is required as detailed in the latest Coronavirus regulations. National Museums NI continue to review this as government and public health advice evolves.

Q: What happens if I arrive late?

A: You should arrive at the museum prior to the start time of the visit you have booked. We will make every attempt to process your booking on arrival and provide entry as soon as possible however there may be a delay in gaining access in the event you arrive late. Entry cannot be fully guaranteed.

Q: Do I need to print my booking/ticket?

A. We are able to scan your ticket on entry either from a printed ticket or on a smartphone or tablet. Proof of booking is required to enter the museum. If you forget your pre-booked tickets, we can check your booking reference but it is likely to delay your visit.

Q: Can I use a discount voucher?

A: No, we are suspending all voucher redemptions until further notice. Please call our booking line on 028 9042 8428 if you have any queries.

For affiliate member organisations such as Irish Museums Association or International Council of Museums please call our booking helpline on 028 9042 8428 to book a time slot.

Q: I am currently on job seekers allowance. Do you provide discounts or free admission for people like me?

A: No, unfortunately since the change to Universal Credit, National Museums NI are not in the position to offer discounts.

Q: I am a National Museums NI Member. Why do I need to pre-book?

A: National Museums NI has reopened the Ulster American Folk Park in line with government advice and public health guidelines. To ensure the health and safety of all our staff and visitors we are limiting the total number of visitors on the museum site at any one time. We will use online pre-booking to ensure visitor numbers are maintained and monitored.

Our members can book time slots online on the day you would like to visit or if you prefer to book over the phone please call 028 9042 8428 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 4.00pm).

Q. I am a National Museums NI Member. Why do I not get priority booking over non-members?

A. HMRC has deemed priority booking to be an additional benefit to members and therefore we are unable to offer priority booking for members as a result.

Q: I’m a member, what if I forget my membership card when I visit?

A: We would ask that members bring their membership card with them so our visitor services team can validate their pre-booked ticket on arrival.  We can also accept a member’s photographic ID for validation of tickets.

Q: I have a disability / additional needs. Do you have any specific time slots for people like me?

A: Yes. While people with a disability are welcome to visit our museum any time, we recommend booking a time slot between 10am and 11am when our museum will be fresh from a daily deep clean meaning those in high risk categories can rest a little easier.

These time slots are also great for visitors with any sensory needs such as autism or who require a little more time to get around as the museum is usually quieter.

We ask anyone booking a visit to consider choosing a time slot after 11am to allow people with disabilities, their carers, family and friends to book earlier in the day.

Q: I have a registered disability. Do you provide discounts or free admission for people like me?

A: Yes. People with a registered disability can visit the museum for free. Access helpers accompanying people with a disability are also offered free entry to our museums. We highly recommend that you book your visit in advance on our website selecting one of our earlier daily time slots. People with disabilities may be asked to confirm their eligibility by presenting one of the following:

  • Award letter from the Department for Communities
  • Disabled Drivers Blue Badge card
  • Disabled persons bus pass

Q: How long should my visit take?

A: There is no time limit for your visit. We recommend allowing 2 - 3 hours to explore everything the museum has to offer.

Q: What visitor information is available to me when I arrive?

A: Single-use visitor guide maps in several languages are available on your arrival to help you navigate the museum safely.

Q: Do you provide guided tours?

A: No. You’re invited to experience everything the museum has to offer at your own pace. Visitor maps are available on your arrival and will help guide you around the museum. Please be mindful of other visitors on the site and respect social distancing guidelines.

Q: Is the Ulster American Folk Park taking part in the Test & Trace programme?

A: National Museums NI supports the Department of Health's Test, Trace, Protect strategy for public health in response to Covid-19. The information we hold is held in line with data protection legislation and our privacy policy. To find out more read our privacy policy.

Q: How will you ensure that I can visit safely?

A: The safety and welfare of our staff and visitors is our top priority in light of the coronavirus pandemic. National Museums NI are committed to following the advice and guidance provided by the government. To ensure your safety, we have implemented a number of changes to the museum experience:

  • Managing the capacity and number of people visiting our museum at any one time to allow for social distancing
  • Providing online booking facility for pre-booking tickets
  • Non-contact validation of tickets on arrival
  • Recommended Route system with separate entrance and exit points
  • Fully trained visitor team and visitor guides on site and on hand to answer visitor questions, ensure you are safe and help make your visit as enjoyable as possible
  • Providing enhanced hygiene and cleaning regimes
  • Providing clear and frequent visitor information signage around our museum
  • Providing hand sanitising stations at regular points
  • Managed toilet facilities
  • Contactless payment

Q: Will I be required to show proof of Covid-19 status?

A: You will not be required to show proof of Covid-19 status when entering Ulster American Folk Park.

Q: Do I have to wear a face covering when I visit the museum?

A: Although no longer necessary, we recommend you still wear a face covering when inside any of our spaces at the Folk park, for the protection of yourselves and others, as advised by Government guidelines, unless you are exempt.

If you feel more at ease wearing a face covering, but forgot to bring your own, there will be some available at the admissions desk.  For more information on the government guidelines on wearing face coverings check out www.nidirect.gov.uk and www.publichealth.hscni.net

Q: Do children need to wear a face covering in the museum?

A: Current government guidelines state that children under the age of 13 do not have to wear a face covering.

Q: Will staff at the museum be wearing face coverings?

A: We have a number of safety measures in place to protect both our staff and visitors. These include social distancing, hand sanitising stations and Perspex screens. Our staff will be wearing face coverings where social distancing cannot be maintained.

However, please remember that there are circumstances that may make it difficult to do so. 

Q: Will your toilet facilities be open?

A: Yes. We have public toilets available for use at the beginning, middle and end of your visit to the museum. Entry to toilets is limited to one household at a time. Please ensure you follow the guidance we have put in place for everyone’s safety when using our toilets.

Please respect social distancing requirements and keep in mind that several disabilities are hidden when it comes to persons using adapted toilets.

These facilities are cleaned on a regular basis and during your visit we may need to close a toilet facility for a period in order to carry out necessary hygiene checks and essential cleaning. Please respect the important role of our cleaning staff as they carry out their work.

Q: Is there a storage area available for my luggage and personal possessions?

A: No. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions we are unable to take into temporary safekeeping any personal belongings. Where possible we recommend that you store and lock non-essential items in your car and ensure all valuables are kept out of sight within the vehicle.

Q: Is the Café open?

A: Yes. Our Loaf Café will be open and offering a selection of light bites and refreshments but with reduced capacity and social distancing measures. When you arrive at the café, place your order at the counter and then take a seat. Our staff will deliver your order to your table. Contactless payment is advised.

A Grab n’ Go food and drinks service is also available at the front of the Visitor Centre as well as locally made ice cream which visitors can enjoy as they tour the museum.

Q: Can I bring a picnic?

A: Yes. You can bring along a picnic which you can enjoy using one of the many picnic benches located in our main visitors’ car park as well as on the museum site.

We do not allow the lighting of fires for BBQ on the museum site.

We would ask that you put all your rubbish in the bins provided or take your rubbish home with you. Please leave picnic areas clean and tidy for other visitors.

Q: Is the Gift Shop open?

A: Yes. The Gift Shop is open to visitors however for safety we will be limiting the number of people in store at any one time. We ask visitors to use contactless payment where possible and minimise handling of stock.

Sanitiser and gloves are available for use in store where required and visitors are asked to respect social distancing.

Unfortunately we are unable to allow visitors to try on personal items such as jewellery and scarves but we are offering a full refund on all items (excluding earrings and food) up to 60 days on presentation of receipt and all returned sale items will be held off sale for 5 days. Every purchase supports the work of National Museums NI.

Q. Do you accept contactless payments only now?

A: While contactless payment is advised, we also accept cash payments in GBP Sterling (notes and coins) and Euro (notes only). Any change we give in return will be in GBP Sterling.

Q. I only have a €uro account – will my ROI contactless card work?

A: Yes. You will be able to use your ROI contactless debit and credit card for purchases on admission, gift shop items and at our catering outlets.

Q: Are dogs allowed at the museum?

A: Only assistance dogs are allowed at the Ulster American Folk Park. Assistance dogs are dogs that are trained and required to provide a service to their owner/user. This includes:

  • Guide dogs who assist visitors who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Hearing dogs, or signal dogs who help visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Service dogs who are not specifically trained for visual or hearing impairment, but are trained to do other work, such as provide mobility and emotional assistance to certain visitors.