The school holidays are almost upon us and as always, we’re hoping Edinburgh’s sun will shine all summer long. But this is Scotland after all, so let’s be realistic - and prepared!
To help you have a great holiday, we’ve put together 10 family-friendly activities suitable for all weathers in Edinburgh... but just remember to pack a mac!
Scotland's capital city is a fantastic place to visit. As a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) World Heritage site, Edinburgh offers a wide variety of fascinating things to do.
1. The Royal Yacht Britannia
You guessed it! Well, we are the perfect combination of an indoor and outdoor attraction after all! And there’s plenty to see on board. Kids (and big kids!) are bound to love our very own 11 foot LEGO replica model of Britannia in our Visitor Centre, then explore five, impressive main decks. We also have a Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt for all the family to get involved!
2. Our Dynamic Earth
Head down to Holyrood Park for a journey of discovery into our planet and all the weird and wonderful things surrounding it. From volcanoes and polar ice caps, to the stars in our galaxy and the creatures in our oceans, Dynamic Earth helps you to explore it all. There’s also lots of kids’ activities every day during the summer holidays.
3. National Museum of Scotland
Ever wanted to find out more about the Jacobites, Viking-age or ancient Egypt? These are only a handful of the exhibitions on offer at the National Museum, as you find out more about the history of Scotland and around the world. Kids will also love the giant T-Rex!
4. Edinburgh Zoo
Can you believe Edinburgh Zoo has been a much-loved part of the city since 1913? With more than 1,000 rare and endangered animals to get to know, it’s still a great day out for all the family. There’s daily talks and opportunities to meet the animals, with the highlights being the penguins, giant pandas and the UK’s only koalas!
5. The Real Mary King’s Close
A warren of underground streets and spaces, Mary King’s Close really has to be seen to be believed. For many years, the closes of Edinburgh’s Old Town were hidden from view and shrouded in mystery, but now you can take a tour with a costumed guide who’ll show you how people lived all those years ago. Please note that the tour of The Real Mary King’s Close is not suitable for children under 5, therefore they are not admitted. Due to the historic nature of the attraction please review our access statement prior to booking.
6. Gorgie City Farm
Tucked away in south-west Edinburgh, little ones will love getting up close to Gorgie City Farm’s animals and critters; such as goats, sheep, bearded dragons and tortoises. Free to enter, the farm also grows a range of fruit, vegetables and herbs in its gardens. And if it does rain, farm visits are the perfect excuse to hunt out your wellies!
7. Museum of Childhood
Situated on the Royal Mile, you’re guaranteed to experience childhood nostalgia at this lovely museum. Displaying a range of toys, dolls and games from across the generations, it’s loved by both adults and kids who’ll have plenty of opportunities to get hands-on with games and dressing up.
8. Palace of Holyroodhouse
If you’re really lucky, you might get a wave from the Queen! If not, you can relax in the Family Room while the little ones enjoy stories, games and costumes, or why not take the free family audio tour to find out more about the Palace and its famous residents. There’s also a beautiful garden with woodland paths and giant lawns to explore.
9. Edinburgh Castle
An iconic feature of Edinburgh’s skyline, the Castle is always a great day out. Take a guided tour or discover all the nooks and crannies for yourself. You can also pay a visit to the crown jewels in the special Crown Room.
10. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
If you want to see the city and learn more about Edinburgh’s history, this is a great place to do it. There are fantastic views from the rooftop tower and inside there’s a whole host of brilliant optical illusions and exhibits to keep adults and little ones entertained.
We hope these ideas will help you to have a brilliant summer, and we look forward to seeing you soon on board Britannia.
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