There are definitely some holidays were I feel more like a Redcoat from Butlins than someone taking a break. The daily request of ‘What are we doing today?’ never fails to heap the pressure on to come up with something fun that won’t be met with moaning. Whilst days spent pottering in the garden and chilling out in the pool are nice, there is definitely a finitude to that (according to my kids!). Thankfully, Edinburgh has so many child-friendly options so today I thought I’d bring you my top fifty!

Historical Options

We’re members of both The National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland as there are so many great options in and around Edinburgh. Here’s just a few of our favourites:

1) Craigmillar Castle – best views over Edinburgh

2) Bannockburn – the most interactive for older children

3) Edinburgh Castle – it has so many elements that this can provide entertainment on multiple days

4) Blackness Castle – for Outlander fantasies and places to explore

5) Dirleton Castle – for the best gardens to stretch your legs

6) Tantallon Castle – for the best sea views.

7) Crichton Castle – because we pretend we actually own it

8) Newhailes – for the best kid’s play area

9) Gladstone’s Land followed by The Georgian House – for learning about the history of Edinburgh

10) Inveresk Lodge Garden – the prettiest garden’s we’ve found

Active Options

I would love it if my kids were happy to just go on long walks, but my gang definitely prefer to have something ‘to do’ – once again, Edinburgh really does come up trumps:

11) Jump In – our favourite trampoline park and just next door to Newhailes

12) Foxlake – loads of exciting options for all the family

13) Dunbar Swimming Pool – for families with swimmers and non-swimmers

14) Xcite Livingston – for kids who like flumes and rapids!

15) Clip n’ Climb Ratho – one to book ahead for but the kids love it

16) Alien Rock – book onto a parent/child belaying course to learn the ropes

17) Climbing Arthur’s Seat – you can drive up a fair way for the easier option!

18) Hi Climb, Hi Ride and Hi Fall – a whole host of new climbing options at The Centre Livingstone

19) Explore Lauriston Castle – or even have a game of croquet!

20) Take a boat trip out to Incholm – and climb to the top of the Island

Cultural Options

Everywhere in Edinburgh feels pretty ‘cultural’ to me as there really is a piece of history on every street. But it cannot be ignored that there are some amazing museums and art galleries with loads for kids:

21) National Gallery of Modern Art – with daily events for kids through summer

22) Museum of Childhood – newly renovated in Spring 2018

23) National Museum of Scotland – it really is unbeatable

24) National Mining Museum of Scotland – to learn about another side of life in Scotland

25) National Museum of Flight – for interactive displays and planes a-plenty

26) Royal Yacht Britannia – British Royalty complete with children’s trails, games and fudge!

27) Holyrood Palace – to see where the Queen stays in Edinburgh

28) Jupiter Artland – a place to explore with lots to look at

29) Hang out at The Book Festival – here’s a few of our top picks

30) Catch a show at The Fringe – we’re delighted Monski Mouse is returning for another year!

Rainy Day Options

Whilst I’d like to think that Edinburgh is always blessed with sun and fair temperatures year round, that’s really not the case. There’s already loads of indoor activities above but here’s a few additional ideas:

31) Dynamic Earth – best interactive museum around

32) Head to the Central Library – aside from the books, spend some time building Lego models to be displayed in the front window

33) Paint your own ceramics – perfect gift for birthdays etc but also just fun

34) Grab lunch at The Pantry  – and let the kids play whilst you drink coffee

35) Chill out to Jazz on a Sunday – with the best pizza in town

36) Water of Leith Visitor Centre – and don rain suits to explore along the water

37) Take the tram to the airport and spot some planes

38) Camera Oscura and World of Illusions – always a popular one for whole family

39) Deep Sea World in North Queensferry – head over the bridge and see some sharks!

40) Take a train on the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway – but look out for their special themed days too

Outdoor Options

Given that we are having a run of good weather and because it sometimes can be nice in Edinburgh – I thought I’d finish with some of our favourite options for good weather:

41) Edinburgh Zoo – with some extra tips for enjoying your day

42) Explore North Berwick – we love the paddling pool on the beach!

43) Play on Yellowcraigs beach – beautiful sandy beach for playing

44) Make the most of Edinburgh’s parks – The Meadows is pretty awesome!

45) East Links Family Park – a farm themed activity park

46) Conifox Adventure Park – footgolf, trampolines, go-karts? What’s not to love?

47) Explore Edinburgh’s Botanical Gardens – and it’s free!

48) Take a boat ride along Linlithgow Canal then play in the park by the Loch

49) Get the bikes out and explore Edinburgh’s Cycle Network

50) Discover Geocaching and follow the trail of Burke and Hare

What else would you add to this list? I’d love to keep adding new ideas or activities to our list and discovering everything Edinburgh has to offer!

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Edinburgh is a fantastic place to explore as a family. Here's 50 things to do with kids on a family city break to Edinburgh. Find out what we enjoyed on our family city break in Edinburgh, why it’s a great destination to visit with kids, and which attractions to visit.

3 thoughts on “50 Things To Do With Kids in Edinburgh”

    1. Thanks Emily! Working on another 50 over the next few weeks as already had so many people add ideas! Although I’m pleased I’ve written about the majority I really need to get on visiting some more places!

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