Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Family Activities this Summer in Edinburgh

07 July 2017

School's out for summer! Thankfully in Edinburgh there are plenty of great activities and events taking place throughout the summer months to keep school holiday boredom at bay. From tours to new exhibitions and workshops, there's something to keep the whole family entertained.

Take a look at our round up for events and activities to start planning your family's summer of fun:

Take a free guided tour at the National Museum of Scotland

NMS The Catwalk In The Fashion And Style Gallery Photo Peter Dibdin NMS Website 500X210

[Image credit: Peter Dibdin]

Always a popular choice with families, the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street is a surefire winner for the summer holidays. The kids will be awestruck by the planes hanging overhead and will be able to get stuck into some hands on learning, with plenty of interactive exhibits in the Science and Technology Galleries. They'll be inspired by the many beautiful items in the colourful Art, Fashion and Design Galleries, featuring works by world famous artists and designers, including Piscasso and Paolozzi.

Look out for the museum's regular and free family workshops and activities, including crafts, demos and object handling, and free guided tours every day throughout July. Find out what's coming up this summer on the Museum's website

Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF, website

Keep cool at Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth Summer 2017

With experts forecasting a heatwave this summer, Dynamic Earth will be keeping visitors cool with a host of polar themed events for the whole family to enjoy. 

Throughout the summer holidays Dynamic Earth is inviting youngsters to become polar explorers and see if they have what it takes to withstand the harsh environments of the poles through a range of interactive demonstrations and activities.

With the help of Dynamic Earth’s much loved green screen photo booth, visitors can dress up in a genuine polar explorer kit and take a trip to Antarctica with some cuddly penguin pals. Photos from the booth will be uploaded to the Dynamic Earth Facebook page for visitors to share with friends.

As part of an admission ticket, visitors can also take part in the daily interactive family science shows which aims to entertain participants showing the difference between the Arctic and Antarctic. While drop-in activities, including polar themed arts and crafts tables, will help youngsters get creative and inspired by polar wildlife.

Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS, website   

Go on a Witch Hunt at The Edinburgh Dungeon

Edinburgh Dungeon Witch Hunt

This summer, check out The Edinburgh Dungeon's brand new show: their most up-close and personal yet. This new addition took over four months to create and throws you right into the belly of the Witch Pricker's interrogation chamber. Protect yourself from accusations of sinister sorcery, or be burned alive! 

Witch Hunt is now included in your admission ticket to The Edinburgh Dungeon, which is open throughout the summer. 

31 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF, website 

Go Behind the Scenes on the BT Murrayfield Stadium Tour

Murrayfield Experience Stadium View 500X210

Walk in the footsteps of sporting greats on a BT Murrayfield Stadium tours. Your family will be able to see where their rugby heroes prepare for the games in the players dressing rooms and the legendary pitch where they play. Other highlights include 'The Bill McLaren Press Gallery' - dedicated to the great man who was known as the voice of rugby - and the historic trophy cabinet.

BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, EH12 5JP, website  

Discover the city on board the Rabbie's Edinburgh City Tour

Rabbies City Tour With Bus Credit Rabbies Website 500X210

[Image credit: Rabbie's]

All aboard Rabbie's convertible tours buses to learn more about Edinburgh and its great history. Enjoy a comfy seat as you journey around Edinburgh's Old and New Towns, an UNESCO World Hertiage site. As you pass by some of the city's most famous sights, you'll hear more about them from the audio guide Rabbie and stories from some of Edinburgh's great historical characters.

The Edinburgh City Tour departs three times a day from Waverley Bridge.  

Rabbie's Office and Cafe is at Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG, website

Be Active on an EMF Running Tour  

Run Tour National Monument 500X210

[Image credit: Edinburgh Marathon Festival - Edinburgh Running Tours]

Get kids off the couch on an Edinburgh Marathon Festival (EMF) Running Tour around Scotland’s historic capital city. Learn about the history, characters and the scenery of the city while also getting in some exercise. If you’d like to find out more about one of the closes and alleys of the Old and New Town of Edinburgh, your knowledgable guide will be able to explain all.

The tour will start off at the Scottish Parliament before making its first kilometre up to Calton Hill, through parts of the Old and New Town of Edinburgh before you finish up at the Historic Scotland Education Centre. Perfect for visitors and locals alike! 

Tours cost £27.50 per person and include lots of goodies including a t-shirt, water bottle, drawstring bag and a souvenir photograph of Edinburgh. The minimum age for the tour is 10 and anyone aged 10-15 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information and to book, visit their website.

Enjoy a royal experience at The Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace Of Holyrood Kids With Crowns Credit Royal Collection Trust Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016 500X210

[Image credit: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016]

Make sure you pop into the Palace of Holyroodhouse this summer as they'll be hosting some great events for the whole family to enjoy. 

Every weekday at 11.30, the Life at Court family tour gives you a sneak peak behind the ropes in the state apartments. You'll learn about the palace's most famous residents and handle some objects from the past including strange smelling candles, children's games and chamber pots. 

On selected dates in August at 2pm, storyteller Allison Galbraith will lead you on a magical storytelling stroll through the palace gardens, weaving traditional fairy and folktales with the unique features and royal history of the gardens. 

These activites are all included in the admission cost of your ticket. Find out more about all the Palace of Holyroodhouse events on their website.

Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX, website

Explore the city at the Museum of Edinburgh

Museum Of Edinburgh

A must see museum for all that have an interest in the city of Edinburgh. This summer, stroll along to the Museum of Edinburgh to experience their fun and interactive Learning Space. Expect to find crafts to explore, detective trails, replica objects and a storytelling corner in the heart of the museum.  Have fun exploring the colourful galleries and learn how the people of Edinburgh have lived over the years.  

The museum is free to enter but donations are welcome. No need to book, just drop in.

142-146 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DD,website

Be an adventurer at Lauriston Castle

Festival Of Museums Lauriston Castle Edinburgh 500X210 
One of Edinburgh’s hidden gems - Lauriston Castle, situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh near Cramond, provides exquisite gardens and beautiful views over the Firth of Forth.

Lauriston Castle is the perfect summer activities location for the whole family. Pop along and experience their family sessions which includes magic workshops and a Croquet Tea Party! The prices and times do vary and you can find out more on Lauriston Castle’s website.

2 Cramond Rd S, Edinburgh EH4 6AD, website

Get creative at the City Art Centre

CAC Craft Area

Home to The Edinburgh International Science Festival, the City Art Centre also host exhibitions and family events, making it the perfect place to explore while you are in the city centre this summer.  Look out for their family sessions which include Curious Creatures (12 and 13 July), Sketching Edinburgh with the Edinburgh Sketcher (15 July) and Super Collage (6 August). More information can be found on the City Art Centre’s website.

Learn about art in a fun way with the City Art Centre’s ArtSpace, the creative hub where families can create wonderful art together. The space is packed with plenty of textures and materials for you to let out your creative juice. This year the activity area can be found in the heart of the Edinburgh Alphabet exhibition, with lots of fun ways to find out more about Edinburgh's history. With plenty to explore, head down to Market Street and find out more!

2 Market St, Edinburgh, EH1 1DE, website 

Let your imagination run free at the Museum of Childhood


This summer the Museum of Childhood is hosting a marvellous cast of clockwork characters with the It's Alive! exhibition. Press the button on the interactive exhibits and watch in wonder as they come alive before your very eyes. Come along and be spellbound!

There will be also be live performances from The House of Automata throughout July and August, Find out more information about the session through the Museum of Childhood website.

42 High St, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1TG, website

Check out our Family Guide for more ideas of things to do with kids in Edinburgh>