Fun Things to Do in Edinburgh with the Kids

14 March 2014

Girl in Tractor

Edinburgh offers a wealth of kids activities to keep them amused all day long.  Whether it’s sunny and bright or dark and grey there are plenty of things to do and see within the capital.  Forever Edinburgh has put together a few of our favourite fun activities for the perfect day out with the family.

We’d love to hear what activities you get up to with the kids on a day out in the capital.  Tell us on Facebook and Twitter using #thisisedinburgh

Bus Tours

What better way to explore the city than high up on the top of an open top bus. Edinburgh Bus Tours run a variety of tours in Edinburgh to capture the capital's highlights. Their City Sightseeing Tour will thrill the kids with Horrible Histories stories whilst the Edinburgh Tour provides a great introduction to Edinburgh's Old and New Towns. Their guides will regale you with stories about the city's rich history: NB guides don't return until 5 April for the summer season. The World Heritage Tour reveals Edinburgh's history and brings it to life in a theme of contrasting tales: from 5 April. A Majestic Tour takes you further afield to visit some of Edinburgh's royal gems including the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the Royal Yacht Britannia. The very popular Mac City Tours reveal the best of Edinburgh's Old Town aboard a traditional open-top vintage bus. The guide will entertain you with tales of Royals, inventors pioneers and villains: the Mac Tour is a seasonal tour which starts back on 5 April.

Outdoor Kids Activities

As the sun comes out and the temperature rises the great outdoors beckons.  The best things in life are free and Edinburgh has some great outdoor spots where the kids can let off steam and the only thing you’ll have to pay for is an ice-cream.  

The Meadows Park on the South of the City, is a popular choice for residents and visitors alike. Younger children will happily play in the small play park whilst older children can enjoy some outdoor activities to burn off their excess energy.  It’s always fun to watch the cricket and at the end of the park there are 16 tennis courts available for hire throughout the year – subject to the Scottish weather of course.  Princes Street Gardens in the heart of the city is great for a picnic.  Children will enjoy running through the gardens and in the warmer weather kids of all ages will love the Bungee Bounce which combines the fun of a trampoline with the thrill of a bungee jump.  A stroll down the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Festival will keep the kids amused all day as street performers will entertain them with mime, song, dance and drama.  Cramond Beach is another great spot which all the family will love.  With a wide, flat esplanade it’s great for rollerblading, cycling or a gentle stroll with beautiful views across the Firth of Forth.  No matter what age, kids never seem to tire of feeding the swans and ducks or admiring the colourful boats bobbing on the shore.

Gorgie City Farm offers a little piece of the country in the heart of the city centre.  It’s always a favourite with younger children.  Run as a working farm, it gives them the opportunity to get up close and take part in exciting activities involving farm animals, gardening and exotic creatures. Open 7 days a week, entry is free.

Indoor Kids Activities

Camera Obscura at the top of the Royal Mile will dazzle and delight all the family.  With light shows, illusions, holograms and horror-grams it has to be seen to be believed.  Further down the Mile, The National Museum of Scotland could keep the family amused for the best part of the day with exhibitions and fun interactive exhibits exploring the natural world, world cultures, art and design, science and technology and Scottish history.  Dynamic Earth at the foot of the Royal Mile offers something for all the family.  Starting with a bang, find out how our planet evolved millions of years ago and journey through time with fantastic interactive exhibits and amazing technology. Of course no visit would be complete without a visit to Edinburgh Castle.  Explore the dungeons, be dazzled by the Crown Jewels but don’t forget to cover your ears as the One O’Clock Gun blasts over the castle ramparts, telling Edinburgh residents and visitors that it must be time for a spot of lunch.  


Older and more adventurous kids will love the thrill of scaling new heights at Alien Rock indoor climbing centre overlooking Leith waterfront.  Suitable for almost all ages and abilities it’s a fun and exciting activity for novices and experts.  Would be ice-skating superstars will have great fun at Murrayfield Ice Rink.  Skates are available to hire from a toddler’s size 4 to an adult size 14. Skate at your leisure or book a class for some expert tuition.  Time Twisters is a firm favourite with young daredevils who can run at full steam, jump and somersault without fear of injury if they fall over.  This soft play area is open to youngsters aged 2-12 and its Ancient Egyptian theme gives them the opportunity to play out their adventures in a fantasy world.

Family Friendly Dining

With all these activities, we need to ensure that energy levels are maintained.  Fortunately there are plenty of great eateries to satisfy rumbling tums. 

Situated in the heart of the colourful Edinburgh’s Grassmarket Mammas Pizza serve up delicious stonebaked pizza along with mouth melting steak on the stone and a fab range of pastas and salads.  Ice-creams, cheesecake and an amazing Choco Woco Whacko fudge brownie with all the trimmings will satisfy those with a sweet tooth. The Handmade Burger Company at Ocean Terminal have a special kids menu with a great money-saving deal for the under 12’s.  A great activity sheet will keep the kids amused while you wait for your meal and they even have a special “picture of the month” frame to display the skills of budding artists.   

We’ve only touched the surface and we mustn’t forget the great theatres, cinemas and regular events which take place around the capital.  To keep up to date with what’s happening in and around the city be sure to come back on a regular basis and check out our What’s On pages.

Forever Edinburgh, this is your Edinburgh.  We’d love to hear your list of fun activities to do with the kids on a day out in the city. Let us know your favourite activities on Facebook and Twitter using #thisisedinburgh.   

Forever Edinburgh: Fun kids activities in Edinburgh to entertain the whole family.