Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Things to do in Edinburgh this October break

14 October 2016

Edinburgh has plenty of fun lined up this October half-term break, so there's no excuse family boredom! Whether you fancy going to a kid friendly event at Edinburgh’s museum and attractions, or embracing all things autumn and getting involved in the outdoor events, we’ve got your family-fun covered for the school holidays...

Come face to face with Sumatran tigers

Sumatrantiger Jambi 500X210

[Image credit: Edinburgh Zoo]

This October Half term holiday come head along to Edinburgh Zoo to find out more about the Sumatran tigers family in the brand new, state-of-the-art Tiger Tracks enclosure. This ground level viewing tunnel and a bird’s-eye view from a high level viewing area givesfamilies the chance to experience get up close and personal with majestic tigers, Jambi and Baginda. Edinburgh Zoo will guarantee to give your family a roaring good time this October holiday!

Go on a Halloween magical adventure trail

Halloween Botanic Garden Edinburgh 500X210

[Image credit: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh]

This October half term break why not look to take the whole family along to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh for a fun filled Halloween trail day out? The Garden’s witch Caley is feeling a little under the weather, so join her cat Mi-agh and help source some healing plants to cast a spell so that she can feel better this Halloween! The trail will run from Saturday 15th October to Monday 31st October. There is a cost of £1 per trail map.

Get creative for The Big Draw

October Half Term Credit Palace Of Holyrood 500X210

[Image credit: Palace of Holyroodhouse

Grab your colouring pencils and take part in the Big Draw half term event from 17-23 October at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Head along to the Family Room where you can get creative and be inspired by all the Royal collections and tapestries. Record your creative interpretations of the beautiful collection as part of The Big Draw - a national campaign aimed at getting the country drawing.

Good Golly, There’s Dolly the Sheep!

Dolly NMS 500X210

[Image credit: National Museum of Scotland

Your autumn half term break discovery starts with the National Museum of Scotland from 15-23 October, with special exhibitions and half term fun. Join the Museum and celebrate 20 years of Dolly by joining in with the Good Golly, Where’s Dolly? hide and sheep trail. It’s here that you can uncover 8 Dolly the Sheep clones which are dotted around level 1 of the museum with the various clues available to find them. It’s a science and history mash-up for all the family this October Half Term.

While you're in town, be sure to catch other must see attractions >

Explore the many sides of the Earth

Dynamic Earth

Head over to Our Dynamic Earth this half term, where as part of the Earth Science Week they will be mixing crafts and sciences. The learning team will help you explore the dinosaurs fossil cast collection. Or why not take a trip through their tropical rain forest and be a bug detective and uncover all of earth’s different forms of life? The event is free with your Dynamic Earth ticket, running on Saturday 15 October 2016. 

Edinburgh Dungeon

Edinburgh Dungeon Jekyll And Hyde 500X210

[Image credit: Edinburgh Dungeon Facebook

If you and the family are craving a thrilling experience this October half term then make sure you add a trip to Edinburgh Dungeon on your list. From the 7th to 31st October, the attraction will bring to life their new tour The Real Jekyll & Hyde. It’s here that you will be able to discover all the darker side of human nature on the streets of Edinburgh.


Enjoy a bedtime story at the Museum of Childhood

Bedtime Stories Collage

Pop into the Museum of Childhood and take a look at the fascinating story quilt inspired by some of the country's best loved stories. The Bedtime Stories exhibition is free to enter, and its thrilling centrepiece showcases artworks by more than 60 creative children and adults from across the UK. 

Inspired by the beloved books and memories of a good story before bed, it has been displayed alongside further colourful quilts, historic toys and magical projections in an exhibition celebrating the power of bedtime stories to inspire the imagination.

Explore Lauriston Castle

Lauriston Castle Autumn

Truly one of Edinburgh's 'hidden' gems, Lauriston Castle grounds burst into beautiful autumnal colour this time of year. Free to enter, it's the perfect place to explore these mid-term holidays. Explore the castle itself by going on a guided tour, which run at 2pm every Saturday and Sunday (admission charges apply - check the Edinburgh Museums and Galleries website for details). 

Take on a Monumental Challenge

Monumental Challenge (1)

Take the kids on a Monumental Challenge and see views that will (quite literally) take your breath away! Conquer both the Nelson Monument and the Scott Monument before the 8th December and be in the chance to will some incredible prizes - including a money-can't-buy Edinburgh Hogmanay experience.

Tickets cost £10 and it's a few hundred steps to the top... but you will be rewarded with two fantastic panoramic views of the city that the whole family will never forget. 

There is plenty to do in Edinburgh with the family, come rain or shine. Have a look at our blog for even more ideas >