There is no shortage of fun activities to keep the kids amused on a family day out to Scotland’s Capital.
Edinburgh Castle is undoubtedly one of Scotland's top visitor attractions and is perfect for family days out. Dominating the city skyline, step inside and discover tales from our ancient past. Kids will love exploring the castle dungeons or getting close to the Crown Jewels. The Castle is also home to Mons Meg, a cannon built in 1449 capable of blasting a 150kg gunstone for 3.2km (two miles) - a terrifying weapon by the day's standards. Ear muffs at the ready as the famous 1 o'clock gun is fired over the city at 1pm on the dot from the castle ramparts.
At the top of the Royal Mile and just a short stroll from Edinburgh Castle, visitors of all ages will be mesmerised by the sights at Camera Obscura. The Camera Obscura Show is a fun and fascinating way to learn about the city. Holograms and horror-grams, combined with amazing light shows and illusions will provide a dazzling experience which everyone will enjoy.
The Real Mary King's Close
Stroll further down the Royal Mile and step back in time at one of Edinburgh’s scariest attractions, The Real Mary King’s Close. Warrens of dark underground passages weave deep below the city streets. With your guide, uncover the mysterious goings-on of its former residents as tales of murders, plagues and mysteries are unravelled.
Not for the faint hearted, a trip to The Edinburgh Dungeons next to Waverley Station will have your hair standing on end. A journey through Scotland’s horrible history, accompanied by a cast of former Edinburgh residents, you will scream and laugh your way through the city’s murky past.
You can discover how our planet evolved millions of years ago at the exciting Dynamic Earth. Let’s start with a bang as we journey through time and learn about our past, present and future with interactive exhibits and mind blowing technology. Another must for family days out.
It’s a heart-warming tale that’s been told in books, cartoons and even a Disney film – the faithful little dog that guarded his master’s grave in Greyfriars Kirkyard for 14 years. Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier, became a local celebrity, even making a friend of the Lord Provost of the time. His memory is celebrated by a granite drinking fountain, complete with bronze cast of Bobby (which is also the smallest listed structure in Edinburgh). Just be prepared for the inevitable question – ‘can we keep him?’ – when you visit!
Gorgie City Farm
Have fun at the farm with your little ones at Gorgie City Farm. This largely volunteer-run, community-owned urban farm is a long-time favourite with local families. Kids will be able to get up close to some of Gorgie's animal residents, including sheep, goats and pigs, while learning more about farming and food production. Look out for their educational tours and holiday clubs for 8-12 year olds where kids can get a more hands on experience with how a real farm works. The farm is free to enter but relies on the donotations of its visitors to continue to keep this fun, educational attraction running.
Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
For those seeking some fresh air then a stroll through Princes Street Gardens or the Royal Botanic Gardens in Inverleith is a great way to get some gentle exercise whilst enjoying the delightful seasonal flora. If the weather is kind you can enjoy an ice-cream or why not have a picnic.
The volcanoes of Edinburgh
Give your kids something to brag about in the school playground and take them to climb a volcano during your visit to Edinburgh. In fact, if you’re feeling energetic - there are two you can go up; Arthur’s Seat and Castle Rock. Relax, they are now extinct so no need to worry about molten lava.
Edinburgh Zoo is a top visitor attraction which can be enjoyed by all the family. With over 1,000 wildlife animals you can watch the penguins paddle, the chimps chat or say hello to Tian Tian and Yang Guang the UK’s only giant pandas. With a programme of daily events you can get up close and find out more about your favourite animals.
Butterfly and Insect World
If they creep and crawl, chances are you’ll find them here. With snakes and spiders galore, inquisitive explorers will no doubt love the chance to get up close and personal with all manner of bugs and butterflies. Butterfly and Insect World, on the outskirts of the city, is set in its very own re-created rainforest, there’s even the opportunity to experience a tropical rainstorm too, so best pack your waterproofs!
Ghosts, Gore and Grime with Mercat Tours
Discover the dark side of Edinburgh with Mercat Tours! Ghosts, Gore and Grime brings tales of stinking streets, terrible tortures and ghostly goings-on. The perfect way to see the sights of Edinburgh’s Old Town while also learning a thing or two about our past. On this kids daytime tour you will visit some of the city’s most horrible haunts including Edinburgh's underground vaults.
To start, you’ll explore the winding closes of Edinburgh. Learn the meaning of gardyloo and hope you never hear it, grimace at the tales of Scottish witches and find out what treasure could be found buried in a 19th century graveyard (clue: it’s not gold and shiny). You’ll finish your excursion beneath the streets in Mercat Tours' exclusive Blair Street Underground Vaults with tales aplenty!
This is Edinburgh: Enjoy great fun filled family days out in Edinburgh, Scotland’s gorgeous capital city.