From scenic city centre parks to rainy day fun indoors, there’s plenty to impress your wee’ans here in the Scottish capital. Here’s our guide on the best things to do in Edinburgh with kids.
The National Museum on Chambers Street is brilliant for all ages. Its wildlife exhibit features several life-like, taxidermied animals – from a bright white polar bear to a massive African elephant. The Museum’s ‘Imagine’ room is ideal for toddlers, with interactive games, musical instruments and dress-up clothes all presented at your wee one’s height.
This interactive science museum is as entertaining as it is educational. Situated in between the Scottish Parliament building and the expansive Holyrood Park, the museum takes you on a journey through the history of our planet. It features an ‘undersea’ tunnel, a time machine and 360 degree films in its ShowDome cinema.
The already-popular Edinburgh Zoo is now an even greater draw, thanks to the recent addition of two Giant Pandas, Yang Guang and Tian Tian. It’s also famous as the first zoo in the world to house penguins, and it is currently the only UK zoo with koalas. The Zoo’s just a short 20-minute bus journey from Princes Street.
Babies and cinemas may not seem like a good fit, but as part of the Cameo cinema’s Big Scream club, prams, nappy bags and mid-movie spit-ups are more than welcome. The special infant-friendly film screenings are held regularly for parents with babies under one year old. Whilst the babies may not pay too much attention to the film, it’s a relaxing treat for sleep-deprived parents.
Chickens, sheep, pigs and a big brown cow named Fudge – those are just some of the animals you’ll get to meet at this unique urban farm. After exploring the farm, you can rest your legs and enjoy a hot chocolate in its cosy cafe. Gorgie Farm is open seven days a week and entry is completely free (but donations are welcome).
Discover Edinburgh from a different perspective in this delightfully dizzying museum of illusions, games and magic. At the top of the building’s historic tower is a rooftop observation deck, which offers stunning panoramic views of the city. Located on Castlehill, at the top of the Royal Mile, it’s just a short walk from most of our Edinburgh apartments.
On the east end of the Meadows, just behind the tennis courts, is one of the city’s best playgounds. In addition to the typical outdoor toys – slides, swing sets (including a few baby/toddler swings), a seesaw, etc. – it has a zip line, a giant sandpit and a climbing wall.
This small playground, located just off Queen’s Drive near Dynamic Earth, isn’t particularly flashy, but it’s usually quite quiet and offers great views of the Salisbury Crags. It’s an ideal place to stop on your way back from the Parliament, Holyrood Palace or Dynamic Earth.
After a morning of sightseeing, the playground in West Princes Street Gardens is an ideal place for your kids to run around and stretch their legs. Situated at the based of Edinburgh Castle, next to the famous Ross Fountain, it’s certainly the most scenic playground in the city.
With so many beautiful green spaces dotted around the city, it’s easy to forget that Edinburgh is also right near the sea. For some good old fashioned fun by the seaside, hop on the number 26 bus from Princes Street out to Portobello. Spend the day building sandcastles, enjoying an ice cream on the promenade and testing your luck in the amusements arcade.
Adventurous kids will enjoy a scenic day trip to the quaint village of Duddingston, accessible by foot. Head toward the base of Arthur’s Seat, but instead of hiking up it, curve up and around Queen’s Drive to find the secret staircase behind the pond car park. These stairs will take you right into Duddingston, home to a historic 13th-century church and the oldest pub in Scotland. Pack a picnic to enjoy near the banks of Duddingston Loch, Edinburgh’s only natural freshwater loch and an important urban wildlife reserve.
Spacious, self-catering and situated in the heart of the city centre, our Edinburgh apartments are ideal for families travelling with kids. Let us know if you’re planning a visit with your children, and we’ll make sure all your needs are met (i.e. baby cots, highchairs, etc.).