Scotland’s northerly capital remains a beautiful place to visit in the winter months. The medieval architecture and Grand Castle look even more magical with the snow. However, you may need a few indoor options for entertaining the kids if the weather is wet.
Therefore, BabyBreaks has done the hard work for you and researched the Best Kids Activities in Edinburgh.
1. Edinburgh Castle
Top of our list has to be Edinburgh’s Castle. Dating back over 1,000 years and looking over the city from its rocky point. Most importantly, highlights include the Scottish Crown Jewels and the medieval Mons Meg Canon which is fired at 1pm each day (Monday to Saturday). In addition, there are a wide range of special events throughout the year too. Check the website for more information.
Opening Hours: Open daily 09:30 – 17:00
2. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
First opening in 1835, this tourist attraction has been entertaining Edinburgh visitors for centuries. So it is certainly one of the best kids activities in Edinburgh. Today there are five floors of interactive optical illusions, where technology and magic meet. For example, kids will love the fact they can shrink themselves like Alice in Wonderland or get lost in the Mirror Maze. After that, they can climb up to the rooftop terrace for amazing 360 degree views. They will be able to see The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and the Firth of Forth.
Opening Hours: Open daily from 09:30. Closing times vary depending on season, click here for more info.
3. National Museum of Scotland
A great museum offering a mix of ancient history and cutting edge technology. The National Museum of Scotland is well-know for being fantastic for kids. Its guided tours, workshops and themed exhibitions, encourage learning by doing. So it’s guaranteed to spark their imagination. Meet dinosaurs in the Natural World, robots in Science and Technology and mummies in Ancient Egypt!
Opening Hours: Open daily 10:00 – 17:00
4. Dynamic Earth
Dynamic Earth is one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions and a guaranteed hit with the kids. It tells the story of our amazing planet through an immersive tour. You can feel the heat of a bubbling volcano or touch the icy cold of the arctic. Moreover, come face to face with dinosaurs in the rainforest! Certainly a really unique and fun experience for all ages.
Address: Address on Google Maps
Opening Hours: Open daily 10:00 -17:30
5. Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World
Admire exotic butterflies at the world’s longest running indoor butterfly house. The tropical rainforest environment is home to a huge array of flora and fauna, including reptiles and fish.So get the kids involved in the daily handling and feeding sessions. Maybe you’ll even cure a snake or spider phobia for yourself!
Opening Hours: Open daily 10:00 – 17:00
6. Palace of Holyroodhouse
The official Scottish residence of Her Majesty The Queen ,this 16th century palace stands against the spectacular backdrop of Arthur’s Seat . As well as stunning rooms and antiques to admire, they offer a great programme of family activities, like storytelling and face painting. And lastly, the grounds are a fantastic place to let the little ones loose on a summer’s day.
Opening Hours: 09:30 – 16:30 but check the website as some days it is closed for royal functions.
7. Museum of Childhood
This interactive space focused on childhood life, learning and play is a fab day out for the kids. It displays toys and games from across the generations, as well as having dedicated zones for little ones to get involved in activities.
Address: 42 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1TG
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm
8. Soft Play
Love it or hate it, soft play is one of the best kids activities in Edinburgh on a rainy day. As with most major cities, Edinburgh has a fair few to choose from. We like OceanPlay for its fantastic location overlooking the Royal Yacht Brittania. Or head for Tumbles Soft Play in Portobello – a pretty little seaside suburb where you can peruse the cafes shops and beach if the weather brightens up.
Trampolining is always a hit with young kids, and it’s a great way for parents to get some exercise too. As well as being loads of fun! In Edinburgh you can choose to go to Gravity Trampoline Park or Jump In Trampoline Park. Both have dedicated family or toddler sessions, so check their websites to see which suits you best.
10. Scottish Storytelling Centre
A fantastic venue celebrating Scotland’s storytelling culture, from one-off performances to seasonal events for Burns Night, Halloween and Christmas. There is plenty to inspire all ages, from children’s story times with famous authors to poetry writing workshops. This is certainly one of the most charming and unique kids activities in Edinburgh.
Address: 43-45 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SR
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 10am – 6pm
11. Royal Yacht Britannia
Frequently voted Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction, this is one you mustn’t miss. Her Majesty The Queen’s official yacht for over 40 years, this floating palace is steeped in history. The kids will love hearing the tales of life at sea, and getting involved in fun activities like treasure hunts. Or why not book a special children’s tour to really pique their interest?
Address: Ocean Dr, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ
Opening Hours: Open daily 10 am – 3:30pm
12. Edinburgh Dungeons
This is one older kids are sure to love, and any adults who like a bit of fun and gore! Aimed at ages 8 and over, this underground visitor attraction brings the city’s darkest history to life. Listen to ghostly tales by costumed characters as you make your way through the theatrical sets.
Address: 31 Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DF
Opening Hours: Open daily 11am – 4pm
13. A Trip to the Theatre
As a city famed for its performing arts festival, you’ll be pleased to know Edinburgh has plenty of theatre shows suitable for children. The Edinburgh Playhouse and The King’s Theatre are two of the biggest theatres, offering big name shows like The Lion King Musical and Paw Patrol live.
14. Doodles Ceramic Workshop
Doodles welcomes all ages of children from babies to teenagers, who are keen to unleash their inner artist. And adults too of course! First you choose a piece of pottery from hundreds of items. Next, select your colours before painting the rainbow. And finally add your finishing touches with glitter, stamps, stencils or etching. In addition there are special children’s workshops and events throughout the year. So make sure you check the website to see what’s on.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10:30am – 6pm / Sundays 11am – 6pm
15. Edinburgh International Climbing Arena
Europe’s largest indoor climbing arena is built in a disused quarry on the outskirts of Edinburgh. For little ones there’s a fab soft play area complete with its own mini climbing wall. As well as a playroom complete with a bouncy castle, ride on toys and games. In addition, older kids and adults can tackle the advanced climbing walls or nerve wracking aerial assault course.
Address: South Platt Hill, Newbridge EH28 8AA
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 10pm / Sat & Sun 8am – 6pm
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