Edited by Holly Stark
We all know that satisfied children make for happy, calm parents, and luckily Edinburgh has a huge array of attractions which are great for entertaining children and families of all ages. With no shortage of things to do in Edinburgh for kids, you can be sure that you and your wee ones will enjoy a great day out in Edinburgh. Getting around the city is pretty easy since the city has good public transport links and is easy to walk around with everything being crammed into the small centre. But Edinburgh is a very strange city in many ways. It’s deeply historical, but it also has incredible festivals like the Science Festival, interactive museums and generally a lot going on. Its down to earth attitude makes it great for families, and it’s full of curiosities to unearth. Even if you’re not a kid yourself, kickstart your trip with this Edinburgh for families guide - for everyone who is in touch with their inner child.
The Edinburgh Science Festival
Families with curious minds will be spoiled for choice at the Edinburgh Science Festival. I work there and everyone loves it so I highly recommend coming to visit in April. It’s a great thing to do with kids. There are multiple venues with things going on and a lot of interactive workshops to get involved in. There's plenty for scientists of the future to do. Among the many venues taking part, the City Art Centre turns into a five-floor science venue packed with activities for children of all ages. The festival runs between April 6 and runs until April 21. At Blood Bar and Splat-tastic, little visitors can have a bloody good time making scabs and slime in a fun educational workshop environment. Another workshop run by EDF Energy means children to build their own wind turbines and test them in a wind tunnel, learning all about renewable energy in the process. One of the best experiences in Edinburgh for kids, the Edinburgh Science Festival is a must for families.
Camera Obscura is a super cool, strange world of illusions and one of the weirdest and most fun things to do in Edinburgh with kids. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is actually Edinburgh's oldest visitor attraction. Since 1853, it has been a great source of entertainment to families in Edinburgh, although of course things have changed since then. Check out Aladdin's Cave of illusions, tricks, puzzles, and hands-on interactive effects. If your kids like to get involved, play, and touch everything, this is the perfect place for them. You can shrink yourself like Alice in Wonderland, spy on locals through the huge lens in the mysterious 160-year-old Victorian rooftop chamber, and see Edinburgh as you've never seen it before. Get lost in the Magical Mirror Maze, walk on water, and be amazed by giant kaleidoscopes. Camera Obscura is a really cool place to take kids. Don’t miss it!
Dynamic Earth invites families in Edinburgh to go on a journey through time and witness the story of planet Earth. The center opened in 1999 on the site of a former brewery. With the chance to experience the primeval forces of nature as they shaped our planet, Dynamic Earth is a really cool museum to explore if you want to journey through space and time. Seeking what to do in Edinburgh with kids? Witness the big bang first hand, feel the ground shake beneath you as a molten lava speeds towards you and soar high above ice cold glaciers. For curious minds and those who love geography, geology, science and Earth, Dynamic Earth offers a broad understanding of the processes that shape the Earth.
One cool thing about Edinburgh is its open parks and green space, which provide a great opportunity for children to run around and enjoy fresh air and open space safely. Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano which erupted 350 million years ago. It’s considered to be the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh which form most of Holyrood Park. Since this peak rises 822 feet above the city, it offers an incredible panoramic view. Climbing Arthur's Seat and having a picnic at the top is one of best things to do in Edinburgh with kids in spring, summer or autumn. Just follow some essential tips for Edinburgh outdoors. Pack layers; because even if it is warm at the bottom, the top can get very windy, so be sure to pack a good jacket. Take a pack up and plenty of water and snacks to avoid feeling tired and worn out. Wear good shoes as the paths can be quite slippery and rocky, and choose your path carefully as there are several different paths up, so be sure to choose the one that best meets the needs of your family.
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