Scotland’s summer may have officially come and gone but that doesn’t mean the fun must end too, for Edinburgh is the perfect location for a family break at any time of year. From adventures through time and space to discovering rare wild animals, there are no shortage of fun activities to keep the kids amused.
So, if you’re planning a visit to Edinburgh with the kids, here are a few of the best family days out the Scottish capital has to offer.
© Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
Set in 82 acres of sloping parkland, Edinburgh Zoo is Scotland’s wildest visitor attraction. Just a 10-minute drive from the city centre, it is home to over 1,000 rare and beautiful animals and the UK’s only giant pandas. Come face to face with the Sumatran tigers in their new enclosure – Tiger Tracks, or witness the world famous Penguin Parade featuring the knighted penguin, Sir Nils Olav. Why not visit Edinburgh Zoo’s newest attraction, Wee Beasties, which is home to a number of exciting species including reptiles, amphibians and insects. With plenty of children’s play areas, restaurants and picnic spots, Edinburgh Zoo makes for an ideal family day out.
Address: Corstorphine Road, EH12 6TS
Our Dynamic Earth
Named as the top visitor attraction in Edinburgh, Our Dynamic Earth takes visitors on an interactive adventure through space and time. Step inside a time machine and discover the earth’s history from the Big Bang all the way to the present day. Witness bubbling volcanoes and come face-to-face with dinosaurs, or enjoy an immersive visual experience in Scotland’s only 360-degree dome film theatre. This popular visitor attraction is an ideal day out for children of all ages – particularly those with an interest in all things geological.
Address: Holyrood Road, EH8 8AS
© Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
As Edinburgh’s oldest purpose-built tourist attraction, the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions has been delighting visitors for over 185 years. Get lost inside the Mirror Maze or step into the Vortex Tunnel and try not to fall over as the tunnel spins around you. Take in the breath-taking panoramic views across the city with the help of free high-power telescopes and binoculars. With six floors packed full of optical illusions, tricks and puzzles, Camera Obscura is a fun-filled interactive experience that the whole family can enjoy.
Address: Castlehill, EH1 2ND
© The Edinburgh Dungeon
Journey back in time and experience the sights, sounds and smells of Edinburgh’s horrible history. Surprises lurk around every corner as you come face-to-face with costumed characters, such as the infamous murderous duo, Burke and Hare, and sadistic cannibal, Sawney Bean. This thrilling attraction will take you on an 80-minute tour that is both frightening and funny, with 11 actor-led shows bringing gruesome stories to life. Recommended for older children, the Edinburgh Dungeon remains one of the city’s most popular family attractions.
Address: Market Street, EH1 1DF
National Museum of Scotland
Named as one of the UK’s top 10 visitor attractions, the National Museum of Scotland houses more than 20,000 fascinating artefacts including the world-famous Dolly the Sheep. Journey through the history of Scotland, take in the wonders of nature, experience the excitement of science and discovery, and finish your day with epic views across the city from the museum’s rooftop garden. With plenty of exhibits, activities and workshops designed specifically for children, the museum is a perfect day out for kids of all ages.
Address: Chambers Street, EH1 1JF
© Royal Yacht Britannia
Explore what life was like aboard Her Majesty’s floating residence, the Royal Yacht Britannia. Having been home to the royal family for more than 40 years, it is now one of the UK’s top visitor attractions and an enjoyable day out for the whole family. Uncover the ship’s fascinating history with a free audio tour, while the kids enjoy a treasure hunt with Clarence the corgi and friends who are hidden throughout the yacht. Be sure to check out the LEGO replica of the ship, which at 11 feet long is made with over 40,000 bricks!
Address: Ocean Drive, EH6 6JJ
Visiting Edinburgh with the kids? Our guests receive exclusive discounts at some of the city’s most popular family attractions and our apartments are the perfect base for your adventures in and around Edinburgh. Find out more.