REVIEW – Botanics for kids & squirrel hunting

The Botanical Gardens is one of my favourite places in Edinburgh and I am lucky to live within walking distance.

Armed with a bag of sunflower seeds bought from the new shop at the John Hope Gateway entrance, I set off with some younger members of my family in the hunt for some squirrels.

It is not hard to spot squirrels within the botanics and I can 99% guarantee you will see at least one on your visit.

Squirrel at the botanics

Squirrel at the botanics

Initial techniques of feeding the squirrels included whistling at them like you would a dog, then the tactic of throwing a handful of seeds emerged.

I had to explain than they need to trust the person feeding them and that silence was needed.  This made the kids shout ‘sssssshhhhhhhhhh’.

Eventually, the squirrels came and ate out of our hands, but it took about 8 attempts.

Tame squirrel

Tame squirrel

Once that had been done a few times, the attention turned to collecting conkers and kicking about in the Autumnal leaves.

Collecting

Collecting

One of the great new things about the John Hope Gateway is that they have a room full of microscopes for children to examine what they’ve collected.  One of the kids said that the leaf looked like a ‘frog’s back’ and sure enough it did when I looked through.

Great fun to be had at the botanics and squirrel hunting can be done all year round.

Suitable for disabled? Yes, plenty of even, smooth paths around the Botanics

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