There’s a huge choice of activities for children in Edinburgh, many of which are free.
Live in Edinburgh and dreading the next school break already? Visiting Edinburgh with your children? Here’s some of our suggestions that come with our full recommendation and have all been individually reviewed. You can also look at our things to do section for further ideas and our kids section.
1.Visit the excellent Camera Obscura on the Royal Mile. Allow the kids to explore and learn on this very hands-on tourist attraction. Adults will also love the exhibits.
3. Explore underground Edinburgh at Mary King’s Close. Perfect for any weather, the mini-Spotlight members enjoyed their time there.
4. Pay a visit to Dr Neil’s Garden in Duddingston and pretend it’s a secret wonderland. FREE.
5. Use up energy by climbing to the top of the Scott Monument and enjoy panoramic views of Edinburgh. Get children to count every one of the 287 steps. (£3 admission with free certificate).
6. Explore the National Museum on Chambers Street and be sure to visit the 7th floor roof garden for spectacular views of the Edinburgh skyline, including the castle. The new museum is open with a great selection of hands-on exhibits. FREE
7. Go squirrel hunting the Botanical Gardens. Arm the family with some nuts and hunt out the squirrels and feed them. FREE
8. Visit an ancient castle. We love Craigmillar Castle as you can climb all over it and explore every nook and cranny.
9. Pay a visit to Gorgie Zoo. The goats, pigs, horses and other animals will keep youngsters amused for hours. FREE
10. Visit the Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile and show the little ones toys from years ago. FREE
11. Ever seen a million pounds? You can at the Museum on the Mound as well as seeing what used to be used as money. The museum often run workshops for children in the summer holidays. FREE
12. Admire the swans at St Margaret’s Loch and then walk around Arthur’s Seat. Point out areas of Edinburgh to the children and get them to spot buildings such as Edinburgh Castle and Easter Road football stadium. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you could also walk to the top!
13. Walk up Calton Hill and soak in the views of Edinburgh. Look southwards and try to spot Holyrood Palace. You also get a perfect view of Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags. Sit on the Portugese Cannon and climb the Athenian acropolis. FREE.
Whilst you’re up there, you can visit Nelson Monument and climb to the top for unrivaled 360 degree views of Edinburgh.
There are many more activities suitable for children in Edinburgh including walking and/or playing in one of the city’s green spaces. Pack a picnic and keep your fingers crossed for good weather!