10 Family Friendly Activities in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the most historic and culturally rich destinations in the UK. It is, therefore, the perfect destination to visit with children of all ages, as there are many fun things to do.

For instance, you can explore various fun landmarks, stroll through interesting museums and enjoy a wide variety of fun attractions. To ensure you have a superb time with your kids, read the following 10 family friendly activities in Edinburgh. 

Step Inside Edinburgh Castle 

Edinburgh Castle

It would be a crime to visit the Scottish capital and not step inside Edinburgh Castle, which is a historic fortress that dates back to the Iron Age and is located on Castle Rock, a dormant volcano. Your kids are bound to love exploring the age-old castle, which also offers some of the finest views of the city via its gun-holes.  

Both young and old will enjoying viewing the Scottish crown jewels, as well as the armoury and weapons that will be on display in the Great Gall. Plus, they will also be able to view Mons Meg, which is the largest medieval cannon in the world. 

It’s also possible to keep your little ones entertained throughout the door by picking up an Explorer Quiz from the audio tour, which you should do as you enter the castle. The scavenger hunter will provide your kids with various challenges and questions, such as “Climb the Lang Stair. How many steps are there?” 

Ticket prices commonly start from £11.40 per ticket for children and £19.50 for adults. However, the cost can change daily, but it should be at the top of your list when looking for fun family friendly activities in Edinburgh.

Be Wowed at Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions 

Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions

Wow your children by taking your kids along to Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions, which you can find down the road from the Royal Mile near Edinburgh Castle.  

The children could easily spend a whole day here, as is offers six floors of jaw-dropping illusions, optical tricks and fun puzzles. It also offers some of the finest views of the city from its rooftop.  

The biggest highlight will be the camera obscura show, which requires both adults and children to enter a pitch-black room to view live images of the Scottish capital on a viewing table thanks to the wonder of a periscope.

Join a Harry Potter Tour 

Victoria Street in Edinburgh

If your kids are big fans of Harry Potter, you should join a tour that’s dedicated to the Boy Who Lived. It provides tourists to view the capital through the eyes of J.K. Rowling, as she wrote the book in the city and was inspired by many of Edinburgh’s landmarks. 

For instance, The Potter Tour Trail features knowledgeable tour guides, who will provide an insight into J.K. Rowling’s inspiration behind the popular series. So, you can expect to visit the cafe where J.K Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, discover where Lord Voldemort is buried, and you can walk down the street that inspired by Diagon Alley. Plus, the kids can be sorted into houses outside the school that inspired Hogwarts.

It’s easily one of the best family friendly activities is Edinburgh for fans of the much-loved series.

Explore the National Museum of Scotland 

National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland offers exhibitions for all ages, from dinosaurs and mummies to historic vehicles and Roman and Viking artefacts. Plus, it is the perfect destination to learn more about Scottish history. 

When you’re not busy viewing the skeletons of T-Rex dinosaurs and taking a selfie with Dolly, the most famous sheep on the planet, you can try the human hamster wheel or listen out for the Millennium Clock to chime, which occurs every hour. 

It’s a free activity to enjoy in the city and the museum’s doors will be open from 10am to 5pm each day

See Animals at Edinburgh Zoo 

A panda at Edinburgh Zoo

Both adults and children will adore Edinburgh Zoo, which is home to more than a thousand rare and endangered animals, including giant pandas and visayan spotted deer. 

Your kids are also bound to love the zoo’s famous penguin parade, which will include the only knighted penguin on the planet, Sir Nils Olav. Other animals you can expect to see at the zoo include cheeky monkeys, mischievous meerkats, exquisite birds, sun bears, koala bears, and much more. 

It’s also important to note that all the animals at the zoo are loved and happy, as they are well-cared for in spacious enclosures. Spread across 82 acres, it is one family friendly activity in Edinburgh both parents and kids will enjoy from start to finish.

Learn About the Planet at Dynamic Earth 

If you’re looking for another fun yet educational family friendly activities in Edinburgh, you can’t go wrong with Dynamic Earth. It will take your kids on a journey through time, as they will learn the story of the creation of Planet Earth, from the Big Bang to various forces of nature, such as volcanic eruptions, the development of the rainforest and the wonder of Aurora Borealis. 

Visitors also should not miss out on the 4Dventure, which take you from the Arctic through to the tropical rainforest. Expect to come face-to-face with large sharks and learn about the power of a scorpion’s sting. 

However, it is important to note that Dynamic Earth will be closed to visitors on Mondays and Tuesdays from November to March.

Climb Up to Arthur’s Seat 

The view from Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh

If you want the whole family to embrace the outdoors and enjoy some exercise as a family, consider climbing up to Arthur’s Seat, which is an extinct volcano located in the heart of the city. It is also one of seven stunning hills in the capitals, and it’s a stone’s throw away from the atmospheric city centre. 

It’s also a short walk away from the popular Royal Mile and is apart of Holyrood Park, which is home to Holyrood Palace, which we will come to next. It typically takes between 30 to 60 minutes to walk to the peak, but it will be worth all the effort, as you can look down on the picturesque city.

Walk Through Holyrood Palace 

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, also referred to as Holyrood Palace, is an official residence of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and it has played a significant role in Scottish History. The 16th century residence has served as the home to many kings and queens, including Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie. 

It is, therefore, a great way to help your children to learn more about various historic figures and to step inside the rooms where Queen Elizabeth II carries out various official engagements.

Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh is not only one of the most scientific gardens in Great Britain, but it is also incredibly picturesque. Once here, the whole family can explore more than 13,300 plant species. The clan will love walking through unique scenery, such as a Chinese hillside with a pond, pagoda, and waterfalls. It’s an educational trip your children are sure to remember.

Edinburgh International Climbing Arena 

Edinburgh International Climbing Arena

If you’re travelling to Edinburgh with both children and teenagers, don’t overlook Edinburgh International Climbing Area. It’s one of the best family friendly activities in the capital as it offers a superb climbing arena, fitness centre, soft play section and a spa.

There is even a café where adults can enjoy a cup of coffee while watching their kids burn away excess energy. If your kids are four years or over, there will be a mobile climbing wall for them to enjoy, which are perfect for both experienced and novice climbers. 

So, if you are looking for fun things to do in the capital, the above family-friendly activities in Edinburgh will not disappoint your kids.

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