Family Fun in Edinburgh
1 hide detailHistoric fortress with breathtaking views and opulent riches inside.
Information from Historic Scotland.
No trip to Scotland would be complete without a stop at the magnificent Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock. First erected in the 12th century, the fortress sits on top of an extinct volcano and is the most breathtaking part of the city's skyline. Within the castle walls you see impressive views of most of the New Town, including the Princes Street Gardens, Arthur's Seat and the Salisbury Crags, the famous Balmoral Hotel and more. You can also explore the various rooms, chapels and compartments of the fortress and through interactive displays discover what living and working there might have been like during the medieval era.
The highlight of any tour of the castle is the Honours of Scotland (the crown jewels), on display in the Crown Room of the castle's Royal Palace (built in 1617). These include the ancient crown, sword and scepter, which date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Here you can also see Scotland's most prized treasure: The Stone of Destiny, otherwise known as the Coronation Stone. This has been used in the crowning of Scottish and English monarchs (much to dismay of many Scottish nationalists) for hundreds of years.
Be sure to arrive before lunch, so you can watch the master gunner fire the castle's canon at 1pm (except Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day.); it is a tradition that dates back to1861 when the firing of the gun was used to signal for ships in the Firth of Forth and the port of Leith.A popular visitor attraction and a World Heritage Site, Edinburgh Castle is now proud host to modern day events including rock gigs and the famous Edinburgh Tattoo.
(aged 16 to 59)
(aged 5 to 15)
Concession: £10.40Opening times:
(aged 60 and over, unemployed)
Child under 5: FREE
9:30am - 6pm
1 Apr - 30 Sep
9:30am - 5pm
1 Oct - 31 Mar
2 hide detailLoch Ness in Edinburgh
Welcome To The 3D Loch Ness Experience in Edinburgh. The legend of Loch Ness is still the World's most famous mystery. Adrian Shine, scientist & the foremost authority on Loch Ness, presents the whole story and all his and many others' findings. Experience Photos, Illusions, Hoaxes and hear Real Eye Witness Accounts. Does Nessie really exist? This is your turn to be the judge. Be prepared to be dazzled by the awesome 3D effects!
3 hide detailFandabidozi nostalgia trip
Our Local Expert Says:
This museum is a favorite with people of all ages, children can enjoy seeing toys and games throughout the ages and adults can feel nostalgic on their youth. There is a great gift shop to take home a souvenir of the past.
The Museum of Childhood is a fun day out for the whole family. Young people can learn about the children of the past and see a fantastic range of toys and games, while adults enjoy a trip down memory lane.
Its large collection is full of colour and variety. Visitors to the Museum can see optical and construction toys, cars from Dinky miniatures to child-size pedal cars, toy soldiers, puppets and dolls' houses. The Museum explores all aspects of growing up, so toys and games sit alongside items such as books, medicines and clothing.
Young people and adults will enjoy finding out about growing up through the ages, from toys and games to health and school days. Hands-on activities, including a puppet theatre and dressing up area, together with the fantastic museum shop, help to make your visit a memorable one.Opening times:
Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm;
Sunday 12pm - 5pm.
(The shop closes at 4:45pm each day.)
Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
4 hide detailBrave old world
Our Local Expert Says:
Our Dynamic Earth is an action packed educational adventure. With lots of interactive exhibitions charting the evolution of planet Earth, visitors are encouraged to discover fun facts about the environment. A café is available onsite as is a car park.
Our Dynamic Earth is an interactive and stimulating activity based in Edinburgh city centre. Popular with school children and families Our Dynamic Earth is a centre that teaches visitors about the formation of Earth, how it has developed and the possibilities of the future. Get involved in helping to save the planet, discover fascinating facts about the ocean or learn about arctic survival. Unwind in the afternoon at the Food Chain Cafe for a well deserved break.
5 hide detailThe Queen's Former Floating Home
The Royal Yacht Britannia is one of the world's most famous ships. Launched at John Brown's Shipyard in Clydebank in 1953, the Royal Yacht proudly served Queen and country for 44 years. During that time Britannia carried The Queen and the Royal Family on 968 official voyages, from the remotest regions of the South Seas to the deepest divides of Antarctica.
A five-star visitor attraction, Britannia is open every day, except Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Adult tickets are £11.00. The visitors centre is located on the second floor of Ocean Terminal.
Take the Britannia tour by audio handset, which will take you through the fabulous State Apartments and crew's quarters; it ends in the gleaming Engine Room. The majority of items on board are the original pieces, which have been kindly loaned by the Royal Collection. Highlights of the tour include the State Dining Room, the Sun Lounge and the Officers' Wardroom.
During your tour you will have the opportunity to visit the Royal Deck Tea Room on board. Sit back and enjoy stunning waterfront views as our friendly waiters serve light refreshments with speciality teas and coffees in spectacular surroundings. The classic and elegant 1930s racing yacht Bloodhound is moored alongside Britannia. You can view one of the most successful racing yachts ever built and there is also an exhibition which tells the story behind the Royal Family's passion for sailing. (Please note that Bloodhound will be sailing during July and August and will not be on view to the public.)
6 hide detailWatery fun for the family
Leith Waterworld is the only leisure pool in the city which means flumes, fast flow channel, wave machines and the river run, but most importantly fun!
Monday to Thursday 10.00 – 16.45
Friday 10.30 – 16.45
Saturday to Sunday 10.00 – 16.45
- Leisure pool
- Swimming Pool
- Wave Machine
- Bubble Beds
- River Run
- Spa Pool
- Soft Play
- Party Room
- Multi Sensory Area
7 hide detailBugs, beasties and beautiful butterflies
Our Local Expert Says:
Discover creepy crawlies and beautiful butterflies on this family day out.
Butterfly and Insect World is a unique attraction that is fun for the whole family. Where else do you get a chance to explore lizards, scorpions and more, as well butterflies flutter around you throughout the landscaped areas? Touch and hold snakes and other tiny creatures in one of the handling sessions at 12pm and 3pm every day. Be sure not to miss the Leaf Cutter Ant Parade, the Glowing Scorpion Display, the Honey Bee Hives and the Tropical Gardens.
8 hide detailPenguins on parade
Families of all ages are welcomed to Edinburgh Zoo. Hop onto one of the zoo buses and spend the day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Edinburgh Zoo has lots to offer, with scheduled activities such as petting and feeding and everyone's favourite highlight- the Penguin Parade.Visit Rainbow Landings to meet and feed the rainbow lorikeets and see Budongo Trail where they can get up close and personal with chimpanzees. Serengeti animals live on the sprawling land at the peak of Edinburgh Zoo. There are Sun bears, Indian one-horned rhinos, Sumatran tigers, Amur leopards, the UK's only koalas and European wolves.
The Edinburgh Zoo opens at 9am and is located on Corstorphine Road. Admission costs £15.50 for adults and £11.00 for children (kids under 3 get in for free). You can also buy family and group tickets; visit the Edinburgh Zoo website for more information.
9 hide detailIf the Royal Mile is the life vein of the Old City, then Princes Street is its equivalent in the New Town. Just a short walk from the Old City, Princes Street extends from Lothian Road to Leith Street and is home to numerous tourist sights and museums. It can be seen from Edinburgh Castle.
- Princes Street
If the Royal Mile is the life vein of the Old City, then Princes Street is its equivalent in the New Town. Just a short walk from the Old City, Princes Street extends from Lothian Road to Leith Street and is home to numerous tourist sights and museums. It can be seen from Edinburgh Castle. With dozens of high-end retail stores aligning it, including the uniquely Scottish department store Jenners, Princes Street is a fashion diva's heaven. During the Christmas season, a ferris wheel and amusement park are erected, and locals and tourists alike peruse through the annual German market for unique holiday gifts like nutcrackers and delicious German pastries and sausages. Next to the street are the two sections of the beautiful Princes Street gardens. Here, students and locals often gather to play football, picnic during the summer or listen to concerts at the Ross Theatre. In between the two sections of the gardens lies the Mound, an artificial hill that connects the old and new cities. Here, two of country's best art galleries are located: the Royal Scottish Academy Building and the adjacent National Gallery of Scotland. Both exhibit masterpieces from Titian to Rembrandt and are worth seeing. Fans of the cult-hit film Trainspotting will recognize this location from the opening scene of the movie, where Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) is chased by security guards.
10 hide detailA walk in the park
Our Local Expert Says:
For those who like to spend, Princes Street Gardens is the picturesque gateway to the shopping district beyond. A beautiful park with historic statues and monuments, it’s a peaceful refuge for those who’ve hit the stores all day.
Step out amongst the vibrancy of Edinburgh city centre and visit Princes Street Gardens. Take in views of Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town on one side of this splendid park and the bustle of the New Town on the other. Princes Street Gardens is the gateway to the shopping district beyond, it is a great place to wander through with historic monuments and a fountain. Frequented by families, students and performers Princes Street Gardens is alive with people.
11 hide detailIce rink part of Edinburgh's Christmas festivities
The Winter Wonderland Ice Rink is a temporary ice rink that is part of the festivities and attractions of Edinburgh's annual Christmas and Hogmanay fair held in the East Princes Street Gardens starting in mid November until after the New Year. Go for a twirl around the rink or watch a Christmas show, where Santa makes an appearance each year.
Around the rink, there are other attractions as well including amusement park rides, a bungy snowdome, the German market and other souvenir stalls. Sip on hot chocolate or shop for mittens and gloves before you put on your skating boots.
Typical Ice Rink Opening Times:
- Sun – Wed: 10am – 8pm
- Thu – Sat: 10am – 10pm
- Christmas Eve: 10am – 6pm
- Christmas Day: Closed
- Boxing Day: 11am – 8pm
- Hogmanay: 10am – 6pm
- New Year's Day: 12noon – 10pm
Ice Rink Ticket prices
- Adults £8.50
- Children under 16 £7.50
- Children under 5 £5.00 (£1.00 discount with own skates)
- Family Ticket: two adults & two children (over 5) or one adult & three children (over 5) £28.00
- Youth Groups (one adult supervisor free for every five children) £4.00
- Schools (one adult supervisor free for every five children) £3.50
12 hide detailThe history of the Scots from the Stone Age to modern times.
The National Museum of Scotland is an excellent museum that describes the history of Scotland from the Stone Age to modern times. This museum is a must visit for those interested in the early Celtic and Pictish history of the country.