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30 Best Things to See and Do with Kids in Scotland

Scotland is a magical destination for families, offering a variety of attractions and activities that cater to all ages. From exploring ancient castles and engaging in outdoor adventures to learning about history and enjoying local wildlife, there’s something for everyone. If you’re planning a family trip, here are the best 30 things to visit and do with kids in Scotland that will ensure an unforgettable experience.

1. Explore Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock, is a must-see for families visiting Scotland. This historic fortress offers a blend of educational and entertaining experiences. Kids will love the Crown Jewels, the Great Hall, and the One O’Clock Gun. The interactive exhibits and guided tours make history come alive, ensuring that both children and adults are captivated. Don’t miss the Redcoat Cafe, which offers one of the best views across Edinburgh and all the way across the Kingdom of Fife. 

a steam train is coming down the viaduct witch a mountain in the background

2. Ride the Jacobite Steam Train

For a magical journey through some of Scotland’s most stunning landscapes, take a ride on the Jacobite Steam Train. Known as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films, this train journey from Fort William to Mallaig offers breathtaking views of mountains, lochs, and the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct. It’s a memorable adventure for kids and parents alike.

3. Discover the Scottish Seabird Centre

Located in North Berwick, the Scottish Seabird Centre is perfect for families interested in wildlife and marine life. The centre offers interactive displays, live cameras showing seabird activity, and boat trips to nearby islands where kids can see puffins, seals, and other wildlife. It’s a fantastic day out for nature-loving families. 

4. Walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs on Skye

There are a few places to find the incredible 165-million-year-old dinosaur prints on the Isle of Skye. At An Corran, you can see three-toed prints on rocks, belonging to ornithopods. At Score Bay, you can find prints from sauropods, which are about 170 million years old. Some of these footprints are quite big, making it the largest dinosaur trackway in Scotland. It’s an unforgettable experience that combines natural beauty with a touch of ancient history.

5. Explore Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel, located just outside Edinburgh, is a fascinating historical site that kids will find intriguing. The chapel is renowned for its ornate stone carvings and mysterious symbolism, making it a captivating destination for a family visit.

6. Explore the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh is a treasure trove of exhibits that cater to curious minds. From dinosaurs and ancient artefacts to cutting-edge technology and interactive science displays, the museum has something for everyone. The hands-on exhibits are particularly engaging for kids, making learning fun and interactive. Our favourite thing to do is racing a Formula 1 car, asking a robot to spell our name, and visiting the Science and Technology gallery.

7. Visit the Highland Wildlife Park

Situated in the Cairngorms National Park, the Highland Wildlife Park is home to a wide variety of animals, including polar bears, tigers, and Japanese macaques. The park offers drive-through safari routes and walk-through areas, providing close encounters with wildlife. Educational talks and feeding sessions make it one of the top family activities in Scotland.

8. Experience Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh is an interactive science centre that takes visitors on a journey through time to explore the planet’s history. With state-of-the-art exhibits, a 4D cinema, and hands-on activities, kids will be fascinated by the story of Earth’s formation, its changing climates, and the evolution of life. 

a tree in front the castle and of a body of water in the background

9. Explore Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

A trip to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Loch Ness. Kids will love the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, and the stunning scenery adds to the allure. Nearby Urquhart Castle offers a fascinating glimpse into medieval Scotland, with its dramatic ruins and panoramic views of the loch.

10. Visit the Glasgow Science Centre

The Glasgow Science Centre is a must-visit for families with inquisitive kids. The centre features interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX cinema. Kids can engage in hands-on experiments, learn about space and the human body, and enjoy live science shows. It’s a day of discovery and excitement that will inspire young minds.

11. Visit Blair Drummond Safari Park

Just outside Stirling, Blair Drummond Safari Park offers an exciting day out for families. Drive through the animal reserves to see elephants, lions, rhinos, and zebras up close, or explore the walking areas where you can meet lemurs, monkeys, and meerkats. The park also features playgrounds, a petting farm, and boat rides, ensuring a full day of fun. 

12. Discover Newhailes and Weehailes Playpark

Newhailes, an 18th-century Palladian villa in East Lothian, offers beautiful gardens and the exciting Weehailes Playpark. Kids can explore the playpark and parents can enjoy the historic estate and its scenic surroundings.

13. Visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Located in Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland’s most popular free attractions. With over 8,000 objects on display, including a Spitfire aircraft and Salvador Dalí’s famous painting “Christ of St John of the Cross,” there’s plenty to capture the imagination of both kids and adults. The museum’s interactive exhibits make it a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

14. Experience the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

Located at the top of the Royal Mile, Camera Obscura is packed with hundreds of colourful puzzles, games, and optical illusions that will keep both kids and adults entertained for hours. As one of Britain’s most fun attractions, it has been delighting visitors since 1853. Don’t miss the magnificent Rooftop Terrace for breathtaking views of the city. 

a body of water with a mountain in the background

15. Relax at Luskentyre Beach

Named one of the UK’s best beaches in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, Luskentyre Sands boasts miles of pristine white sand and stunning green-blue waters. The scenery includes beautiful sand dunes and the island of Taransay, famously known as the setting of the BBC’s Castaway.

16. See the Hairy Coos

No trip to Scotland is complete without seeing the iconic Highland cows, affectionately known as “hairy coos.” These gentle giants can be found at various locations, including Highland Wildlife Park, Blair Drummond Safari Park, and farms across the Highlands. Most Highland Experience tours include stops to visit these friendly locals. Let us know if you’d like to see them, and we can suggest the best tour. 

17. Visit the Scottish Deer Centre

Located in Fife, the Scottish Deer Centre is home to 13 species of deer, as well as wolves, lynx, Scottish Wildcat, European Brown Bear and other wildlife. Kids can learn about these animals, watch feeding sessions, and even enjoy a tractor ride through the park.

18. Explore the National Museum of Flight

Located in East Lothian, the National Museum of Flight offers a fantastic day out for families. Kids can explore historic aircraft, engage with interactive exhibits, and even climb aboard Concorde. The museum’s engaging displays make it one of the top family activities in Scotland.

19. Discover Skara Brae

Skara Brae, located on the Orkney Islands, is one of the best-preserved Neolithic settlements in Europe. Kids will be fascinated by the ancient stone houses and the insights they provide into life 5,000 years ago. Uncovered by a storm in 1850, Skara Brae offers a remarkable picture of life before Stonehenge was built.

20. Meet BobCat Alpacas

BobCat Alpacas, located just outside Edinburgh, offers the chance to meet and walk with alpacas. This unique experience is perfect for animal-loving kids and provides a memorable family outing.

21. Visit The McManus in Dundee

The McManus, Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum, offers a wide range of exhibits that will captivate both kids and adults. From natural history and archaeology to fine art and local history, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. This magnificent Victorian Gothic building has been at the heart of art and culture in Dundee since 1867, housing the city’s main collection spanning 400 million years.

22. Marvel at The Kelpies

The Kelpies are magnificent equine sculptures standing proudly at 30 meters tall, embodying the power and grace of Scotland’s rich heritage. Discover the intricate details, the marvellous feat of engineering, and the symbolism that lies within, as the expert guides lead you through the awe-inspiring world of The Kelpies. You can go inside the Kelpies with a guided tour, which you can book through the visitor centre.

23. Explore the Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms National Park offers a wealth of outdoor activities for families. From hiking and wildlife spotting to skiing and water sports, there’s something for every adventurous family. The stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystems make it a perfect destination for nature lovers. 

24. Visit Inveraray Castle and Gardens

Inveraray Castle, located on the shores of Loch Fyne, offers a fantastic day out for families. Kids will enjoy exploring the grand rooms of the castle, learning about its history, and wandering through the beautiful gardens. Discover one of Scotland’s finest stately homes in the ancient Royal Burgh of Inveraray, located 60 miles northwest of Glasgow in an area of spectacular natural beauty.

25. Munro Bagging in Scotland with Children

Fancy testing your walking skills on a hike up one of Scotland’s towering Munros? At 3,000 ft/914 m or above in height, the views are immense, so bagging one of these impressive Scottish mountains is a must-do for any walker. With the right clothing and preparation, many Munros are suitable for older children and beginners. Although there’s no such thing as an easy Munro. 

a large waterfall over a rocky cliff

26. Discover the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye

For families who love the outdoors, a visit to the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye is a must. These crystal-clear pools and waterfalls set against a backdrop of rugged mountains provide a perfect setting for a family hike. The enchanting landscape and the opportunity to splash in the pools make it a fun and memorable adventure for kids.

27. Explore Inverness Botanic Gardens

Inverness Botanic Gardens provide a peaceful and educational experience for families. Kids can explore various themed gardens, learn about different plant species, and enjoy the tranquil environment. The impressive glasshouses showcase the drama of plant diversity, from tropical rainforests to arid deserts, with familiar and spectacular plantings in the Tropical House.

28. Visit the Highland Folk Museum

Located in Newtonmore, the Highland Folk Museum brings Scottish history to life with its open-air exhibits. Kids can explore traditional Highland buildings, watch live demonstrations, and participate in hands-on activities that provide a glimpse into the past. Set in an 80-acre site, live actors and restored buildings help bring Highland history to life in a friendly and welcoming environment.

29. Experience The Chocolatarium in Edinburgh

The Chocolatarium, a micro-factory in the heart of Edinburgh, offers a delicious and educational experience for families. Kids can learn about the chocolate-making process, create their own chocolate bars, and taste a variety of chocolates from around the world.

30. Enjoy the Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe

For a unique and adorable experience, visit the Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe. Kids will love spending time with the friendly chihuahuas, making it a memorable and heartwarming outing for the whole family. 

Scotland offers a wealth of family-friendly attractions and activities that cater to all interests. From exploring ancient castles and discovering wildlife to engaging in interactive science exhibits and enjoying outdoor adventures, there are endless things to visit and do with kids in Scotland.

a brown cow walking down a dirt road