I spent 5 years living in Edinburgh as a student and it is still one of my favourite cities. Even with 5 years to enjoy it I didn’t get to explore even half of it and I am still discovering new things to do in Edinburgh every time we go back and visit. This week Laura from Edinburgh Life With Kids is sharing 5 of her favourite places to go in Edinburgh – but there are lots more ideas on her site!
Somewhere Free: Edinburgh Botanics
Without a doubt, the Edinburgh Botanical gardens are an absolute gift to families. It has so many areas to explore that we’ve had endless days out and each is different from the last. It helps that it changes with the seasons as well so the colours are forever changing too.
It has three different places to eat as well, so whilst we like to take a picnic there are some very child friendly options. We favour the Terrace Restaurant for the kids – they offer the usual kid’s type lunch boxes and most importantly – the coffee is very good.
Somewhere for the whole day: National Museum of Scotland
All three of my kids love the National Museum of Scotland, and I would say it could be more accurately described as somewhere for several days. It has a entire wing dedicated to the History of Scotland – from day dot onwards. This has a wide array of activities for kids that are really interactive, from dress up stations to a fully functioning tribuchet!
The central gallery may no longer have the fish ponds of my childhood but the scale is just awe inspiring. The galleries off it cover all kinds of different subjects – my daughter loves the fashion section complete with a design your own outfit game whereas my youngest is a huge fan of the animal hall. In short, it really has something for everyone and has loads to explore.
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Somewhere Outdoors: Foxlake Adventures
Although this is admittedly a little further from the city, Foxlake Adventures has been our discovery of the summer. It offers wake boarding for 6+ using two overhead cables rather than the traditional speed boats, but also has the UK’s only ropes course constructed over water.
Whilst there is a necessary age and height restriction on the activities, it does have a playwark for younger children and a fantastic cafe that you can lounge at whilst watching the stunts on the water! Last time I was there I greatly enjoyed some chicken tacos whilst sitting in the sun… yes, sun in Scotland!
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Somewhere to Eat: Soderberg Pavillion
Soderberg has slowly opened more branches across Edinburgh, providing more and more areas with their amazing Cinnamon Buns – although I’m rather partial to the Cardamon ones myself! But my favourite one still has to be the Pavillion nestled away in Lister Square – it’s airy, serves pizza, really good bear, and on a Sunday often has live jazz.
Whilst this isn’t the ideal place for buggies, I’ve found the addition of live Jazz means my kids are happy which means they’re not climbing down to run around the place! Katie occasionally will hop down to dance – but that’s really as crazy as it gets. They really love the pizza as well, so although it’s not the most affordable option in that area, the addition of the jazz makes it a real treat if we’re looking to chill out.
Somewhere for Rainy Days – Bright Bus Tour
There are plenty of rainy day options in Edinburgh, but as someone who doesn’t like crowds, I’m always imagine them overrun on wet days. Places like the National Museum are obviously large enough to cope with that but I prefer to think of alternative options as well.
At the start of summer, we took at Bright Bus Tour around Edinburgh hoping off at various points before spending the afternoon at Dynamic Earth. Whilst this is an open top bus, the front is sheltered and obviously downstairs is enclosed as well. It would be a great way to explore the city on a wet day and given it does rain a lot here – you can’t always stay indoors!
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