Affordable Activities for the Family

Finding affordable activities that your children will enjoy can be especially difficult in winter when the days are shorter and the weather is more unruly. Maybe you’ve planned a family walk in the Pentlands or the Trossochs and now a storm is rolling in, or you’re just desperate to try anything that will get your kids away from a screen for a few minutes. We’ve come up with a few ideas to help you.

Edinburgh

  • Kids can try their hand at making art, listen to a story, or even become a sleuth for a couple of hours and solve a mystery at the National Galleries of Scotland. Best of all? These regular activities are free!
  • Little Crafters have craft workshops for 2-5 year olds in Davidson’s Mains, Gilmerton, & Morningside. A 4 week block is £24 or you can drop-in to a class for £7.
  • Go on an adventure to discover Gilmerton Cove — a network of tunnels just outside of the city of Edinburgh. You have to book to reserve a tour so plan ahead for this one.
  • If you’re a mum in Edinburgh and still breastfeeding, you can try one of these breastfeeding friendly cafes.
  • Gorgie City Farm is fun for children and is completely free! Kids can learn about different animals and about where we get our food. You can also buy animal feed for £0.20 to get up close and personal with sheep, pigs, and cows!
  • In the mood for more animals? Go see the Shetland ponies at Braehead Park.
  • Special tip for mums in Edinburgh:  download the Edinburgh Mums app for amazing discounts from local businesses. It comes highly recommended by this Edinburgh mum blogger.   
  • Free football sessions in Midlothian for kids age 12-16!
  • Don’t want to hear complaints about going on walks? Why not turn it into a treasure hunt by going Geocaching! There are thousands of ‘caches’ hidden around Scotland for kids (or kids-at-heart) to find.
  • For a small fee, you can enjoy the renovated Dalkeith country park play area.
  • There are lovely, accessible walks in the Pentlands at Flotterstone. Find the underground Castlehill Fort, walk along reservoirs, over hills, and take a break to eat at one of the many picnic tables or grab dinner at Flotterstone Inn.  

Glasgow

  • Situated in the West is the Riverside Museum (which now houses Glasgow’s Transport museum).  As the name would suggest, it is found on the banks of the Clyde, and the Tall Ship is moored nearby. Entry to both the Riverside Museum and The Tall Ship is now FREE.
  • The Glasgow West End spy trail will take you on a treasure hunt around Glasgow’s West End. You can purchase and download the activity book for £6.99 then go on the 2 hour adventure at your leisure.
  • Museum Mouse is a faithful friend to your under 5s on any museum trips. This little booklet has activities and ideas to keep your toddler entertained at any of Glasgow Museum’s 9 venues.
  • Not to mention, the several other kid-friendly activities at Glasgow Museums.
  • Jungle in the City is just £4 for all-day play or you can go for 2 hours for £2. There’s soft play for children to bounce in and plenty of space for parents to sit and relax.
  • Glasgow means “Dear Green Place” in Gaelic, and the city is one of the greenest urban spaces in the UK. There are a number of parks with plenty for kids to do:  Kelvingrove Park (West End of the city), Pollock Country Park (Southside), Rouken Glen Country Park (East Renfrewshire), and Calderglen Country Park (East Kilbride) are just a few.
  • The Scotland Street Museum looks at Scottish education, and visitors are able to experience what it was like to be a Victoran, Edwardian or WW2 school child. Entry is free, and the museum has a “secret Sunday cinema Club” which shows a family film at 11.30AM.
  • Closer to the city centre, you’ll find People’s Palace, situated in Glasgow Green. The museum houses a pair of the Big Yin’s Banana Boots, amongst other things.
  • Do more than look up at the amazing night sky with a free trip to the Observatory. Even on evenings with cloudy skies, you can see a planetarium display.

Have any other ideas? Email us (scotland@safefamiliesforchildren.com) and let us know!