Not only is Edinburgh one of the UK’s most beautiful and historic cities, but it’s also one of the best places for a day out with the family.
The combination of incredible historical locations and iconic attractions, plus plenty of quirky and exciting activities on offer make the city a playground for little ones
If you’re planning a visit to the Royal City with the whole family, don’t miss out on some of the best things to do in Edinburgh with kids.
No visit to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to its famous castle. Walk in the footsteps of famous Scottish Kings and Queens as you ascend Castle Rock and enjoy incredible views over the city of Edinburgh. Once inside the castle, there’s plenty to keep little ones entertained. Catch a glimpse of the Honours of Scotland, the oldest Crown Jewels in Britain, see the gigantic cannon, Mons Meg and venture into the old castle dungeons.
Royal Yacht Britannia
All aboard! Step onto this floating former royal residence that once sailed Her Majesty the Queen around the world on glittering state visits. See original photos and other personal items belonging to the Royal Family, try on the captain’s hat and explore the grand State Apartments and take part in the cuddy corgi toy treasure hunt.
What makes Edinburgh Zoo so special is the fact that it’s home to UK’s only giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yung Guang – two of the very few pandas outside of China. Don’t miss the world-famous penguin parade, where you’ll see the zoo’s adorable penguin colony leave their enclosure and waddle around a parade route with their keepers.
World of Illusions
Explore 5 floors jam-packed with over 100 illusions, hands-on exhibits and visual trickery that is all but guaranteed to keep little ones entertained. Get lost in the Magical Mirror Maze and try not to lose your balance as you walk through the hypnotic, swirling colours of the Vortex Tunnel. There’s also the opportunity for kids to create their own art using an interactive light painter; use LED torches (or the light from your phone!) to paint on the wall.
Want to get your creative juices flowing? Take the kids to Doodles, Edinburgh’s first DIY ceramic workshop. While you’re at it, you can create an artistic masterpiece to take home with you. Children (and adults) can make almost any pottery item they want, whether it’s a fruit bowl or an eggcup. Choose from over 80 under-glaze colours to craft something unique for your abode. We still haven’t quite figured out whether Doodles is geared more towards kids or adults, but we guarantee everybody will have fun.
Dynamic Earth is an interactive museum that occupies a building resembling a spaceship. Inside, you’ll find colourful exhibits, 4D shows and performances, and a 360-degree dome theatre (the only one in Scotland). If you’re looking for an immersive way to teach the kids about the history of our planet, we highly recommend a trip to Dynamic Earth. You can also learn about dinosaurs, outer space, botched science experiments and more.
East Links Family Park
When you need a break from the city centre, head to East Links Family Park to look at farm animals, bounce on trampolines and play a round of mini-golf. If you need something with more of an adrenaline boost, race a few laps on a go-kart. Or, simply enjoy the countryside with a picnic while the kids explore education barns, a giant fortress and the ball blast arena.
Edinburgh’s Deep Sea World is home to fish species such as sharks, starfish and piranhas. It also contains underwater safaris and the UK’s largest underwater tunnel. Most creatures swim in large tanks filled with authentically Scottish seawater from the Firth of Forth. If you want to learn about our underwater cousins during your stay in the capital, you won’t regret heading to Deep Sea World.
National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland really is a gem. It should be on your bucket list whether travelling with the kids or not. It features space galleries, historic artefacts, an impressive collection of ancient mammals and a variety of interactive exhibitions for the young ones. If you want to learn more about the world and Scottish heritage, this is the place to go.
After a day of running wild with the kids, treat your taste buds to a delicious dessert at S Luca. Paninis, breakfast rolls, nachos, baked potatoes, cake and ice cream are all on the menu at this diner-style ice cream parlour. Fancy something unique? Try some artisanal confectionary. You’ll find S Luca restaurants in Morningside and Musselburgh. If you’re anything like us, you’ll find yourself returning to this award-winning eatery time and time again.
Planning a visit to Edinburgh?
Our Edinburgh tours from London are the perfect way to explore this incredible city. Take the train from Edinburgh to London and, upon arrival, enjoy a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of the city and access to famous Edinburgh Castle.
Staying for longer?
Why not try our tour of Edinburgh, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands? Explore Edinburgh before heading off to go monster hunting at Loch Ness and discover the wild, untamed beauty of the Highlands.