Things to do with kids

Children walking along a net at Culzean’s wild woodland play park

Looking for the best places to visit with kids and ideas for fun family activities to keep the little ones busy? We’ve put together a list of things to do in Scotland with kids, in all weathers. From adventure playgrounds to fun indoor attractions, we’ve got you covered!

Outdoor activities in Scotland

Adventure parks

Discover the perfect places to take kids to let them run off some steam. Here are some of our fantastic adventure playgrounds:

1. Culzean Castle boasts an amazing adventure playground for younger visitors. Little ones can unleash their inner adventurer as they make their way around Adventure Cove, a smuggler’s wonderland with sandpits, rope swings, a pirate ship and wooden castle walls. Older children will love Wild Woodland, an exciting treetop attraction spread over an acre of the country park.

2. Wild Wood at Crathes Castle has plenty for young explorers to discover! They’ll enjoy conquering the heights of the Green Lady’s Tower, scrambling up the rock face challenge and zooming between the trees on the zip wire. There are also slides, sandpits, high-level walkways and a see-through walkway to keep them entertained.

3. Isle Be Wild at Brodick Castle is a fun adventure playground for children of all ages. Inspired by Arran’s rich natural heritage, the wooden playground blends into the woodland. Clamber up the Squirrel Tower and run through the trees on the high-level walkways, cross rope bridges, then explore the Otter area as you crawl through the glass-bottomed tunnel.

4. The Scots-Wa-Hey play area at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is the perfect way to introduce young visitors to the joy of Robert Burns! Explore a mini Burns Cottage, zoom down the Tam o’ Shanter zip wire, spin around the Witches’ Cauldron roundabout and scale the Auld Kirk climbing wall.

5. Enjoy climbing and sliding in the woodland adventure playground of Brodie Castle, or explore the incredible Playful Garden, where you’ll meet quirky characters, play outdoor musical instruments and find plenty of interactive, magical fun.

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A boy wearing a red and white chequered top sits at a rainbow-coloured xylophone, holding a red mallet. Behind him is a large, curved silver xylophone.

Perfect picnic spots

Looking for suggestions for dining al fresco? Here are some fun places to go with kids:

6. Marvel at the colourful flower beds and hidden sculptures at Threave Garden & Estate, before grabbing some tasty treats and exploring the woodland garden and nature reserve.

7. From vibrant walled gardens and landscaped lawns to beaches and leafy woodland, you’ll be spoiled for choice when trying to decide on the perfect picnic spot at Culzean Castle.

8. Visit the charming House of the Binns in West Lothian and enjoy a picnic in the grounds. You can enjoy a lovely walk through woodland to the tower on the hill for a wonderful panoramic view of central Scotland. You may even catch a glimpse (or hear the call) of one of the peacocks that live here.

A family of four walk beside a river, with autumn-coloured trees on the opposite bank. The two children ride on their mum and dad's backs, and all are smiling.

Wonderful wildlife walks

There’s nothing better than a wildlife walk in beautiful surroundings for a great family day out. Here are a few of our best places to visit with children:

9. At Killiecrankie, a short walk from the car park will take you to Soldier’s Leap, and if you continue on the path for around a mile you’ll reach the southern end of the Pass of Killiecrankie, where a footbridge crosses the River Garry. Admire the view from the footbridge, particularly in autumn when the colours are spectacular. Look out for unusual fungi – the Pass is a hot spot for rare mushrooms and toadstools. You may see lots of wildlife in the area, including red squirrels, woodpeckers and pine martens.

10. Crathes Castle estate was once part of the Royal Forest of Drum. Today there are a range of waymarked and clearly signposted trails. Look out for wildlife along the way – you may see herons, woodpeckers and red squirrels. Take a walk along the Coy Burn – keep an eye out here for buzzards and kingfishers.

11. There are many low-level walks to be enjoyed at Mar Lodge Estate, with views of the rushing falls. It’s also a paradise for wildlife lovers. On the moors, meadow pipits, red grouse and skylarks are active, while great tits, stonechats, willow warblers and treecreepers are at home in the woods.

12. There’s a network of paths throughout Inverewe Garden and two trails that lead around the estate: the Pinewood Trail and the Kernsary Path. The wildlife hide provides the perfect vantage point over Loch Ewe, where seals, otters and coastal birds can often be seen.

A red squirrel runs along a branch with its legs stretched and its tail behind.

Great indoor attractions in Scotland

We can all agree that the weather in Scotland is rather unpredictable. With that in mind, here are some of the best places to take kids on a rainy day, filled with activities for all the family to enjoy.

13. Test your skills at typesetting and have some fun, while learning about a huge part of Scotland’s industrial heritage at Robert Smail’s Printing Works in Innerleithen. This is a fascinating hands-on museum, filled with amazing artefacts and working Victorian printing presses – don’t be afraid to get your hands inky!

14. Prepare for combat, and family fun, at the multi-award-winning Battle of Bannockburn in Stirling. Witness 3D battle scenes, interact with medieval warriors, and find out about some common myths and misconceptions.

15. Travel back in time at Culloden Battlefield in Inverness. Be gripped by the stories, artefacts and interactive displays covering both sides of the battle. Little ones will love the replica weapons and demonstrations of Jacobite warfare too.

Two children stand in the case room at Robert Smail's Printing Works. They wear white aprons and are selecting letters from large wooden trays in front of them.

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