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Things to do with kids

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

Looking for fun family activities to keep the little ones busy? We’ve put together a list of 18 things to do in Scotland with kids, including some great family events. From adventure parks to fun indoor attractions and wildlife walks, we’ve got you covered!

Adventure parks in Scotland

Discover the perfect places to run off some steam in our fantastic adventure playgrounds.

1. Culzean Castle boasts two amazing adventure playgrounds for kids of all ages. 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 to explore the thrilling tree-top Wild Woodland, with soaring towers, treehouses, slides, climbing walls, a maze house and zip slides!

2. Weehailes at Newhailes House is an adventure play park with a difference! It’s themed on the Newhailes story and designed to inspire children’s imaginations as they climb, crawl, swing and slide through this amazing space. There’s also a special area for younger children, with sand play and a mini flying fox.

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 the 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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Great indoor attractions

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

6. 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!

7. 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 take to the virtual battlefield to defeat your enemies.

8. 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 dressing-up clothes, replica weapons and demonstrations of Jacobite warfare too.

Children in the case room at Robert Smail's Printing Works

Fun outdoor events across Scotland

If you’re looking for ways to get off the couch, we have just what you need!

9. Children can enjoy learning about nature through games, crafts and play with our Nature Nippers at Glencoe. The rangers look at the local wildlife pond, make mud pies and craft recycled bird feeders to take home. Dress for the weather!

Look out for other Nature Nippers events here.

Perfect picnic spots

Looking for suggestions for dining al fresco with the kids?

10. Marvel at the carpets of daffodils bursting into bloom at Threave Garden & Estate, before grabbing some tasty treats and exploring the woodland garden and nature reserve.

11. 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.

12. Work up an appetite with a round of golf on the 9 hole hickory course at the Hill of Tarvit Mansion before taking a wander through the delightful grounds and rose garden – ideal for relaxing and refuelling.

13. Visit the charming Priorwood Garden in the Scottish Borders and enjoy a picnic in the old orchard. Over 90 different kinds of apple are grown organically here, including 70 heritage varieties.

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 family-friendly favourites.

14. A short walk 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

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