With its abundance of castles, mythical history and masses of nature, Scotland is the perfect place to take your kids on vacation. Whether you decide to spend your time in Scotland’s bustling cities or want to be close to nature in the natural, rugged North, you’re sure to find plenty to do to suit the whole family.
We’ve chosen the best 10 things to do for families in this fascinating and relatively unexplored country. Read on to find out the best places to take your kids on your next Scotland trip!
Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary
Located in the charming coastal town of Oban, the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary is a great place for kids to get up close with some of Scotland’s most famous sea animals. The centre works at rehabilitating seal pups into their well-equipped aquarium. The sanctuary is also home to lots of fish, as well as turtles and otters. While having fun, kids can also learn about conservation in Scotland’s waters and ethical fishing practices.
Blair Drummond Safari Park
Yes, you read that right- a safari park in Scotland! There is no need to travel all the way to Africa for those Sub-Saharan vibes. Here kids can up close with elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and even lions! But don’t worry, this isn’t like the usual zoo you might be expecting. Here, you can drive around the park among the animals, just like you would in a traditional safari. Families can also take a boat out to Chimp Island, where they can view chimps interacting with one another. An experience that your kids will definitely remember for years to come. Away from the animals, there are heaps of attractions to keep kids amused, such as paddle boats, adventure playgrounds and zip sliding.
If your kid has a cheeky monkey waiting to be unleashed, Go Ape could be the perfect place for your family to spend a day. Located in the stunning Queen Elizabeth Forrest Park, Go Ape is home to two of Britain’s longest zip wires.
Thrill seekers, old and young, will love flying through the air, 46 metres high, in this exciting adventure obstacle course.
If zipping over the tops of trees isn’t really your thing, Go Ape is also a great place to go on a segway adventure in the beautiful forest surroundings.
Glasgow Science Centre
Rainy days are inevitable on any trip to Scotland but, luckily, there are plenty of museums that can keep you occupied. One of the best indoor activities for kids is Glasgow Science Centre. Equipped with its own planetarium and Imax cinema, kids will have so much fun that they’ll forget they’re even learning! While you’re in the area, don’t miss the Riverside Museum where you can walk through a re-enactment of Glasgow in the Victorian age. A great place to learn about the history of Scotland’s biggest industrial city.
The capital city has a lot to offer, especially for families with kids. While Edinburgh Castle is undoubtedly the city’s most famous sight, there is plenty for kids to enjoy. Some of our favourite things to do in Edinburgh include visiting Edinburgh Zoo, watching the recreation of the big bang at My Dynamic Earth, enjoying optical illusions at Camera Obscura, and going on one of the infamous underground ghost tours. Kids are sure to never get bored in Edinburgh.
Famous for being the setting of the famous Scottish kid’s TV show, “Balamory”, Tobermory is a colourful, charming, seaside village on the Isle of Mull that kids will love. While there aren’t many attractions as such, this is the perfect place to come, eat fish and chips, reconnect with nature and then take the ferry back to the mainland. If you want to incorporate a bit of rest and relaxation into your trip, we can’t think of a better place to recharge our batteries.
Set in the small city of Stirling, Stirling Castle is a much more intimate alternative to Edinburgh Castle. Here, kids can learn all about Scotland’s “horrible history” through stories, games and quizzes. The city is full of characters who help to really bring the history to life. Kids love this castle which is set in the beautiful backdrop of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
Whale watching is a great way to spark a love for the ocean in your kid… and Scotland is a great place to do it!
There are various tours around the country aimed specifically at families with children. Rather than just waiting on the boat for a whale to appear, expert guides are on hand to deliver engaging presentations and workshops to help your little ones really appreciate what’s going on around them. Start them young, and introduce them to the wonders of the deep, blue sea.
Skiing at Aviemore
Braving the cold and visiting Scotland in the winter is a fantastic idea. Not only can you enjoy Christmas markets, cosy log fires and stunning scenery, you can also take advantage of some of Scotland’s wonderful ski slopes. One of the best places to ski in Scotland is Aviemore. Set in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park, Aviemore has an abundance of runs for all levels. Their reputable ski school offers lessons for kids of any age (so long as they can walk), giving kids a fun and safe environment to learning skiing in. Aviemore is also home to a funicular railway where you can enjoy the stunning mountain views, even if you don’t choose to ski.
Loch Ness Cruise
If there’s one thing that you must do in Scotland, it’s getting a glimpse of Nessie! A Loch Ness Cruise is a great way to experience Scotland’s most famous myth brought to life. Kids can learn all about the legend that is the Loch Ness Monster, and see if they can spot him, too! There are a lot of Loch Ness Tours aimed specifically aimed at kids with entertaining guides and activities for them. The surrounding area of Loch Ness is one of the most picturesque areas in Scotland with an abundance of wildlife and iconic castles nearby.
Author’s Bio:Bethany is a mother of three children and founder of Kittymoms.com. They homeschool and focus on living an active, natural lifestyle. Their family loves to travel, but most of the year, you can find them at their house gardening and taking care of their small homestead.