Family days out in Edinburgh & The Lothians

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  • A mother and child examine an acrigultural exhibit at the Almond Valley Heritage Centre
    Almond Valley Heritage Centre, West Lothian
  • A family at the edge of the loch at Beecraigs Country Park, near Linlithgow
    The loch at Beecraigs Country Park, near Linlithgow, West Lothian
  • The main gallery of the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
    The main gallery of the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • A group take a tour of the Scottish Mining Museum
    The Scottish Mining Museum, Newtongrange, Midlothian
  • Edinburgh Zoo's female panda Tian Tian © David Fu, photographer
    Edinburgh Zoo's female panda Tian Tian © David Fu, photographer

From castles and fascinating museums to country parks, gardens and much more, come and explore the excellent range of activities for the whole family across Edinburgh & The Lothians. Enjoy a day out in the city, or head into the country and discover the great outdoors.

Attractions

The fascinating displays at the National Museum of Scotland on Edinburgh’s Chambers Street will have both children and adults mesmerised for hours. Discover the natural world and explore cultures from around the globe, as well as Scotland’s story.

For a great slice of history, as well as fantastic views across the city, take a trip to Edinburgh Castle where you’ll find everything from Scotland’s crown jewels to the One O’Clock Gun. From the castle, walk about half-way down the historic Royal Mile to the Real Mary King’s Close, one of the city’s spookiest attractions. Investigate the fascinating series of underground passages with an eerie tour guide dressed as a former resident of the street and uncover the dark secrets the passages hold.

The Edinburgh Dungeon on Market Street near Waverley Station is also well worth a visit. Travel back in time and meet some of Scotland’s most famous, and infamous, characters. If you survive meeting body snatchers Burke and Hare and the cannibal Sawney Bean and his hungry family, you can visit the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions which has entertained visitors with its marvellous optical illusions since the Victorian period.

Our Dynamic Earth allows you to travel back to the beginning of our planet and watch the Big Bang from the Hubble Telescope. Witness a tropical rain storm and feel the heat of a bubbling volcano ready to erupt as the museum takes you through 15,000 million years of Earth’s history up to the present day.

Another popular attraction with families is Edinburgh Zoo where the daily penguin parade and Scotland’s very own pandas are just two of the exotic species on show.

In East Lothian, the National Museum of Flight features a wonderful collection of aircraft including Concorde and there are also some marvelous castles to explore such as the charming Dirleton Castle and the breathtaking Tantallon Castle, which is perched on the cliffs above the Firth of Forth.

Step back in time in Midlothian with a visit to the National Mining Museum at Newtongrange and find out what life was like for the miners who worked there. If you're brave enough, go and meet a wide variety of creepy crawlies and tropical butterflies at Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World in Lasswade.  

Country parks and gardens

Take the whole family for a fantastic free day out at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, where you can spend hours of fun exploring the grounds and discovering rare and beautiful plants and trees. There’s a packed programme of educational events throughout the year too which includes bird feeding days and arts and crafts.

If you fancy getting active, visit Beecraigs Country Park in West Lothian and try your hand at archery or take a boat trip out on the loch. A short distance away lies Almondell & Calderwood Country Park which includes beautiful woodland and riverside walks and a heritage centre packed with interesting exhibits.

Browse the listings for more family day out ideas across Edinburgh & The Lothians.

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106 results, currently showing 71 to 80
  1. John Muir Country Park

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    Dunbar

    John Muir Country Park is located on a beautiful stretch of coastline.

  2. Can You Escape

    Type

    Venues

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    A real life escape game in the heart of Edinburgh for 2-6 people. Think Crystal maze meets Cluedo with lots of twists along the way. Your team will have 60 minutes to solve a range of puzzles in order to beat the clock. Can You Escape?

  3. Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Welcome to Wild at Art

  4. Gradings

    East Lothian

    A beautifully preserved ecclesiastical building in a wooded setting.

  5. Vogrie Country Park

    Type

    Parks & Gardens

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Pathhead

    105 hectares of woods and Victorian parkland including a 1876 Victorian mansion - part of which is open to the public, a nine-hole golf course, adventure playground and an excellent cafeteria.

  6. Museum Of Childhood

    Type

    Museums

    Gradings

    • 3 Museum
    3 Museum

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Described as 'the noisiest museum in the world'.

  7. Gradings

    • 2 Museum
    2 Museum

    Edinburgh - City Centre

    Dedicated to the lives and work of Scotland's great literary figures, in particular Robert Burns (1759-1796); Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832); and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894).

  8. The Hive Soft Play Ltd

    Type

    Children's Attractions

    Gradings

    • 4 Activity Centre
    4 Activity Centre

    Bathgate

    The Hive Soft Play is a new soft play in Bathgate. The spectacular play frame at the Hive can be enjoyed by all the family. Aimed at children aged 0 -12 years with a pre school programme, after school and holiday fun - it’s a Hive of activity.

  9. Dirleton Castle

    Type

    Castles

    Gradings

    • 4 Castle
    4 Castle

    Dirleton

    A romantic castle often in the forefront of Scottish history since it was built in the 12th century.

  10. Erraid Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Erraid Wood is a small woodland on the slopes of the Pentland Hills to the south of Edinburgh.

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