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18 Ideas for Fun Family Days Out in Scotland

Scotland’s attractions are ready to welcome you back. With lots of amazing places to see and visit, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites to help keep the kids happy. From petting farms and adventure parks to castle visits, as well as appetising suggestions for a bite to eat. And to make things better, they’re all super affordable! 

North 

1. Landmark Forest Adventure Park, Carrbridge, Aviemore 

Landmark Forest Adventure Park offers outstanding thrills and spills with its unique blend of rides and family friendly activities. Face the high speeds of the Runaway Timber Train or if you’re feeling brave enough, take on the dizzying heights of the Wild Water Coaster with three fear-inducing raft rides over waterfalls to choose from. Of course, there’s plenty of things to do with both feet on the ground. Come face to face with a 20ft tall T-Rex at Dinosaur Kingdom, meet the park’s resident wildlife and insects in the Tropical Hot-House or discover the world’s first ‘Bamboozeleum’ and get ready to solve puzzles filled with lots of optical illusions and special effects for even more added fun.

If that’s not enough, let the kids take the driving seat while operating their very own 4×4 or if they fancy depositing some sand, they’ll be in full control with their very own mini digger for just £1 a shot.

Facilities

  • Parking 🅿️
  • Pets Welcome 🐶
  • Level Access ♿
  • Restaurant – Dietary options available including children’s menu 🍝
  • Picnic area 🍞
  • Gift shop 🛍️

A Place to Eat:

  • The Winking Owl – after a jam-packed day full of adventure, the whole family will no doubt be looking forward to a bite to eat. Stop by The Winking Owl and choose from a whole range of family favourites including Isle of Mull Cheddar Macaroni or tasty beef burgers. With Taste Our Best accreditation, you can never go wrong on quality here.

2. Treasures of the Earth, Fort William 

If you love gems and precious stones, this next place is a treasure trove find in the Highlands. Home to one of Europe’s finest private collections of gemstones, crystals and fossils, Treasures of the Earth is set to be a fun day out for the whole family. From rubies, sapphires, diamonds, emeralds, and even dinosaur fossils, you will be amazed at what you can discover hereThe Ultraviolet Cave is an absolute must, crystals will magically change colour and glow in the Ultra-Violet light. 

Facilities:

  • Parking 🅿️
  • Level Access ♿

A Place to Eat:

  • The Lochy Bar & Restaurant – The Lochy Bar & Restaurant is just a short drive away from Treasures of the Earth, making it an ideal place for a lunch or teatime treat. Dig into hearty helpings of pub grub favourites including fish & chips, steak pie or how about a whole tail scampi served in a mug?

3. Robertson’s Animal Petting Farm, Beauly 

There really is nothing cuter than adorable farm animals, right? Get the chance to meet the furry residents here at Robertson’s Animal Petting Farm where you’ll be in the company of alpacas, Highland cows, baby goats and much more. Looking for local produce to cook up a storm at home? Browse through the shop’s variety of food products from meat and fish to homemade chutneys and cheeses. There are even ready meals available if you want to take the stress out of cooking from scratch. 

Facilities:

  • Safe play area for children to play with a selection of large farm toys and a large sandpit 🧸
  • Shop 🛍️
  • Picnic area 🍞
  • Dietary options available 🍝
  • Level Access ♿
  • Parking 🅿️

A Place to Eat:

  • Bad Girl Bakery – for drool-inducing desserts, head to Bad Girl Bakery. From chocolate and raspberry brownies to baked scones, this place is as sweet as it gets. You can also go for lunch-time bites with gourmet sausage rolls, burgers and loaded fries available to order for sit in or takeaway.

4. Loch Insh Outdoor Centre, Inverness 

Loch Insh Outdoor Centre

Loch Insh Outdoor Centre

Make a splash by trying water sports for your next family day out. Loch Insh Outdoor Centre offers a bonkers amount of challenging and creative outdoor activities. Varied courses and programmes are available too and the choice of fun is huge! Enjoy raft building, sailing, stand up paddle boarding and pedalos, to name just a few. If you prefer to stay on dry land, immerse yourself in Scotland’s scenery by going mountain biking, improve your aim with archery, or the little ones can blow off some steam at the play parks.

Fancy staying that wee bit longer? The outdoor centre will offer you a comfortable place to stay during your time here. Choose from its wide range of accommodation options from apartments and chalets to its very own B&B.

Facilities: 

  • Boathouse Restaurant, dietary options available including children’s menu 🍝
  • Bosun’s Locker – jewellery and ceramics available to buy 🛍️
  • Pets Welcome 🐶
  • Outdoor play area 🌳
  • Level access ♿
  • Parking 🅿️
  • Electric car charging 🔋 🚗
  • Picnic area 🍞

A Place to Eat:

  • The Boathouse Lochside Restaurant – good food? Check. Amazing scenery? Check. The Boathouse Lochside Restaurant has all the right ingredients for a meal out with the family.  The menu is filled with classics including fish and chips, soups, sandwiches, burgers, and Mediterranean dishes, so all ages will find something they like.

5. Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, Inverness 

Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition

Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition

We can’t guarantee that you’ll spot Nessie here, but you’re guaranteed an unforgettable day out in the Highlands. Uncover 500 million years of history, natural mystery and legend at The Loch Ness Centre & Exhibitionrevealing the unique environment of Loch Ness and the Loch Ness Monster. With the use of animations, lasers, special effects, and storytelling, discover what really lies beneath the waters of Loch Ness. Not to be missed! 

Facilities:

  • Gift Shop 🛍️
  • Picnic area 🍞
  • Café/restaurant 🍝

A Place to Eat: 

  • Fiddlers Highland Restaurant – sample the very best of Scottish produce at the Fiddlers Highland Restaurant. On the menu you’ll find hearty casseroles, haggis, and delicious steaks, as well as seasonal and vegetarian dishes too.

South 

6. Cream O’Galloway, Dumfries & Galloway 

Are you a big softie for ice cream? Cream O’Galloway is a legendairy find in South Scotland when it comes to deliciously good ice cream. Enjoy all the classics you love, alongside new and exciting flavours, including strawberry shortcake, salted caramel, and the Highland Fling sundae, made with Sticky Toffee and Whisky, Honey and Oatmeal ice creams topped with toffee sauce and a sprinkling of toffee chips. In the mood to be surprised? No worries. Staff will customise the perfect dessert for you using a selection of different toppings and syrups.

Alongside ice cream, there are lots of fun things to do outdoors. Go head to head with friends and family for a few rounds of crazy golf or take a family stroll along the attraction’s signposted nature trails.

Facilities:

  • Crazy Golf 🧸
  • Picnic area 🍞
  • Café or restaurant – dietary options available 🍝

A Place to Eat: 

  • Polarbites – serving happy customers since 2007, enjoy a chippy tea at Polarbites. Tuck into haggis, smoked sausage, and king rib suppers, or for the more adventurous palates, why not try the king scallops or monkfish? The kid’s menu features a mix of classics such as chicken nuggets, beef burgers and fish & chips.

7. Dalscone Farm Fun, Dumfries & Galloway 

From llamas to ponies, little one’s love seeing their favourite animals up close. So, why not turn your plans into reality with a visit to Dalscone Farm Fun in Dumfries & Galloway. Say hello and get to know the animals – they’re all a very friendly bunch! From Frankie, Max, and Jeffrey the goats to Annie the donkey, they love seeing friendly new faces, especially if you have tasty treats in your hand. For more added fun, take a spin on the go-karts, play a round or two of crazy golf or bounce the day away on the trampolines.

Feeling peckish? Treat yourself to something delicious at the Dalscone Diner with refreshments including tea, coffee, juice, baguettes, and delicious cakes.

Facilities:

  • Parking 🅿️
  • Level access ♿
  • Indoor and outdoor play area 🌳
  • Café or restaurant – children’s menu available 🍝

A Place to Eat:

  • The Back Street Restaurant – for a casual dining affair, head to the Back Street Restaurant. Adults will be spoilt for choice with its extensive food menu with pan fried cod, chicken supreme and venison, just a few of the foodie options available. The kid’s menu includes a starter, main course, dessert, and drink all for just £7.

8. Dino Park, Dumfries 

If you’re looking for some dino-related fun, then the Dino Park in Dumfries ticks all the right boxes. The attraction offers the chance for budding palaeontologists to roll up their sleeves at the Dino Dig and search for fossils and bones beneath the sand. If you have an appetite for learning, make sure to head to the Dino Den where park rangers will explain the history behind the giants who once roamed the Earth. Other highlights include a bouncy castle and the outdoor and indoor play areas. 

Facilities:

  • Parking 🅿️
  • Gift shop 🛍️
  • Public toilet facilities 🚽
  • Café or restaurant – Children’s menu available 🍝

A Place to Eat:

  • Oak Tree Tea Room – if you’re in the mood for home comfort food, Oak Tree Tea Room is tough to beat. Get ready to loosen your belt as you enjoy tasty lunches and indulge in delicious home baking.

9. The Cocoabean Company, Dumfries & Galloway 

Chocolate might not come to mind when you think of Dumfries & Galloway, but the region has a lot to offer for those who have a sweet tooth. The Cocoabean Company is destined to be a great day out for the whole family with its chocolate making workshops for novice chocolatiers, young and old. After all your hard work, take a bite into your chocolatey creation for a moment of indulgence. The attraction is also home to an impressive outdoor play area. From climbing frames and walls, to super swings and slippery slides – your young adventurers are in for hours of non-stop fun.

 Facilities:

  • Parking 🅿️
  • Level access ♿
  • Gift shop 🛍️
  • Indoor and outdoor play area 🌳
  • Café or restaurant – dietary requirements and children’s menu available 🍝

A Place to Eat:

  • The Harbour Lights – looking for a place to stop by for lunch? With hot main courses and a selection of delicious paninis, there’s something to suit you whatever mood you’re in.

10.  Moat Brae, Dumfries

Moat Brae House and Garden

Who says you have to grow up? If you’re in need of a little child-like magic, Moat Brae is the place to be. Discover the birthplace of Peter Pan and take a guided tour behind the beloved children’s novel. There’s lots of interactive games to be played and a room for the kids to play dress up. After the guided tour, head outside and explore the Enchanted Land – you’ll find amazing replicas of a Wendy house and even a pirate ship.

Facilities:

  • Café 🍝
  • Shop 🛍️
  • Education suite 🏫

A Place to Eat: 

  • Truffles Bistro – enjoy a relaxed dinner at Truffles Bistro. Its cosy atmosphere is sure to be a hit with families, with plenty of choice to munch on. Choose from creamy pasta dishes, fresh seafood, and mouth-watering steaks.

East 

11.  Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Edinburgh 

Camera Obscura is a museum dedicated to optical illusions that will simply boggle your mind. With five floors of hands on exhibits, you may need to take a second, or third, look at things that appear something that they’re not. From the dizzying vortex tunnel to finding your way out of the mirror maze, the attraction will add a lot of excitement to your day out in the capital. The shrinking room is a great place for photos. Families will have lots of fun swapping positions, becoming a mighty giant in one corner to a more pint-sized version of themselves in the other. To round it all off, head up to the rooftop for impressive views of Edinburgh’s skyline.

Facilities:

  • Gift shop 🛍️
  • Baby carriers available free of charge and are cleaned and sanitised after each use.
  • Toilets available on the first floor 🚽

A Place to Eat:

  • Hemma – keep rumbling tummies at bay while the kids wander off and have fun in the play area. With its extensive menu and kid-friendly portions, Hemma is the perfect place to cater for wee appetites. Fried chicken wings and the Scottish beef burger are just some of the delights that they have to offer.

12. The Scottish Deer Centre, Cupar, Fife 

Discover Fife’s wildest day out at The Scottish Deer Centre. The attraction is home to 12 species of deer and animals including the lynx, the Scottish Wildcat, the European brown bear and lots more. It’s daily entertainment schedule also offers the chance to meet some of the animals too, with feeding and grooming sessions.

That’s not all! Leave time for the kids to make use of the indoor play area and the adventure playground. Whether it’s climbing or zooming down a zip line, there’s something for everyone.

Facilities:

  • Free Parking 🅿️
  • Toilets 🚽
  • Baby changing 👶
  • Picnic facilities 🍞
  • Disabled access ♿
  • First aid 🩹
  • Café 🍝

A Place to Eat: 

  • The Courtyard – with its everchanging menu and wide selection of seasonal dishes, you will never be short of choice when you pay a visit to The Courtyard. Enjoy its laidback dining atmosphere where you’ll be sure of a warm welcome. Food-wise, they serve up a selection of tasty main course dishes including baked chicken breast stuffed with asparagus and tomato, spinach, and chilli risotto. There is also a special menu for kid’s featuring carbonara and chicken strips with fried potatoes.

 13. Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre, Perthshire 

Home to over 40 species of animals, Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre allows visitors to get up close to a range of animals in their natural habitats. All year round there is something to see, from baby chicks hatching, daily feedings and the chance to try your hand at milking Clover the cow. Younger visitors can have lots of fun at the indoor soft play barn. 

Facilities:

  • Torlum Coffee Shop – Children’s lunch boxes available ☕ 🍱

A Place to Eat:

  • Tea Garden at Comrie Croft – anyone for tea and cake? Using fresh produce from Tomnah’a Market Garden, enjoy a feast of savoury and sweet delights from the Tea Garden at Comrie Croft. Their afternoon tea offering includes sandwiches, delicate pastries, and cakes.

14.  National Museum of Flight, East Lothian 

Thankfully no passport is required for this next visit. Located in East Lothian, the National Museum of Flight offers fascinating insight into the world of aviation dating back to the First World War. The centrepiece of the museum is The Concorde where you can get a taste of what a transatlantic flight was likeAircrafts spanning decades of history from its historic hangars and airfields including the evolution of the in-flight experience, are also highlights. 

Facilities:

  • Parking 🅿️
  • Pets Welcome 🐶
  • Shop 🛍️
  • Picnic area 🍞
  • Outdoor play area 🌳
  • Café or restaurant – children’s menu available 🍝

A Place to Eat:

  • The Café at Merryhatton – whether you’re looking for a light lunch or a spot of afternoon tea, The Café at Merryhatton is a great pit stop to refuel your energy levels. Veggies and vegans, the café’s got you covered with lots of vegan and gluten free options to choose from.

West 

 15. Bothwell Castle, Uddingston, Glasgow 

Bothwell Castle

Bothwell Castle

A trip to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without a castle visit. Bothwell Castle has a long and eventful history and was often fought over during the Wars of Independence between Scottish and English hands. There is much more to the 13th century castle than its rather grizzly history though. Admire the castle’s dramatic scenery, explore the 14th century great hall and chapel, or take a stroll through the nearby woodland with flowers in full bloom in spring and summer. 

Facilities:

  • A dedicated play area for younger children 🧸
  • An adventure play area for older children 🌳
  • Garden 🌼
  •  Gift shop 🛍️
  • Public toilets 🚽
  • Level access ♿
  • Parking 🅿️
  • Picnic area 🍞
  • Café or restaurant 🍝

A Place to Eat: 

  • Smiths – have dinner at Smiths and you’ll be treated to a delicious and fresh menu of fish, meat, and vegetable dishes. If you have enough room for dessert, why not try the popular warm apple crumble with cinnamon custard or if you’re feeling extra indulgent, try the dark chocolate & orange mousse.

 16. Glasgow Science Centre

Kids having fun at Glasgow Science Centre

Kids having fun at Glasgow Science Centre

Looking for ways to keep the kids entertained? Glasgow Science Centre shows kids that science doesn’t have to be boring, with exhibits so engaging and immersing that it blends in with learning, helping to captivate the minds of adults and children alike. Enjoy an illusion experience at A Question of Perception, learn about our wonderful solar system at the Space Zone, or get ready to be creative in the Project Lab. Glasgow Science Centre inspires kids to think like scientists and fires their imagination in the process.

Fancy getting your hands on a science passport? There lots of perks including unlimited free entry and the chance to skip the busy queues.

Facilities:

  • Parking 🅿️
  • Level access ♿
  • Gift shop 🛍️
  • Café or restaurant – children’s menu available 🍝

A Place to Eat:

  • The Grosvenor Café – some eateries aim to simply accommodate children while others go the extra mile to provide kids with a unique dining experience. The Grosvenor Café is the perfect family-friendly venue when it comes to entertaining the little ones. With a toy box and board games, there will be smiles aplenty.

 17. Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine, Ayrshire 

Explore Scotland’s ‘Cathedral of Engineering’ at The Scottish Maritime Museum. Get ready to enrich your understanding of Scotland’s importance to maritime history through a range of exhibitions and learn about the people that built and sailed Scottish ships around the world. It’s all hands-on deck too as you learn to manoeuvre a sailboat on the indoor and outdoor boating ponds, perfect for your little explorers and adventurers. 

Facilities:

  • Parking 🅿️
  • Restaurant – children’s menu available 🍝

A Place to Eat:

  • Vanilla Joe’s – who doesn’t love ice cream? Vanilla Joe’s has a menu crammed full of delicious flavours including mint choc chip, fresh strawberry, and candied orange. There are also plenty of thick shakes to slurp too.

 18. Go Country, near Aberfoyle 

Another attraction to add to your outdoor bucket list is Go Country, near Aberfoyle. Throw yourself into a jam-packed day of fun and excitement and embark on a water sports adventure like no other. Discover the stunning beauty of Loch Ard, within the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park with canoeing, gorge walking and an inflatable waterpark, just some of the activities on offer, alongside equipment hire.

Go Country also offers a wide range of activities that are on dry land too. Enjoy the thrill of mountain biking in Loch Ard forest or take in the scenic views while out hill walking.

Facilities:

  • Parking 🅿️
  • Level access ♿
  • Picnic area 🍞

A Place to Eat:

  • Faerie Tree Inn – a day of endless fun outdoors will lead to some hungry stomachs, big and small. The Faerie Tree Inn’s low prices offer fantastic value for families: the kid’s menu includes pizza, scampi, chicken goujons and macaroni with a wide range of side dishes and sauces to help complement their meal. For the adults, dig into the tasty haggis & caramelised onion pizza or try the fresh battered haddock with peas & chips.

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