Loch Insh, Cairngorms National Park

Holidays

11 Crazily Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids

Looking to create everlasting family memories on your next holiday? A rip-roaring family outdoor adventure in Scotland's great landscapes and scenery is just what you need!

From walking and cycling in amazing places, to the excitement of gorge walking or zorbing, there are plenty of outdoor activities for kids in Scotland that adults will love too!

You'll find activity providers throughout the country that offer multi-day family adventure holidays or full days out that combine a number of family outdoor activities, from laser tag in the morning to kayaking in the afternoon. There's plenty of outdoor places for kids to explore.

These eleven outdoor adventures for kids - and for all the family - are ranked by their suggested ages (individual activity providers will have their own age limits so please make sure your child can participate before booking), starting from easy adventures for families with younger children and moving up to more adrenaline filled activities for older kids and adults.

1. Family walks: A Classic Outdoor Adventure

Family Walk Castle Kennedy Gardens

Suitable for: all ages. Babies and young children can come with you in their buggy.

Nothing quite beats getting back to nature with your family and exploring at your own pace. If your kids love the freedom of being able to stop and investigate as they go, walking is one of the best ways to really let them explore their surroundings. It's a gentle and relaxing form of outdoor fun for kids and a great way to get a refreshing breath of fresh air in the sun too.

Explore more short walks that are perfect for families.

2. Cycling: Endless Outdoor Fun for Kids

Family Cycle Suidhe Viewpoint

Suggested age: from around 5 or 6 years old independently, though younger kids can ride in a trailer, on a bike seat, on a balance bike or on a tag-along bike.

This outdoor adventure for kids lets you feel the air rushing past as you explore Scotland's beautiful countryside by bike. Kids will love the freedom of zooming along Scotland's quiet roads and traffic free cycle ways, especially with the promise of a tasty picnic to enjoy mid-way.

See 6 unmissable family friendly cycle routes and find more cycling providers in Scotland.

3. Off-road cycling and mountain biking: A challenging adventure

Mountain Biking family

Suggested age: from around 6 to 8 years old independently, though younger kids can ride in a trailer, on a bike seat, on a balance bike or on a tag-along bike.

Get off-road and into proper outdoor activities for kids. With hill climbs, berms (corners) and other obstacles to negotiate, mountain biking is ideal for intrepid explorers who want to get off the beaten path. Scotland has lots of world-class mountain biking centres that offer outdoor places for kids to explore a great range of off-road trails, including easier (green and blue graded) routes that are ideal for building confidence.

See 10 family friendly mountain biking trails and find more mountain biking providers in Scotland.

4. Watersports: Dive into an outdoor adventure

Loch Insh family paddleboarding

Suggested age: dependent on the activity. Children as young as 4 years old can try sailing or canoeing while windsurfing is recommended for kids aged 7+.

Scotland's gleaming lochs and rippling rivers were made for watersports. From working together to steer your canoe to cheering each other on as you master windsurfing, watersports are the perfect outdoor activities for children that are bound to make some great family memories to last a lifetime.

Explore 10 of the best watersports to try and find more watersports providers in Scotland.

5. Horse and pony riding: Blaze an outdoor trail

Family Clydesdale Horse Riding

Suggested age: some stables and riding centres offer pony rides from 4 years old, though others start at 5 or 6.

Outdoor fun for kids comes in all shapes and sizes. Get the whole family out in the fresh air and explore off-road on a horse or pony trek. Your kids will have a ball getting to know their pony and - if they've never ridden before - learning how to start, stop and turn their sure-footed companion.

Explore horse riding and pony trekking ideas and find more horse and pony riding providers in Scotland.

6. Land yachting: A memorable outdoor activity

Land yachting on West Sands beach

Suggested age: children aged 5 to 12 must ride with an adult in a twin land yacht while kids aged 12+ can usually pilot their own.

Enjoy a top day out with the whole family as you race each other along a wide sandy beach in your land yachts. This immensely fun outdoor activity for kids is guaranteed to have you all smiling within minutes and will make for a truly unforgettable day out with the family.

See more land yachting.

7. Gorge walking: True outdoor excitement

Canyoning flume

Suggested age: from around 6 to 8 years old.

Nothing says 'we're going on an adventure' quite like getting kitted out in specialist outdoor equipment. Imagine your kids' excitement as you all don wetsuits, hardhats and lifejackets before heading out to explore one of Scotland's most beautiful gorges. On this outdoor adventure for kids you can expect easy scrambling, swimming through natural pools and sliding down water flumes on your family-friendly gorge walk.

Explore gorge walking in Scotland, or find more gorge walking providers.

8. High ropes and tree top assault courses: Hit new heights

Go Ape Glentress Forest family

Suggested age: from around 7 years old.

Help your kids negotiate obstacles on a fun assault course suspended above the ground (or get them to help you!). Cheer them on as they fearlessly tackle rope bridges, zip wires, Tarzan swings and more, or show them how it's done so they can boldly follow in your footsteps - guaranteed smiles and lots of outdoor fun for kids.

See more tree top courses.

9. Zorbing and water balling: Unique Outdoor Fun

Laggan Outdoors sphering, zorbing © Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre

Suggested age: each provider differs but most offer zorbing or water balling experiences to kids from around 7 to 8 years old.

A fun outdoor adventure for kids that the whole family will love. Traditional zorbing involves strapping one or two people into a giant Zorb ball before tumbling them head-over-heels downhill. Water balling has the added element of litres of water being poured into the ball with you - a huge adrenaline rush but prepare to get very wet!

See more zorbing.

10. Segways: Lean into an outdoor adventure

Glencoe Activities Segway

Suggested age: each provider differs. Some allow kids from around 7 years old while others start at 10 or 11.

Experience the thrill of gliding over the ground and enjoy some family fun time as you all master how to ride a Segway - you'll feel like you're flying! This exciting outdoor activity for kids allows them to ride an all-terrain vehicle where they will soon pick up the balance they need to move, steer, and turn their state-of-the-art machines.

See more Segway experiences.

11. Abseiling: A momentous outdoor activity for kids

Abseiling, canyoning, Perthshire © Timex/Andrew McCandlish

Suggested age: from around 8 years old.

A proper adventure while not being too extreme, abseiling is a great outdoor adventure for kids that you'll all remember for years to come. Kids will love the adrenaline rush of stepping over the edge of the drop and will get a huge sense of achievement when they touch down safely at the bottom. Get ready to watch their confidence soar as they descend.

See more climbing and abseiling.