Things to do in edinburgh
with kids

Edinburgh is a fantastic city to visit with kids since there is so much history and culture to immerse yourself in. While many kid-friendly activities keep them busy, here are some highlights you would not want to miss. If you are looking for things to do in Edinburgh with kids, read this guide for more information.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Edinburgh, best tourist attractions in Edinburgh.


Best things to do in Edinburgh with kids

As you walk around Edinburgh with your kids, there are plenty of opportunities to explore. Below, we have compiled a list of the best things to do with kids in Edinburgh so you can make the most of your trip.

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

The Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is a unique attraction that is great for kids. It combines optical illusions with history, meaning there is plenty to see and do. Kids will love seeing the various illusions on offer and learning about Edinburgh's history through the interactive exhibits.
Address: The Royal Mile, 549 Castlehill
Opening hours: Camera Obscura & World of Illusions is open daily from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, with extended hours on Fridays and Sundays until 9:00 PM and on Saturdays until 10:00 PM
Cost: £19.95 and £18.95 if booked online

Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo is a great place to visit with kids, especially if they love animals. The zoo is home to over 1,000 species of animals, including lions, pandas, and tigers. There are also plenty of kid-friendly activities, such as face painting and educational talks.

If you're looking for Edinburgh attractions for kids that are both fun and educational, then a trip to the zoo is a must.
Address: 134 Corstorphine Rd, Corstorphine EH12 6TS
Opening hours: Edinburgh Zoo is open daily:
From April to September: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
In October and March: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
From November to February: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The Zoo is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Cost: £19.95 for adults and £12.50 for children (3-15)

Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is another fantastic place to visit with kids. The boat was once home to the British royal family and features some incredible luxury. Kids will love exploring the different rooms on board and seeing how the royals lived. There is also a fabulous audio tour that brings the history of the boat to life, making it a great place to learn about British royalty.
Address: Ocean Drive, Leith EH6 6JJ
Opening hours: The Royal Yacht Britannia is open daily:
From January to March: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
From April to August: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
In September: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
In October: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
From November to December: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Cost: £18

Love Gorgie Farm

Gorgie Farm is a working city farm that has been educating and entertaining children for over 50 years. Kids can learn about animals, try their hand at farming activities, or simply explore the sprawling grounds.

Your kid will be allowed to pet or sometimes even cuddle some friendly animals. There are also plenty of baby animals to meet, making Gorgie Farm the perfect place for a family day out. Plus, it's completely free to enter! Here you can spend the whole day and have lunch in the cafe.
Address: 51 Gorgie Road EH11 2LA
Opening hours: Love Gorgie Farm is open daily from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM in the summer season and from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM during winter. The farm is closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
free, donations are welcome

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Fun things to do in Edinburgh with kids

Everywhere you turn in Edinburgh, there is something new and exciting for kids to explore. From world-famous museums to outdoor parks and playgrounds, here are some fun things to do with kids Edinburgh can offer you.

Wonder World

Wonder World is an indoor play centre that will keep kids entertained for hours. With climbing frames, slides, and plenty of other activities to choose from, Wonder World is the perfect place to let off some steam on a rainy day.

And when you're all played out, there's a café so you can refuel before heading back into exploring Edinburgh!
Address: Wonder World Edinburgh, 377 Easter Road, Edinburgh, EH6 8HU
Opening hours: Wonder World Edinburgh is open from 9:30 AM until 6:30 PM every day
Cost: General Admission for kids (3-14) from £5.95, for toddlers (1-2) from £4.95, for kids under 1's from £1.95

Time Twisters

Time Twisters is the best soft play centre in Edinburgh, and it's perfect for younger children. It has an Egyptian theme; kids can explore different chambers, slide down pyramids, and crawl through tunnels.

There is also a dedicated baby and toddler area, where they can explore without getting lost in the bigger play area.
Address: Unit 5 Catalyst Park, 2B Bankhead Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 4EJ
Opening hours: Time Twisters Play Centre is open from 9:30 AM until 5:30 PM every day
Cost: for babies (up to 12-months) £1.00 - £1.50, for toddlers (3-years old and under) £5.75 - £8.50, for children (4-years old and over) £6.95 - £10.50, for adults £1.25 - £1.95

The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is a succession of streets in Edinburgh and is a great place to explore with kids. Start at Edinburgh castle and walk down the mile-long distance, stopping at various landmarks.

If you are looking for perfect kids activities Edinburgh is the perfect place to keep little ones entertained on The Royal Mile. For example, they can try their hand at busking or learn about some of the city's most famous residents by taking a guided tour.
Address: Edinburgh's Old Town, between the entrance to Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Opening hours: The Royal Mile is open 24 hours a day, all year round.
Cost: free

The Scott Monument

Scott Monument will be interesting for anyone visiting Edinburgh. The imposing structure towers over the city and offers stunning views. Take the stairs to the top of Scotts Monument and enjoy panoramic views of Edinburgh. If you're feeling adventurous, see if you can spot some of the city's famous landmarks like Edinburgh castle or The Royal Mile.
Address: Scott Monument, E Princes Street Gardens EH 2 2EJ
Opening hours: The Scott Monument is temporarily closed for visiting, but it is still possible to admire it from the outside.
Cost: £8

Kid-friendly museums in Edinburgh

There are plenty of kid-friendly museums in Edinburgh that will keep your kids entertained for hours. From the National Museum of Scotland to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, you’ll find attractions for young and adult alike.

National Museum of Scotland

Does your child love dinosaurs? Then they will be sure to enjoy the National Museum of Scotland, which houses one of the world's largest collections of dinosaur bones. The museum is also home to various other exhibitions, including a hands-on science centre where kids can experiment and learn about different concepts.

Address: Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF
Opening hours: The National Museum of Scotland is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Cost: free

National Museum of Flight

The National Museum of Flight is perfect for aviation enthusiasts of all ages. Kids can learn about the history of flight, see planes up close, and even take a simulated flight! And if that's not enough to keep them entertained, there are plenty of hands-on activities and interactive exhibits. Buy tickets at very reasonable prices, this is a great option for families on a budget.
Address: East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian, EH39 5LF
Opening hours: From Tuesday 1 November, open weekends only, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Cost: Advance online booking:
Adult - £12.50
Concession - £10.50
Child (5–15) - £7.50 (under 5s free)
Family (2 adults and 2 children) - £33

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is a great place to take kids if they love art. The gallery has a range of kid-friendly exhibitions and plenty of interactive activities. For example, kids can dress up in costumes and have their photos taken in front of famous paintings. The gallery also has a café where you can relax with a cup of coffee while the kids play.
Address: 73 & 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
Open hours: The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is open daily, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Cost: free

National Gallery of Scotland

The National Gallery of Scotland is another great option for families with kids who love art. As well as plenty of paintings and sculptures to admire, the gallery also has a range of interactive exhibits. For example, kids can try on virtual reality headsets to tour the gallery in an entirely new way. The gallery also offers a variety of family-friendly events throughout the year.
Opening hours: The Scottish National Gallery is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Cost: free

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

It is a must-visit for any nature lover. With over 70 acres to explore, the garden is home to an incredible array of plant life worldwide. Kids will love spotting different flowers and trees or searching for wildlife in the ponds and streams. In addition to being a beautiful place to walk around, the botanic gardens also host a range of kid-friendly events.
Address: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Arboretum Place, Edinburgh EH3 5NZ
Opening hours: The Royal Botanic Garden is open daily.
From March to September: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
In October and February: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
From November to January: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The Garden is closed on December 25 and January 1
Cost: free

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Kid-friendly historical activities in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is rich in history, and kid-friendly activities will help bring the past to life. If you are looking for what to do in Edinburgh with kids, take a tour of The Real Mary King's Close, or explore one of the many other historical sites in the city.

Edinburgh Сastle

Edinburgh castle is a must-see for anyone visiting Edinburgh, but it is especially fun for kids. The imposing structure towers over the city and houses plenty of fascinating history within its walls. Travel to the castle to learn about its many secrets, or simply admire the stunning views from outside.

The great thing about Edinburgh castle is that there are a lot of family activities to keep little ones entertained. For example, they can dress up in armour and pretend to be a knight or explore the many different rooms and chambers.
Address: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG
Opening hours: Edinburgh Castle is open daily, with the last admission one hour before closing:
From April 1 to September 30: 09:30 AM – 6:00 PM
From October 1 to March 31: 09:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Cost: from €43.50 per person

Church of Scotland

The Church of Scotland is a great place to visit with kids, and it is especially fun for those interested in history. Explore the stunning Gothic architecture, or learn about the history of Scotland's largest church. For a truly unique experience, attend a Sunday service and listen to the fantastic choir.
Address: The Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN
Opening hours: The Church of Scotland is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: free

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

It is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Tour the stunning State Apartments, or explore the beautiful grounds. Kids will also love meeting one of the resident Scottish guardsmen. As an added bonus, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is located right next to Edinburgh castle, so you can easily visit both in one day.
Address: Palace of Holyroodhouse, Canongate, The Royal Mile
Opening hours: The Palace of Holyroodhouse is open daily, except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays:
From April 1 to October 31: 09:30 AM – 6:00 PM
From November 1 to March 31: 09:30 AM – 4:30 PM.
Cost: £17.50

Mary King's Close

It is a must-see for any history buffs visiting Edinburgh. Learn about the fascinating history of this Close, and explore the many different preserved rooms. The Real Mary King's Close is located right in the heart of Edinburgh city centre, so it is easy to get to. With so much history to learn about, your kids will be sure to love this activity.
Address: The Real Mary King’s Close, 2 Warriston’s Close, High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1PG
Opening hours: The Real Mary King's Close is open on Monday to Thursday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, on Friday and Sunday from 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Cost: from £21 for adults, from £15 for kids 5 - 15 years

Edinburgh Dungeon

It is an excellent activity in Edinburgh for kids who love thrills and scares. Although it is not suitable for very young children, older kids will enjoy the spooky exhibits and rides. The dungeon also offers a variety of interactive shows that are both educational and entertaining. With so much to see and do, the Edinburgh Dungeon will surely be a hit with the whole family.
Address: 31 Market Street, Edinburgh
Opening hours: The Edinburgh Dungeon is open daily from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, with the Dungeon Lates program on Fridays from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
Cost: £21.95 and £19.76 if booked online

TOP-5 Indoor things to do in Edinburgh

with kids

There are also plenty of great indoor things to do. From world-famous museums to fun indoor play areas, here is a list of the best indoor attractions.

Edinburgh International Climbing Arena

It may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of things to do in this city with kids, but the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena is an excellent option for active families. The indoor climbing centre is perfect for rainy days, and routes are suitable for all ages and abilities.

After spending some time scaling the walls, take a break in the on-site cafe before heading back out to explore more of the city.
Address: Ratho, South Platt Hill, Newbridge, EH28 8AA
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday, Sunday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Cost: Climb £6.35 - £12.70, bouldering only £5.00 - £10.00

Fountain Park

For a fun kids' day out Edinburgh offers Fountain Park; it is hard to beat. Fountain Park is a great indoor option for families with younger children. The centre has an Adventure Golf course, a ten-pin bowling alley, a soft play area, and arcade games to keep kids of all ages entertained. Themed birthday parties are also available, and your little ones will have a great time.
Address: Fountain Park, 130 Dundee St, Edinburgh EH11 1AF
Opening hours: Fountain Park is open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day
Cost: depends on the type of activity

Dovecot Studios

Dovecot Studios is a working textile studio offering free public tours. Learn about the history of tapestry and see how these beautiful pieces are created. Little ones will be fascinated by the looms and colourful threads, and they can even try their hand at weaving themselves. In addition to the free tours, Dovecot Studios also houses a gallery and shop, so there is plenty to see and do here.
Address: 10 Infirmary Street EH1 1LT
Opening hours: Dovecot Studio is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Cost: £10.50 for adults and £7.50 for children (13-17 years old)

The Museum of Childhood

The Museum of Childhood is a must-visit for families with young children. The museum has an extensive collection of toys and games and interactive exhibits that bring the past to life. Kids will love exploring the different rooms, and there is also a play area where they can let off some steam.

The Museum of Childhood is the perfect place to spend a rainy day in Edinburgh with kids. Entry is free for under-5s, so it won't break the bank either.
Address: 42 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1TG
Cost: free

The Scottish Storytelling Centre

In case you are looking for one of the best places to take kids, Edinburgh can offer you the Scottish Storytelling Centre with its focus on oral storytelling and folklore. The centre has plenty of interactive exhibits and activities designed to educate and entertain children of all ages. Hear stories about Scotland's history, try on traditional costumes, or take part in one of the many craft workshops.
Address: 43-45 High Street EH1 1SR
Opening hours: The Scottish Storytelling Centre is open daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Cost: The Scottish Storytelling Centre hosts a number of events, each with a different price.

Free kids attractions in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a great city for budget-minded families, as there are plenty of free things to do with kids. Check out our list of the best free things for more ideas.

St Giles Cathedral

This is one of Edinburgh's most beautiful and historic buildings. The cathedral dates back to the 14th century and is full of fascinating features, like a mace made of human bones!

Take a family tour to learn all about the history of this incredible building, or explore it yourself with an audio guide. Alternatively, enjoy some time admiring the architecture and stunning stained glass windows.
Address: High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1RE
Opening hours: St. Giles Cathedral is open daily:
From Monday to Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
On Saturdays: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
On Sundays: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Cost: free

Dean Village

Dean Village is a hidden gem in Edinburgh that is well worth seeking. This quaint and picturesque village was once the site of many mills, which powered the city's industry.

Nowadays, Dean Village is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. Kids will love exploring the winding streets and playing in one of the three public parks. Treat your kid to some homemade ice cream at Mary's Milk Bar when you're done!
Address: Dean Path EH4 3AY
Opening hours: Dean Village is open 24 hours a day, all year round.
Cost: free


Leith is a vibrant and up-and-coming area of Edinburgh that is well worth exploring. This historic port has undergone regeneration recently and is home to many trendy bars, restaurants, and cafes.

Take a walk along the Water of Leith to see some of the city's best street art, or visit Ocean Terminal for some retail therapy. Alternatively, head to The Shore for lunch and enjoy stunning views over the water.
Opening hours: Leith is open 24 hours a day, all year round.
Cost: free

Princes Street Gardens

If you want a break from all the history and culture, head to Princes Street Gardens. It is an excellent spot for families, as there is plenty of green space to relax in or have a picnic. The children can let off some steam at the playground too. The gardens are also home to some monuments, like the Melville Monument, which is sure to fascinate little ones.
Address: Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG
Opening hours: Princes Street Gardens are
open from 7:00 AM to 9:35 PM daily.
Cost: free

Portobello Beach

Portobello beach is the perfect place to take a break from all the sightseeing and enjoy some time in the great outdoors. The wide, sandy beach stretches for over two miles and is ideal for walks, picnics, and playing games. Your kids will love digging in the sand, flying kites, and paddling in the shallows.
Address: Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG
Opening hours: Princes Street Gardens are open from 7:00 AM to 9:35 PM daily.
Cost: free
  • 1
    Best times of year to visit Edinburgh with kids?
    There is no definitive answer, but many families find summer ideal since the weather is warm and there are more must do outdoor activities to enjoy. Autumn and spring may be better choices if you're looking to avoid crowds.
  • 2
    Is Edinburgh a good place for kids?
    Absolutely! Edinburgh is an excellent place for kids and one of the most family-friendly cities in Europe. There are plenty of things to do with kids, from exploring castles and museums to playing in parks or going on rides at the Royal Mile.
  • 3
    Is Edinburgh a family-friendly vacation?
    Yes, Edinburgh can be an outstanding family vacation destination. The city has something for everyone and is filled with kid-friendly activities. Plus, the food options are endless! Many hotels offer family rooms and suites to make your stay more comfortable.
  • 4
    What are the must-visit destinations in Edinburgh with kids?

    If you are looking for what to see with kids, visit the Edinburgh Zoo, the National Museum of Scotland, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and the Royal Mile. You may also want to ride on the Edinburgh Hogmanay Streetcar or visit a festival - one of the many events that occur throughout the year.

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