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The Best Family-Friendly Attractions in Scotland

Scotland is home to a wealth of fascinating history, stunning scenery and exciting attractions that make it a fantastic destination for a family holiday. From interactive museums to outdoor adventures, there are plenty of brilliant things to see and do to keep kids of all ages entertained across the country.

Edinburgh Zoo

One of the top family-friendly attractions is Edinburgh Zoo. Set on 82 acres of parkland just outside the capital, it’s home to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals including giant pandas, koalas, penguins and snow leopards. Kids will love getting close to their favourite creatures, while events like zookeeper talks and feeding times bring the exhibits to life. Make time to explore the groundbreaking Budongo Trail exhibit which recreates a West African forest environment.

Glasgow Science Centre

Another interactive experience ideal for families is Glasgow Science Centre. With hundreds of inspiring exhibits across three floors, it covers everything from space to health sciences and lets kids learn through hands-on activities. Feel the power of a real lightning bolt in the Planetarium or see robotic arms at work in the Clydebuilt exhibit. The centre also houses Scotland’s largest IMAX cinema along with a Science Show Theatre, ideal for fascinating demonstrations and workshops.

M&D’s Scotland Theme Park

Families looking to burn off energy should head for M&D’s in Motherwell, near Glasgow. This huge theme park boasts over 40 rides and attractions including the iconic Condor Rollercoaster, a 70 mile per hour thrill ride. There are white knuckle rides aplenty, along with gentler options like the Ladybird Coaster for younger kids. When you need a break, the Amazonia indoor play area and ice cream parlour are perfect pitstops.

The National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh manages to blend education and entertainment for children of all ages. From dinosaurs to ancient Egyptians, the science and technology galleries are filled with incredible objects to ignite kids’ imaginations. Take on an archaeological dig in thekids’ gallery, handle real artefacts in the Living Lands exhibit or get creative in one of the regular workshops. Entry to the museum is completely free too. 

Glasgow Riverside Museum

Another museum that’s both fun and free for families fostering in Scotland is Glasgow Riverside Museum. Winner of the European Museum of the Year award, it’s home to thousands of objects showing the city’s transport heritage. Kids can climb aboard everything from old trains and trams to cars and bikes while interactive displays bring the exhibits to life. Make time to board the Tall Ship moored outside too and don’t miss the old cobbled street with shops, cafe and more.

The Falkirk Wheel

For high-thrills outdoor adventures, head to one of Scotland’s mountain gondola rides. At The Falkirk Wheel near Edinburgh, a rotating boat lift raises families 35 metres into the air for panoramic views. Take to the hills at Cairngorm Mountain near Aviemore, where the funicular railway carries you up the mountainside while images of wildlife are projected inside. At the top, a wildlife experience awaits along with incredible views.

With eye-opening museums, adrenaline-pumping rides and fascinating historic sights, Scotland offers an incredible variety of attractions to enchant and engage kids of all ages. Whether you want a fun-filled day out or a whole holiday across this scenic country, there are so many brilliant options to create magical memories together as a family.

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