Top 5 for under 5's in Edinburgh
Written by Craig Douglas Thursday, 08 January 2009 14:29
Edinburgh isn’t normally the first place of you’d think of when looking to take away your kids for a few days, however there’s more than enough on show to entertain the family in Scotland’s capital.
Normally a popular city breaks destination for people who want to see Edinburgh Castle, watch the Military Tattoo or check out the Fringe Festival, Edinburgh is also filled with things to keep children happy whilst you’re on a short break. So read on and find out what to do & how much it all costs.
Edinburgh Zoo is the largest and most exciting wildlife attraction in Scotland, committed to the highest standards of animal welfare, conservation and environmental education. Set in 82 acres, the zoo is home to over 1000 different animals including dogs, lions, wolves, anteaters, bears, sea lions, monkeys, deer, birds and the only Koala bears in Britain amongst their huge collection of wonderful creatures. You can meet each of the wonderful animals in the beautiful parkland setting on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
They have some wonderful attractions for you to experience, plus you can also enjoy a wide range of visitor facilities and things to do including masses of events and daily activities throughout the year for kids of all ages. This includes the penguins, which take part in a parade every day at 2.15pm where they stroll round the park accompanied by a zoo keeper who will talk the crowds through the penguin’s daily life.
Open every day of the year (apart from Christmas Day) from 10.00am and last entry is one hour before closing time (which varies at different points throughout the year).
Admission costs £21.95 for adults (£19.95 online) and £9.95 for children (£9.00 online).
Address: 134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS
tel: 0131 334 9171
Deep Sea World
Deep Sea World is a spectacular Underwater Safari which allows you to explore the thousands of species of marine life found at Sea. It has many different areas such as the Amazon area, where you’ll see Piranhas amongst the other creatures found in the Amazon River and the Krakatoa area with many different coloured fish including the Yellow Saffin Tang, the Blue Damsel and the Green Chromis.
There are also other zones such as Lake Malawi, the Rocky Shores and the UK’s longest underwater viewing tunnel that allows you to come within inches of the majestic Sand Tiger sharks. If you’re feeling daring, you can go diving with the sharks (although you have to be a qualified diver), and even kids can get in the shark tanks, with the added protection of a metal cage so they are never in danger. There is also the amazing seal sanctuary and amphibians area which guests can visit.
Open every day except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, Deep Sea World is the perfect family day out with easy parking, a relaxing Café and a well-stocked gift shop.
Address: Battery Quarry, North Queensferry, Fife, KY11 1JR Tel:01383 411 8800
Admission costs £15.50 for adults and £11.00 for kids (but there are savings available with online bookings).
Alien Rock was Scotland's first dedicated indoor climbing centre and has been providing a fun, exciting and friendly venue for indoor climbers since 1994. It is an indoor climbing centre with over 200 different routes for all difficulties, including an overhanging roof so you’ll be upside down as you scale the course. Indoor climbing is suitable for almost all ages and abilities from the complete novice to the experienced climber, whether you visit individually or as part of a group of friends. For the total beginners there’s also a separate area for so each can get used to climbing properly first before hitting the bigger walls.
Climbing for adults costs £9.50 and £6.00 for children under the age of 16. There’s an additional charge for equipment hire.
Address: 8 Pier Place, Newhaven, Edinburgh, EH6 4LP
Tel: 0131 552 7211
Camera Obscura & The World of Illusions
Camera Obscura & World Of Illusions is a fascinating and highly amusing way to see Edinburgh and learn about its history. This unique experience has delighted and intrigued adults and kids for over 150 years and is a great way to view the city of Edinburgh.
From inside this mysterious Victorian rooftop chamber, using a huge mirror and lens, you can see Edinburgh from top of a tower with live moving images of the city projected onto a viewing table through a giant periscope. The friendly guide will entertain you while telling stories of Edinburgh, past and present, in an engaging and informative way.
Most visitors are truly amazed at how, in this age of high technology, a simple array of mirror, lenses and daylight can produce this incredible panorama. Experiencing the Camera Obscura is like stepping back in time!
There’s also the World of Illusions, a separate area with a magic gallery; x ray your hands, swim in a virtual fish tank, look through giant kaleidoscopes or check out the light fantastic area with holograms, 3d pictures and a science and nature exhibition.
Admission is £16 for adults and £12 for children (Kids under 5 go free).
Address: Castlehill, The Royal Mile, EH1 2ND
Tel: 0131 226 3709
The Imagination Workshop
The Imagination Workshop is a place for you and your kids to get creative; where you can learn arts and crafts and decorate pretty much anything you want. There are workshops such as T shirt painting, create your own shoes, making clocks, decorating sunglasses, creating masks and painting canvas collages. On different days, there are sewing classes, a bedroom makeover day, fabric fun and a summer workshop with prices ranging from £15-£20.
Time Twisters Indoor Adventure Centre
Time Twisters Play Centre is far more than your average soft play centre. It offers a completely unique experience for both kids and parents; with its state of the art play facilities, unique Ancient Egyptian themed environment, lots of comfortable seating, superb quality tea and coffee and a healthy café that serves a range of tasty, freshly prepared meals and snacks.
Offering a fun day out in a safe environment, the kids can go down slides, jump over (toy) crocodile infested swamps, swing across snake pits, cross rope bridges, crawl through underground tunnels or simply climb over any obstacle that gets in their way.
There are plenty of things to do so you and your kids will be sure to enjoy the stay.
Entry for adults is 50p, while admission for children ranges from £50p - £6.75 depending on their age and which day of the week you visit.
Address: Unit 5 Catalyst Trade Park, 2B Bankhead Drive Edinburgh EH11 4EJ
Telephone: 0131 639 0129
Our Our Dynamic Earth takes you on a journey through our planet’s past, present and future, with interactive exhibits and impressive technology. Beginning with the Big Bang, children and adults alike can witness the creation of the Earth, follow the planet through its evolution and even catch glimpses of its future. From dry tundra to the bottom of the ocean, a journey through Our Dynamic Earth is exciting, fun and engaging.
Whether coming face to face with an extinct dinosaur, feeling the sticky heat of a tropical rain-forest or flying over glaciers in prehistoric Scotland, Our Dynamic Earth presents all aspects of the planet we live in. Population growth, concepts of time and the realities of climate change are just the tip of the iceberg & and they even have a real one of those too, sitting beneath the magical Aurora Borealis!
Address: 112 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS
Phone: 0131 550 7800
Located in the heart of East Edinburgh, just off the Leith Links. Clown Around is a small family run business opened in 2003 catering for kids from 0-10 years who like to think of themselves as the hidden gem of childrens activity centres with that extra personal touch.
Open 7 days from 10am - 5pm
109 Restalrig Road, Edinburgh, EH6 7NY Tel:0131 553 7676
Museum of Childhood
Described as the noisiest museum in the world, the Museum of Childhood is a favourite with adults and kids alike. It is a treasure house crammed full of objects telling of childhood past and present. The museum opened in 1955 and was the first museum in the world to specialise in the history of childhood. There are toys and games of all kinds from many parts of the world ranging from dolls and teddy bears to train sets and tricycles. Listen to the children chanting multiplication tables in the 1930s schoolroom. Watch the street games of Edinburgh children of the 1950s, and find out how children have been brought up, dressed and educated in decades gone by.
Price: Free Entry
Open Mondays to Saturdays, 10am to 5pm
Address: 42 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1TG
Tel: 0131 529 4142
Butterfly and Insect World
Visit EdinburghButterfly and Insect World and enter the tropical rainforest paradise to discover the Tropical Rainstorm Experience & what a tropical rainstorm is like 1st hand, as well as Fish Feeding and Animal Handling. Join the experts and get the chance to handle tarantulas, snakes and millipedes, PLUS many other fascinating daily occurrences such as: Leaf Cutter Ant Parade, Glowing Scorpion Display, Working Honey Bee Hives (Seasonal), Beady Eyed Iguana, Tropical Gardens. As well as seeing all of these incredible creatures and having an unforgettable time, you’ll also be helping to support the conservation of threatened species and habitats throughout the world.
Address: Dobbies Garden centre, Melville Nursery, Lasswade, EH18 1AZ
Phone: 0131 663 4932
Edinburgh Castle, the most famous of Scotland’s castles, includes a new Prisons of War exhibition, St. Margaret’s Chapel, the Great Hall, Mons Meg, the One O’clock Gun, the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish crown jewels) and the Stone of Destiny, as well as a wealth of treasures!
Address: Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG
0131 225 9846
Gorgie City Farm
Established in the late 1970’s and opened officially in 1982, Gorgie City Farm is known by several generations of visitors. The farm, with its animals and gardens, has always been considered as a place to visit, relax and see what is new, and of course with no admission charge, people can call in for short visits, to have lunch, or just to take some fresh air even on the most dismal winter’s day. They are proud that the farm is welcoming and all inclusive, open to all, and has something for everyone, whatever their background or abilities. It is also surprising to many people to find the wide range of services and activities that can be found in such a small place.
Address: 51 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2LA
Phone: 0131 337 4202
Scottish Seabird Centre
In a stunning location overlooking the sea and sandy beaches in North Berwick, you’ll enjoy a great day out at the < a href="http://www.seabird.org">Scottish Seabird Centre. With its exciting Discovery Centre and amazing live cameras, Gift Shop and Cafe and open decking over the sea it is only half an hour from Edinburgh and it is open all year. There are also known to be regular dolphin sightings all year and even otters have been spotted close to the Centre itself.
Address: The Harbour, North Berwick, EH39 4SS
Phone: 01620 890 202
Royal Botanic Garden
Refresh your senses and explore the riches of the green kingdom at one of the world’s finest botanic gardens, The Royal Botanic Gardens. A beautiful park in the centre of Edinburgh visitors can journey through warmer climes in one of the 10 Glasshouses or discover any one of the other features including the Woodland Garden or exhibitions including the Rhododendron Collection. Once you’ve discovered all the garden offers you can also pay the café a visit for some refreshments. At Botanic Gardens there is definitely something for everyone!
Address: 20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR
Tel:0131 552 7171.
Murrayfield Ice Rink
A visit to the Murrayfield Ice Rink is a great leisure activity for all ages. Keep fit and learn at your own pace with a variety of sessions to meet all levels of ability. These include learn to Skate sessions with free tuition from the resident qualified coaches.
Address: Riversdale Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 5XN
Telephone: 0131 337 6933
National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland is a landmark building in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. As well as telling you the story of Scotland, including the land, people and culture, the collections give an overview of life and the universe. With plenty to do and see for adult and child alike the museum is a great place to spend a rainy day with the children entry is free. Some exhibits are millions of years old, others less than a decade.
Address: Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
Tel: 0131 225 7534
Price: Free Entry
Midlothian Snowsports Centre
Set into the hillside of the stunning Pentland Hills Regional Park, Midlothian Snowsports Centre offers all the fun and adrenaline you’d expect from Britain’s biggest artificial slope! The 2 main slopes, 2 nursery slopes, jump slope and range of freestyle features mean they’ve got something to satisfy every level of ability and because the slopes are artificial you can enjoy the snow sports all year round.
Address: Hillend, Biggar Road, Edinburgh, EH10 7DU
Tel: 0131 445 4433
Ocean Terminal Softplay
This is the standard softplay area but situated with the Ocean terminal shopping mall so you can combine a little retail therapy whilst the kids are happy.
Address: 2nd Floor, Ocean Terminal, Ocean Drive, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ
Tel: 0131 475 9400
As you can see, there’s lots to do in Edinburgh for all the family, so if you’re planning a weekend away here, don’t worry about your kids being happy as there is plenty to get involved in!