Perfect for: Inspiring kids to explore art in a beautiful landscape
Engage your children with an up close and personal experience of sculpture at its very best. Jupiter Artland is a wonderfully immersive day out with children. Climb up the sculpted land-art by Charles Jenks. Step into an Andy Goldsworthy or view sky and countryside through an Anthony Gormley structure. This is a day out to uncover and explore the garden, woodland and pond, discovering sculpture as you go. The many, inventive pieces are creatively set within the landscape. It’s also worth checking out Jupiter Artland’s interactive workshops. Oh and the Silver Bullet caravan has an excellent selection of snacks and lunches for all.
Perfect for: Curious kids who love a fresh air adventure
Make a little more out of a family walk to create the best day out with kids. Turn it into a spy mission, treasure hunt or even a murder mystery. Treasure Trails are a UK-wide network of walks with a twist that appeal to all ages. There are nine trails across Edinburgh & Lothian which could see you and the kids hunt treasure in the Old Town or track down spies in the New Town. We love the Greyfriars Trail – “Rumour has it that John Gray, master of Edinburgh’s legendary Greyfriars Bobby, was buried with a map to a hidden treasure hoard – which is why Bobby stood over his grave so faithfully! The map has finally been recovered and we need your help to find the loot! Can you solve the sneaky Clues?”.
Perfect for: Boat lovers and mini explorers
Take to the sea with the family and set sail for a very special island in the Firth of Forth with a picnic in hand. Inchcolm is the prettiest of the Forth’s islands and is home to the beautiful Inchcolm abbey originally a priory founded by David I. As well as its history the island is also famous for it seals and lots of other wildlife. Inchcolm also houses coastal defences put in place during the two world wars to protect Rosyth naval base, the Forth bridge and Edinburgh itself. The boat journey on the Maid of the Forth is a marvellous way to see the beauty of the Forth alone however paying to go aboard the island is a magical treat for all ages. Historic Scotland’s fact finding quiz can add an educational element too.
Fort Douglas at Dalkeith Country Park
Perfect for: Adventurers big and small
A day out in Dalkeith Country Park holds many options. Take in the views of Dalkeith Palace, explore the woodland to spot deer and other wildlife, pick up a lunch or some treats in Restoration Yard and enjoy the green space. For many Edinburgh and Lothians parents though, Dalkeith Country Park has become synonymous with adventure play since their own childhoods.
Well, the old adventure playground may be gone but the new Fort Douglas Adventure Playground was created in 2016 to emulate its predecessor. Fort Douglas’ houses magical turreted treehouses, suspension bridges, slides, zip lines, climbing walls and secret tunnels. Sky Maze, for ages five plus, is designed for parents to enjoy the fun too. While the new Mini Maze is a new pre-school play area for littler ones to begin explorative adventures, safely.
Perfect for: Family picnics and little climbers
Let’s be clear this ancient volcano is still a bit of a climb for kids but it is doable for three plus years and well worth the effort. The magnificent views across Edinburgh and out to the Firth of Forth make it so.
From the car park next to Holyrood Palace, there is a red path to the left goes which goes to Arthur’s Seat on a gradual ascent. On the left you’ll see St. Margaret’s Loch, with swans and other birds on the water. As you climb, kids see the ruins of St. Anthony’s Well and Chapel as well as lots of wildflowers along the way. The last section of the trail up to the top of is red volcanic, and rocky. At the top enjoy 360 degree views in all directions so the experience is spectacular, however, it’s not the best place for a picnic. Head back down to the grassy flat of Crow Hill for your picnic.