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Top 10 Things To Do In Edinburgh With Kids

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Edinburgh, Scotland's enchanting capital, is a city brimming with charm, history, and countless activities perfect for families. From its iconic castle perched on an ancient volcano to its vibrant streets and serene green spaces, Edinburgh offers a delightful mix of educational and fun-filled experiences for children of all ages. Dive into this comprehensive guide to discover the best things to do in Edinburgh with kids, ensuring an unforgettable family adventure.

1. Explore the Majestic Edinburgh Castle

Perched atop Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is not just an iconic landmark but a gateway to Scotland's turbulent past. Kids will be fascinated by the ancient cannons, the Crown Jewels, and the Stone of Destiny. The castle's captivating history is brought to life through interactive exhibits and costumed guides, making it a must-visit for families. Don't miss the One O'Clock Gun, a tradition that continues to thrill visitors daily.

2. Discover the Wonders of Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth invites families on an interactive journey through time and space to explore the story of our planet. From the Big Bang to the age of dinosaurs and the icy extremes of the polar regions, this attraction makes learning about Earth's history an immersive experience. The 4D encounters and the real iceberg make it an educational adventure that's as entertaining as it is informative.

3. Take a Stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse your family in the tranquility of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. With over 70 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, it's a paradise for nature-loving kids. The Glasshouses are a highlight, transporting visitors from the steamy tropics to arid deserts, all teeming with exotic plants. The garden's educational programs and interactive exhibits make it a verdant oasis of learning and discovery.

4. Experience the Magic of Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

For a mind-bending experience, take your kids to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Located near Edinburgh Castle, this attraction is filled with optical illusions, mirror mazes, and holograms that will amaze and confuse visitors of all ages. The Camera Obscura itself offers a unique view of the city, projecting live images of Edinburgh onto a viewing table through a periscope. It's an experience that combines fun, science, and a touch of magic.

5. Set Sail on a Royal Yacht Britannia Adventure

Step aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former floating residence of the British royal family. Now permanently moored in Edinburgh, this luxurious yacht offers a glimpse into the lives of royalty. Kids will love exploring the engine room, the royal bedrooms, and the gleaming state apartments. The audio guide, tailored for children, makes the experience both engaging and educational.

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6. Uncover the Secrets of The Real Mary King's Close

Take a step back in time with a visit to The Real Mary King's Close, an underground warren of hidden streets beneath the Royal Mile. This guided tour reveals the true stories of the people who lived, worked, and played here hundreds of years ago. The combination of history, mystery, and slightly spooky tales makes it an enthralling experience for older kids and teenagers.

7. Enjoy the Outdoors at Holyrood Park

Holyrood Park, with its dramatic crags and tranquil lochs, offers a slice of the Scottish wilderness in the heart of the city. Families can enjoy leisurely walks, challenging hikes up Arthur's Seat for panoramic views, or picnics by St Margaret's Loch. The park's diverse landscape provides a natural playground for children to explore and burn off energy.

8. Get Hands-On at the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland is not only free to enter but also packed with fascinating exhibits that cater to curious minds. From the wonders of nature and science to the story of Scotland and the marvels of the ancient world, there's something to capture the imagination of every child. The museum's interactive galleries, especially the Imagine gallery, are designed with kids in mind, making learning fun and engaging.

9. Take a Literary Journey at The Writers' Museum

For families with budding bookworms, The Writers' Museum is a hidden gem. Celebrating the lives and works of Scotland's greatest writers, such as Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson, the museum offers a glimpse into their worlds. Although it might appeal more to older children, the museum's interactive storytelling sessions can captivate younger visitors.

10. Enjoy Family-friendly Festivals

Edinburgh is renowned for its festivals, and many are surprisingly family-friendly. The Edinburgh International Children's Festival presents a program packed with theatre, dance, and storytelling tailored for young audiences. Meanwhile, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's largest arts festival, offers countless shows suitable for families, from comedy and circus acts to puppetry and interactive performances.

11. Delight in Edinburgh's Culinary Scene

Edinburgh's culinary scene is as diverse as it is delicious, with plenty of options for families. From cosy cafes offering child-friendly menus to restaurants serving traditional Scottish fare, there's something to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Don't forget to treat the kids to some authentic Scottish shortbread or a scoop of locally made ice cream as you explore the city.

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