10 Things to Do in Edinburgh with Kids (2019)

Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city. It is divided into two distinct areas: the old town and the new town. The old town is characterized by narrow streets and tall buildings reminiscent of the medieval period. The new town, on the other hand, is distinguishable for its Georgian design, large buildings, parks, and a rather open ambience. If you are in Edinburgh as a tourist, an expat, or a local, you have access to various activities which will make each day a most adventurous one. The city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means that history and culture enthusiasts will undoubtedly find Edinburgh a highly entertaining place. If you are a mother on the hunt for activities to do with the children, Edinburgh will not disappoint you.

Get ready to be amazed at how Edinburgh is a great destination  for your little ones. Check out our top 10 things to do in Edinburgh with the kids.

Table of Content

1. Play Wizards for a Day at the Potter Trail

Cost: Free

Play Wizards for a Day at the Potter Trail

The brilliant mind behind this internationally acclaimed literary piece, J. K. Rowling, wrote the popular and well-loved book in Edinburgh. If any of your kids is a Harry Potter fanatic, Edinburgh will prove to be a magical place for their wizard fantasies. At the Potter Trail, kids will get to visit the place where J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books. They can also see the exact locations which inspired the actual scenes in the novels. We assure you that any Harry Potter fan will love every second of this tour. Plus, you won’t need to spend anything for this tour since it is free. You can catch the Potter Trail tour every week (it happens 4 to 5 days per week, depending on the season).

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2. Unleash your Kids’ Creativity at Doodles

Cost: $6.5 to $13

Unleash your Kids’ Creativity at Doodles

Kids love to draw, color, and paint. They even use the wall and the floor as their canvass, don’t they? And we can’t blame them, because we, as adults, are also very much drawn to art and creating our masterpieces. Also, art has its therapeutic benefits as proven by various studies. Anyway, what we are trying to tell you is to take your whole family to Doodles, which is Edinburgh’s very first “do it yourself” ceramic painting workshop. Located at 27-29 Marchmont Cres in Edinburgh, Doodles allows kids (and kids at heart like yourself) to channel their creativity into painting ceramic pieces, i.e. mugs, bowls, plates, pottery items, and egg cups. You will be presented with more than 80 underglaze colors, so you can craft an artwork you will be proud of showing to your friends or displaying at the house. Kids and adults will definitely enjoy this ceramic painting experience at Doodles.

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3. Enter the Edinburgh Castle

Cost: $15 to $25.6

Enter the Edinburgh Castle

Probably the most popular activity recommendation for families in Edinburgh is visiting the famous Edinburgh Castle in the old town. This castle is easily noticeable on the city’s skyline because of its towering position atop the ancient volcanic precipice. The Edinburgh Castle will make your kids amused and entertained as they answer the Explorer Quiz, which you can get from the audio tour counter or the castle’s website. The Explorer Quiz is something which your kids can enjoy as it includes questions about the parts and trivia about the Edinburgh Castle. Before the tour ends, your kids will not stop talking about the Scottish crown jewels, the weapons, and the medieval cannon, Mons Meg, that they were able to have a close-up view. The castle is also the best place to absorb the beauty of the entire city, since it gives the most stunning views of Edinburgh.

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4. Play Doctors for a Day at the Wohl Pathology Museum

Cost: $5 to $9.8

Play Doctors for a Day at the Wohl Pathology Museum

When you ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, they are most likely to exclaim “I want to be a doctor!” For some kids, becoming a doctor is an ultimate dream. If your kid wishes to be a medical doctor someday, you should definitely head out to the Wohl Pathology Museum. This museum has one of the world’s largest collections of pathological specimens. In here, the kids can have a fascinating experience of learning about what can go wrong inside the human body, such as birth defects and fractured bones. As you tour around the museum, you can teach your kids the importance of taking care of their bodies, too. The Wohl Pathology Museum is open daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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5. Find Nemo and Dory at the Deep Sea World

Cost: $14 to $20

Find Nemo and Dory at the Deep Sea World

At the Deep Sea World, kids can enjoy their very own finding Nemo or finding Dory adventure. Located at the Forthside Terrace in North Queensferry, the Deep Sea World is an underwater paradise which boasts of the biggest underwater tunnel in the entire United Kingdom. This magical place for kids and adults is home to a massive collection of marine creatures, like sharks, starfish, seals, piranhas, and other lovely water animals. Going to the Deep Sea World is both an educational and fun-filled treat to give your kids while in Edinburgh. What are you waiting for? Get your tickets now!

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6. Fascinate the Kids at Dynamic Earth

Cost: $15.7 to $18.3

Fascinate the Kids at Dynamic Earth

The universe is filled with fascinating things we love to watch and learn about. For once in our lives, we have probably dreamed of becoming astronauts to get a closer look at our planet, the solar system, and the galaxies. As crazy as it sounds, we have also dreamed of encountering aliens. The truth is, our kids share the same fantasies. At Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth, kids will be able to witness some of the most mesmerizing phenomena on the planet, like the Aurora Borealis and the Big Bang. The Dynamic Earth, shaped like a spaceship, is home to numerous interactive and educational exhibits which will tell amusing stories about the Earth. The facility boasts of impressive technological features to take the kids into a visually stimulating experience of concepts, such as volcanic eruptions, polar ice, precipitation, and others. The kids are also in for a 4D film adventure, which allows the kids to imagine flying from the Arctic to a tropical rainforest, to an encounter with a shark and a rhino, and to a close-up look at the sting in a scorpion’s tail. Also, the Dynamic Earth houses ShowDome, which is the only 360-degree full dome theater in the entire country. In this theater, the kids are treated for a fully immersive movie experience. So if you want something captivating and educational for your kids, take them to the Dynamic Earth. You can find this building at 112-116 Holyrood Gait in Edinburgh.

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7. Entertain Young Minds at the Museum of Childhood

Cost: Free

Entertain Young Minds at the Museum of Childhood

Most of the time, children would prefer going to an amusement park or an aquarium rather than going to a museum. Well, that’s most of the time. But an exemption is the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, which kids would not want to miss! The Museum of Childhood is designed as the very first museum in the world to cater solely to children. Situated on the Royal Mile, the Museum of Childhood is home to a collection of toys from different periods. Kids will walk down memory lane as they recognize the toys and games they used to play before. The younger kids will get excited to learn about the toys you, their siblings, and other kids have played before. Kids can experience going to the dress-up area, too. They can also see a puppet show in the theater. The Museum of Childhood is open daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and offers free admission.

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8. Learn about Scottish History at the National Museum of Scotland

Cost: Free

Learn about Scottish History at the National Museum of Scotland

Since you come from the Museum of Childhood and the kids were warmed up on what to expect and see in a museum, you might want to extend a visit to the National Museum of Scotland. Located in the Old Town of Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland is another interesting place for the kids and yourself. It is currently listed as one of the world’s most visited museums. At this museum, be prepared to learn about the history of Scotland, science and technology, transportation, world culture, and the natural world through more than 8,000 impressive displays. Plus, the National Museum of Scotland has specific interactive sections for the kiddos. Kids can take a spin on the giant hamster wheel, imagine travelling around the world in the World Cultural Galleries, dig for dinosaur bones, check out the technology of the future, play in the Animal World Gallery, and crawl through the roots of an oak tree. Indeed, every child will have something to amuse them inside this museum. The National Museum of Scotland is open daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It can be found at the Chambers Street in Edinburgh, and offers free admission for everyone.

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9. Stir the Imagination at Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions

Cost: $15.7 to $21

Stir the Imagination at Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions

One activity which you must include in your Edinburgh kiddie itinerary is a trip to Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions. This place is sure to amaze every child and turn their tantrum into happy smiles. Established in 1982, the Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions is the oldest purpose-built attraction in Edinburgh. Up until the present, the six-story building continues to welcome children into a captivating world where they can experience wonderfilled activities. For one, kids can enjoy an excellent view of the entire city from the rooftop. Kids can also attend the camera Obscura show and see live moving images of Edinburgh projected from a giant periscope. During the show, kids can experience to pick people up or make traffic drive. They can also enter the Magic Gallery and be amused at their glowing hands. They can also see themselves multiplied in a giant kaleidoscope. Aside from these, the kids can experience the Illusion Lab, where they can see the Light Fantastic exhibit and the amazing holograms. The Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions is open daily, from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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10. Reminisce the Old Times through a Stroll at the Royal Mile

Cost: Free

Reminisce the Old Times through a Stroll at the Royal Mile

The last activity we listed is a rather relaxing thing to do with the kids. The Royal Mile refers to the street leading from the Edinburgh Castle to the Holyrood Palace. It is essentially the primary thoroughfare through the city. Taking a stroll at the Royal Mile is like having a trip down memory lane, as you will be treated to a display of cobblestones, alleyways, stone buildings, and an old weaving mill. If you take a stroll in the afternoon, you can watch the street performers live. A bonus to this trip is the Heart of Midlothian, which is a small patch on the ground located halfway down the Royal Mile and has a heart pattern made on it. The Heart is actually a site of an old prison, and people used to spit on it to show distaste. Kids can try doing the same as well, all for the sake of experience. Generally, a stroll along the Royal Mile can be your last educational stop with the kiddos before heading home.

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Are you ready for your adventures in Edinburgh with the kids? Tell your friends about the fun experience you had.

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