5 exciting things to do in Glasgow with kids!

Introducing guest blogger Graham from My Voyages Scotland

Glasgow is home to remarkable riverside attractions and gorgeous architecture pieces designed by famous Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. And while a Glasgow trip promises some of the most beautiful cityscapes in Scotland, let’s be fair, the interests of kids may be a little different from yours.

Well, if you are trying to make a kid-friendly travel plan for your next trip to this city, then let us introduce you to the top 5 fun things to do in the city of Glasgow with your kids!

This post is part of our Explore My City series – come and visit cities around the world through the eyes of locals


Kids’ Things To Do In Glasgow

1. Make an educational visit to Glasgow Science Centre

Is science boring for kids? For most, it probably is. But at a young age, education is oh so important!

Well, Glasgow Science Centre provides an opportunity to learn about the world in an interesting, interactive fashion.

Glasgow Science Centre

Glasgow Science Centre is an entire campus filled with gorgeous exhibits from a plethora of fields. Most remarkably, Glasgow Science Centre is home to:

  • An IMAX cinema (the first IMAX cinema in Scotland, in fact).
  • A planetarium that projects images of the night sky onto a 15-meter dome. Not only that, but the planetarium allows you to enjoy immersive full-dome films.
  • The Big Explorer site designed specifically for kids. The Big Explorer has a soft play area dedicated to children under 18 months, as well as fun toys and activities for older kids like a mini cargo crane.
  • The Glasgow Tower, a freestanding tower that is capable of rotating 360 degrees. This is the tallest structure of its kind in the entire world!

Glasgow Science Centre’s building looks a bit funky by itself as well, which may provide your kids with one more reason to pay a visit to this tourist attraction.

2. Test out your athletic skills at Glasgow Climbing Centre

Glasgow Climbing Centre isn’t the most suitable activity for very young kids – the minimum age here is 4 years, but this will depend on the activity. However, it’s definitely worth a visit!

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There are no skill caps to participate in climbing in Glasgow Climbing Centre – for those kids who’ve never climbed before, there are climbing lessons available. Not only that, but there is also an activity called Family Climbing Session that allows mixed aged groups to participate, with the minimum kids’ age as low as 4.

Glasgow Climbing Centre also offers birthday party opportunities for kids 7 and up. The birthday party service at the climbing centre allows you to gather up to 42 participants, as well as solve the food and menu questions through Glasgow Climbing Centre!

If you are also up to climbing, then you will be glad to hear that there is an adult climbing section available. Whether you are a complete newbie or an experienced climber, you will find a thing or two to do in Glasgow Climbing Centre. And for the most dedicated climbers, Glasgow Climbing Centre even holds climbing competitions!

3. Have a fun day paddling at Pinkston Watersports

The only artificial flatwater basin and whitewater course in Scotland, Pinkston Watersports is another great place to pay a visit to, especially if you or/and your kids are into paddling.

To be fair, Pinkston Watersports is more geared towards adults – whitewater paddling, for example, is a dangerous activity unsuitable for kids.

However, Pinkston Watersports does offer opportunities for kids’ parties involving 1-hour fully supervised sessions on the water along with 1-hour use of one of the facility’s classrooms for games or food. Since at least 6 participants are required, the kids’ party service is more aimed at birthday parties or perhaps larger families.

4. Take a Day Trip

Glasgow is perfectly situated in the central belt, an hour’s drive away from Perthshire villages like Pitlochry and Aberfeldy in the North, and the small seaside towns of Troon and Largs to the west in Ayrshire.

There are plenty of fun-filled activities for kids an hour’s drive away from Glasgow.

Troon has an excellent beach (for when the sun actually decides to shine) along with Pirate Petes and Kidz Indoor Play Centre.

Largs is home to Nardini’s, an excellent ice-cream parlour, and hosts the annual Viking Festival – complete with Kid’s Circus, Owl Magic, Craft Fayre and Fun Fair.

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Pitlochry is an excellent spot for adventure. There is a heap of gentle, child-friendly walks in the area. Check them out at Walkhighlands.

Aberfeldy is packed full of excitement with white water rafting for slightly older kids and The Highland Safari Park, where kids can meet a whole host of Scottish animals in their natural habitat. Aberfeldy is also home to the Scottish crannog centre. Here more inquisitive children can soak up knowledge of historic Scottish settlements.

5. Explore the Tall Ship

Quite a unique site to explore is the Tall Ship or, to be more precise, Glenlee, a steel-hulled three-masted ship built in 1896. Having served as a cargo ship and a sail training ship for the Spanish Navy, Glenlee now is a museum ship at the Riverside Museum.

The range of activities one could participate in aboard the Tall Ship goes from simple exploration to vast birthday parties with up to 150 people for dining or up to 200 people for a reception. And while hiring the ship for a birthday party isn’t a budget-friendly pleasure, it has the potential to make your and your kids’ day in Glasgow unforgettable!

The Tall Ship also hosts maritime-themed events throughout the year, most of them kid-friendly.

If you happen to be planning a trip to Riverside Museum, then be sure to hop on board of the Tall Ship as well. Even though Riverside Museum is one of the most gorgeous and engaging museums to visit in Glasgow, it may not be of the greatest interest to your kids. Well, a tour through the Tall Ship may be able to spice up your children’s day a little!

Eat out at family-friendly Glasgow restaurants

Partaking of local foods is a major part of any tourist trip, perhaps even more so for kids. Well, to your (and your kids’) delight, Glasgow is rich in family-friendly restaurants!

While we encourage that you do a little bit of your own research to find a suitable family-friendly restaurant for your needs, we will bring a few notable examples to consider. Among the things to pay attention to in a restaurant are the availability of kid-friendly menus, as well as maybe play areas dedicated to children.

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One of the more popular family eating destinations in Glasgow is the Hard Rock Café on Buchanan Street offering seasonal kids’ events and a kid-friendly menu.

Another notable destination is Darcy’s. Not only does this location feature a kids’ menu, but it also offers a number of fun activities for children to engage in, including face painting on the last Sunday of every month, puzzles, and games. Everybody leaves Darcy’s with a balloon as well!

If your children (and you) love pancakes, then consider Stack & Still. This establishment boasts nearly 12 million unique combinations of pancakes available – Stack & Still claims that this makes for a different daily plate of pancakes for more than 35,000 years!

Glasgow from Queen’s Park.

About the blogger

Over the past 25+ years, Graham has travelled the length and breadth of the country on camping overnighters, hillwalking adventures, road trips and random getaways. During this time he has accumulated an intimate knowledge of Scotland.

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With thanks to Graham for his contribution to our guest series.  You may also like to learn more about York with Kids, or how about the Isle of Man?


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Glasgow with kids

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