Family fun can happen anywhere. You can find adventure at home, in your community, and even when you travel.
We’re going to be highlighting some ideas for family adventure all over the globe, starting with family fun in Edinburgh, Scotland.
MaryAnne from the awesome blog Mama Smiles – Joyful Parenting recently spent some time there with her family and she’s here sharing some fun ideas with us.
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Let’s travel to Edinburgh, Scotland!
This summer, my husband and I took our four kids to Scotland for the summer. For four weeks!
It was our second time making the trip (DH takes students over to study), and I wasn’t sure how it would go. The kids had loved Edinburgh at 3, 6, 8, and 10 years old. What would they think of the city at 5, 8, 10, and 12 years old? We’d already spend four weeks there; would they want to revisit the same sites again? Would they be open to exploring new places?
I needn’t have worried. Edinburgh is an incredible place for families to travel. Our four weeks in 2016 flew by, and the same was even more true of our four weeks in 2018.
Family Fun in Edinburgh
As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is full of exciting things to do. From the free museums my children adore to two castles (the well-known Edinburgh Castle and lesser-known but not-to-be-missed Craigmillar Castle) and a palace, the city is bustling with exciting things to do. You can even tour the Scottish Parliament! There is usually a bagpiper playing along the Royal Mile, along with other street performers. This summer the kids also enjoyed a sand artist who was there every time we visited.
We always stay near the Meadows, a free public park with lovely expanses of green grass and two fun playgrounds the kids love. Hike to the top of the nearby Arthur’s Seat for stunning views of the entire city.
Travel to the edges of the city for sandy Portobello beach and sightings of Highland Coos.
The city is surprisingly compact; you can walk to many sites (a large number are found along the Royal Mile). We always take Edinburgh public transport – even to out of the way sites. My kids enjoy seeing how many people they can wave to and convince to wave back when we ride the buses.
Tips for Visiting Edinburgh with Kids
Edinburgh is one of those cities where you can experience all four seasons in a single day. You’ll definitely want to pack layers, including some that can handle being out in the rain. This summer it only rained twice, which is highly unusual. Two years ago we had only one day when it didn’t rain!
We brought a collapsible backpack along this year, which proved really useful for carrying extra layers when the sun suddenly decided to show up. The buses are not air conditioned, which can be uncomfortable on those rare occasions (like this past summer) when the weather is warm.
If you have the time, don’t be afraid to venture to cities outside of Edinburgh! Trains to Glasgow run frequently, and there are affordable buses to cities throughout Scotland. We took the train down to London this past summer, and the kids enjoyed the five-hour journey.
Thanks MaryAnne for all these fabulous tips for family fun in Edinburgh!
More tips for traveling with kids from Mama Smiles
MaryAnne lives in California with her husband Mike and their four kids: Emma, Johnny, Lily, and Anna. She blogs about parenting, education, crafts, and family travel at https://www.mamasmiles.com/. Follow her family’s daily adventures on Instagram. Find book recommendations at Great Family Reads, and toy recommendations at Top Toy Finds.
If you enjoyed these ideas for family fun in Edinburgh, the above photo is perfect for saving on Pinterest.