Activities: 5 New Things to Try in Edinburgh with Kids

Activities: 5 New Things to Try in Edinburgh with Kids

It’s often difficult to find things to do with the kids in bad weather in Edinburgh. The museum is wonderful, swimming definitely has it’s merits, and soft play… it has it’s moments. So with cold weather and not a lot of daylight, I thought I’d share a few ideas of things you could try the January in Edinburgh with Kids.

If you’re not from here there may well be comparable activities in your area too so hopefully this will give you some inspiration – and then Google is your friend!


Parent’s Belaying Course

Clip n’ Climb is hugely popular with kids out at Ratho – but it can be hard to book up so takes advanced planning. Last year, my then 4 year-old was really keen to climb so I signed up to the Alien Rock belaying course.

Designed around those parents who like to keep their feet on the ground and would still like to be fully involved in supervising their kids while they enjoy the thrill of climbing indoors.

For the purpose of this course each adult attending can bring along up to 2 children.

During this time you will cover the following :

  • how to belay your child (controlling the rope).
  • tying the basic knot for your child (the “figure of eight”).
  • how to understand the grading system (of the climbing “routes “).
  • how to put on both you and your child’s harnesses correctly.
  • lots of climbing for your child while you remain firmly on the ground !

Each course lasts two hours.

Cost for the course is £50 per parent.

As I had climbed quite extensively before, they were happy to give me a one hour refresher course – at a reduced price so do ask if you’re in the same boat. We now climb regularly and there’s no need to book! We avoid the times when the kid’s clubs are on and although there are sometimes birthday parties – it really works well for us!


The Botanics Glass Houses

Whilst it can be fun to explore the Botanics, in wet weather it’s no so great. Which is where the glass houses come in. They actually cover a huge area and contain a massive maze of paths through a number of different houses of varying temperature. My Mum actually suggested I just spend every day there on maternity leave to save on my heating bills – but for some reason I didn’t go with her idea.

A post shared by Laura (@edinburghwithkids) on It’s not a place the kids can be left to explore – there’s deep water pools with MASSIVE fish – but it’s really fun to play jungle exploring together. There’s actually an aquarium off on of the houses that’s been closed every time I’ve visited – but I live in hope of it being open. I can remember visiting Kew Gardens in London and loving the fish there as a kid.

Entry is free for children and tickets for adults are £5.85. Obviously this can add up if you visit often but couples membership is actually really reasonable at £45 for the year. As entry is free to the gardens and it’s a resource that we use often, I also don’t mind supporting it this way anyway!


Junior Parkrun

Ok – so admittedly this one is outdoors but having run this in -6 with my kids, it’s doable. 2K round Inverleith Park or the Meadows and then it’s time for a hot chocolate. The Botanics is always a good bet, or for Meadows runners there’s a whole myriad of places to choose from. My personal favourite has to be Peter’s Yard – now called Söderberg – but there’s loads of fab choices.

We love Parkrun for a number of reasons – it’s a great way to introduce kids to the habit of exercise, there’s a brilliant sense of achievement in finishing or reaching targets, but more than anything else the community is fantastic. Volunteers cheer the kids on throughout the course and there’s always lots of people clapping at the end. I’ve run the adult one on and off for years and have always been impressed by the spirit there so it’s lovely to be involved at the junior level with the kids.


Kid’s Cinema at the Odeon Luxe

Last November, we were lucky enough to attend the opening of the Odeon Luxe cinema in Westerhailes. I’m not usually one to notice picture clarity and sound, but I was honestly blown away. The picture was so clear and vivid that the film really did just come to life.

A post shared by ODEON Cinemas 🎬 (@odeoncinemas) on <<<< st kid’s films aren’t exactly my favourite, the kids enjoy them and the seats are so comfortable at the Luxe – you could always opt to just relax! There’s a Costa at the cinema so kick back and chill with a coffee.

Tickets for the kid’s viewings start from £2.50 and there’s quite a bit choice of films on.


Try a new Pizza Place

We’re incredibly guilty of just eating at the same places over and over again. Although that does mean we’re guaranteed to have a meal we like, I’m well aware there are some lovely gems in Edinburgh.

Pizza is a ‘safe’ food for most kids, especially as many places can cater for dietary requirements (dairy/gluten free) but why not try somewhere different. Even a different Pizza Express location could be a welcome change?

My personal Edinburgh favourite is Mama’s Pizzeria on the Grassmarket. I love being able to just build my own pizza – parma ham, asparagus and blue cheese anyone? But I’ve never taken the kids there – not once! I used to live within walking distance but have somehow just written it off as being too difficult for parking. I don’t know why I haven’t just concluded that I could park near by and walk. I guess I just pictured not being able to park outside!

Civerinos at Hunter Square is another great option or if you’re not a Pizza Fan – Bell’s Diner in Stockbridge does AMAZING burgers.


What are your plans this month? Any top tips of things to do with the kids?< img src=”http://www.edinburghwithkids.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Sign-Up-Banner-2.jpg” class=”size-full wp-image-6301″ alt=””>< !– Begin MailChimp Signup Form –><

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