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Family Friendly Attractions in Edinburgh

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From tripping the light fantastic to the age-old art of storytelling, Edinburgh has a plethora of activities for families and children. It’s a magical city, where you can wend a treasure trail through cobbled streets, or visit the serene habitat of giant pandas. Kids of all ages will never have time to feel bored.


Animal attractions


There are plenty of opportunities to spot birds and animals in sumptuous surroundings when in Edinburgh, whether in the middle of Holyrood Park or out by the sea. But by far the most famous attraction is Edinburgh Zoo.


Edinburgh Zoo


Since taking in giant pandas, the zoo has become one of the most famous in the world. Of course, those huge cuddly bears are far from the only attraction – there are over 1,000 different animals here, and the penguin parade is particularly popular.


134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh EH12 6TS. Tel: +44 131 334 9171


Edinburgh Zoo website


Indoor activities


Whether you take off on a journey of discovery through time and space in one of the museums, or you play with light in the World of Illusions, Edinburgh’s superb indoor attractions will captivate kids, whatever time of year you visit.


Camera Obscura and World of Illusions


A fascinating place for both kids and adults, the camera obscura on the Royal Mile lets you experience unique panoramic views of the city through the periscope. Then you can play with light, exploring mind-bending 3D holograms and seeing your own body glow eerily.


549 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2ND. Tel: +44 131 226 3709


Camera Obscura and World of Illusions website


The Scottish Storytelling Centre


The art of storytelling has never been lost in Scotland, and the Scottish Storytelling Centre is the place for sharing this deeply human craft. There are workshops and live storytelling events throughout the year, with special sessions for parents and tots, and others suitable for any age.


43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR. Tel: +44 131 556 9579


The Scottish Storytelling Centre website


Treasure hunts


Edinburgh is a city full of hidden treasures and lost stories, so what better way to discover its secrets than with a trail through the winding streets? A whole variety of tours, from ghost hunts to literary explorations start from points at the centre of the Royal Mile.


Treasure Trail


Pick up a Treasure Trail pack and take the family off on an adventure through the oldest parts of the city – there are clues for the children to follow and exciting secrets to uncover, as the sights of Edinburgh reveal themselves. You can even download and print the guide in advance.


Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1BP. Tel: +44 1872 263692


Treasure Trail website


Family dining


Eating out as a family is very much part of Edinburgh’s culture, so you’ll find informal eateries all over, from the cobbles of the Old Town to the Leith waterside.


La Favorita


Regarded as one of the best pizzerias in Edinburgh, there’s lots of reasons that La Favorita will live up to its name and become a family favorite. As well as cooking up gourmet Italian fare and bespoke pizzas, there’s a special kids’ menu and great family dining deals. A clown is also a regular visitor on weekends.


325-331 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8SA. Tel: +44 131 554 2430


La Favorita website


Mussel Inn


If you want to give your kids a taste of the local cuisine, rather than standard chain-restaurant fare, Mussel Inn is perfect. It serves the freshest seafood in creative ways, inspiring adventurous tastes. Sauces are made-to-order though, so you can still suit fussier eaters, and all dishes are available as half-portions for smaller appetites.


61-65 Rose Street, Edinburgh EH2 2NH. Tel: +44 843 2892 481


Mussel Inn website