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Family activities

Family activities in Glasgow

Family activities in Glasgow

Glasgow is a family-friendly city with top attractions and activities. Check out our list of just some of the experiences to keep the whole family entertained.

Attractions for all the family

2 children look at a couple of vases behind a glass unit in a museum.

A must-visit for all the family is The Burrell Collection and Pollok Country Park in the city's southside. The museum, which was named Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023, has lots of hands-on and interactive displays bringing the stories behind the exhibits to life. Pollok Country Park is home to a playpark, fairy garden, mini maze, woodland walks and a herd of Highland Cows. Visit burrellcollection.com to plan a day out.

Set on the banks of the River Clyde, the Glasgow Science Centre will be a hit with the little ones (and the big ones!) with amazing displays on life, science and the universe. You could spend the whole day at the centre, which includes a planetarium, Imax cinema, Newton Flight Academy, where you can pilot simulators, and a cafe. Visit glasgowsciencecentre.org to book tickets.

The interior of the Riverside Museum. A Victorian cobbled street with shops, lampposts and cars.

Across the River Clyde is not 1 but 2 free-to-visit attractions. The Riverside Museum houses the city's transport collection, with through-the-ages displays of bikes, trains, buses and cars, as well as a recreated old Glasgow street. For an adventure on the water visit the Clyde-built Tall Ship, berthed beside the Riverside Museum. Visit The Tall Ship's website and visit glasgowlife.org.uk for info.

A lego figure wearing a medal is in focus in front of the blurry Kelvin Hall building.

In the west end is one of Scotland's most popular visitor attractions Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. From animals to Ancient Egypt to the expressions of the Floating Heads installation, there are displays that will appeal to all the family. Across the road is the Kelvin Hall, which has a gymnasium, climbing, soft play (more on these further down), cafe and Lego trail around the building. Find out about exhibitions at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum at glasgowlife.org.uk and visit kelvinhall.org.uk for details on this multi-purpose venue.

Unusual attractions

  • For something completely different, visit the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre at Trongate 103. Tiny figures hand-crafted from metal perform to haunting music. Find out showtimes at sharmanka.com.
  • Head to the Glasgow Police Museum to hear stories of the crimes and characters that the UK's first ever police force dealt with over the years. Visit policemuseum.org.uk.
  • The Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow has collections of dinosaur bones and fossils. While visiting, check out the university campus, said to be the inspiration behind Hogwarts. Visit gla.ac.uk/hunterian.

Water-based adventures

A young person on a wakeboard holds onto a cable that is being towed. The water from the canal sprays behind the wakeboard.

The north of the city is known as an urban playground along the Forth and Clyde Canal. Pinkston Watersports, Glasgow Wake Park and Outdoor Pursuits all offer a range of experiences on the water for all ages. For everything including kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, wakeboarding and river tubing, check out pinkston.co.uk, visit glasgowwakepark.com and go to Outdoor Pursuits website.

Fun on bikes and boards

A skateboarder goes down a ramp within an indoor skate park that includes rails, ramps and a yellow sign that reads "Play Port".

The Loading Bay is a brilliant facility for skateboarding, BMXing and scootering. Based in the north of the city, the custom-build plaza has great surfaces and shapes for trying out moves. Visit theloadingbayglasgow.com.

Cycling enthusiasts of every level are well catered for with facilities like Free Wheel North Cycle Centre. Kids can have fun on trikes, tandems and go-karts. Visit freewheelnorth.org.uk to book. For those with their own wheels, head to Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails for some cycling with beautiful city views.

For wheelie-good fun for all the family, book a session at Roller Stop roller-skating rink. And for boards without wheels, visit Glasgow Ski and Snowboard Centre in Bellahouston Park for snowboarding and skiing. (check out their range of activities online).

Climbing for all ages

An adult, wearing ropes, scales an unusual and colourful climbing wall.

Clip 'n Climb at Kelvin Hall is a fun and thrilling climbing experience for all abilities. Only those brave enough should try the 'Leap of Faith'! Those 12 and under can also enjoy the Circus in the Park themed soft play. Visit kelvinhall.org.uk to book.

The Newsroom in the southside and Prop Store in west end are both brilliant places for kids who love to scale heights. The climbing centres both have dedicated children's areas, plus nice cafes for the all the family. Visit theclimbingacademy.com.

Tours and trails for all the family

Hand Shadow Puppets Mural showing a rabbit and a bird shaped hand shadow.

You can't go far in Glasgow without spotting colourful and quirky street art. From floating taxis to panda bears, enjoy choosing your favourite city mural - visit our City Centre Mural Trail page for a map and details.

The open-topped City Sightseeing Bus Tour is a great way to take in top attractions in the fresh air (book via citysightseeingglasgow.co.uk). While Go Quest Adventures is good fun for all the family, as it turns a walk around the city into a treasure hunt (book via goquestadventures.com). For details on a whole range of city tours visit our tours in Glasgow page.

Outdoor time at city parks

Two Highland calves stand in a grassy field looking towards the camera. They both have the traditional ginger fur of Highland cows.

Glasgow has plenty of options for getting outdoor time in green spaces with over 90 parks and gardens. Enjoy a woodland walk at Cathkin Braes, adventure play at Glasgow Green, the skatepark at Kelvingrove Park, children’s farm at Tollcross Park or the Highland cows and mini maze at Pollok Country Park. Visit our parks and gardens page for more information.

A hidden gem at Pollok Country Park is Dumbreck Outdoor Playbarn. The former horses' hay barn is now a sensory play zone, ideal for preschoolers. Visit outdoorplaybarn.co.uk for more details.

Family shopping and entertainment

The city's shopping malls are great for family shopping, eating and entertainment. The St. Enoch Centre is home to Vue Cinema, Boom Battle Bar, where you can do the likes of ping pong and mini-golf, and the UK’s first Level X, where you can take part in gutterball, arcade games and virtual reality zones. Book an activity at boombattlebar.com and book via levelx.co.uk.

For a more intimate cinema experience, try a family-friendly movie at the Glasgow Film Theatre - check out their film schedule online. Or visit Princes Square for the boutique Everyman Cinema, where you can get sundaes and milkshades delivered to your seat. Visit everymancinema.com.

Article last updated: February 2024

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