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.
Fun-filled attractions in Glasgow
Attractions by the river
Step aboard The Tall Ship on the River Clyde and have an adventure on the water in this Clyde-built ship. Follow The Tall Ship on Twitter for updates. The Tall Ship is berthed beside the Riverside Museum, where you can enjoy through-the-ages displays of bikes, trains, buses and cars. Find out more about the Riverside Museum at Glasgow Life's website and be sure to take a walk down the recreated old Glasgow street (era 1895-1930) and feel like you've been transported back in time.
On the opposite side of the River Clyde is Glasgow Science Centre. The little ones (and the big ones!) will be wowed by the amazing displays and exhibits on life, science and the universe. Visit glasgowsciencecentre.org to book tickets in advance and make time to explore the cosmos at their planetarium.
Museum collections that will interest the kids
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has great displays for all the family, including animals, Ancient Egypt and the Floating Heads installation, where you can have fun recreating the facial expressions! There are plenty of displays to explore at the Gallery of Modern Art, as well as a 'create space' where kids can make their own artwork. Visit Glasgow Life's museum pages for details.
The Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow has collections of fossils, dinosaur bones and a 330 million-year-old shark that was found in Bearsden in the north of the city! While at The Hunterian be sure to check out the university campus, said to be the inspiration behind Hogwarts! Visit gla.ac.uk/hunterian for opening hours.
Find out about the crimes and characters that impacted Britain's first-ever police force at the Glasgow Police Museum. Visit policemuseum.org.uk for more information on this hidden gem of an attraction that is staffed by volunteer ex-police officers. For something completely different, visit the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre at Trongate 103 and watch sculptured pieces of scrap metal and tiny carved figures come alive with haunting music. Find out showtimes at sharmanka.com.
Credit: Play Port
Credit: Play Port
Three sports attractions have teamed up to create an urban playground along the Forth and Clyde Canal. Pinkston Watersports, Glasgow Wake Park and The Loading Bay Skatepark have joined forces to create Play Port, offering a brilliant range of experiences for all ages. There is something for everyone including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, skateboarding, BMXing and wakeboarding. Visit the Play Port website to find the right adventure for you.
Credit: Free Wheel North
Cycling enthusiasts of every level are well catered for with facilities like Free Wheel North Cycle Centre where kids can have fun on trikes, tandems and go-karts - bookings can be made at freewheelnorth.org.uk. For those with their own wheels, head to Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails for some cycling with beautiful city views.
For electric power over pedal power, visit the indoor electric bike arena, iMotoX, at Linn Park. The 48,000 sq ft dirt park has three tracks; one to suit small kids, one for learners and a challenging track with jumps for the more experienced. Visit i-motox.com for details on booking.
Adventures of all kinds
Take to the slopes at Glasgow Ski and Snowboard Centre (check out their range of activities online) or jump around at kids’ favourite, Flip Out adventure and trampoline park (book via the Flip Out website). For wheelie-good fun for all the family, book a session online at Roller Stop roller-skating rink.
Scale 40 ft and enjoy looking out into the canopy of trees in Pollok Country Park by booking a tree climbing adventure with Tree Top Rocks. And for something totally different, head to Jurassic Parrr in the city's west end. Try and get a hole-in-one at the dinosaur-themed mini-golf while avoiding the moving dinosaurs (book a visit at Jurassic Parrr's website).
Tours and trails for all the family
You can't go far in Glasgow without spotting colourful and quirky street art. Check out our City Centre Mural Trail page for information on where to find these urban pieces of art and see who can spot them first on your walk. The open-topped city bus tour is also a great way to take in multiple top attractions in the fresh air - visit the City Sightseeing Bus Tour website to book a trip. For details on many more city tours, covering everything from music to cycling, visit our tours in Glasgow page.
Outdoor time at city parks
Some time in the fresh air does everyone the world of good. And 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, the children’s farm at Tollcross Park, Highland cows, a maze and a miniature fairy trail at Pollok Country Park and much more. Visit our parks and gardens page for more information.
Family shopping and entertainment
The city's shopping malls are great for family shopping, eating and entertainment. At the top of Buchanan Street is Buchanan Galleries, home to The Lego Store, The Entertainer toy shop, Flying Tiger Copenhagen and the always popular Smiggle stationery store.
At the bottom of Buchanan Street is St. Enoch Centre, home to Scotland’s only Hamleys. St. Enoch Centre is also home to a new 9 screen Vue Cinema and is preparing to open Gutterball, which is billed as a fun day or evening out for families, with bowling, mini-golf and lots more exciting games. Watch this space!
If you prefer a more intimate cinema experience, then settle down for a family-friendly movie at the independent Glasgow Film Theatre - check out their film schedule online. Or visit Princes Square for the boutique Everyman Cinema and a trip to Hotel Chocolat for some of the most indulgent hot chocolates around. Find out more at princessquare.co.uk.
A number of independent retailers offer fantastic kids shopping, entertainment or both! Gamers of all ages will love retro gaming store and social space R-cade. Buy a pass at rcadeglasgow.com and enjoy access to over 1,500 games for an hour and see which generation of the family can win at Mario Kart, Space Invaders and more.
The Root of Magic run a children’s potions and science class led by a trained professor – perfect for fans of Harry Potter (visit their website for details). The Craft Pottery run kids classes to make your own decorated ceramics (details can be found at thecraftpottery.com).
Article last updated: September 2021