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.
Summer sporting programme
Glasgow Life run a sports programme throughout the Scottish school summer holidays (end June - mid August). These include football, tennis and gymnastics classes, as well as sporting sessions for people with disabilities. There are also free games sessions and family swimming across Glasgow pools. The majority of these classes are for children aged 5-12 years old. Visit glasgowlife.org.uk for view the schedule.
Crafty kid activities
Glasgow Museums will continue to run their weekend drop in sessions throughout the summer. Aimed at 5-12 years old, these hands-on sessions give children the chance to create crafts and explore exciting objects from exhibitions. Visit glasgowlife.org.uk for details on where and when.
Mackintosh at the Willow are running crafty family sessions inspired by the art and design of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh. There will be 3 classes: make a stained glass window; make a gesso panel bedroom door sign and make an embossed metal pencil case. These run throughout July and you can book via eventbrite.com.
Attractions for all the family
A must-visit for all the family is The Burrell Collection and Pollok Country Park in the city's southside. The museum is incredibly modern and accessible, with hands-on and interactive displays bringing the stories behind the Collection 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, The Imax cinema, Newton Flight Academy, where you can pilot simulators, and a cafe. Visit glasgowsciencecentre.org to book tickets.
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.
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, a multi-purpose venue, with climbing, soft play (more on these further down), as well as a cafe and a brand new Lego trail around the building.
- 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.
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
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
Clip 'n Climb
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
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
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: June 2023