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Things to do with the kids in Glasgow

Glasgow is a family-friendly city with top attractions, activities and dining options now open and ready to welcome you back, safely. Check out our list of just some of the experiences to keep the whole family entertained.

Fun-filled attractions in Glasgow

The Tall Ship sits berthed on the River Clyde with the hull of the ship, red, grey, white and black. The silver and jagged modern design of the Riverside Museum is clearly visible behind the masts of the ship.

A number of the city's free-to-visit top attractions are now open. Step aboard The Tall Ship on the River Clyde and have an adventure on the water in this Clyde-built ship. There are lots to amuse little ones including brushing the deck and ringing the bell, with guided tours each Tuesday at 2pm for stories on the ship's adventures at sea. Follow The Tall Ship on Twitter for updates. The Tall Ship is berthed at the Riverside Museum, where you can enjoy through-the-ages displays of bikes, trains, buses and cars. Wow the kids with what your first car used to look like and be transported back in time by walking down a recreated old Glasgow street.

A close-up of some of the many faces that hang from the ceiling of Kelvingrove Art Gallery as part of the Faces Installation. The faces are looking in different directions with varied over-the-top expressions, some happy, some confused, some angry.

The Glasgow Science Centre is now open. 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 be sure to make time to explore the cosmos at their planetarium, which has also reopened.

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 spaces and art installations to explore at the Gallery of Modern Art, as well as a 'create space' where kids can make their own artwork. Visit Glasgow Museums website to pre-book your free tickets for these attractions, each of which is VisitBritain Good to Go accreditated.

 

The Hunterian Museum has a fantastic collection, including fossils, dinosaur bones, 18th Century medical instruments and a 330 million-year-old shark that was found in Bearsden that is sure to interest all ages. Open Tuesday - Sunday, entry tickets are free but should be booked in advance via Art Tickets website

Two hidden gems that are both unique to Glasgow and worth seeking out are the Glasgow Police Museum, which tells the stories of Britain's first-ever police force, with uniforms, crimes and characters to discover, and the Glasgow Women's Library, which is the UK's only library dedicated to the histories and stories of women's lives. Visit www.policemuseum.org.uk and www.womenslibrary.org.uk for information on opening hours.

Action packed experiences 

If adventure is what you seek then it's got to be Play Port where 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. Whether a beginner or an adrenalin lover, 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.

Or why not 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 trampoline park, which is open and taking bookings on their website. For wheelie-good fun book in for a session at Roller Stop roller-skating rink, it's great fun for all the family from ages 4 plus. 

Cycling enthusiasts of every level are well catered for with facilities like Free Wheel North Cycle Centre where kids can go and have fun on trikes, tandems and go-carts - bookings can be made at www.freewheelnorth.org.uk. For those with their own wheels, head to Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trail for some track cycling with beautiful city views or trails at Pollok Country Park and Alexandra Park.

For electric power over pedal power, head to Linn Park and experience the indoor electric bike arena, iMotoX. 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, with helpful instructors onsite. Visit i-motox.com for details on booking.

A Highland Cow and two fluffy calves stand at a drinking trough in the green surroundings of Pollok Park

Slow the pace down and take the kids along to one of the city’s 90 parks and gardens to enjoy a run around in the fresh air. Glasgow Green has an adventure play area, there’s a children’s farm at Tollcross Park and Pollok Country Park has Highland cows and a miniature fairy trail. Visit Glasgow City Council's parks pages for more info on the city's parks. 

Tours and trails                             

A close-up mural of a girl with blonde hair blowing a dandelion with the seeds flying off into the air

As you work your way across the city, make sure you look out for the colourful and quirky street art by following the City Centre Mural Trail - check out our mural page for more information. See how many of the murals you can spot and who can spot them first!  There’s also the new City Centre Contemporary Art Trail, where kids can enjoy spotting some of the quirky art installations around the city, from the Clyde Clock to the Cherub Skull and Chookie Burdies. Find out more about this easily walkable trail on our contemporary art trail page. 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

Family shopping

There are lots of top family-friendly shops in Glasgow city centre so the kids are in for a treat. The St. Enoch Centre is home to Scotland’s only Hamleys, stocked with all the must-have toys and games. Meanwhile, Buchanan Galleries, also located in the heart of the city’s Style Mile, has over 90 shops including The Lego Store, The Entertainer toy shop, Flying Tiger Copenhagen and the always popular Smiggle stationery store. Visit Buchanan Galleries' website for a full list of stores and check out St. Enoch Centre's website for information on their family-friendly food court and shops.

Family-friendly dining 

A line-up of freshly baked doughnuts, some with sugar sprinkles, some with pink swirls and some with chocolate cream on top

It's always good to get top tips on where to go when eating out with the family to cater for all needs. Enjoy Glasgow’s cafes, bars and restaurants safely by checking in advance if pre-booking is required for both indoor and outdoor spaces. If your plans change or you are unable to make your reservation, please support Glasgow’s businesses by getting in touch to let them know.

Tantrum Doughnuts has a range of doughnuts that will have the kids and adults licking their lips! With the likes of peanut butter and jam and milk 'n' cookies on the menu (visit their website to view the full menu). Cup Tea Rooms in Virginia Court have 3-tiers of deliciousness with their Children’s or Teenager's Afternoon Tea, with kid-friendly drinks including, caffeine-free fruity teas, mini milkshakes, babyccinos and mocktails - what more could you want? Check out Cup Tea Rooms' menus online. For something different from the usual kids menu, try French Bistro Côte Brasserie, which has a 3-course menu for kids that includes the likes of calamari, croque monsieur and strawberry pavlova. Check out their 'enfants menu' online.

Two spots in the city centre that are spacious and well-suited to families are Sugo and Platform. Sugo serves great pasta, sides and soft-serve ice cream at reasonable prices, whilst Platform has so many options from their street food vendors that you are sure to find a dish that suits each family member. Check out Sugo's website for menu details and visit Platform online for details on booking a table.

Family Entertainment

The darkened room of a cinema-screen with rows of empty seats in front of a black screen that displays the cinema chain's logo Vue

The city's cinemas are open with a great line-up of films to cater for all movie-goers. Settle down for a family-friendly movie at the much-loved, independent Glasgow Film Theatre - check out their film schedule online. The city's shopping centres are also entertainment hubs, with Princes Square home to the boutique Everyman Cinema and St. Enoch Centre home to the brand-new 9 screen Vue Cinema. Find out more at www.princessquare.co.uk and www.st-enoch.com.

For more ideas and inspiration on how to enjoy and experience the city at the moment, check out our Glasgow Now section.

 

Article last updated: July 2021