The best child-friendly art galleries in Central Scotland
Where to take your art-loving wee ones, including the Burrell Collection, the DCA and Jupiter Artland
Any contemporary art gallery with good accessibility and ideally a decent café and bathrooms is worth a visit with the kids – if only to get some interesting conversations about the art on the go and take advantage of the facilities. Yet many go one step further and programme specific children’s activities, while the location of others make them perfect for a few hours out. Here are some of our top picks of child-friendly art galleries in Central Scotland.
The Burrell Collection
Pollok Country Park, Glasgow
The Burrell For Families and Wee Wednesdays series offer various themed creative activities at various times, and on different days. Plus, it’s in a park so tots can make a break for the outside when they’ve had enough.
Dundee Contemporary Arts
Modern, multi-purpose arts venue – it also has a cinema and a well-regarded café / restaurant – which runs Family Art Labs (every Sat, 1–3pm, ages 5+, free) at the weekend. Enjoy mess and creative experimentation in response to the current exhibition.
Gallery of Modern Art
Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow
The CREATE Space of resources and activities (ages 3–11, free) is open throughout the year, while the Saturday Art Club (every Sat, 10.30am–12.30pm, up to age 11, free) features more guided activities for young kids and their families.
Wilkieston, near Edinburgh
Beyond the fact the art’s set in a visually interesting and largely very accessible woodland park, this unique venue hosts workshops and courses for families and young people from pre-school to teenagers. However, it’s only open from May to September.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Argyle Street, Glasgow
Featuring songs, rhymes and stories inspired by the artwork and animals on display at Toddler Time (every Sun, 11.30am–12.30pm, under-5s, free), and animal-themed songs, stories and activities at RSPB: Tweeting Toddlers (every Tue, 11.30am–noon, under-5s, £3 donation).
Scottish National Gallery
The Mound, Edinburgh
Learn about an exhibit in the Gallery and follow the instructions to make a similar artwork of your own, led by artists Tessa Asquith-Lamb and Louise Fraser at Art Maker (first Sun of the month, 2–4pm, ages 4–12, free).
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: Modern 1
Belford Road, Edinburgh
Explore the collection and create your own artworks with activity packs given out during Bags of Art (third Sun of the month, 2–4pm, ages 4–12, free).
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Queen Street, Edinburgh
The hub of kid-friendly art activities in Edinburgh, mainly because of Portrait Detectives (second Sun of the month, 2–4pm, ages 4–12, free), a popular art-themed treasure hunt around the gallery. There’s also a monthly Storytelling session (fourth Sun of the month, 2–4pm, ages 4–12, free), and specially-arranged evening visits as part of The Twilight Zone (ages 5–14, details vary).