The best things for Dads to do with kids in Edinburgh

Top activities and days out in the capital, including Dads Rock, Happy Ears and Rugby Tots

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This article is from 2015.

Things for Dads to do with kids in Edinburgh

If your kids' t-shirt says you rock it must be true / Credit: Rachael Lynch Photography

1 Dads Rock
Trailblazers in the field of encouraging dads and male carers to spend more solo time with their kids, enthusiastic outfit Dads Rock run two play groups in Edinburgh on Saturday mornings featuring a fun blend of play, snack, stories and songs. They also run free outings and Dads Rock Academy, a standalone social enterprise offering affordable music tuition.
Prentice Centre, Granton and WHALE Arts Agency, Wester Hailes, both every Sat, 10–11.30am. dadsrock.org.uk, dadsrockacademy.org.uk

2 Happy Ears
Featuring live songs played by group leader Oliver, with instruments to play and join in with and other fun props and games, Happy Ears’ original incarnation is a Saturday morning group for male parents and carers at the Calton Centre on Montgomery Street. In recent times, it’s expanded to a Friday class and occasional half-term groups at Summerhall for mums and dads.
Out of the Blue Drill Hall, every Fri, 10–10.50am, £5; Calton Centre, every Sat, 10–10.50am, £5. happyearsscotland.wordpress.com

3 Rugby Tots
Sporty parents and active kids will enjoy this early years rugby coaching session, which is anything but gruelling. More of a structured play session which involves work-outs and exercise, these franchised groups also promote simple educational skills like counting and colour recognition. Active parental participation is encouraged with younger age groups.
Various classes, rugbytots.co.uk

4 Swimming lessons
A fun weekend activity for dads looking to spend some quality time. Age-banded, interactive parent and child swimming lessons for young kids are easy to come by around the city, whether at the municipal groups led by Edinburgh Leisure or at private ventures like Water Babies and Turtle Tots.
edinburghleisure.co.uk, turtletots.com, waterbabies.co.uk

5 The cinema
A no-brainer for anyone with younger children who’d like to enjoy the cinema with their kids but are unsure how smaller children will take to the big screen. The Cameo runs Toddler Time (for preschool children and their parents or carers) and Big Scream Club (grown-ups films for adults and carers with a baby under one year old), while Filmhouse Junior shows movies every Sunday at 11am (tickets £4, £5 for 3D screenings). The Kids AM screenings at Vue Cinemas (Omni Centre, Ocean Terminal) show slightly older films every Saturday morning at a very reasonable £1.75, while selected Saturday and Sunday morning screenings at Cineworld are £1.50 (£3 for 3D). It’s also a price which takes the pressure off if you’re forced to leave for any reason.

This article is from 2015.

Happy Ears

Live interactive music classes, for ages 0–3 and their parents/careers, with lots of instruments, props, original and classic tunes and no pre-recorded music. Participants have described it as 'indie for babies'. There's no extra cost for twins or other siblings.

Calton Centre, Edinburgh

Sat 10 Dec

£5 / 07778 117333

  • 10:00 – 11:00 Happy Ears Calton Centre, Edinburgh

St Margaret's Episcopal Church, Edinburgh

Sat 7 Jan 2017

£5 / 07778 117333

  • 10:00 – 11:00 Happy Ears St Margaret's Episcopal Church, Edinburgh

Sat 14 Jan 2017

£5 / 07778 117333

  • 10:00 – 11:00 Happy Ears St Margaret's Episcopal Church, Edinburgh

Sat 21 Jan 2017

£5 / 07778 117333

  • 10:00 – 11:00 Happy Ears St Margaret's Episcopal Church, Edinburgh
…and 23 more dates until 30 Sep 2017

Dads Rock

Playgroup for dads and their kids aged 0–4, with games, songs, healthy snacks, stories and 'rocking out'.

Junior Rugby Tots

Start them young on the road to Murrayfield glory at this specifically designed play programme that uses the multiple skills of rugby to create a fun environment where kids can develop basic core motor skills. Ages 2–3.5 years.

Senior Rugby Tots

Start them young on the road to Murrayfield glory at this specifically designed play programme that uses the multiple skills of rugby to create a fun environment where kids can develop basic core motor skills. Ages 3.5–5 years.

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