The Best Activities for Kids and Families in Glasgow
A quick guide to some of the city's best days out
Much more than just a shopping centre, Braehead could keep a family occupied for the whole day. Gambado soft play caters for the little ones, while for the more adventurous there’s The Drop climbing centre, Snow Factor ski and snowboard complex, and ice skating at the Arena. Alternatively, you could bowl some balls at Bowlplex, enjoy a 6D motion ride at XD Experience or keep it simple with a visit to the Odeon cinema.
The Burrell Collection/Pollok Country Park
A firm favourite with Glasgow families, this award-winning park has a walled garden, play park, heavy horses, woodland and riverside walks and more. Nestling in the heart of all this outdoor splendour, is the Burrell Collection, featuring over 9,000 objects and paintings, and a regular programme of fun family activities.
Gallery of Modern Art
Although not everything on show in this city-centre contemporary art gallery will appeal to children, a lot of effort is made to engage younger visitors. Go along to the drop-in workshop on Saturday mornings, where everyone (grown-ups, too) can use the gallery’s art materials to make your own creation. Nice café and library space, too.
Glasgow Rocks Basketball Team
Scotland’s only professional basketball team has regular home games at Glasgow’s impressive Emirates Stadium, and families make up a big part of their audience. The games themselves are fast-paced and exciting, with chances for children to get involved during the breaks.
Glasgow Science Centre
Set aside a whole day to visit this superb hands-on centre, filled with gadgets and games designed to educate and engage everyone, from toddlers to grandparents. Visit the Planetarium and IMAX cinema, then swallow any fear of heights and go to the top of Glasgow Tower – the tallest freestanding building in Scotland (reopening 30 Mar from winter 2014/15 closure).
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
This gorgeous red sandstone building is one of the most visited museums in Britain, catering for all ages. Temporary exhibits change regularly, but the permanent attractions - over 8000 of them – include everything from a stuffed giraffe to an old spitfire, plus many fine artworks.
Climb on board a 1930 tram, walk down a re-constructed street from 1895, step inside an old subway car and lots more besides at this award-winning celebration of all things transport-related. As well as the exhibits, featuring everything from old police cars to bicycles, there are lots of interactive computer screens.
The Tall Ship
Find out what life was like on fascinating 19th century cargo vessel, the Glenlee. Once on board, you can scrub the deck, build a barrel, load sugar into a pulley and learn about international trading through interactive exhibits. Plus peep inside the captain’s fine quarters, and slightly less fine bedrooms of the poor crew members.
Tollcross Farm and Children’s Farm
Situated in Glasgow’s East End, this popular park features a play area for under 12s, and a farm park with ponies, sheep, rabbits and more. Take a walk through the nature glen, find the ‘secret’ sensory garden or visit the well-loved rose garden.
Tollcross International Swimming Centre
One of the most popular swimming pools in Glasgow, Tollcross benefitted from a multi-million pound upgrade in preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Now it boasts three separate pools of varying size, so plenty of space to swim and play.