Keep the kids entertained: How to have some family fun in Edinburgh

Looking for exciting activities for the full family in Edinburgh this winter? You’ve come to the right place. Scotland’s capital is packed full of dynamic, family-friendly attractions that are great for kids and adults alike. From fun museums, to festive Christmas markets, to the iconic Edinburgh Castle, you’ll never be short of things to do in Edinburgh this winter.

So whether you’re visiting the capital for a short break, are a local with a day to spare, or are spending a long weekend with us, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our top picks of Edinburgh’s best attractions.

Photo credit: VisitScotland – Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

One for children, teenagers and adults alike, this is a trip that’ll have the full family talking. From the sky-line views of Edinburgh to the Magic Gallery and Light Fantastic, you’ll be left in awe of the amazing tricks this attraction can play on your mind. Visit the website to see their full range of exhibits and book tickets for a day out that is sure to banish boredom now.

Edinburgh Christmas markets

Christmas markets

The Christmas Market will once again return to East Princes St Gardens for a whole host of bespoke and traditional Christmas items.

This traditional and romantic Christmas Market in the heart of the City of Edinburgh offers a unique shopping experience for every visitor with its fair of crafters, artists, gift shops and gastronomic surprises. If you need help getting into the Christmas spirit, the markets are open from 16th November – 4th January 2020, from 10am-10pm.

Photo credit: – the T.rex in the Natural World galleries

National Museums of Scotland

Free to enter and a day out that is sure to keep the kids entertained is the National Museum of Scotland. Here, your little ones can discover the history of Scotland and around the world, taking in the wonders of nature, art, design and fashion and science, and technology – all under one roof.

Don’t miss the T.rex in the Natural World galleries and if they need to burn off some energy, there are hundreds of games throughout the museum. The kids can learn how to generate energy walking in the giant hamster wheel, drive an F1 car, and design their own fashion creations, among many other fun activities.

Photo credit: – Royal Botanic Garden, Palm House

The Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh boasts a rich collection of fascinating plants and is a world-renowned centre for science and education. Even if they’re off school, that doesn’t mean kids can’t still learn a thing or two.

Set in more than 70 acres of beautiful landscape and just one mile north of the city centre, the Garden offers superb panoramic views of the city skyline featuring Edinburgh Castle. The Botanics, as the Garden is known locally, is breathtaking at any time of year. A day out here will keep the children entertained and will also encourage their curious minds to explore.

Photo credit:

Escape Rooms

If you fancy doing something different in Edinburgh, book a trip to Scotland’s top escape rooms, Escape Edinburgh. Great for groups, this will be one night out you won’t forget. We recommend choosing your teammates wisely – no family feuds, please. While there is no restriction on age, the puzzles may be too demanding for those under 10. Children under 16 must usually be accompanied by an adult.

Alternatively, if you’re a muggle with a mind for magic, then the Harry Potter-themed escape room at The Department of Mysteries could be the perfection potion to entertain you and your family.

Edinburgh Castle

One thing that never fails to entertain in Edinburgh is its crown jewel – the castle. Overlooking the city below, this historic gem dating back to the Iron Age provides an educational day out for kids and adults alike.

Discover everything from the Royal Palace and Honours of Scotland, to Mons Meg (one of the greatest medieval cannons ever made) and the Scottish National War Memorial. You can pick a route around the castle based on how much time you have to spare or what interests you most.

Family Room at Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

Stay at Apex Hotels

If you’re looking for 4-star hotels in Edinburgh, look no further. Each hotel is centrally located, and each has its own unique features to suit a wide range of travellers – ideal for city breaks in the capital.

Apex Waterloo Place in the city’s New Town and Apex City of Edinburgh in the Old Town are ideal for families thanks to great location and facilities, while Apex Grassmarket is a perfect Edinburgh family hotel thanks to its swimming pool and choice views of Edinburgh Castle.

For truly relaxing Edinburgh city breaks (if you can peel away from the kids), treatments at Apex Waterloo Place’s PURE Spa & Beauty are an excellent additional option, while the fantastic swimming pool (a big hit with children) and gym facilities are for your use, free of charge.

If you join us at our Edinburgh hotels this year, make sure to tag us in your pictures @ApexHotels on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.