Keeping children entertained for a few hours in the winter can be difficult. Lucky Edinburgh residents have a good array of facilities on their doorstep to keep choose from and with you in mind, we ran a little survey on our facebook page to find out what you, our readers, think is the best place to take your children in Edinburgh. Listed below in no particular order are your top 5:
Gorgie Farm – A real city farm, which may seem crazy considering we are not too far from the country and real farms but you have to go to see what the fuss is about. Children of all ages will enjoy seeing the resident animals. There are times when children are able to handle the animals, so it’s well worth checking their website ahead of a visit. Gorgie City farm advertises pony rides too, a good chance to acquaint your children with equestrian activities. I have always found Gorgie Farm to be a pleasant experience as long as you don’t mind the farm smells at certain points.
Camera Obscura – Located on the Royal Mile, right next to Edinburgh Castle is one fascinating place. Camera Obscura will entertain children, and adults, of all ages. Despite it’s small exterior in side you will find a wealth of exhibits to keep small minds occupied for a good few hours. Full of optical illusions and lights displays, Camera Obscura is one of those surprising places to visit. Everyone who visits is always pleasantly surprised by whats inside and it is the kind of place you can happily visit more than once.
The Meadows – I doubt there is a child on the planet who will not enjoy the play park on the south side and a parent who will not smile watching their little one swinging on the flying fox. The Meadows are a lush green expanse of open space and in dry weather a great place to head with a football or frisbee. Located in the south of the city, The Meadows have a series of tree lined walkways, good for a winter stroll. There are also Tennis Courts, Cricket pitches and a Crochet club.
Edinburgh Zoo – A fully stocked Zoo with Lions, Tigers and Bears! ( as well as Koalas, Monkeys, Snakes, Penguins and many more!) The Hilltop Safari bus takes you the full length of the zoo and you can go to the furthest part of the zoo and walk your way back, which is preferable as it is a hilly place. If you are an Edinburgh resident, if may be a good idea to join the friends society as this gives you a reduction on entry fees and means you can enjoy the zoo several times a year at a reasonable price. On Sunday, 4th of December, excitement hits Edinburgh as the much anticipated arrival of two Panda’s from China.
Portobello Beach and Amusements – Portobello used to be the place to be. Years ago, the promenade was a hive of activity and people came from miles to walk the golden sands, take in the bracing sea air and enjoy the surroundings. Portobello underwent a refurbishment some ears ago and while it id not the thriving seaside town it was in the early part of the century, it’s still a great place to take children. As soon as a ray of sun hits Edinburgh in summer, Portobello beach is jam packed with deck chairs and sun hats. During winter it’s still as lively although it patrons are wrapped up warm, the beach is a lovely place to take a stroll. The amusement arcades are a great place to shelter form the weather, the bright lights of the penny machines will occupy the children nicely.
Thank you to everyone who contributed photographs, including RZSS