Edinburgh has a lot to offer for families and I love having so many options on my doorstep. I want to share some of our favourites and would love to see comments on any recommendations you have for your area
There's nothing worse than being stuck in the house on a rainy day when your little one has either demolished their room 10 times already that morning or refuse to sleep unless you are out the house. I've built up a good rotation of free or cheap options in Edinburgh and we try to do at least one of these a week, especially in the winter when walking outside is a lot less appealing.
National Museum - Free (unless paying for an exhibition)
There are lots to marvel on in the Museum and its a great free option because you can visit a different section each time you go. Baby Vista loves the space and animals sections, however there is also a baby/toddler room on the 1st floor next to the millennium clock, wish is always a winner and a great place for your little one to interact with others. It has crazy mirrors, dressing up, musical instruments and lots of space to walk about.
Soft Play - Free / £2 for under 1s
There are lots of soft play options in Edinburgh but Tumbles at Portobello is fab. If you wanted to make a day of it out there, you have a swimming pool close by so you could go swimming in the morning, lunch at the beach cafe (or Espy if you’d like a quirky bar lunch that’s kid friendly) and then soft play in the afternoon. There is also a good soft play in Ocean Terminal if you wanted to get a bit of shopping in as well. They have a huge indoor carousel at the moment and you can see the royal yacht Britannia as well.
Picture taken at Oceanplay 2016
Camera Obscura - Can be pricey but you can use Tesco vouchers to get tickets from £2.50
I took Baby Vista this year for the first time and jam packed full of amazing things to do and look at - amazing baby sensory and fun for you too. They run toddler themed events in January so keep your eyes peeled for these. Lots of stairs though so best with a baby carrier if you're little one isn't walking yet and they have a buggy parking space downstairs.
Baby Cafes (various entry costs)
Turtle Dove Play Cafe, Joy Tots and Baby & bumps are all brilliant cafes in Edinburgh which are set up to make coffee or lunch enjoyable with your little ones, rather than worrying about getting them to keep the noise down. If you are looking for somewhere baby friendly to go with other mums or make some new friends then these are a great option.
Book Bugs - Free
Libraries all over Edinburgh hold great baby singing and story telling weekly classes for free so check out your local area for dates & times
Playgroups / Parent & Toddler Groups - Various ranging from 50p upwards
There are groups for parents and toddlers all over Edinburgh and if you are lucky like us, you might even have a choice of different ones you can go to on different days of the week. These groups are great for so many different stages - If your baby is still very young then it's a chance for you to go out and chat to people your own age, then as your little one gets bigger there are lots of other younger and older babies for them to intact with. We've even started an amazing Gaelic Playgroup where not only do the kids get free play time but we also sing songs and do crafts, all themed to that weeks phrases. Baby Vista loves it and I've met some really great people, while learning something new.
Keep a look out for local one off events
There are always new events being set up in Edinburgh, for example fire station open days or theatre shows designed for kids, so check out it's a good idea to check out what is on in case something catches your fancy
If like me, you like to get some fresh air and walks in during your week then these are some lovely options to explore what Edinburgh has to offer
Botanical Gardens - Free
Lovely for a walk and they have a couple of little cafes & a restaurant. If you don't fancy walking on your own, then there are even buggy walking groups you can sign up to and the Botanics is one of their locations. I went on my first buggy walk last week and it was so lovely to have other people to talk to while getting some fresh for both me and baby.
Cramond Falls - Free
This is a lovely woodland walk and mini falls. You can get to the falls with a pram but to go further on the walk you would need a carrier as there are lots of stairs. You can visit the falls and then walk the other way to have a mini woodland walk, go passed docked boats and walk along the boardwalk. There is also a great cafe near the falls and parking.
The Yard - starting from £5
The Yard runs adventure play services for disabled children, young people and their families which I think is just a wonderful idea! It has everything from go carts to sandpits and forts. They also open it up to the general public on a Sunday
I really hope a few of these ideas brighten up your week and please feel free to let us know how you go on or share your own suggestions for your local area in the comments!