There’s plenty of great events and activities across the north and north-east to keep kids happy this summer.
We all love to imagine a summer holiday packed with sunshine and trips to the beach, but… Scotland.
If the weather’s not behaving, there’s still plenty to do. Here’s our pick of kids’ activities in the north and north-east.
Join Aberdeenshire’s summer reading challenge
Ease up the screen time by getting kids involved in the summer reading challenge. Available at libraries across Aberdeenshire, it’s a great way to boost literacy and open up a whole new world while cosied up at home. This year, the libraries are also running a creative challenge to mark the return of the Book of Deer after 1,000 years. Can you draw a picture of life now that people might find in 1,000 years? Join in the fun and you could win a prize.
From coding to comics, the Summer of Play
For Summer of Play 2022, why not try out a new skill? Live Life Aberdeenshire is offering up free coding sessions and comic book workshops to unleash kids’ creative side. Be warned though: these events are super popular and spaces are going fast, so best booking early. If you miss out, don’t worry. There’s loads of fun, free activities running all summer. Check the website for more details.
Underwater delights at Macduff Marine Aquarium
If you can’t escape the rain, you might as well embrace the water. Macduff Marine Aquarium is a firm favourite with families, offering a fascinating range of marine life. If you feel like venturing out, the museum is also offering up guided rockpool rambles. You know what they say – there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. So get their wellies on and go for a splash.
Looking for something for under fives? Burn off some of their energy with this fun daytime disco on Thursday 21 July and Saturday 20 August. Join DJ Nina for a morning of dance tunes in Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen. Tickets are reasonably priced, with deals for families, and free admission for babies.
Aberdeen Science Centre
Aberdeen Science Centre never fails. Recently named one of the UK’s top visitor attractions, there’s something here for all ages. Kids can launch an air rocket, play a tune on the solar piano, programme a robot and try out the DNA Disco! For younger visitors, there’s shadow play and optical illusions as well as endless fun curiosities to explore.
Magical mobile at Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Children aged four to 12 can come along to Aberdeen Maritime Museum and create a colourful mobile with textile designer Elaine Grant. The sessions run on Monday, July 18 but be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.
Buff up on your history at Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen
This five-star rated visitor attraction is a fascinating insight into military life. Discover the 200-year history of the famous Gordon Highlanders regiment and complete your visit with a tour of a First World War trench.
Meet the animals at Wynford Farm Park
This family favourite not only has farm animals, exotic species and an enchanted forest – it also offers up a fantastic indoor play centre to hide from the showers! Let the wee ones blow off some steam then enjoy a nice lunch in the café. There are meal deals for kids, so it needn’t break the bank.
Visit Scotland’s oldest museum in Elgin
Budding archaeologists will love the amazing range of artefacts and fossils held in Elgin Museum. The museum traces the history of Moray and its people, through a 36,000 artefact collection and a great display of historic photos. Even better – entry is free! Some Covid restrictions are still in place, so check the website for current details.
Get bouncing in Inverness
The perfect rainy day fun – Infinity Trampoline Park in Inverness. With dodge ball, basketball, foam pit and 60 (yes 60) inter-connected trampolines, your only challenge will be getting kids to come back home again.
Catch the Hogwarts Express
Grab your wand and climb aboard the Hogwarts Express. The stunning west Highland landscape was made famous by the filming of the Harry Potter movies, featuring the iconic Glenfinnan viaduct. Today, young witches and wizards can experience the magic on the Hogwarts Express, a Jacobite steam train that puffs across 1,000ft of breathtaking scenery.
School’s Out – High Life Highland’s got you covered
There’s a huge range of activities in libraries and sports centres across the Highlands, many of them free of charge. From swim sessions and sports to wildlife walks and crafts, there’s something to keep kids entertained.
Bang your drum at Lyth Arts Centre
Try out a new musical instrument for free at Lyth Arts Centre’s young music makers workshops. This year, the centre is holding a programme of events in Wick town centre. There’s everything from outdoor theatre to pop-up gardens. For rainy days, the music workshop could be a perfect chance to discover a new hobby. No musical experience is necessary and kids can try out a variety of instruments.