Glasgow has loads of indoor places and activities that are either completely free to visit, or pretty low cost. Here’s a list of some of our favourites we’ve visited in the past 5 years!
These are our 10 of the best family days our near Glasgow: a list of the places that we love to go and spend the day. Our Top Ten. The places we’ve returned to again and again. Some of them are free; some of them are most definitely not. Some of them are suited to rainy days and some are better for the dry days we’ve had so many of recently. Hopefully if you visit any of them, you’ll love them as much as we do!
The kids had such good fun at the Children’s Exhibition at Tramway. It isn’t massive, but we spent about an hour there and could easily have been there longer. The exhibits are fully interactive and the plasticine in particular gives a perpetually changing landscape to play with and mould, which both my kids really enjoyed. It’s free as well, which is always a bonus during the school holidays!
The National Museum of Rural Life is an excellent day out. It’s one of our favourite places to visit. There are lovely farm animals to see (and probably to give a wee pat to), lots to keep kids entertained in the museum, a little playpark, and a decent cafe as well. The tractor ride is fun for everyone too.
A lovely guest review of the Burrell Collection by a lovely mummy friend and her toddler who went along for a visit recently. Thanks A! It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, so we decided to go to the Burrell Collection with our 2 year old. I had been previously and
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is on just now in Scotland Street School Museum. I always go to see it, but this year thought we’d combine it with a trip for the toddler to have a wander round the museum too. The Museum As I mentioned I went
We took a wee trip to The Tall Ship a few days ago. I’d been planning on going for ages, so when we had nothing to do one dry morning I thought we’d check it out.
It’s a lot bigger than I thought. Not being much of a seaman (with the exception of a few dinghy sailing lessons years ago) I wasn’t quite aware of how far under the water large boats actually go! There’s at least 3 levels to it (I got slightly lost at one point so there could be 4!) with different exhibits about the workings of a tall ship & how people lived & worked on one in the early 20th century throughout. There is a lift to get to pretty much everywhere (except the upper level of the top deck) so it has good pram access.
There are buttons to press, ropes to pull, videos to watch, bells to toll, stairs to climb, decks to scrub and plenty of space to run around in. My little lady’s favourite things were climbing oh so many stairs, and scrubbing the deck, which she did for about 15 minutes. Thinking about it now, the tall ship is a toddlers dream…
There is a (very) small soft play area for toddlers on the bottom level (sorry, the cargo hold) with a tunnel, some soft blocks & a mini-drawbridge to play on. It could definitely do with a bit of updating, but my little lady was perfectly happy to crawl/run around in it. It would entertain young toddlers for a while, but it’s not for kids older than about 4. There’s also a basket of dress up clothes here which are quite fun.
We only got tea and a scone which cost us £2.50. Good tea, and the scone was nice. They do have a decent selection of hot & cold food, but I can’t comment on how nice it might be! It all smelled nice though.
It’s free. They ask on the way in if you’d like to buy a guidebook, but you don’t have to.
As with all of Glasgow’s museums, the Tall Ship doesn’t specifically cater to young children too much, but it does so (I think accidentally) better than a lot of the others. The little soft play area they have needs a bit of a facelift, but since it’s part of the whole experience you’re not going to spend too much time in it anyway.
From a toddler’s perspective, it’s absolutely worth a run around. And with it being right next to the Riverside Museum, you could make almost a whole day of it.
The Extra Bits
Opening hours are from 10am – 5pm, Monday to Sunday. And the Riverside Museum is right next to it if you’ve got some extra time to fill.
The top deck (with the deck scrubbers) is outdoors, so make sure you have weather appropriate clothing because your little ones will probably like this deck best.
The Tall Ship at Riverside is located at 150 Pointhouse Place, Glasgow, G3 8RS
We’ve been doing a lot of museum-ing recently, since Spring decided it wasn’t quite ready to come out yet.
So last week we took a wee wander around the Hunterian Museum, in Glasgow University. I hadn’t been since I was a student and unsurprisingly, it was a bit of a different experience with a toddler!
There’s nothing at all interactive & not much that would peak the interest of a typical toddler. Most of the exhibits are up much higher than the eye level of small children too.
But it’s free, it’s nice & warm and since toddlers are happy as long as they’re free to roam, it’s good for an hour on a rainy day. It’s a pretty good place for a game of peek-a-boo.
You might even get to look at something if you have a toddler that doesn’t run away at every possible opportunity.
Note: The radiators run around the bottom of the railing on the top level. And they’re really hot. Make sure your toddler doesn’t think it’s a seat.
The Hunterian Museum: The University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8
If you’re in town and need something to do, GoMA (the Gallery of Modern Art is perfect for a wee indoor run around with the toddler. We were meeting a friend in town for some grub & decided to let my little lady roam free for a little while before we
We took our first (long awaited, in my case) trip to the Science Centre at the weekend. Full disclosure: I worked there when I was a student, and I loved it, and I’m also a tiny bit of a science geek, so my review may not be entirely unbiased. But
I was so excited to cash in our vouchers for our science passports at the weekend; a very thoughtful Christmas gift from my family. Our science passports mean we can visit the Science Centre for a year at anytime, for free! They’re £24 for the year for adults & £18
We checked out the People’s Palace & Winter Gardens a few days ago.
Apart from being a place to run around in, the museum itself doesn’t really cater for young kids. There isn’t much for them to do & we didn’t come across any interactive exhibits or anything at all aimed at young kids.
However since stomping around on her own little mission is my little lady’s favourite thing in the world, it didn’t really matter.
Her favourite thing in the museum was the giant Clyde mascot which she attempted to climb a pillar to get to, and had a tantrum when she was unsuccessful.
The Winter Gardens & Cafe
The Winter Gardens are really nice. It’s warm, there are a lot of plants for a toddler to sniff and there’s a good bit of space to run around in.
The Winter Gardens are my new favourite place to meet up with mummy friends & their babies/toddlers. It’s reasonably central; there’s so much space (plenty space for a bunch of prams), loads of high chairs; and loud toddler voices get lost in the vastness of the giant greenhouse!
The food is decent & they have a nice selection of cakes. And their scones are pretty damn good.
We took a little trip to the Riverside Museum at the weekend. It was an attempt to simultaneously get out of the house, and not be outside in the freezing cold. (We’re not big enough for snowman building yet, and although picking up tiny bits of snow and holding them for a while is fun, it results very quickly in tiny cold hands!)
Anyway, it’s big and echoey and not quiet at all. There are lots of trams & buses to climb on, a couple of little kiddie toys to play in, and two very large horses that are seemingly great to point at/yell excitedly at/run towards & away from.
As with all Glasgow museums it’s free, and the cafe upstairs isn’t bad too.
Great place to let a toddler run around for an hour or two, especially when it’s slippery, snowy, crazy windy or freezing outside!
You don’t actually get to look at anything with a toddler running around!