My kids love a trip on the Glasgow Subway. We started using it last year when we moved house somewhere closer to one of the stops. It’s been nice (and convenient!) being able to use the underground a bit more to get into town or the West End, but it’s also been super exciting for the kids using it too. The noise, the orange colour, the trains, the whole being under the ground… They love it!
I remember back when I was student (like, nearly 20 years ago) attempting to do a SubCrawl – you know, where you’re meant to get off the subway at every stop and have a drink in the nearest pub. (I never managed more than 4 stops.) Anyway, I’ve been thinking for a while now about creating a template for a family friendly version of this; one which doesn’t include any pubs (sorry), but instead includes loads of fun stuff for families.
And so here we are! I’ve included as many activities at each stop as I could think of. A lot of the activities are free, and some of them aren’t. I’d say Kinning Park would probably be your most expensive stop…
You definitely wouldn’t be getting off at every stop. Instead you can choose a few stops and decide what you’re going to do or see at each of them. Mix and match activities and things to do, and tailor your day out to be whatever you budget it to be. If you take a wee packed lunch with you, you could make a whole day out for just the cost of your underground tickets. Or it can be a bit more expensive if you buy lunch and do a paid activity. The beauty of choosing this as a day out is that it’s totally up to you. And every time you do it, it could be a bit different!
(I have a few wee themed trails in my head, all made from this list. Will share those when I find the time to write it!)
Since the Glasgow Underground is a big circle and there isn’t really anywhere that makes sense to start a list, I have picked a random station to start at and gone round clockwise (via the outer circle if we’re giving it the lingo).
Scotland Street School Museum
1 minute walk | Free
Right across from Shields Rd underground you’ll find Scotland Street School Museum. The kids absolutely love running around checking out all the old school rooms, pretending to be teachers. And making me wear a dunce hat. The little lady likes doing the crafts down at reception, and they both have a blast playing with the toys down there too. The hula hoops and the stilt things are always a big hit!
There is so much down at Kinning Park now. It’s become like a indoor activity wonderland for families! You could spend about 3 days here, but if we were to stop here I’d pick one place where we can spend an hour or two. Here are our favourite places down at Kinning Park, all within a 5 minute walk of the underground station.
The Climbing Academy
£5.50 per child (£2.50 for shoe hire, max 2 kids per adult)
The Climbing Academy has a room for bouldering, just off the main arena where kids can climb and play. There are lots of different coloured routes and inclines to try out, plus a little slide to climb up to and slide down. My kids absolutely loves it here and really enjoy all the different bits there are to climb. Definitely one of our faves for a play!
Per hour it’s £4.99 under 4’s; £8.99 everyone else
This full warehouse down in Kinning Park is basically one big bouncy castle. There’s a massive ball bit, slides, assault course, climbing wall and just loads of space to jump. There is also a separate space solely for under 5’s which has a wee slide, smaller ball pit and bits to bounce on. (Under 5’s can go on the big bit too, but this space is only for them.)
£9.50 including skate hire | Must be aged 4+
Learn to skate here, or if you’re more advanced you can roller limbo, join in a roller relay race, eat some pizza, drink some milkshakes or just skate for hours. Loads of fun. This would be a great place to end your day out with a roller disco!
£7 for KidJump sessions (10-11am every day for ages 2-6); £11 for anyone 5+ for 1 hour session
This dedicated trampoline park has a trampoline field, dodgeball cage, giant airbag, and some “super tramps” that really get you flying high. We’ve only ever been to the KidJump sessions here which are normally pretty quiet, so you get lots of space to jump and place.
Under 1’s free; Age 1-3 £4.95 Mon-Fri, £8.95 weekends & holidays; Age 3+ £5.95 Mon-Fri, 9.95 weekends & holidays
A huge soft play with a good sized toddler area, a whole bunch of slides, ball pits, some little trampolines, volcano slide, and just a massive space to run free. It’s usually noisy and can be really busy at peak times but my kids absolutely love this place.
10 minute walk | £2 entry, under 10’s free, NHS staff free with ID card
This brilliant street food market is only about a 10 minute walk from Cessnock underground station. The vendors change with every event so the food is slightly different each time, but there’s always tons of variety and loads to choose from. There’s also live music, face painters, balloon twisters and a retro games arcade. It’s only open some weekends, so check the website for upcoming events to see when it’s on.
Science Centre & IMAX
10 minute walk | Adult £11.50, Child £9.50, Under 3’s free
Three whole floors of interactive exhibits, a brilliant space (with water & construction play) for under 7’s, science shows, planetarium, plus tons more. One of the most fun places in Glasgow. Unless you have an annual pass I might leave this one for a day when you have more time though as if you go into the Science Centre you’ll end up there the entire day!
15ish minute walk | Free
See the big elephant sculpture and head for a play in the House for an Art Lover playpark. It’s full of structures and artworks that kids can climb and play on, many of which are atop their own little mound of grass, like tellytubby land. My kids’ favourite things are the giant jelly babies and the rainbow bridge. Being metal, the bridge makes lots noise when you run across it (always a hit) and has a bunch of movable bits on it too. They really like the spaghetti worm things too. There are also swings & spinny things & a zipline & slide.
The Climbing Centre is also here, an 8 minute walk from Ibrox station. I haven’t been here since a few years before I had the kids but they have bouldering, climbing courses and clubs for kids aged 7+ and abseiling tasters on some days too. If you fancy it give them a call, but I can’t comment on how good it is for kids just yet!
5 minute walk | Free | Runs July to October
This is an option for summertime when the ferry is running. It’s less than 5 minutes walk and you can combo up a wee boat ride on the day as well! Take the Govan Ferry across the water to the Tall Ship & Riverside Museum. It is seasonal though and only runs from July to October.
10 minute walk | Free
Wander round the Riverside Museum and see all the vehicles, old and new, plus the interactive exhibits including the fire engine. See the old underground in there too! Get a family quiz from the information desk and complete that on your way round. Lots of fun.
The Tall Ship
10 minute walk | Free
Have a wander round what my kids call the Glasgow pirate ship. (It wasn’t a pirate ship.) It is a real life sailing ship though and it’s a great place for kids to explore.
10 minute walk | Activities priced individually
Glasgow’s newest soft play, those brilliant climbing walls, playgym… Kelvin Hall has loads going on for families now. Great place to spend a few hours!
10 minute walk | Free
See the animals, the beehive, the floating heads, the rainforest, the dino eggs, wrap up a mummy, have a play, hear the organ… This place is always great to occupy for an hour or two.
10 minute walk to start of park | Free
Another outdoor option. Feed the squirrels, play in the playpark or go for a walk. When you’re done, head back to Kelvinhall underground station, or wander through the park towards Woodlands and get back on at Kelvinbridge instead.
These are both outdoor options. Afterwards you can head to either Loop and Scoop or Cakebar, both along Great Western Rd, for a wee tasty treat.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
10 minute walk | Free
Both the kids love it here. There’s a little playpark with some spinners, swings, a climbing bit and some musical toys. And there’s lots of space to run around. The Kibble Palace is nice and warm if it’s cold out, and there some fish in the pond to spot. Or you can go on an adventure amongst those giant leaves to find some pretend/invisible dinosaurs.
15 minute walk | Free
This is a lovely, rustic, outdoor play area in the West End. There’s an outdoor play kitchen with loads of pots and pans, logs to climb on and jump off, a tyre swing, den & a few other bits strewn through the woods. It’s a great place to let kids use their imaginations and make their own fun & games with whatever they find lying around.
The other end of Kelvingrove Park
4 minute walk | Free
Just like the above, feed the squirrels, play in the playpark or go for a walk. If you keep right when you walk into the park you’ll find the Kelvin Walkway where you can get all the way along to the Botanic Gardens.
There are also quite a few options for food around Kelvinbridge if you time this stop right for lunch. For eating with kids though we absolutely love Paesano Pizza. It’s just a 4 minute walk round the corner on Great Western Road.
St George’s Cross
North Woodside pool
5 minute walk | £3 adult, £1 concession
If you fancied adding a wee swim into your subcrawl, this is the place! It’s a recently restored Victorian pool and the oldest swimming baths in Glasgow. No frills or fancy bits, but kids who like a swimming pool don’t need that anyway. Just a side to jump off and they’re grand.
8 minute walk | £3.20 for kids and the same for accompanying adults if you go to a “Movies for Juniors”
Seeing a movie would probably take up a good chunk of your day, but if you’re looking for a chilled out day out then it’s definitely an option!
Buchanan St & St Enoch
I’ve added these options together because they are so close to each other, and everything I’ve added for these stops is pretty close to both of them. I would probably choose to get off at one and back on at the other. It’s only a tiny walk between the two.
The Lighthouse | Free
The Lighthouse is one of our favourite places to visit in town. Get the lift up to level 6 for views over the city centre. There’s a wee piano up here that the kids love having a shot of. Then head to level 3 for the spiral staircase with 138ish steps to the top of the tower. At the top you’ll be outdoors and you’ll see pretty much 360° views all over the city.
GoMA | Free
The Gallery of Modern Art is a nice spot for a wander round too. If you plan it just right, you could head to one of their Saturday Art Club sessions. These are different every time so you could be doing absolutely anything! Check the GoMA facebook page for when these sessions are on.
George Square | Free
I don’t know what it is about George Square, but my kids love a play here. Maybe it’s the open space within the city, or the gazillion pigeons trying to get a sandwich crumb. I’m not sure. But we usually head here for a quick play whenever we’re in town.
Jungle rumble | £8.50 adult, £7 kids, £4 under 5’s
This mini golf venue has not one but two 18 hole jungle themed courses. Palm trees, tiki huts, totems, monkeys, a beach…
Lego shop | Free (but possibly not totally free because they’ll plead with you to buy something)
I’m adding this because both my kids love a play in here. I wouldn’t usually head in unless I was in the Buchanan Galleries anyway but if you’re wandering past it you might as well let them build their wee hearts out for 10 minutes!
Soft play upstairs in St Enoch centre | £3 for 20 minutes (I think that’s the cost now)
This is a small softplay area up at the food court in St Enoch. It is what it is. My kids enjoy it, but they also enjoy sitting in all those car things, trying them all out, waiting for a £1 coin I’m never giving them.
See some buskers | Free (or a couple of coins if they’re any good!)
My kids absolutely love doing this in town. If we find a good one they stand there mesmerised, just watching. Their favourite is the techno cats guy. If you’ve seen him you’ll know who I mean. It’s not something you easily forget.
Lush on Buchanan St | Cost of whatever you buy
For something a little bit different, you could let your kids choose a bathbomb for an extra special bath after their big day out!
Billy Connelly Mural | Free
Since you’re at St Enoch underground anyway this is like a minutes walk from there. It’s not really something my kids would properly appreciate (at least not the small kid) but I like it so I might take them to see it anyway and tell them a bit about the Big Yin!
[Note: Bridge St & West St aren’t included in the list because I couldn’t think of or find anything suitable for families within walking distance of here. If you know of anything please leave a comment and I’ll check it out!]