Glasgow’s Best Low Cost Family Activities: The Indoor Edit


I’m always up for wrapping up in our waterproofs and going for a walk or to the park in the rain. But some months Glasgow just has far too many rainy days to force my kids out in the cold again. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have some great days out. Glasgow has a ton of indoor places and activities that are either free or cheap.

This list is a compilation of places that we’ve visited and enjoyed at one point or another over the past 5 years. I’ve added the museums that we’ve found to be most kid friendly, or that the kids have found most interesting, but almost all of Glasgow’s museums are free.

Places and activities range from being completely free, up to £3.

This list is by no means exhaustive and I’ll try to update in the future to add in any others we find. (If you know of any places I haven’t included that you think should be in the list, leave a comment below and I’ll check it out).

This article is part of a series. The Outdoor Edit & a few others are coming soon!

Museums

All of the ‘Glasgow Museums’ museums are completely free (if you don’t include the exorbitant parking costs at a few of them). 

Kelvingrove Art Galleries | FREE

A great place to explore with kids. We always have a wander around the animals before we go upstairs to see the floating heads and the rainforest audio-visual room. They love playing in the dinosaur egg room, watching the bees in their hive and exploring all the drawers in there too.

  • Wheel friendly
  • Cafe & restaurant inside
  • Toilets and baby change available
  • Parking in car park outside (priced per hour) or metered on surrounding streets

Visit the Kelvingrove Museum website

The Tall Ship | FREE

From scrubbing the deck and ringing the captain’s bell up on deck, to jumping around in the little soft play down below, the Tall Ship is definitely a favourite of ours to spend an hour. My two love climbing all the different stairs and checking out all the different pulleys and ropes in the ship. It’s right next to the Riverside Museum, and we always end up doing both in the same trip.

Wheel friendly (unless their lift isn’t working and then it’s really wheel unfriendly)

  • Cafe inside
  • Toilets and baby change available
  • Parking in car park outside (priced per hour)

Visit the Tall Ship website

Riverside Museum | FREE

This is one of our favourite places to have a run around. The kids just love climbing onto the old buses and trains, having a go on the subway and playing in the shops along the old cobbled street. Their imaginations go wild in here. We always double up with a visit to the Tall Ship, which is just out the back door.

  • Wheel friendly
  • Cafe inside
  • Toilets and baby change available
  • Parking in car park outside (priced per hour)

Visit the Riverside Museum website

Scotland Street School Museum | FREE

Now our local museum, we love a play in here. Exploring all the classrooms and playing teachers and school kids. I always end up being a kid getting into trouble from the teacher and wearing a dunce hat but that’s another story… They usually have some DIY crafts in the entrance foyer, plus a few old school toys.

  • Wheel friendly
  • Vending machines inside
  • Toilets and baby change available
  • Parking in subway car park across the road (you can get parking ticket validated in the museum)

Visit the Scotland Street Museum website

Arts & Crafts

Make Do & Grow | £3

Arts and crafts sessions for kids aged 3+ with different activities each week. On specific times at the weekend and on Wednesdays. Check their facebook page for up to date information.

Visit the Make Do & Grow website

GoMA Saturday Art Club | FREE

These drop in sessions are on weekly from 10.30am – 12.30pm. Each week has a different theme and could involve painting, sculpture, collage, printing, drawing… Anything! Sessions are for kids ages 3-12.

Visit the GoMA website

Tall Ship Toddler Sessions | £3

Themed sessions for toddlers and pre-schoolers onboard the Tall Ship. Each session is different, with songs, arts, crafts and imaginative play based around the session theme. Themes include pirates, ships and under the sea. Suitable for 0-4’s.

Visit the Tall Ship events page

Glasgow Museums Resource Centre Workshops | FREE

The GMRC run regular workshops on weekdays for preschool children and their adults, plus some on weekends for those aged 5+. Sessions explore the museum stores; kids can handle objects from the stores and do some arts and crafts around the theme for that month. They also run a few Family Friendly weekends throughout the year. Some sessions require re-booking and some are drop-in.

Visit the Glasgow Life website

Saturday Art Club at Platform | FREE

The Saturday Art Club is aimed at primary school aged kids (4-11 yrs). It’s on weekly during term time at 11am. (If you’ve never heard of Platform you should definitely check out their website to see what’s on. This arts centre in the East End has loads of activities for kids (and adults) of all ages, plus a whole programme of arts shows and events throughout the year.)

Visit the Platform website

Science & Wildlife

Tweeting Toddlers at Kelvingrove | FREE

Tweeting Toddlers is a group for parents, carers and their pre-5 year old children in Kelvingrove Museum, meeting every Tuesday from 11.30 am-12 pm.

Visit the RSPB events website

RSPB Wild Weekend Events in Kelvingrove | FREE

The RSPB run events in Kelvingrove every Saturday and Sunday. They are on from 1-4pm in the museum. Each week has a different theme ranging from rainforests and Scottish wildlife to dinosaurs and skeletons, plus loads more.

Visit the RSPB events website

Music

Bounce & Rhyme | FREE

These are free song and story sessions in your local library. Sessions are aimed at babies or toddlers but some libraries also have story sessions for toddlers/pre-schoolers. They’re usually on once a week and are on in petty much every library around Glasgow. Ask in your local library for more information.

Visit the Glasgow Life website

Bookbug | FREE

These are free, pop-in, song and story sessions in your local library, aimed at under 5’s. They last about 30 minutes and are usually on once a week. They are on in pretty much every library around Glasgow. Ask in your local library for more information.

Visit the Glasgow Life website

Toddler Time at Kelvingrove | FREE

On every Friday at 11.30 until noon, toddler time is a weekly group that takes place in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. There’s songs, rhymes and stories and the sessions take inspiration from the artworks and animals on display in the galleries.

Visit the Kelvingrove Museum website

Active Play

Playgym | £3 for 1 adult and 1 child

What kid doesn’t like playing and jumping and running about on all the gymnastics equipment they can see? That’s essentially what Playgym is. It’s only for pre-schoolers (babies & toddlers too) and is on in Kelvin Hall, Palace of Art, Gorbals and Tollcross leisure centres. Check whichever one you’re going to for days and times of sessions.

Visit the Glasgow Life website

Play on Pedals | FREE

I’ve added this one because some of their sessions are indoors. Play on Pedals run free cycling sessions for kids learning to cycle. Locations vary around Glasgow. All equipment provided and sessions are drop in. Check out their facebook page for up to date info on dates and times.

Visit the Play On Pedals facebook page

Flip Out | £4 each for child and accompanying adult

Anyone who’s been knows Flip Out is awesome. But it can be a bit pricey. During the week they run ‘Mini Flippers’ sessions for toddlers and pre-schoolers. A child and their adult get entry for £4 each and can stay as long as you like until 4pm. It’s a brilliant deal, since an hours entry is normally £5.50 for under 3’s and £11 for everyone else. (I read on their website that during school holidays they now run Mini Flippers from 10am – noon. Yay!)

Visit the Flip Out website

Others

Garscube playrooms | £3; £1 for a second child (Plus £15 annual membership)

This is a wonderful place to play for kids under 5. There’s a little soft play area, easels for painting, cars (big and small), loads of imaginative play toys like houses, kitchens etc, jigsaws, craft equipment, plus loads more. It’s absolutely brilliant for young kids and worth the trip there if you’re not nearby. It’s open 10am – 3.30pm Monday – Friday during term time.

Visit the Garscube Playrooms website

Take 2 at the GFT | FREE

Free movies once a week for Glasgow Young Scot or Kidz Card holders AND an accompanying parent/carer. Free tickets must be purchased at the box office and are only issued on the day of screening. All other tickets are £5.50. (Each £5.50 child’s ticket also admits one parent/carer free of charge.)

Visit the GFT website

NOTE: All information correct at time of publishing. However I know what it’s like to have disappointed kids so please check before heading along whether activity sessions are on/venues are open!

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