I write reviews of places we go quite a lot, and they’re all still on here for you to have a look at. But we have some favourite days out that both the kids and I absolutely love. So I thought I’d compile a little list of the places that, over the past few years, we’ve loved to go and spend the day. The places we’ve returned to time and time (and time) again.
The list starts with the place we’ve been to more than any other, but to be honest they aren’t really in any particular order. Some of them are in Glasgow; some are a bit further afield. 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.
There are lots more I’d like to have added in but sadly in a top ten list I cold only add ten in! So without further ado, here are my 10 of the best family days out near Glasgow. Our Top Ten. Hopefully if you visit any of them, you’ll love them as much as we do!
The Glasgow science centre is an amazing place for families. There is so much for everyone to do. There are 3 floors of interactive exhibits for the whole family plus a whole play area for the under 7’s. There are daily science shows and planetarium shows. You can easily spend a day here, especially if you incorporate a visit to the attached Cineworld Imax into your trip!
This combo is one of our favourite days out in Glasgow. A wander (and a scoot) around the beautiful Glasgow Botanic Gardens with a play in the playpark, a visit to the fish pond in Kibble Palace and a stroll around the greenhouses. Afterwards, head across Great Western Road for some churros or some ice cream in Loop & Scoop. Perfect day out!
Soar at intu Braehead
This place has almost everything you could want for a day out. There’s the cinema and 10 pin bowling, chocolate making sessions at Cocoa Bean, sledging or skiing in SnoZone, there’s trampolining and golf and climbing and The Big Slide. Plus there’s a whole host of restaurants to choose from too. It is the perfect place for a day out on a rainy where you can do everything without even getting a drip of rain on you!
Rustic, lovely and a tiny bit magical, Finlaystone Country Estate is one of our favourite parks to visit. There’s so much to entertain kids, and it’s all outdoors in the woods. It is a fantastic place to run wild and a great place to exercise their big imaginations. And the dog can come along too.
Calderglen has everything my kids want from a day out. Animals, a playpark, a cafe and a river to throw sticks in. The children’s zoo is small but lovely and is perfect for little ones. The playpark is excellent and has something to suit both toddlers and older kids. And you can take a nice walk down along the river too. A great place to visit.
This is probably our favourite place to go when we’ve got a whole morning or afternoon to ourselves. The museum is great with a few dedicated parts for kids with puzzles and dress up amongst other things. And a trip up to the farm on the tractor trailer to see all the farm animals is always brilliant fun. And muddy. So take wellies.
Chatelherault is one of my favourite places in the whole world. The forest there is absolutely beautiful and if the kids are behaving a walk through Chatelherault is just lovely. The playpark is great too. They also have a visitor centre with a nice cafe and special events on at various time of the year.
We had a season pass for Almond Valley when the little lady was 3 so we know this place like the back of our hand. There are farm animals, small animals you can pat, play areas (indoor and out), a big sand pit where you can dig for bones, bouncy pillows and trampolines, a small museum area and a pretty good cafe. It’s also surprisingly good for rainy days as well as dry days.
We love a trip to Loch Lomond. At Balloch you’ll find Balloch Country Park which has a playpark, some nice walks and access to the water – a great place to take the dogs as well as the kids, and you’ll also find Loch Lomond Shores where there’s shops, a few places to eat, a soft play and the Sea Life Centre at Loch Lomond. At the beautiful village of Luss you can go to the lochside beach or you can head through the woods to explore the lovely Luss Faerie Trail – a great activity for families.
The Woodland Fairy Experience is a walk around the majestic woodland of Balfron, through the fairy village, exploring all the fairy houses and fairy doors. It is a really sweet and well thought out activity for kids. (This is a seasonal activity, open from Easter until the end of summer. They also have a Woodland Light Experience in Autumn and a Santa Experience at Christmas.)