Glasgow is a popular city in Scotland and one of the country's most beautiful. It began as a small settlement by River Clyde and has evolved to become the biggest city in all of Scotland. There are some incredible buildings and sights to see in Glasgow and if you ever get the opportunity to travel here it is a highly recommended place to visit. In fact, it is in the top five most visited cities in all of the UK.
This is a great place for a family getaway and there are lots of activities for kids to enjoy here and the adults, too. This list is some of the top attractions and places to go that are perfect for people traveling with kids, so make sure to check some of them out while you are in the area. Don't let backpacks and extra gear slow anyone down! Keep your bags at a luggage storage facility in Glasgow while you are out on your family adventure.
Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre
One of Glasgow's family friendly things to do is the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre. The exhibits in this theatre display some creative art from the Russian mechanic and sculptor Eduard Bersudsky. Everything that he constructed was made completely out of junk and old scrap, which makes it even more impressive.
The best part of visiting this place is watching the show, which is sure to enchant you and your kids once it begins. Lights, music and shadows bring the creations to life so be prepared to be intrigued for the whole 40 minutes of the show.
Glasgow Climbing Centre
The Glasgow Climbing Centre is a great way to be active on your family trip to the city. There are different areas in the centre that are suitable for people of all ages and skill levels. Some of the courses are reserved for adults, although many are child-friendly.
Three different areas exist based on age range; one for kids between 7 and 12, one for children between 12 and 17, and the last one which is reserved for grown-ups. There are sometimes special events and activities hosted on school holidays so check to see if anything is going on while you're in town. The climbing centre is housed in an old church that is located close to the Ibrox and Cessnock stations, making it easily accessible by metro.
The People's Palace Museum
The People's Palace Museum in Glasgow is one of the best places to learn about local history and culture. It is a good way to discover more about the city, how it came to be and what it means to its people. The displays found here will educate you on the city, ranging from years ago to its present day, as well as how Glaswegians lived throughout the years.
Near Glasgow Central Station, you can find this museum in Glasgow Green and after making your way through it you will definitely have a new understanding and respect for the city that you are in. The gardens found outside are also worth visiting and house an impressive number of exotic plants.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum first opened to the public over a century ago and is a great spot for children to learn in some pretty exciting exhibits. There are displays with old artifacts as well as art in the on-site gallery sure to interest you and the kids, too.
They often host fun events like guided tours in the museum that look at different dinosaurs, their eggs, and nests that existed back in prehistoric times. Other popular attractions include a Mark 21 Spitfire.
The Hunterian Museum
Museums are great for children. This is another one for dinosaur lovers! Kids will have a blast here since they will be able to see a huge collection of fossils, dinosaur skeletons, and artifacts from the age of the dinosaurs. One of the exhibits is a 330 million-year-old shark that was found in north Bearsden.
If anyone in your family is a Harry Potter fan, you will love to visit the nearby university campus. This impressive piece of architecture is said to be the inspiration for the famous Hogwarts castle.
Glasgow Science Centre
The Glasgow Science Centre is one of the favorite places for most families who visit the city because there is so much to do here. You will find an impressive planetarium, an IMAX cinema, a science mall, and a revolving tower all under one roof.
You can easily spend a whole afternoon here watching movies in the theater, shopping in the mall and exploring the planetarium. Before you leave be sure to visit the Glasgow Tower where you can see an incredible view of the city and the river from 417 feet high.
Tollcross Children's Farm
This is a small petting zoo and farm in Glasgow that is sure to be a top destination among all children who visit. You can see and interact with all of your favorite farm animals here like pigs, horses, sheep, llamas and ponies.
This is a place where kids can be kids, they can run around and have fun petting all of the cute animals. You can find this fun attraction in The Courtyard in Glasgow and they even offer free entry, so there is no reason to not pay them a visit.
Provand's Lordship is an impressive site in Glasgow because it is actually the oldest house in the city. It was constructed all the way back in 1471 and the interior is furnished with paintings, decorations and furniture dating back to the 17th century.
This is a fun way to visualize the olden days of Glasgow and those with a big imagination can pretend that they are citizens from centuries ago living in the old house. You can visit the Provand's Lordship at no cost.
Pollok Country Park
The Pollok Country Park is a must-visit place in Glasgow for the whole family. Although it is located only a short train ride away from the city centre you will feel like you are transported to a completely different place.
There is much to see here, like the Clydesdale horses and highland cattle. Otherwise, you can play around on the nearby mountain bike circuit or visit the Pollok house and art collection stored inside.
Glasgow Bus Tour
There are lots of ways to see the city and you can find Glasgow tours around most of the main tourist areas in the city. If you are looking to see all of the best landmarks, you might want to consider buying a ticket for a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
This is always perfect for families since the double-decker tour buses are quite exciting and it lets families see the city without having to walk around too much. Many of the places on this list can be accessed from one of these bus routes, and they offer a great audio commentary as well. Some companies even have a commentary channel made specifically for children.
The Riverside Museum and Tall Ship
Everyone will have a good time at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow. This place has taken over the old Museum of Transport and now houses a collection of cars, bikes, trains, trams and other vehicles in its 7,500 square meter structure.
It is a great place to see the history of Glasgow and how the ways of transportation have changed over time. Outside on the River Clyde, you can see The Tall Ship Glenlee which is a 19th century trading vessel that is docked outside of the museum. You can even enter the ship to learn all about the history of its life, spanning more than 125 years.
Free Wheel North
Come to Free Wheel North for some fun and active adventure play for kids and adults. It is a cycle centre where children can ride around on their own wheels in a fun and safe place.
You can find almost any kind of way to peddle around here including bikes, go-karts, tricycles, four-wheel carts and two-person bikes. Once you enter you will be confined to a huge outdoor area with grass and pathways for you and the little ones to explore.
During your family day trip around the city of Glasgow make sure to find time to visit the old Lighthouse. It is now a historic landmark and also a nice place to see the city from above.
The architecture of the lighthouse is impressive and well worth visiting on its own. You will have to climb to the top, so make sure that everyone is dressed appropriately. There are also several exhibits on display here.
Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre
Have you ever been interested in making your own puppets? If so, then you should definitely make a stop by the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre while you are in Glasgow. This attraction is supported and funded by Glasgow Life.
The goal of the theatre is to promote the old way of crafting puppets. After your visit, you will begin to see puppet making as a tradition and art form, and the kids can even make their own masks and puppets in the workshops, too.
If you want to see all of the top landmarks in the city be sure to stop by Doulton Fountain which is found in Kelvingrove Park. The fountain was built in the late 1800s and is a truly impressive sight with five tiers of intricately carved statues on display.
The characters shown in the statue represent different countries around the world. The fountain was constructed out of terracotta which is why it is so weather resistant and allows it to be appreciated year-round. This is also a great way to spend time outdoors in one of Glasgow's beautiful parks and the kids can run and play while the parents relax.
What are the Best Family Activities in Glasgow?
The Best Activities for Younger Kids
Free Wheel North will definitely be fun for little kids, but there is not much for older children or adults to do here. The Hunterian Museum is popular among young visitors since it has so many cool attractions like dinosaur skeletons. The Glasgow Science Centre is one of the best things to do in Glasgow with kids since there is so much for them to do at the interactive exhibits.
The Best Activities for Older Kids
The Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre can be interesting for all audiences but the kids will have to be quiet while the shows are going on, and some visitors reported that their kids were scared of the music and sculptures. Although there are climbing areas suitable for small children, some areas in the Glasgow Climbing Centre are reserved for big kids. Pollok Country Park is Glasgow's largest park and there will be a lot of walking involved, which is why it might be better suited to older kids.
Free Things to do With Kids
You can see brilliant views from the top of The Lighthouse free of charge. Many families have a great time at the Tollcross Children's Farm, and you don't have to pay to get in. If you want to experience some of Glasgow's history then you can stop by the Provand's Lordship, and you don't have to buy a ticket to see the city's oldest house.
Family Fun in Glasgow From the West End to East End
There is so much to do in Glasgow and it is a spectacular place to book a family vacation since you can find both old and modern attractions. You can walk among the streets and appreciate the Victorian-era houses followed by some mini golf, or spend a rainy day in a history or art museum.
It can be great to get some fresh air in one of the beautiful nature parks by the River Kelvin or in Glasgow Green and stop by one of the family friendly restaurants once you get hungry. Even if you would rather explore the city on your own without a plan it won't take you long to come across a hidden gem that the whole family will enjoy.