Being residents of Edinburgh for over 10 years has granted us plenty of time to explore and learn about Edinburgh’s rich history and the best places to go with your baby. In the following I have written about some of the top things to do with a baby in Edinburgh. On a note we are not paid, endorsed nor receive any kind of payment for this guide, it is honest and written from a fathers point of view. So lets jump into it and begin.
When visiting Edinburgh with a baby, it is a good idea to take a stroller or sling as some areas can be quiet hilly. This is especially true in the dean village area so just be ready for a full body workout. And do be warned that there are lots of cobblestone roads (of which they seem to be covering up more and more).
- National Museum of Scotland – FREE
- Museum of Childhood – FREE
- Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World – £
- Camera Obscura and World of Illusions – £££
- Deep Sea World – £££
Above are some of the most fun and interesting places to go with a baby in Edinburgh. Suitable for all ages including adults too!
- Portobello Beach – FREE
- Arthur’s Seat – FREE
- Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – FREE
- Calton Hill – FREE
- Baby Bowlers Group – £
- Craigmillar Castle – £
If the sun is shining why not consider doing an outdoor activity with your baby in Edinburgh? We highly recommend the Botanical Gardens and Calton Hill. Not only will these outdoor places be great for your child’s urge to gain more knowledge and interaction with surroundings – but also immensely good for your health and wellbeing. Another benefit is that you will gain more strength as you carry around all that the extra baby gear, excellent training for all the tiny to huge human lifting you will need to do in the near future.
- Bookbug – FREE
- Sing And Sign with Jessy Cat – ££
- Doodles Ceramics Workshop – £
- Baby and Toddler Music with Jackie – ££
- Playgroups / Parent & Toddler Groups – FREE
- Talking Tots – ££
- Afrexobics Dance Club – Baby In A Sling Class – £
And finally, if you want to develop both you and your babies knowledge, why not consider a baby class in Edinburgh? There are so many to choose from and are lots of fun. Plenty of opportunities for your little human to interact with other babies and people.
£ – Inexpensive (under £5)
££ – Moderate (£5-£10)
£££ – Expensive (£10+)
FREE – Free entrance but donations are accepted.
Top Indoor Baby Places In Edinburgh
National Museum of Scotland – FREE
First off in this list is the National Museum Of Scotland and there is a good reason for that. Boasting fantastic children and baby areas, there are so many activities things to see and do here. Watch as your little one soaks up the surroundings and things going on. The museum features a chill out zone where you can cuddle up on beanbags and take some time out from exploring the vast museum. The main kids / baby area is located on the first floor just to the left of the huge autonomic clock. If you get lost just keep an eye out for a member of staff who are absolutely wonderful and will be happy to help. Activities are organised for babies and children on a regular basis.
The museums has a very open photograph policy, which means some great photo snapping opportunities with your baby.
“We are happy for you to take photographs, including flash photography, in the galleries, but photography is not permitted in special exhibitions or unless otherwise stated.”https://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/plan-your-visit/#photography
Deep Sea World – £££
Technically outside of Edinburgh but well worth putting on this list is Deep Sea World. It is quiet possible to spend a whole day here as there is just so much to see and do. Watch as your little one is amazed by all the fascinating fish. There are “hands-on” tanks which youngster (or adults if you are feeling brave) can interact with all kinds of aquatic creatures. Windows licking is inevitable so just be prepared for it!
The Museum of Childhood – FREE
Learn what it was like in the past for children growing up at the Museum Of Childhood.
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions – £££
Over 166 years old being opened in 1853. Full of truly fascinating optical illusions and lots of fun for kids, babies and adults alike. Fun fact that in Latin, the Camera Obscura means “dark room”.
We haven’t personally visited Camera Obscura as it’s fairly pricey but we keep hearing great things about it. Definitely worth checking out.
Dovecot Studios – ££
Are you and your baby feeling arty? Then head on over to Dovecot Studios, a landmark centre for contemporary art, craft and design. There are too many events to list in this already lengthy post but you can find out whats on at Dovecot Studios with this link.
A short 4 minute walk from The National Museum of Scotland, it is worth just popping in for a cup of tea to enjoy the colourful surroundings.
Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World – £
We cannot praise this place highly enough. The staff are superb, very knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming. Butterfly World is a great stop for tourists and full of educational attractions. Be warned though, it’s literally a jungle inside, which means it is really, really hot. Wear your beach clothes if you plan to spend more than a few minutes inside the main “sauna” room. But dont worry as you can go in and out as you please.
There are regular events like the animal handling here. I held a snake but couldn’t bring myself to even go near a spider, eww! There is a nice little park outside with some swings and park benches for a wee picnic and a breath of fresh Scottish air.
Butterfly World is located just next to Dobbies Garden Centre. It is definitely worth mentioning is that Dobbies has a great soft play area inside for reasonable price. We didn’t have time to try the soft play, another one for the to-do list.
Best Outdoor Baby Places In Edinburgh
Baby Bowlers Group – £
Wonderful wee outdoor space which is run by local parents in the community for ages 0-5. When the sun is shining, Baby Bowlers is a fantastic morning toddler group. There are snacks for kids and tea /coffee for parents. It another great excuse to mingle with the locals and let your baby socialise too. Held during term time on Tuesday and Thursday between 9:15am and 11:00am. The first session is free and only £2 per family thereafter.
- Term time only
- Tuesday and Thursday: 9.15 – 11.00
Craigmillar Castle – £
Soak in some of Edinburgh’s rich history at Craigmillar Castle.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – FREE
A regular choice for when we want to take our baby boy out in Edinburgh is the Royal Botanical Gardens. Pack a picnic, take some nuts and take your camera for some truly awesome photos with your baby and the wildlife.
Boasting a huge range of plants and trees, ranging all the way from jungle to desert species. It’s a great way to soak up the sun (weather permitting) and you can easily spend a full day here. Each time we visit we notice something new. The range of friendly wildlife is truely fantastic. Regular sightings of squirrels, fat pigeons, even some cats come hang out in this beautiful garden. They all (for the most part) are very tame and will even eat from the hand of your child. They know this is the place for free food. Lots of large open spaces, and there is even a rain-forest inside a massive greenhouse in the north-east portion. A must do.
Arthur’s Seat – FREE
Next up, if you are feeling fit then Arthur’s Seat is a wonderful outdoor activity to do with your baby in Edinburgh. There is a huge range of different species of animals and flowers to discover here. From the crows on the aptly named “Crow Hill” to the swans and ducks at Dunsapie Loch. If you plan to go further up than the Loch, I would recommend taking your baby in a sling and wear appropriate boots.
The easiest route up is to take the Queen’s Drive and ascend to the peak from Dunsapie Loch. This route is mostly road and pavement with some lovely plants and wildlife to be seen on route. We like to take the short, steep route up from the Commonwealth Pool as the bus stops fairly close to this path. This means I don’t need to carry our baby food black-hole quiet as far and can spend more time on the peak with him. Be warned though, this path is fairly rocky and steep. You should only attempt this route if you are very comfortable with hill climbing.
Calton Hill – FREE
Having some spectacular panoramic views over Edinburgh and so very close to the centre and all of its transport networks is Carlton Hill. Really is no reason to skip this one.
There is an observatory on the peak for star gazing which can be booked for an astronomical experience but at a down to earth price of around £15. Yet to do this but it’s on the baby bucket list.
Please note that there are about 20 steps to access Carlton Hill if you enter from the side closest to the city centre. People are very helpful and will be happy to help you lift a pram up or down the stairs.
Portobello Beach – FREE
Get those baby hands sandy at Portobello Beach. There are lots of lovely cafe’s along the beach front or bring a picnic to save some cash. Babies love sand, the texture in their hands (and mouth) is fascinating to them. When your baby does decide to put a handful of sand in his mouth, just rinse with some water and let them drink some too.
There are family events which are held at Portobello beach which are great for a day full of family fun. Races, sporting events and many more activities.
Baby Classes In Edinburgh
Afrexobics Dance Club – Baby In A Sling Class – £
Learn some fun and exotic African dance moves with your baby at the Afrexobics Dance Club’s Baby In A Sling class. This is a great way to keep fit whilst bonding with your baby at the same time. The class is so much fun and full of energy. At a bargain price of only £4 for a 50 minute session. Held on Fridays and no booking is required, just drop in. Be sure to check there Facebook page for when the term is active.
Bookbug – FREE
All over the UK
This class is a must do for all parents, it can be very popular so make sure you get there early to secure a place at your local Bookbug group. We love it. The class sing a lot of children’s songs with hand and body movements to accompany the rhymes. My favourite has to be the “green frogs one day” song, which one is yours?
Did you know that kids who are read 3 or more books a day shall learn over one million words before starting primary school? Passing this one million word threshold turns out to be beneficial for both your baby’s learning and brain development. This is yet another great excuse to socialise with other parents at your local library and read your baby some books before or after the Bookbug group.
Sing And Sign with Jessy Cat – ££
All over the UK
Everyone should do the Sign and Sign with Jessy Cat classes with their baby. Not only does your child get to meet new people, develop social skills and learn how to communicate before speech. But also the parents get to learn sign language and mingle. Lots of fun and well worth every penny. Our boy has learned so many helpful signs which has made life as a parent lot easier. Highly recommended.
Talking Tots – ££
A fantastic way to aid the development of your babies speech is at the class Talking Tots. Perhaps your child is struggling to communicate vocally, as our child does. Talking Tots can help with the struggle your little one has. With multi-lingual families, baby’s can take longer to develop their speech. They have more than one language to learn and this takes time for them to process. One key thing you should be doing is talking in a single language to them. For example, mummy speaks Spanish and I speak English. This helps your child identify the different languages and store that information in the correct language!
Baby and Toddler Music with Jackie – ££
Another superb way to aid you child’s development is the interactive baby and music event led by Jackie and her guitar. She runs 4 separate classes on Mondays and Thursdays for different age groups (0-1 year, 1-2 years, 2-3 years and 3+ years). The classes are a lot of fun and are very interactive with signing, dancing and making music with all sorts of props and instruments. Great family fun.
Doodles Ceramics Workshop – ££
Create a piece of art with your baby in Edinburgh at Doodles Ceramics Workshop. It is lovely to make something which you and your baby created and can cherish forever.
Playgroups / Parent & Toddler Groups – FREE
There are numerous groups for parents and toddlers all over Edinburgh. We are lucky enough to have a few to choose from nearby on different days of the week. It’s a great way for you to get out with your baby and meet others in the same boat! The playgroups are usually organised by parents and include tea’s and snacks. Most groups are free but some have a very low fee.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below which is your favourite thing to do with a baby in Edinburgh.
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