With the summer holidays fast approaching, attention is turning to ways to keep the kids entertained over the coming months. Luckily, Scotland is the perfect playground for exploring, packed full of mini adventures from fun-filled festivals to outstanding outdoor experiences.
So as the Year of Young People 2018 continues, here is some handy holiday inspiration that might help parents prepare for an action packed summer.
Enjoy a family-friendly festival…
2 –4 August, Belladrum Estate by Beauly, Highlands
Homegrown in the Highlands, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival is back to wow revellers with acts such as Paloma Faith, Amy MacDonald, and many more. This year, experience a festival within a festival as young people create an alternative world where imagination is indulged and nothing is impossible. Welcome to OTHERLAND, featuring music, dance, theatre, comedy and poetry, all designed, built, directed and performed by Scotland’s young people.
13-18 August, Highlands & Moray Speyside
Join the Highland Youth Arts Hub and the National Trust for Scotland for a new, multi-arts summer festival! Watch performances from local bands, film screenings and exhibitions from young artists. The new team of Youth Curators will co-ordinate and host events at Glencoe, Glenfinnan, Inverewe Garden, Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage and Museum, Brodie Castle and Culloden Battlefield so come along to enjoy and support local creativity and culture at this festival for all the family.
11- 28 August, 5A Charlotte Square, Edinburgh
Crack the code and unlock the joy of reading as you discover this brilliant and inspiring strand of events for children and families at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Co-curated by a group of 8-14 year olds from Craigmillar, working with the Festival team, Codename F includes Q&As with much-loved authors, topical debates and more, all centred around the theme of Freedom.
Celebrate the Year of Young People…
29 – 30 June, Various locations across Edinburgh and the Lothians
IRONKIDS Scotland is a series of fun, family focused, mass participation running events. With age group races for young people aged 3 to 14, the event will be held on the days leading up to the endurance triathlon, IRONMAN 70.3 Edinburgh. Taking place across Dalkeith Country Park (29 June), Preston Links, Prestonpans (30 June) and Holyrood Park (30 June), IRONKIDS Scotland will have loads of entertainment and sports taster sessions at each venue.
30 June, National Mining Museum of Scotland, Newtongrange
Be blown away by the National Mining Museum Scotland’s first Annual Youth Brass Band Competition at the Lady Victoria Colliery in Newtongrange! Youth brass bands from across the country will be showcasing their skills and you’ll also be able to learn why brass bands were such an integral part of mining communities. If the day got you in the mood for dancing, stay on for the Mining Museum Late: Billy Elliot and boogie the night away. Get hands on with the museum’s collection, recreate some iconic scenes from the movie in the green room and let the DJ take you back to the 80s before you sit back, relax and enjoy a screening of this classic on the big screen.
13-15 July, An Talla Grounds, Isle of Tiree
Described as one of the most stunning festival locations in the world. Tiree Music Festival will once again welcome world-class musicians from Scotland and beyond. Brand new for 2018 will be the ELEVATE stage, programmed entirely by young people and showcasing fresh new talent alongside a new creative programme for families that will focus on four core elements of life in Tiree – Sun, Sand, Wind and Water.
27 July , Paisley Town Hall
Write Here Write Now, an exciting new Young Writers Festival, will feature plays, monologues, songs and poetry developed by young aspiring talent from across the country. Through a highly participative, hands-on approach, young people will be involved at each stage of the event, from the creation of new writings to the running of the festival with a final performance at Paisley Town Hall.
3 August, Usher Hall, Edinburgh
The 2018 Edinburgh International Festival bursts into life with a spectacular free outdoor digital performance reflecting on the centenary of the end of the Great War. Inspired by themes of communication, including telegrams sent by young soldiers in 1918, Five Telegrams combines a newly commissioned orchestral score by Scottish composer Anna Meredith, with projected digital artworks by 59 Productions. The event will be developed with contributions from Edinburgh-based young people, with over 250 taking part in the performance.
Exciting events for all the family…
1 July: Pirate Day – 10am-5pm and 11 August: Superhero Day – 10am-5pm, Dunure Rd, Alloway by Ayr,
Whatever the weather, there is fun for all the family to be had at Heads of Ayr Farm Park. There are plenty of exciting activities for the kids to enjoy. Let them captain their own boat within the amazing bumper boats, soak family and friends in water wars or try out the electric tractors and diggers. There is also the opportunity to see the Park’s animal residents including Ralph the Camel and Troy the Tapir. This summer, the park will be showcasing a Pirate and Superhero day with a whole range of activities to keep the little ones entertained.
30 June – 26 August, Edinburgh, Midlothian
Solve the puzzles of our planet in a new family experience at Dynamic Earth this summer. Learn more about the biggest environment challenges facing Earth by becoming a trainee environmental scientist and investigate Earth’s land, air and oceans in a range of hands-on activities including food chain Jenga, an indoor meadow and piloting a drone.
21 Jun – 25 October, Glencoe National Nature Reserve, Highlands & Islands
Take a journey off the beaten track in one of Scotland’s most spectacular national nature reserves on a ranger-led adventure covering history, wildlife, geology and more. Suitable for adults and children over 10.
30 June- 1 July, Linlithgow Palace & 28-29 July at Caerlaverock Castle
Hear the thunder of hooves and the clashing of lances as historic sites at Linlithgow Palace and Caerlaverock Castle hosts a jousting tournament. Watch as noble knights battle it out to be crowned champion.
9 June, Edinburgh, Midlothian
Visitors to the house can take a self-led tour of Leith’s maritime history, get hands-on with object handling activities and participate in craft activities inspired by the history of Trinity House. This year, the attraction will be debuting their brand-new Curator Activity Workshop where you can don the white gloves and become a museum professional!
Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway
Discover a wealth of indoor and outdoor adventure activities that the whole family can enjoy on the stunning Galloway Coast. From grass sledging to zip wires, there is an activity to fit all ages and fitness. Whether you want to try your hand at adrenaline-pumping activities such as one of Europe’s longest zip wires or test your aim with archery, Laggan Outdoor runs numerous activities that will make your summer holiday one to remember.
With plenty of adventures, big and small, in the great outdoors, Wee Adventures, based in Perthshire, helps challenge and inspired its young visitors to discover Scotland’s natural playground. Enjoy canoeing, biking, climbing, abseiling, tree climbing, slacklining, bush craft or forest play adventures. Wee Adventures offers it all, as well as Activity Days, brilliant birthday party ideas and an Adventure and Bike Club. No two days are the same at Wee Adventures with the kids bound to return muddy, tired, happy and inspired!
Various locations throughout Scotland
With bases in Oban, Fort William and Perthshire. Vertical Descents offers sessions including canyoning, coasteering and white water rafting to bridge swings, paintball and off-road segways. With a range of family activity breaks on offer there is plenty of ways to discover the beauty of Scotland’s landscapes in a new and exciting way.
Rolling Haggis offers an exhilarating experience which will delight thrill-seeking youngsters. Head to Dalkeith Country Park to try Hamster Balling in a Haggis Pen. Designed for children of all ages, and running throughout the holidays, participants climb inside a Zorb enclosed within the Haggis Pen and are then free to roam around, trying out forward flips, backwards rolls and crashing into the other Zorbs.
Forres, Moray Speyside
Take the kids this summer to the Playful Gardens at Brodie Castle. The family-friendly gardens are home to Scotland’s biggest rabbit sculpture giving them the opportunity to meet many of the quirky characters and listen to their stories while connecting them to the 400 year history of the Brodie clan.
For more family-friendly fun visit: www.visitscotland.com
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