Glasgow offers all kinds of options for entertaining children whether you want to chill out with a coffee while the little dears scamper, supervised, up a climbing wall, do something educational in one of the city's best museums, or just go and get some fresh air while marvelling over the sheer power of a thoroughbred Clydesdale horse.
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Walking distance from the Cessnock and Ibrox subway stations, the centre – housed in a former church – is accessible and eminently child-friendly although serious adult climbers come here too. Rock Ratz sessions are for kids aged seven to 12, while more challenging Climbatize sessions target 12 to 17-year-olds. There is also a café and further children’s sessions during school holidays.
More a campus of attractions than a single venue, the titanium-skinned Glasgow Science Centre comprises a science mall, a brilliant planetarium, a revolving space-age tower and an IMAX cinema. You get interactive science infotainment at the mall, great visuals in the planetarium and IMAX, then brilliant views from the tower, soaring 417 feet above the city and the Clyde.
Kelvingrove has been the place to take kids on a rainy day since it opened more than a century ago. It has art, artefacts and exhibits to delight anyone: a Mark 21 Spitfire for example. Until 16 August this year it hosts Hatching The Past: Dinosaur Eggs And Babies, a touring exhibition looking at dinosaurs via their eggs, embryos, nests and young.
Giving you all the benefits of a trip to the country, without actually going there, Pollok Country Park covers more than 360 acres in the southwest of the city; a suburban train from Glasgow Central to Pollokshaws West, adjacent to the park, takes less than 10 minutes. Here you find hairy Highland cattle, Clydesdale horses, a mountain bike circuit, a play park and lots more to entertain the kids.
Glasgow is blessed with a fantastic civic transport collection of bikes, cars, locomotives, motorbikes, trams and other vehicles running on rails and tyres. Since 2011 the city has also had a world-class museum building where this collection can be displayed: the bold and striking Riverside, designed by Zaha Hadid. The bonus extra on site is the impressive steel-hulled barque, the Glenlee, berthed directly outside the museum (thetallship.com).
Football has been a major part of life in Scotland for around 150 years. The museum, housed in the national stadium in the south of the city, tells the tale with displays, film footage and memorabilia; there are regular stadium tours too. It’s a great afternoon out for football-daft kids and for parents or grandparents who still daydream of scoring a cup-winning goal on the Hampden pitch.