Edinburgh School Holidays 2019 | Day Out With The Kids

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Edinburgh School Holidays 2019: Things to do, activities and ideas

Jo Dorey

07 August 2019

Time to Read

3 minutes

Parents everywhere run on planning, whether that be packing school lunches the night before or finding a matching pair of socks in a mountain of washing. We know you already have masses on your plate so let’s make things easy (or rather, easier!) with a guide to the Edinburgh school holidays, the city’s bank holidays AND Edinburgh’s Inset days.

As well as those essential dates, we’ve whipped together a few activities and our top days out for the Edinburgh school holidays in 2019. Just remember though that it’s best to check the following dates with your school first, just in case!

A view of Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh School Holiday Dates

  • Term Starts: 14th August 2019
  • Autumn Term: 14th August - 20th December 2019
  • October Half Term: 14th - 22nd October 2019
  • Christmas Holidays: 23rd December - 8th January 2020
  • Spring Term: 9th January - 3rd April 2020
  • February Half Term: 10th - 14th February 2020
  • Easter Holidays: 6th - 20th April 2020
  • Summer Term: 21st April - 26th June 2020
  • May Holidays: 4th May, 8th May, 18th May 2020
  • Summer Holidays: 29th June - 19th August 2020

Want to know when you’re off at the same time as your kids? Here are the bank holidays for Edinburgh:

  • New Year’s Day: 1st January 2020 
  • 2nd January: 2nd January 2020
  • Good Friday: 10th April 2020
  • Easter Monday: 13th April 2020
  • Early May bank holiday: 8th May 2020
  • Spring bank holiday: 25th May 2020
  • Summer bank holiday: 3rd August 2020

Top activities for the Edinburgh school holidays

Next up, activities galore! Free time with the family is a wonderful thing but you need to know where to start, so here’s our pick for a few of the best activities in Edinburgh. We’ve made sure to choose indoor and outdoor days out too as you never can rely on that Scottish sun.

Edinburgh museums are a wild and wonderful lot, with subject matters veering from mining to childhood, instruments to transport, and they’re not just about a love for learning. Loads of them have interactive exhibits and activity trails to keep the kids busy, especially on a quiet Sunday.

Kids playing at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.

Who doesn’t love a good stomp through puddles and piles of crunchy leaves?  The country parks in Edinburgh are full of them, as well as adventure play areas and nature trails where you can see how many curious critters your tribe can spot. Just be sure to pack a picnic.

Animal-mad kids can meet all sorts of furry faces at one of the many wildlife centres and zoos in Edinburgh. They could be the famous pandas at Edinburgh Zoo or one of the majestic residents of The Scottish Deer Centre, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling.

Has your brood perfected their swing or are they all about having the sides up? Either way, tenpin bowling in Edinburgh would be a great way to play the day away, particularly with arcade games, prizes and more up for grabs. Ready, set, ROLL!

And now for something oh so splashy: Edinburgh has a pretty decent selection of swimming pools with wave machines, floaties and a few slides thrown in for good measure. There are also loads of options for swimming lessons so your tadpoles can beat their best times.

Kids leaping into an indoor pool.

Top places to visit in the Edinburgh school holidays

We promised to share our top days out for the Edinburgh school holidays, so here they are. We’ve even got a list of our favourite Edinburgh events taking place throughout the year so you’ll never be stuck for ideas.

  • Camera Obscura and World of Illusions: See the city in a totally new and totally wild way with six floors full of interactive activities, ranging from a sneaky spyglass to the Magic Gallery, plus an enormous kaleidoscope you can actually stand inside. Perspective is thrown into question but one thing’s for sure: it’s fantastic fun.

  • Gorgie City Farm: Pay a visit to some of the cutest creatures this side of the border - including Mrs Murdoch the tortoise - at this community-led farm. Chickens and pigs live alongside Beck the bearded dragon and there is a lovely playpark for your little animals to run around while the grown-ups peruse fresh fruit and veg.

    A pig at Gorgie City Farm.

  • Dynamic Earth: Dinosaurs, volcanoes and polar ice caps are all part of the furniture here with an interactive tour which is sure to blow a few socks off! This is education at its very best, especially by the time you reach the full dome theatre which, with a hefty dose of movie magic, takes you on a guided tour of nature’s secrets. Simply put, it’s a winner.

  • The Edinburgh Treasure Trail: Why not use the Edinburgh school holidays to explore every nook and cranny throughout the city? Hunt down clues and see the sights on a two-hour trek where you’ll spot Scottish Parliament or take a turn past the Palace of Holyroodhouse. You’ll even pass by Dynamic Earth so team two days out in one.

  • The Yard: This is a specially designed play centre for SEN kids and young people, and is simply stuffed with fun things! Have a toot on a musical instrument, dress up in colourful costumes or kick back in the sensory room. The team are an experienced bunch and ready to show you the ropes, so get stuck in.

    A child playing at The Yard, Edinburgh.

That’s our guide to the Edinburgh school holidays in 2019; if there’s nothing here that you think will fit the bill, hop on over to our things to do in Edinburgh page where the options are (nearly) endless. No get out there and explore more!


Glasgow School Holidays | Leeds School Holidays | Hampshire School Holidays | Norfolk School Holidays | Birmingham School Holidays | Derbyshire School Holidays | Sheffield School Holidays | Nottinghamshire School Holidays | Leicestershire School Holidays | Essex School Holidays | Staffordshire School Holidays | Surrey School Holidays | Manchester School Holidays | East Sussex School Holidays | Somerset School Holidays | Kent School Holidays | Warwickshire School Holidays | West Sussex School Holidays 



Jo Dorey

07 August 2019

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Jo is a Copywriter at Day Out With The Kids. She’s lived all over the world in places like Pakistan, Hungary and Hong Kong - these days though she loves a good, long walk and hanging out with her cat, Fergus.

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