Family fantastic Glasgow: 10 reasons why Glasgow is perfect for families
One of the things we noticed on our first visit to Glasgow was the warmth and friendliness of the city: People went out of their way to be welcoming. What’s more, all the major museums and galleries in the city are free so it’s perfect if you’re on a budget. Come with me down the River Clyde and find out what Glasgow has to offer.
This is one of my all-time favourite museums. It’s a little bit bonkers, with the main hall housing Sir Roger the elephant, a World War II Spitfire plus the spooky Hanging Heads. All ages will find something here to amuse or inspire. Certainly my teenage son was happy to spend an afternoon here, seeking out the weird and wonderful.
2. The Hampden Experience
You don’t have to be a fan of Scottish football to enjoy this fascinating museum and stadium tour. Our favourite section was Hampden Hotshots where the speed of our penalty kicks was measured. My teenager performed well but his mother disgraced herself when her shoe flew into the net, rather than the ball.
3. Riverside Museum
It’s no wonder this was voted European Museum of the Year in 2013; the modern building is chock-full of cars, bikes and even skateboards. Berthed outside is the Tall Ship, Glenlee, with an under-fives play area in the cargo hold.
4. Escape Rooms Scotland
Groups of 2-6 people have an hour to solve fiendish puzzles to unlock the door and escape. With rooms including Zombie Quarantine and Bank Heist, this is an ideal treat for teenagers.
5. Powerboats Glasgow
Fancy an adrenaline-fuelled trip up the river in a speed boat? Located next to the Science Centre, this new company provides exhilarating rides including a popular coffee and donut run: thankfully the donuts are provided at the end of the trip. Prices for children start at a very reasonable £5.
6. Glasgow Science Centre
The building itself is worth seeing even before you go inside to explore three floors of interactive activities plus a Planetarium and IMAX cinema. Make sure you plan your day to include an event at the Science Show Theatre.
7. Glasgow Botanic Gardens
The perfect place for a walk with the children and the family dog too. There’s a play area plus a children’s garden, worth hunting out if you’re a regular visitor. It’s the ideal place for a picnic but if it’s raining, head for the warmth of Kibble Palace glasshouse and try out the new café.
8. City Sightseeing Glasgow
If you’d rather see the sights by road, a hop-on hop-off bus tour is a great way to spend the day. Adults can listen to the beguiling voice of historian Neil Oliver. School-aged kids can scare themselves silly with a Ghoulish Glasgow audio guide or play Pokémon Go with a downloadable map of Pokestops.
9. Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre
Eduard Bersudsky’s creation is an intriguing attraction for older children and adults. Marvel at the choreography of hundreds of carved figures and pieces of scrap material accompanied by a haunting music and light show.
10. Scotland Street School Museum
Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the school is now a museum representing 100 years of education. Adults will appreciate the Mackintosh design; children will love dressing up as a pupil from Victorian times. Let’s hope they are on their best behaviour for the Headteacher’s guided tour.
If you’re visiting for longer, Glasgow is perfectly placed for trips further afield. We spent a relaxing week on Loch Lomond, travelling from Glasgow. The drive to Edinburgh is very quick too but I suggest taking a detour to Falkirk to see the ingenious Falkirk Wheel and the enormous Kelpies. Glasgow always makes us smile. As the Scots would say – it’s pure dead brilliant!