Things To Do Outside in Glasgow with Kids
Glasgow is the perfect city for families and kids, especially wild ones.
There is so much to do outdoors with kids in Glasgow that it makes getting outside easy, fun and very accessible. You don’t have to go far to find a park in this “Dear Green Place.” Equally you don’t need to go to a park to get outside with kids because Glasgow has some pretty impressive streets, landmarks, community projects and also plenty of free or paid outdoor activities to enjoy with kids. So you really can take your pick.
An Outside Guide to Glasgow with Kids
Parks and Gardens
Glasgow has over 90 parks and gardens for kids to explore, each offering something different to enjoy and discover.
Pollok Country Park is a real escape from the city. Bring your bikes to explore the park on tarmac or off road on mountain bike trails. Or bring your wellies and explore the woodlands on the fairy trail or a heritage trail. There’s an ever popular playground for kids or go exploring to find Highland Cattle (and often calves) up close or visit the Clydesdale horses in their stables. On Easter Sunday it’s got the perfect hill for egg rolling opposite Pollok House, an 18th century manner, with beautiful gardens to enjoy.
Kelvingrove Park, a classic Victorian Park is the heart of the West End. Play pooh sticks on a bridge over the river Kelvin, join the skaters in the skatepark and learn tricks or throw a penny in the fountain and wish for sun! Near the fountain is a tree for kids big and small, locally called The Climbing Tree – go see for yourself why!
Cuningar Loop, to the East of the City is the newest park in Glasgow and a wonderful addition including 15 hectares of woodland park. Enjoy its excellent adventure play park for kids or practice your bike skills before cycling around to explore the woodlands. If you’re feeling adventurous get climbing in Scotland’s first ever outdoor bouldering park. The kids will want to return here again and again.
Other parks to explore and enjoy include Glasgow Green, Victoria Park, Mugdock Park, Tollcross Park, Linn Park, Dams to Darnley Country Park, Chatelherault Country Park, Rouken Glen, Dawsholm Park and Queen’s Park.
If it’s gardens your after then look no further than Glasgow Botanic Gardens 50 acres of gardens just west of the city. With free entry to all areas including impressive glasshouses, extensive plant collections, a forest of tree ferns and beautiful old trees, the gardens have something all kids will enjoy. The Gardens are open from 7 am to dusk all year, with the glasshouses open 10am – 6pm. (4.15pm in winter)
Other gardens in Glasgow that your kids will love exploring include the Scottish Poet’s Rose Garden in Queen’s Park, extensive formal floral displays in Victoria Park or the world renowned rose garden in Tollcross Park. On a sunny day why not bring your camera and let your kids experiment with natural photography? Explore the Secrets of The Hidden Gardens at the Tramway or in late summer go fruit picking in The Gorbals Rose Garden or the Food Forest in Alexandra Park in Dennistoun.
There are a range of community and volunteer projects for kids across Glasgow.
Baltic Street Adventure Playground in Dalmarnock is a supervised adventure playground where children aged 6 – 12 are free to enter and play as they choose. Younger children are welcome with a carer or guardian. It’s an absolute paradise of adventure and free play for children and a must for having fun outside with kids in Glasgow. It’s mostly open outside school hours so check their site before you go.
Free Wheel North with bases in Maryhill and Glasgow Green is another wonderful community project getting kids and adults of all ages and abilities cycling. Their qualified cycle leaders lead cyclist on rides around Glasgow or their Glasgow Green provides a fun and secure place to learn and have fun. Their wide range of bikes, trikes and quads mean that all abilities can enjoy cycling.
The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow are the last wild space in the west-end of Glasgow and together they provide a wonderful space for children to adventure, explore learn and have fun. The Wood has a mud kitchen, spider web, dens and den building material as well as a myriad of materials and plenty of space for kids to explore and create for themselves.
There are free outdoor learning and planting sessions throughout the year. The meadow has a really cool tree house for kids, a bee dookit and a fire pit for gathering around and toasting marshmallows. The perfect place for families looking to get outside in Glasgow with their kids.
Exploring Urban Glasgow
Parks and Gardens aren’t the only places in Glasgow you can explore outside with kids. Get on your bikes or stroll around the pavements, looking up at the beautiful architecture the city has to offer. Keep kids engaged by going geocaching around the city or follow a treasure trail with either Glasgow’s Spy Missions Treasure Trails or Huntfun. Glasgow City Council have a selection of walking and heritage trails you can follow or you could take the open top bus tour to explore the sights, landmarks and history of Glasgow.
Take a walk along the Clyde, crossing over bridges where pedestrians can and discover the incredible and varied architecture and engineering that created those crossings across the river. Discover the remnants of Glasgow’s ship building past as you go.
There is a wide selection of Commercial Outdoor Facilities for kids in and around Glasgow, to keep them engaged and active all year round.
Kids can learn to ski in the Glasgow Ski and Snowboard Centre, Bearsden or Newmilns Snow and Sports Complex.
Explore Scotland’s agricultural past in The National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride, or its industrial past in Summerlee Heritage Park. Kids would love a peek into Glasgow’s seafaring past onboard the last sea faring paddleship in the world on a Waverly Excursion.
Take a windy cycle through wind turbines at Whitelee Windfarm or perfect your stunts at Linwood Skate Park. Kids can try their hand at outdoor adventure sports including cycling, kayaking, canoeing, water waltzers and archery at Outdoor Trax in Kilsyth north of Glasgow, if you can travel a little further afield. Lambhill Stables offer free canoeing for kids on Thursday evenings as part of their Youth Club, another one of Glasgow’s many wonderful community projects.
For animal loving kids there’s plenty to enjoy ourdoors around Glasgow. Kids can get up close and personal with their furry friends at East Yonderton Farm in Renfrew or Lamont Farm Erskine. Kids will love bird and wildlife watching in an RSPB Reserve either in Motherwell, Balloch or Loch Winnoch or getting closer to our winged companions in World of Wings, Cumbernauld. Or why not get your kids outside on horseback? Roundknowe Farm in Hamilton have a floodlit outdoor school, extending the hours they can spend outside when daylight is at a premium.
Glasgow has so much to offer kids outside on any budget, at any age and at any time of year. So get outside and enjoy the city!