Glasgow sits on the River Clyde and is a bustling cultural hub with a population of over half a million Glaswegians. It's a perfect city for a family staycation; there's plenty to keep young ones amused.


We have a variety of ideas for all ages in Glasgow; from immersing yourselves in history at a preserved early 20th century home to learning about the skilful art of puppetry - there's something to suit all tastes!

Here are 10 of the best family days out in Glasgow

1. The Tall Ship

Aye-aye captain – all aboard the Tall Ship! The main attraction at this nautical-but-nice exhibit is the Glenlee, just one of the hundreds of ships once built in Glasgow's historic shipyards. Children can learn about the boat's history, have a go turning the wheel, meet a sailor and explore the numerous decks and creepy cabins tucked below. There's even an under-5's play area in the hold.

Every day, there's extra family fun with Daily Captain's Challenge and Mouse Hunt – a chance to count how many model mice are hiding on board. The Tall Ship is berthed next to the new Riverside Museum – combine both for a brilliant family day out.

TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 stars

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"Well worth a day out. A wonderful place to visit with children (young and old). Lots of things to see and marvel at. I love how it’s set up, so that you can wander in and out of ‘shop’ fronts (you can dress up too!!)." TripAdvisor reviewer, Bmckeown.

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2. Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium

Dive into a magical underwater world, just 20 minutes from Glasgow's centre. This impressive aquarium is part of the national Sea Life chain. Children can say hello to Scotland's largest collection of sharks, watch sleek otters frolic and play, and stroke a starfish or get up-close with a crab at the interactive rockpool – a perennial favourite with little ones.

Other attractions include green turtles, seahorses and orange and white striped clown fish – the original little Nemos. New for 2019 is Lair of Claws - an area dedicated to the most feared sea predators including the Giant Japanese Spider Crab.

TripAdvisor Rating: 3.5 stars

"Great, worthwhile attraction. We’ve been to a few of the centres before but liked this one the most. The cinema is huge and great views from the cafeteria" TripAdvisor reviewer, Jason F.

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3. Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre

From the Muppets to Punch and Judy, children have always loved puppets and this centre is dedicated to the craft of making them. It also holds regular fun puppet shows on Saturdays for children – recent performances have included versions of favourite tales such the Three Little Pigs and the Emperor's New Clothes.

The puppeteers practise a variety of techniques – marionettes, shadow, tabletop and rod puppets. There are also regular puppet- and mask-making workshops for mums and dads who fancy developing some professional puppetry skills – you'll find no sad DIY sock puppets here...

TripAdvisor Rating: 5 stars

"Booked in with the kids last weekend for a wee treat but what a wonderful place we stumbled upon. The puppet show was exquisite, kids were engrossed from start to finish, crafts available to entertain the little ones before and after puppet show. " TripAdvisor reviewer, Caroll E.

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4. Pollok Country Park

Want to escape the city, but don't fancy the long drive? This sprawling park is only three miles from Glasgow's bustling centre, but has an idyllic country feel that both children and parents will love. There are woodland walks galore, play areas, pretty picnic spots and even a mountain bike circuit.

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, including woodpeckers, weasels, otters and more. If you want to make a day of it, you can also visit The National Trust's Pollok House, situated in the grounds of the park, as is the world-famous Burrell Collection.

TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 stars

"Glasgow has many fine public parks but pollok country park is one of the best in my opinion.It is well kept and covers a large area with lots to keep the kids amused." TripAdvisor reviewer, Eddie G.

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5. The Tenement House

Snoop inside this this old Glasgow tenement flat, owned by the National Trust, to get an atmospheric snapshot of how people lived in the old days, right down to the soft furnishings, ornaments on the shelves and pictures on the wall – there are even working gaslights in operation at this home.

Children's quizzes are available all year to keep the kids entertained as they go round, and there are plenty of chances to get hands-on with objects from the past. Living history doesn't get much better.

TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 stars

"This gives a glimpse into the past. My parents grew up in a tenement and that world seems light years away from how we live today. Good to show kids what life was like in the not so distant past." TripAdvisor reviewer, Galloway7.

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6. Waterfront Leisure

This buzzing leisure centre has all the ingredients you need for a wild and wet family day out – a tropical wave pool, an ice rink complete with disco, two flume rides and the longest tyre ride in the country. For water babies who love to splash about, there's a great toddler pool complete with slide.

Mum and dad can also check out the new sauna and steam room next to the pool for some much-needed me-time. Don't miss the 'penguins' on the rink – a cute aid to help little ones get to grips with skating on the ice.

TripAdvisor Rating: 3.5 stars

"Family fun. The complex has a lot to offer all age groups. There's a swimming pool, fun pool with flumes, ice rink and gym. There is also a cafe." TripAdvisor reviewer, Mags562013.

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7. David Livingstone Centre

As its name suggests, this National Trust property was the original home to the famous Scottish explorer. Here you can read his diaries, snoop in his notebooks and see his personal possessions, including the red shirt he wore when he met Sir Henry Stanley – the man who reputedly muttered the immortal phrase 'Dr Livingstone I presume?'.

The museum is completely buggy friendly, there are costumes to try on and regular hands-on activities for children. Outside there are 20 acres of grounds to explore, including woodland gardens and a play park, plus don't forget to check out the shop and cafe. And look out for bats, owls and foxes while exploring the gardens at dusk.

TripAdvisor Rating: 4 stars

"Great day out. This attraction not only gives the story of David Livingstone the explorer but good insight of what life was like when he was a boy. Guides are very informative and there is also a lovely tea room." TripAdvisor reviewer, Ishbel77.

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8. Cumbernauld Outdoors Centre

Is your little one wild about owls, kestrels and hawks? This bustling outdoors centre is home to World of Wings, the largest public bird of prey centre in Scotland – they'll be thrilled to meet noble eagles, beady-eyed vultures and more.

The adventurous activities for older children and teens include archery, paint-balling and driving 4x4 cars. It's also a good place for older children's birthday parties.

TripAdvisor Rating: 5 stars

"My family and I love birds of prey and my oldest son asked if we could fly them while in the UK. I am so glad to have found this place. We did the VIP family experience and were able to handle birds as well as fly them. " TripAdvisor reviewer, Travelisfunyall.

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9. The Burrell Collection

Give your little ones a dose of culture in a lovely woodland setting. Inside this world- famous museum, nestled in the beautiful Pollok Country Park, you'll discover an awe-inspiring collection of works by artists including Rodin and Cezanne, plus exotic examples of Chinese, medieval and Islamic art, and more.

This is no stuffy museum only suitable for grown-ups – there's a changing rosta of family friendly activities, including Wee Wednesdays (fun for under-5s) and monthly family film screenings.

TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 stars

"The Burrell is a must see in Glasgow, beautifully housed in stunning peaceful surrounds in a purpose built building this collection is fascinating to and to be enjoyed by all ages and interests." TripAdvisor reviewer, GrassmarketCafeTeam.

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10. Falls of Clyde

Get to grips with nature at the stunning Falls of Clyde Nature Reserve, run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, which stretches along a gorge in the Clyde Valley. Scramble along the paths by the river and spot a spectacular waterfall or two, then head into the ancient woodlands for some bird-watching – look out for owls, wrens, kingfishers and falcons as well as deer.

There's a shop, cafe and you can peek through binoculars and telescopes at the Visitor Centre – see if you can spot the peregrine nest. Ideal for a family day out – look out for special events in summer, too.

TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5 stars

"Beautiful views of the river in a perfect setting.Walks are excellent,well marked with great viewing points." TripAdvisor reviewer, lawrence m.


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Cheryl Freedman has been working as a journalist for 20 years, and began writing about parenting when her son was a baby back in 2009. She's written reviews and features for MFM, testing everything from booster seats to strollers and writing guides to breast-feeding, infant nutrition and more.