Museum of Childhood
42 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Great for kids, and ‘big kids’ alike. The Museum of Childhood is the first museum in the world dedicated to childhood, it’s a treasure chest of retro toys, books, games and nostalgia from the mid-19th century to the present day. You’ll find lots of fascinating displays – such as a rare wooden fashion doll dating from 1740, a Steiff teddy bear which travelled out of Vienna in 1939, and a Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone from 1979.
Dean Path, Edinburgh
One of the best free things to do in Edinburgh is to explore its pretty quaint streets. Just a short walk from Princes Street, you’ll find the oasis that is Dean Village. Nestled into the banks of the Water of Leith, this quiet residential area appears to be untouched by time. Once home to many water mills, its industrial past can still be seen in the unique architecture and remains of stone plaques decorated with baked bread and pies. Be sure to take a camera with you as this hidden gem is one of the city’s most photogenic areas.
Pentland Hills Regional Park
Take in the fresh air and open spaces of the Pentland Hills Regional Park in the south-west of Edinburgh. With arguably the best views of the city and beyond, it’s well worth a visit. With a 100 km interlinked walkway, there are many different paths to follow – from gentle strolls to more strenuous hikes. If you’re looking for free things to do in Edinburgh with kids, why not follow the park’s Harlaw biodiversity trail – where children can enjoy learning about the local plants and wildlife along the route.
The Writers Museum and Makars Court
Lady Stair’s Close, Lawnmarket, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Dedicated to the lives and work of Scottish literary figures, and one of the many free museums in Edinburgh – The Writer’s Museum is a great place to visit for literary fans or those interested in Scottish history. Celebrating the work of greats such as Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, there’s so much to see and do. Be amazed by the collection of rare books, manuscripts and personal possessions – including Burn’s writing desk and the printing press on which Sir Walter Scott’s first novels were produced.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Arboretum Place /Inverleith Row, Edinburgh
Located just one mile from the city centre, Edinburgh’s 72 acres of impeccably pruned gardens are free to enter and enjoy. Spend the day wandering the beautiful grounds and relaxing in nature. The Royal Botanic Garden was first established in 1670 and has many stunning landscape features to explore, such as the Chinese Hillside Garden, Rock Garden and the Scottish Native Plants Collection. It’s one of the best free attractions that Edinburgh has to offer.