10 ways to entertain the family in and around Aberdeen over the summer holidays

The summer holidays are upon us, and that means months of trying to entertain your little darlings.

With the traditional Scottish weather, it’s a safe bet that at least half of the holiday will require indoor activities, so we have compiled a list of 10 ways to keep your children entertained in the North East over the holidays.


Aberdeen Science Centre

There’s a one in four chance that your child is addicted to dinosaurs or robots. Possibly both.

No matter what they love, the Aberdeen Science Centre offers over 50 exhibits, as well as a planetarium show, and is a great idea for a day out when the weather is bad.

 If your little one (or you!) loves science fiction, the Robot exhibition, running until 28 August, is also worth a visit: entry comes as part of your admittance into the Centre and you can discover full-size models from films and TV shows like Star Wars, Dr Who, The Terminator and Robocop.


Doonies Rare Breeds Farm

For those who love animals, Doonies Farm is the perfect place for a day out during the summer,

Covering 134 acres on the southern side of Aberdeen (from Nigg Bay to Cove), the farm has ducklings, chickens, cows, pigs, horses and more.

Doonies Farm is one of only two farms in Scotland who have received the Approved Conservation Farm Park Status.


Zoology Museum

If you prefer your animals to stay still, or your child is more interested in the biology side of things, take a trip to the Zoology Museum at Aberdeen University.

 From a stuffed Bengal tiger to whale skeletons, there is a lot to see, especially for those with a curious mind.

The museum is free, but children do need to be accompanied by an adult.


Castle Fraser

No summer holiday is complete without a trip round a museum – and here in the North East we have a lot to choose from (over 300, to be exact).

One of the most elaborate is Castle Fraser in Inverurie, built on the ‘Z-plan’ design, which spans several periods of history, from the medieval Great Hall to Victorian bedrooms.

If your child is a fan of ghost stories, ask to hear the story about the Princess of Castle Fraser and the blood on the stairs…


Duthie Park

If the weather holds up, nothing beats a day in Duthie Park.

The 44 acres of land includes two play areas for children, with the play area to the south of the park voted best play space in Scotland in 2013.

For the more active, try boating on the ponds and cricket on the lawns.


Stonehaven Open Air Pool

The Olympic-sized (heated) 50m long pool and lido in Stonehaven is great on a hot day, with sheltered sun terraces for those times when you get too hot.

The Open Air Pool also features sessions with inflatables, as well as a paddling pool for under-eights, to keep the littles ones amused.


Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Aberdeen has a long history with the sea, so what better way to learn about it than through the Aberdeen Maritime Museum?

As well as featuring exhibitions and paintings, the museum brings the history to life with touch screen consoles and computer visual databases.

Want to focus more on the learning aspect? There are two levels of quiz sheets (aged up to 7 years, and ages 8 plus) available to help.


Codona’s Amusement Park

Near the sea front is Codona’s Amusement Park, perfect for an active family day out.

With rides, mini golf, bowling and restaurants, there’s a lot to keep the little ones entertained both outside and indoors.


Forvie National Nature Reserve

Based in Ellon, about 17 miles outside Aberdeen, Forvie Nature Reserve is a great place to go seal watching, as well as bird watching.

There are a number of footpaths, allowing walks amongst the dunes and along the cliffs, but it is best to wrap up warm against the winds. The areas where the terns nest is closed from 1 April to the end of August, but an alternative route is marked.

While there, visit the ruins of Forvie Church - all that remains of a village destroyed by the sands.


Highland Games

What could be more Scottish than attending the Highland Games?

There is a full season of Games taking place throughout the summer, including the Aboyne Games, which will take place on Saturday 6 August in Aboyne, just 30 miles away from Aberdeen.

However, it is not always the weekend that Highland Games are held: the Ballater Highland Games will be held on Thursday 11 August 2016.

From the traditional Highland dancing and caber toss, to stands, piping and field events, there is enough to keep everyone entertained.


Have we missed your favourite day out? Let us know in the comments.


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