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Edinburgh Castles and Museums for Kids: Week 2 in Edinburgh

We’re spending the summer of 2018 in Scotland! Check out week two of our summer 2018 travelogue, specializing in Edinburgh castles and museums for kids!

We're spending the summer of 2018 in Scotland! Check out week two of our summer 2018 travelogue, specializing in Edinburgh castles and museums for kids!#travel #visitedinburgh #travelwithkids #travelblogger

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Edinburgh Castles and Museums for Kids: Week 2 in Edinburgh

We are all finally over jetlag, which hit me harder than anyone else for whatever reason. Possibly because I was so busy cleaning the house from top to bottom before we left, so I arrived already exhausted.

Follow the entire series:

This has been a week of revisiting favorites with the kids.

June 25: National Museums Scotland

We started our week going to the National Museums Scotland. These museums were a huge hit with the kids when we visited two years ago, and they continue to be a favorite attraction. The museums are free (we do recommend a donation, and if you enter through the tower gate you can donate by running coins down the fun donation track). We have spent hours and hours in this museum, and have yet to see all of the exhibits. My kids particularly enjoy the discovery halls on the top floor, as well as the castle themed space in the Scotland side of the museum on the first floor. That being said, there are interactive aspects to nearly every exhibit in the museum.

Be sure to also check out the LEGO model of the museum on the third floor. It’s actually a great place to start as it gives you a decent idea of what the museum has on offer!

June 26: Edinburgh Writers’ Museum and Edinburgh Castle

The kids and I spent the morning in our Airbnb flat. We met Mike for lunch near his work, and after lunch the kids and I continued on to Edinburgh Castle. I was surprised to see that he castle was even more packed than last Saturday! We decided to come back again on a less busy day. Staff told us that summer was busy every day, but that things quieted down after 2pm.

Visiting the Edinburgh Writerss Museum

We dropped by the Edinburgh Writers’ Museum on the way home, learning a bit about Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Burns. Those are the only three writers the museum covers, although the city has been home to countless others.

June 27: 3D Printing Pens, National Museums Scotland, Library and Edinburgh Castle

Kids visiting Edinburgh Castle

The kids spent the morning playing with the 3Doodler Create+ and 3Doodler Start 3D printing pens, which I was sent to review and am working on a post for. In the afternoon we went to the National Museums Scotland AGAIN, then the local children’s library. Around 3pm we went to Edinburgh Castle, having been advised to try visiting after 2pm for smaller crowds. It was busy, but bearably so. Eight-year-old Lily desperately wanted to see the crown jewels, so we visited those.

June 28: Craigmillar Castle

The kids chose to go back to Craigmillar Castle this morning. The kids made excellent use of the included art cart, constructing crowns, swords, and shields that they proceeded to play with throughout the castle. It was a hot day, and cool stone walls of the castle provided a welcome respite from the heat.

Visiting Craigmillar Castle with kids.

June 29: Playgrounds, Charity Shops, and the Library

We visited two playgrounds today, but both were very busy and the kids didn’t want to stay long. We went along a street full of charity shops that I used to visit as a grad student. One of the shops had a brand-new Djeco foil pictures kit that I had eyed for my younger girls several times in the past. The charity shop price of 1GBP was easy to say yes to!

The Edinburgh children's library

We stopped by the library for an hour or so of reading, then came back to our Airbnb flat. Lily and Anna worked on their new craft kit; Johnny and Emma enjoyed working with the 3Doodler Create+ 3D printing pen.

June 30: National Museums Scotland and the Edinburgh Zoo

Mike took the kids to the National Museums Scotland this morning. They met up with his student there, and my kids loved showing everyone their favorite exhibits. I got some work done in our flat in the morning, and then walked up to meet them for lunch. We all went to the Edinburgh Zoo after lunch. We made it in time for the penguin parade, and also especially enjoyed seeing the wallabies and various primates.

July 1: Scottish National Gallery and Arthur’s Seat

Mike and Johnny started this morning participating in the Great Scottish Summer 5K run. Johnny beat Mike. He is a fast kid.

Edinburgh panorama from Arthur's Seat

We all went to the Scottish National Gallery together in the afternoon. Sadly, the portion of the museum that would normally have the most Scottish paintings was closed. We did enjoy seeing other paintings in the gallery, including many by Scottish painters. Then we hiked up Arthur’s Seat (the photo above is a panorama view of the city taken from the very top of Arthur’s Seat). The weather was much better for our hike this year!

Edinburgh castles and museums dominated our second week! Do you have recommendations on where we should go next week? Share your ideas and feedback on my Facebook page, or by tagging me on Instagram

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

4 thoughts on “Edinburgh Castles and Museums for Kids: Week 2 in Edinburgh”

  1. It sounds like a lovely week of museum visiting, I would so love to visit them. When we went to London for our honeymoon, we spent so much time at the British Museum.

    I think we’re planning on reading some Robert Louis Stevenson this year for school. I’d forgotten he was Scottish.

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