Things to Do in Glasgow With Kids: A Guide for Families

By Craig Neil. This post includes affiliate links.

In this article, you’ll discover the most fun things to do in Glasgow city centre and the surrounding area that are suitable for family members of all ages.

The renowned Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the educational Riverside Museum of Transport, and the historic Tall Ship are just a few of the amazing destinations that welcome families from across the country.

However, museums and art galleries are only the beginning of what the city has to offer. Most of Glasgow’s world-class museums, shopping centres, and parks are conveniently situated within walking distance of one another, making it an easy place to explore for even the littlest of legs.

Get the insider’s scoop on the best things to do in Glasgow with children with this comprehensive guide which includes lots of useful information about all the must-see tourist attractions in the city.

Glasgow Science Centre

Glasgow Science Centre

Out About Scotland Guide: Glasgow Science Centre

Address:50 Pacific Quay,
Glasgow,
G51 1EA
Opening Hours:Monday to Sunday 10.00 to 17.00
Admission Price:£12.50 per adult
£10.50 per child
Under 3's go free but require an under 3's ticket
Parking:Car park on-site.
£3 per day.
£1 per day for Science Passport holders.
Contact:0141 420 5000
contact.us@gsc.org.uk
Facilities:Gift shop, restaurant, toilets, wheelchair access, baby changing area, disabled parking
Photos:YouTube Video

Nestled in Glasgow’s busy centre is a true gem that will amaze visitors of all ages.

The Glasgow Science Centre, located on the picturesque banks of the River Clyde, offers a wealth of entertaining and educational experiences that explore the wonders of science and technology.

Split into three main sections – the Science Mall, the Glasgow Tower, and the IMAX – each area offers a unique and captivating experience.

The Science Mall, shaped like a ship lying on its side, boasts a variety of interactive exhibits that will spark the curiosity of visitors of all ages.

Glasgow Science Centre

Meanwhile, the Glasgow Tower, which is situated behind the famous IMAX theatre, presents stunning vistas of the city, while the IMAX itself offers an unforgettable cinematic experience.

If you want to return multiple times you can buy a passport that will allow you to enter and leave the Glasgow Science Centre as much as you want for a whole year.

With a convenient on-site car park, food, drink, and gift shops, this attraction is easily one of the best things to do in Glasgow with a teenager or a toddler, and it’s somewhere mums and dads can join in the fun too.


The Riverside Museum of Transport

The Riverside Museum of Transport

Out About Scotland Guide: The Riverside Museum

Address:100 Pointhouse Road,
Partick,
Glasgow,
G3 8RS
Opening Hours:Monday-Thursday, Saturday: 10 am-5 pm
Friday and Sunday: 11 am-5 pm
Admission Price:Free
Parking:On-site car park
Contact:0141 287 2720
museums@glasgowlife.org.uk
Facilities:Shop, restaurant, toilets, wheelchair access, hearing loop, baby changing, cloakroom
Photos:YouTube Video

Glasgow is a must-see stop on every trip to Scotland, with an abundance of wonderful tourist sites, many of which are conveniently located near the city centre.

One such attraction that stands out above the rest is the Riverside Museum at Pointhouse Place on the River Clyde.

Everything from roller skates and bicycles to cars and mopeds, trains and trams, and ships of all sizes can be found at the Riverside Museum of Transport. This is understandable, considering the Clyde was once home to some of the greatest shipbuilding yards in the world.

But the Riverside Museum offers more than just exotic vehicles; you can also get up close and personal with many everyday forms of transport such as the beloved Ford Cortina and Raleigh Chopper, both of which now have a cult following.

Riverside Museum

Many hands-on displays provide an overview of the development of transportation in Scotland, with a particular emphasis on the city of Glasgow.

During your visit you can learn about the city’s history with shipbuilding and even go back in time on a walk through a recreation of Glasgow’s streets. You’ll also get to learn about some of the most important inventions that changed transportation such as the earliest autonomous factory machines.

If you’re looking for the best free things to do with the kids in Glasgow, a visit to the Riverside Museum of Transport is a no-brainer.


Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Musuem

Out About Scotland Guide: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Address:Argyle Street,
Glasgow,
G3 8AG
Opening Hours:Monday - Thursday and Saturday: 10 am-5 pm
Friday and Sunday: 11 am-5 pm
Admission Price:Free
Temporary paid exhibitions
Parking:Paid car park on-site
Free parking for blue badge holders
Contact:0141 276 9599
museums@glasgowlife.org.uk
Facilities:Toilets, disabled access, hearing loop, baby changing, cafe, restaurant, shop, cloakroom,
Photos:Virtual Tour
YouTube Video

Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a treasure trove of art and history, nestled within the magnificent 84-acre expanse of Kelvingrove Park. Built as a recreational space in 1852, the park is now home to one of Scotland’s most renowned tourist attractions.

Kelvingrove Museum has a huge roster of rotating exhibitions so there’s always something new to see throughout the year.

The museum covers a broad range of themes, from modern art to ancient Egypt, from animals to the history of Scotland, and even has French and Dutch galleries with artworks of global importance.

While visiting, adults will be treated to a number of galleries showcasing the work of Scotland’s most celebrated artists including the Glasgow Boys and the renowned Glaswegian architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, though children will no doubt be more interested in the life-size animals housed in the Life gallery.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Musuem

Kelvingrove has an astonishing variety of displays for all ages, but the Floating Heads art installation in the East Court and the restored RAF Spitfire in the West Court stand out as particularly impressive.

Whether you’re visiting alone, with a loved one, or with the kids, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is the perfect place to spend a day. And the best part is, like all the other great museums in Glasgow, it’s completely free to enter.


Pollok Country Park

Pollok Country Park

Out About Scotland Guide: Pollok Country Park

Address:Pollok Country Park,
2060 Pollokshaws Road,
Bellahouston,
Glasgow,
G43 1AT
Opening Hours:The park is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
Pollok House and Burrell Collection opening times vary.
Admission Price:Free
Parking:There is a paid car park outside The Burrell Collection building in Pollok Country Park. Charges apply from 10 am to 6 pm, either £2.50 for 4 hours or £4.50 for all-day parking. Payment can be made by cash and RingGo.

There is an additional paid car park for Pollok House visitors. NTS members can park for free.
Contact:N/A
Facilities:Pollok Country Park: Car parking, play park, walking and mountain bike trails.
Burrell Collection and Pollok House: Cafe and restaurant, gift shop, toilets, disabled and pushchair access, changing place toilets, water fountains.
Photos:Virtual Tour

Pollok Country Park is located just 3 miles south of George Square in Glasgow city centre. Even though the park is situated next to the noisy M77 motorway and is surrounded by the bustling city, its size makes it a quiet oasis.

Covering an incredible 361 acres, the park is home to dense mixed woodland, wide-open grasslands, and a variety of attractions.

One of these is Pollok House, a grand stately home that was once the residence of the Maxwell family whose ties to the area date back over 600 years.

In the late 1960s, the Maxwell family donated their home and the area around it to the city of Glasgow on the condition that it be preserved as a public park. A major tourist destination, Pollok House is now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

Pollok Country Park

The second major attraction in Pollok Park – The Burrell Collection – is a museum and art gallery that was recently rebuilt and features an immense collection of objects that shipping mogul Sir William Burrell and his wife Constance gathered during their travels across the globe.

The park also offers a variety of recreational activities such as mountain bike trails, tarmac paths for walking and cycling, and a fold of 50 Highland cows that have been a fixture for over 160 years.

Parents looking for cheap things to do in Glasgow need to look no further than Pollok Country Park.


Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Out About Scotland Guide: Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Address:Great Western Road,
Glasgow,
G12 0UE
Opening Hours:Grounds 7 am - dusk (all year)
Glasshouses: Summer 10 am - 6 pm, Winter 10 am - 4 pm
Admission Price:Free
Parking:None
Contact:0141 276 1614
Facilities:Cafe, shop, toilets, disabled access
Photos:Virtual Tour
YouTube Video

Many of the best places for tourists to go in Scotland’s biggest city are free and located right in the heart of the city centre.

While it’s well worth your time to see those sights, being somewhere as noisy as Glasgow can sometimes leave you wishing for more peaceful, natural surroundings.

Step forward the Glasgow Botanic Gardens – a natural oasis offering respite from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. The gardens have a wide variety of plants from all over the world and are surrounded by well-maintained lawns and flower beds.

The highlight, though, is the stunning Kibble Palace, an enormous Victorian glasshouse that underwent a £7 million restoration in the mid-2000s. The inside is a plant lover’s paradise as it contains a wide selection of exotic plants and also houses the national collection of ferns.

Glasgow Botanic Garden

Winding paths make it easy for people of all abilities to get around the Glasgow Botanic Gardens and the expansive lawns are great places to have a picnic on a warm day.

Rainy day options, meanwhile, include the aforementioned Kibble Palace and a tropical biome housed inside massive greenhouses.

And for those in need of refreshment, the old curator’s cottage next to Kibble Palace is now a cosy tearoom serving tasty homemade pastries and hot beverages.


The Burrell Collection

The Burrell Collection

Out About Scotland Guide: The Burrell Collection

Address:Pollok Country Park,
2060 Pollokshaws Road,
Bellahouston,
Glasgow,
G43 1AT
Opening Hours:Monday to Thursday and Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm
Friday and Sunday: 11 am to 5 pm
Admission Price:Free
Parking:There is a paid car park outside The Burrell Collection building in Pollok Country Park. Charges apply from 10 am to 6 pm, either £2.50 for 4 hours or £4.50 for all-day parking. Payment can be made by cash and RingGo.
Contact:Tel: 0141 287 2550
Email: museums@glasgowlife.org.uk
Facilities:Cafe and restaurant, gift shop, outside seating, toilets, disabled and pushchair access, wheelchair loan, hearing loop, BSL displays, changing place toilets, cloakroom, Wi-Fi, water fountains.
Photos:YouTube Video

Glasgow is home to some of the most beautiful parks in Britain including Glasgow Green, Kelvingrove Park, and the exceptional Pollok Country Park.

The park has a number of trails that are ideal for a stroll, and it’s home to two major attractions: Pollok House and The Burrell Collection.

History aficionados might like to visit Pollok House, a manor house maintained by the National Trust for Scotland, and art lovers can check out The Burrell Collection, a free museum containing one of the best privately contributed art collections in the world.

The collection was gifted to the city of Glasgow by Sir William Burrell, a Glasgow-born shipping magnate, and his wife Constance, and features over 9,000 objects that were collected during their 40 years of travelling around the world.

The Burrell Collection

When it opened in 1983, The Burrell Collection immediately became one of the most popular attractions in the city and helped to revive Glasgow after decades of decline.

The extensive refurbishment completed in 2022 has made the museum an even more appealing location for families by increasing the number of exhibits on display as well as providing first-class visitor facilities.

The ground floor features a coffee shop, restaurant, public restrooms, an events room, and stairs leading up to the first floor where there is a gift shop and access to the surrounding park, demonstrating the building’s excellent accessibility with wide, level floors and lifts throughout.


Kelvingrove Park

Kelvingrove Park

Out About Scotland Guide: Kelvingrove Park

Address:Kelvingrove Park,
Kelvin Way,
Glasgow,
G3 6BY
Opening Hours:24/7
Admission Price:Free
Parking:No on-site car park. Kelvingrove SPT car park nearby.
Contact:0141 334 6363
Facilities:Toilets, play areas, sports pitches, cafes, skateboard park, disabled access
Photos:YouTube Video

Parents looking for things to do in Glasgow with children might consider taking them to Kelvingrove Park before any other destination.

Originally constructed in 1852 as a getaway for the city’s middle class, this lovely park today is renowned for its historical landmarks and state-of-the-art recreational facilities.

The highlight of any visit has to be relaxing by the peaceful River Kelvin where there’s a good chance of seeing geese, kingfishers, herons, and even otters. It’s a great way to let youngsters burn off energy, especially if they’ve just spent a few hours indoors at Kelvingrove Museum.

There’s also the Kelvin Walkway to follow, which is a 10-mile footpath that begins in Kelvingrove Park and ends in the sleepy countryside of Milngavie.

Kelvingrove Park

The path starts near the Kelvingrove Museum and continues on for some distance on paths that are level and easy to walk on, so it’s ideal for toddlers.

As you travel north you can take in the park’s various monuments such as the Stewart Memorial Fountain, the Lord Frederick Roberts Memorial, and the historic Kelvingrove Bandstand which regularly hosts music festivals and charity events.

There’s also a very good café in the park – the family-friendly An Clachan – which is situated at the eastern entrance where it overlooks a nice wee children’s playpark.


Glasgow Green & The People’s Palace

Glasgow Green and The People's Palace

Out About Scotland Guide: Glasgow Green and The People’s Palace

Address:Templeton Street,
Glasgow,
G40 1AT
Opening Hours:24/7
Admission Price:Free
Parking:No on-site parking
Contact:0141 287 5064
Facilities:Facilities in The People's Palace - Cafe, toilets, wheelchair access, hearing loop, baby change area
Photos:Virtual Tour
YouTube Video

While Glasgow is home to more than 90 parks and gardens, none can match the grandeur and historical significance of Glasgow Green.

This 55-acre park was a gift from King James II of Scotland to the citizens of Glasgow in 1450, and it’s now a popular recreation space jam-packed with historic landmarks.

From the children’s playground and bandstand to the sports facilities which include a bowling green and football pitches, this park caters to all ages and physical abilities.

Two of the park’s crowning jewels are the magnificent Doulton Fountain and the towering Nelson’s Monument which sit alongside remnants of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow Green and The People's Palace

But the true gem is the People’s Palace, a social history museum and garden conservatory that opened in 1898.

In addition to a stunning glasshouse filled with cacti, palm trees, and tropical flowers, this beautiful Victorian building also features exhibits on Glasgow’s rich social history including the city’s shipbuilding heritage and its working-class culture.

In addition, Glasgow Green has evolved into a central location for a variety of modern events, including the TRNSMT music festival and the World Pipe Band Championships, plus there is an orienteering course and several observation platforms that provide lovely views of the nearby River Clyde.


The Tall Ship

The Tall Ship

Out About Scotland Guide: The Tall Ship

Address:150 Pointhouse Place,
Glasgow,
G3 8RS
Opening Hours:Monday 10am - 5pm
Tuesday 11am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 3pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
Admission Price:Free
Parking:Paid car park at the Riverside Museum
Contact:0141 357 3699
Facilities:Cafe, shop, toilets, disabled access, baby changing
Photos:YouTube Video

The Tall Ship, also known as the Glenlee, is a spectacular sight to behold. This fully restored sailing vessel from the 1800s is docked at Pointhouse Quay on the Clyde and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Glasgow.

As one of only five remaining tall ships built on the river, it offers a unique glimpse into Glasgow’s rich maritime history.

During a tour of the vessel, visitors will experience life on board a British sailing ship in the 19th century by listening to an audio narration. Discover what the sailors ate, where they sailed, and the challenges they faced as they navigated the world’s oceans.

You can take control of the ship from the bridge, watch a film in the ship’s theatre, and inspect the ship’s cargo as you make your way through each floor.

The Tall Ship

Self-guided tours begin at the gangway where you can wander the upper deck, peek into the main deckhouse, and take in the view of the ship’s masts and the intricate web of ropes and pulleys.

The lower deck houses toilets, a teaching room, and exhibits about the types of goods the ship would have carried, while the cargo hold has a small children’s play area.

And, if you’re looking for more, the Riverside Museum of Transport is located next door so you can easily combine both attractions in one day. Best of all, both the Tall Ship and the Riverside Museum are completely free to visit.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Glasgow family-friendly?

Family life is celebrated and encouraged in Glasgow. As one of the greatest cities in Britain to raise a family, it is home to a wide selection of eateries and shops, a large number of parks, and a wealth of child-friendly museums.

Where can I take a toddler in Glasgow?

There are many places in Glasgow that are suitable for toddlers, such as:

1: Glasgow Science Centre – This interactive museum has exhibits and activities that are designed to engage children of all ages.
2: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – This museum has a wide variety of art and artefacts on display, as well as a dedicated children’s area.
3: Glasgow Botanic Gardens – A beautiful place to take a stroll and enjoy nature with your toddler.
4: Riverside Museum – This museum is dedicated to the history of transport and has many interactive exhibits that are perfect for young children.
5: The Tall Ship – This is a restored ship where you can explore the history of Glasgow’s shipbuilders.

What is the weather in Glasgow like?

The warmest months are July and August, with average temperatures of about 15°C.
January typically has the lowest average temperatures, at 3 degrees Celsius.
The rainiest months are December and January with an average of 25 rainy days each month, while the driest month is August with an average of 10-15 rainy days.

How do I get around Glasgow on public transport?

There is an extensive bus network provided by First Bus, and taxis can be hailed from virtually anywhere in the city centre. Additionally, the SPT Subway system runs in a circle around the most-visited areas of the city.

Related posts

By Craig Neil

Craig Neil is a travel writer from Edinburgh with a passion for visiting Scotland's tourist attractions. Over the last 15 years he has explored Scotland from the Shetland Islands to the Scottish Borders, and he shares his travel experiences in Out About Scotland.