Something for all for the family and all weathers this Easter

The school holidays are upon us, the weather is still wintry and parents across Edinburgh are frantically planning how best to fill their children’s fortnight.

Help is at hand, however, in the shape of the City of Edinburgh Council, which offers a wide variety of entertaining and educational activities for children and young people.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Culture & Sport Convener, said: “The challenge of filling a child’s holidays, particularly at this time of year, is not to be underestimated, which is why I would encourage parents to try something different during the Easter break.

“Between the Council and our partners, we can offer children of all ages and interests a wealth of exciting and rewarding activities, many of which are free.”

The Museum of Childhood is a fun day out for the whole family. Young people can learn about the children of the past and see a fantastic range of toys and games, while adults enjoy a trip down memory lane. Admission is free.

Meanwhile, just down the hill is the Museum of Edinburgh. Housed in the beautifully restored 16th Century buildings on the Canongate, it is the city’s principle museum of local history. Again, admission is free.

The museum’s newest attraction is Foundation Edinburgh. Watch the City’s dramatic history unfold in only 17 minutes – from the volcanic creation of Arthur’s Seat in prehistoric times to events today. Ticket prices are £4 (adults), £3 (concessions) and £2 (children).

The City’s 28 community libraries are, of course, open for borrowing – and much more besides. Visit the libraries' website for further details or contact your local library for details of special holiday events.

But what if spring finally arrives? Where better to enjoy the breathtaking views of Edinburgh than from atop the tallest tribute to a writer in the world, the Scott Monument in East Princes Street Gardens? And at 287 steps high, it’s not bad for the calves either. Equally impressive is the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill. Admission for both is £3.

Edinburgh has another 140 parks aside from Princes Street Gardens and the new digital service Edinburgh Outdoors provides a unique way of exploring each and every one of them. The beautiful grounds of Lauriston Castle, laid out by William Henry Playfair in the 1840s, are also well worth a wander – especially this Saturday and Sunday (from 10am) when the cheery Castle staff host their annual Easter egg hunt. Further details of this and other Family Workshop Programmes are available from the website.

In case you haven’t noticed, the terrific Britain from the Air exhibition is now taking pride of place in our streets and parks – where it will remain until 20 May. Featuring 111 breathtaking aerial photographs, including 11 of the capital, the exhibition is situated across 15 sites on a three-mile long and winding trail through Edinburgh’s historic city centre.

Finally, Edinburgh Leisure has a range of dedicated holiday activities for ages 3-13 years running throughout next fortnight at venues across the city including Ainslie Park, Craiglockhart, Drumbrae, EICA Ratho, Gracemount and the Royal Commonwealth Pool. Visit their website for further details.

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