7 Family-Friendly Activities for any Weather

by Scotland Starts Here, 7th January 2020
Dalkeith Country Park, Dalkeith
7 Family-Friendly Activities for any Weather

Come rain or shine, summer or winter, there’s nothing like a day out to get the family excited. Sometimes it can seem difficult to pick the right activities but fear not – Family fun starts here! We have rounded up some of the best activities and attractions in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders that promise a great time, whatever the weather.

This part of Scotland is bursting with family-friendly activities, so plan your next day out within easy reach of Edinburgh and the North of England with these seven options.

Please note: In light of the coronavirus pandemic, health and safety are of paramount importance. Stay safe and adhere to current government guidance. Closures and access restrictions may apply and will be lifted in line with government guidance. Always check with places directly and prebook where possible.

Where: Lasswade

Head to the world’s longest-running butterfly house and encounter a variety of winged beauties, creepy crawlies, and reptiles. Take a tour through the rainforest, where butterflies fly freely around you, or get up close and personal with snakes, millipedes and many others during a handling session. It’s an exotic paradise, right on Edinburgh’s doorstep!

Where: Jedburgh

Scotland’s landscape is one big playground and Born in the Borders know how to make the most of it: The visitor centre on the banks of the river Teviot just outside of Jedburgh puts the best of Scotland front and centre, both in the activities as well as the food and drink on offer. Take your exploration of nature to another level with the Mini Beast Safari, run wild along the paths or see who can go the fastest and furthest at grass sledging. Then rest and recharge in the casual onsite restaurant with its delicious locally sourced produce.

Families looking to take a piece of the Borders with them can stop in the onsite deli for award-winning local produce, ranging from savoury to sweet treats. Parents can also have a wander around the brewery and distillery or toast to a fantastic day out.


Where: Dalkeith

Families looking for an adrenaline-fuelled day out can defy gravity at Ryze, Scotland’s best Xtreme Air Sports facility. With activities for all aged 2 and up, you will be spoilt for choice: Practice tricks on the expansive field of trampolines, daringly flip into the foam pits and test your aerial skills with wall trampolines and launching decks. The incredible choice at Ryze is sure to turn your world upside down!

Indoor Activities

A fun fitness activity for the whole family! Bounce, flip and defy gravity to your heart's content at Ryze!

Beirhope Alpacas

Where: Hownam near Jedburgh

Imagine yourself escaping the hustle and bustle with your family, heading for a tranquil walk and breathtaking views in the Cheviot Hills. Your companions? Tenzing, Monty, Caesar and their friends – the furry alpacas of Beirhope Farm, a family-run smallholding located right in the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders.

With many activities to choose from, this is sure to be an experience to treasure forever. Choose from a variety of walks, opt for a Meet-a-Paca experience, feeding and cuddling the animals or the Paca-Picnic, a private picnic in the alpaca enclosure.

Outdoor Activities

Nestled in the Cheviot Hills, Beirhope offers a stunning backdrop to meet or trek with Alpacas. Great fun for all.

Heart of Hawick

Where: Hawick

Sit back and relax at Hawick’s premier entertainment venue, Heart of Hawick. Catch a family film in the former spinning mill’s comfy cinema or enjoy weekly live music and theatre performances. And with freshly prepared pizzas in the café bar, a fun afternoon is guaranteed.

Arts & Culture

Comfy cinema, café bar with locally-sourced produce and cinema snacks, special events and live music performances.

Fort Douglas at Dalkeith Country Park

Where: Dalkeith

Prepare yourself for an adventurous day out at Fort Douglas! Filled with magical turreted treehouses, slides and secret tunnels, anything is possible here. Kids can shoot across zip lines or test their strength on climbing walls. The best part: All the equipment is adult-friendly so everyone can join the fun!

After your adventure, explore Dalkeith Country Park further. The Kitchen restaurant overlooks the Fort Douglas and serves delicious lunches, scrumptious cakes and indulgent afternoon teas, while the café at Restoration Yard offers take away options. Grab some treats and head off on the extensive path network for wildlife spotting to round off your day.

Visitor Attractions

Dalkeith Country Park is a truly special place, home to Fort Douglas adventure playground and Restoration Yard Store, Restaurant & Wellbeing Lab.

GoApe Glentress

Where: Peebles

Even the most daring families need to bring a head for heights at GoApe! Swing through the treetops of Glentress Forest and make sure to keep your balance along the aerial assault course. Freefall swings and Scotland’s highest – and one of the country’s longest – zip lines are sure to put your nerves to the test. Fly across the forest valley, the local mountain bike trails, and open water. You will never look at this part of Scotland the same.

Discover more family activities across Midlothian and the Scottish Borders or download the Scotland Starts Here app to plan your next day out.

Outdoor Activities

Tree Top Challenge course high in the trees, including Zip Lines.


Plan your next day out with our handy map below or discover more family -friendly activities across Midlothian and the Scottish Borders. You can also download the Scotland Starts Here app for info on the go.