Family attractions walking distance from venue
Directly across the river from the conference venue is the Glasgow Science Centre. It includes hundreds of interactive exhibits, a state-of-the-art Planetarium and spectacular live science shows. It is suitable for a fantastic (and educational) full day out. The venue includes an onsite restaurant, Starbucks and picnic area. The city’s IMAX cinema is housed onsite at the Science Centre. Suitable for all ages. An entry fee applies.
The award-winning Riverside Museum showcases Glasgow’s vast transport collection and also gives insight into the impact of transport on the city. Next to the Riverside Museum is the Tall Ship, a restored Victorian sailing ship to explore, with maritime-themed exhibitions, tours and a mini cinema. Onsite catering facilities. Entry is free. The Riverside Museum is 5-10 minutes’ walk from the conference venue.
The city’s must-visit attraction is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. With fascinating displays from Arms and Armour to Natural History, from Sir Roger the Asian Elephant to a 1940s Spitfire to wild haggis, there is so much to see. Also currently visiting is Dippy the Diplodocus. There are also daily organ recitals. Catering available onsite. Entry is free. 20-25 minutes’ walk from the conference venue through Finnieston, a neighbourhood with lots of restaurants and shops.
Adjacent to Kelvingrove Museum are Kelvingrove Park and Kelvinhall. Kelvingrove Park has play areas, a skate park, football pitches, and large green spaces for children of all ages to play. Kelvinhall is one of the city council’s many gyms and also hosts some library services. There are regular sports activities for kids including play gym, mini kickers and tiny tots. Details on activities and prices are available here. Trix the T-rex will be visiting Kelvinhall during CHI. This is the first T-rex to go on display in Europe and obviously needs to be kept away from Dippy.
Further afield in Glasgow
Families will also enjoy Scotland Street School – designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh – where kids can dress up and find out what school was like decades ago. Entry is free. No catering on site.
The People’s Palace Museum is a fun and fascinating place to learn about the city’s social history through artefacts, photographs and hands-on displays. Entry is free. Catering on site.
As a city known for its passion for the beautiful game, a tour of one of the city’s iconic football stadiums – Celtic Park, Ibrox Stadium or Hampden Park and the adjoining Scottish Football Museum are a must. On display is the Scottish Cup. The Scottish Cup is the second oldest competition in association football history, the Scottish Cup trophy is the oldest in association football and is also the oldest national trophy in the world. There might also be some games on during CHI.
Sports fans can catch the Glasgow Warriors rugby team at their home ground in Scotstoun or head to the Emirates Arena to watch the Strathclyde Sirens netball team or Glasgow Rocks basketball team in action. These teams also run mini camps for kids at different times of the year.
Head to one of the city’s independent cinemas – Glasgow Film Theatre or The Grosvenor Cinema host regular family-friendly screenings which offer a more relaxed environment for the wee ones. Other cinema chains also offer kids screenings. The Odeon is about 15 minutes’ walk from the conference venue ate Pacific Quay. Cineworld in Glasgow City Centre is Europe’s tallest cinema and also offers a variety of kid’s movies and special screenings.
The Scottish Youth Theatre have regular Family Storytime shows which are fun interactive performances mainly aimed at 3-7yr olds and the Scottish Mask and Puppet Theatre in the west end is an enchanting experience for young and old with weekend shows and workshops.
Looking for something a bit more energetic? Cycling enthusiasts of every level are well catered for with facilities like Free Wheel North cycle centre where kids can go and have fun on trikes, tandems and go-carts, or for those with their own wheels. For serious thrill-seekers, why not book in a family session at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome () for a chance to ride the same track that’s hosted some of the world’s top cyclists!
If adventure is what you are looking for, head to Pinkston Watersports – Scotland’s only artificial white-water course and flat water basin for canoeing and kayaking, Glasgow Ski and Snowboard Centre or The Climbing Centre for a chance to scale courses up to 16 metres high.
Slow the pace down slightly and take the younger kids along to one of the city’s 90 parks and gardens to enjoy a run around in the fresh air. Glasgow Green has a huge adventure play area, there’s a children’s farm at Tollcross Park or head to Pollok Country Park to see the heavy horses and Highland cows!
For rainy days, why not go along to a ‘Bring the wee one’ family cookery masterclass at Tennent’s Training Academy. Sessions include Pizza Party, Cupcake Masterclass and Burger Bonanza. Don your aprons and have fun learning to make some scrumptious creations.
Beyond the City
Head to Soar at Braehead for a whole host of family activities including Snow Factor (the indoor real snow slope), tenpin bowling with 22 bowling lanes, and The Drop Climbzone aerial adventure course and crazy golf. There is also a trampoline park open to all, but which also runs daily toddler sessions.
Or try out the amazing Loch Lomond SEA LIFE Aquarium where you can see the largest collection of shark species in Scotland or the National Museum of Rural Life where you can explore the 1950s working farm and enjoy loads of seasonal activities.