Things to do in Glasgow: parks aplenty, history and Highland cows

With a selection of child-friendly eateries, cultural gems and green spaces to be discovered, Glasgow is the perfect setting for a family day out. Our Local editor talks us through some of the best haunts in the city.

Glasgow high street

From a cafe that'll warm your baby bottles to a field of Highland cows, Glasgow has the perfect balance of Scottish charm and family-orientated fun.


First things first, what's the best thing about the area?

Glasgow may be an industrial city but there are plenty of parks. Rouken Glen, on the south side of the city, has a large play area and plenty of walking paths. You can while away the afternoon watching squirrels climb giant redwoods, or feeding the ducks on the pond. Pollock Park is great for walking too, and you can visit the Highland cows and horses. The handkerchief tree, when it blooms, is a sight to behold!


Pollock Park GlasgowSo there's plenty of outdoor fun to be had, but what about when it's a bit chilly?

The botanical gardens in the West End are the answer - they make for a great day out. There's a children's garden, as well as tropical greenhouses that'll keep you out of the rain and cold.

One thing that is best saved for summer though, is a trike trip down the Kelvin walkway to Kelvingrove Park, where older kids can skateboard. 


And if we're on a limited budget?

Riverside Museum Glasgow

Museums in Glasgow are free and most of them are superb. For families, the Kelvingrove Museum has everything from dinosaurs to folk costumes and art. The Riverside Museum is chock-full of cars, motorbikes and other transport-related delights, and is a particular favourite for kids. There's even a free soft play area. Don't forget to visit the Science Centre for some educational fun too. To find out more about Glasgow's history and culture, go to the People's Palace.

For more information, visit the Museums or Galleries page on our local site.


We've worked up an appetite with all those activities. Where can we eat?

On the south side of the city there's The Bungo, which uses local produce and serves cooked-to-order meals all day. In the West End, Cottiers is a gorgeous converted church and a really laid back feel, so it's great for kids of all ages. There's also a theatre in the building if you're looking for something to do in the evening. For a tea or coffee the Little Botanica has everything new parents might need, from bottle warmers to a toy box.

glasgow high street

Right, we've refueled, now we're ready to shop. Where should we go?

For independent and second hand bookshops, it has to be the West End. But for high street shops, the city centre is the place to go. Hamley's, the toy store, has just opened here, which is good news for the little ones.


How do we get the kids off their bums?

There are plenty of community venues offering all sorts of activities from sports lessons to youth clubs, and the Young Glasgow scheme offers various programmes for different age groups. For a guide to what's on, have a look at their website, or at our own community section on Mumsnet Glasgow

If you're still stuck for ideas, Day Out with the Kids has a pretty comprehensive list of things to do, or you can chat directly with us Mumsnetters here in Glasgow – we're a friendly bunch! 

Glasgow west end


How about exploring the city without the kids?

Glasgow is known for its vibrant music scene so seeing one of the many local bands would make for the best child free night out. Kids aren't left out of the music scene, though; Mono, a vegan cafe and music venue in the city centre, hosts a baby disco once a month.


We're sold. In fact, we want to stay forever! Where should we live?

The top place to live is the West End. Being a university area, it's a laid back and safe environment. While renting is possible here, be aware that buying is extremely expensive.



Last updated: about 3 years ago