Free School Holiday Activities

There are a good few weeks to fill during the school summer holidays and you may be wondering how to keep the kids entertained without spending lots! Here’s a round-up of some free school holiday activity ideas in the west of Scotland – from picnics in the park, to garden camp outs and free museum events.

Sunny days

Park Life – What nicer (and cheap!) way to spend a sunny day than a trip to the park! Pack a picnic and take a ball to kick around, it’s easy to while away a good few days of the summer holidays at the various parks on our doorstep. Keep the wee ones entertained by doing a bit of nature spotting or by feeding the ducks – remember current guidelines say frozen peas or vegetable trimmings are better for them than your stale bread! Park highlights in the area include Glennifer Braes Country Park in Paisley, Finlaystone Country Estate in Langbank, Glasgow Botanic Gardens and Balloch Castle Country Estate.

Get out into the Garden – Many of our childhoods were spent making our own entertainment in the garden, whether it was simply taking toys outside to play or getting wet under the sprinkler with a water fight! Other ways to create special summer holiday memories include den making, using bits and pieces from the garden or old sheets and clothes dryers. Or get the tent out and join kids for a spot of camping at home complete with a BBQ, marshmallow toasting and star gazing – guaranteed fun on your doorstep!

Beside the sea side – We don’t get much beach weather in Scotland, but the seaside can be a great place to explore even on an overcast day. Think cartwheels and races along the sand, paddling in the sea, sand castle competitions, shell collecting and rock pool exploration. Pack some sandwiches and make a day of it with bat and ball games, Frisbee throwing or kite flying if the wind picks up! We are spoilt for choice for beaches and coastline on the Ayrshire and Argyll coasts, with popular spots including Troon Beach and Argyll’s Secret Coast.

Good sport – Kids seem to have more energy than ever in the summer holidays! Keep them active with sporting activities, whether it’s cycling on one of the national cycling network routes or taking inspiration from Andy Murray at Wimbledon, looking out the rackets and heading to the public tennis courts. Get some other parents and kids together for a friendly game of rounders at a local green space. If yours are forever running around, sign them up to the free junior parkrun, 2k running events for kids aged 4 – 14 years.

Summer fruits – Teach kids about the food they eat and where it comes from with a day of fruit picking! The summer sees soft fruit season, when strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries and redcurrants are all ripe for the picking. Most farms won’t charge entry, though you will obviously pay for any produce by the punnet/weight. East Yonderton Farm in Renfrewshire has strawberries and other soft fruits as well as peas, broccoli and potatoes ready to pick in July and August. A great way to get your kids into their fruit and veg!

Rainy days

Must-see museums – Most museums are family friendly and there are loads to explore in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. Look out for children’s zones and free kids workshops that many museums organise, especially during summer holiday time. Glasgow Museums Resource Centre has a full programme of free events for children throughout the summer including fun with fossils, dinosaur adventures, sculpture making, crafts and mystery trails.

Kitchen creations – Turn them into little chefs and use up what’s in the cupboard of a rainy afternoon. With supervision, children can be captivated by getting stuck in in the kitchen. Bake a cake, scones or cookies or have a go at making your own pizzas – kids will love getting creative with topping combinations. There are lots of child-friendly recipe ideas online, including these fun foodie ideas from netmums.

Creative arts & crafts – Getting children settled with some paper and colouring pencils can be tricky at times! Make things more interesting for them by suggesting crafts like mask making, collaging, sock puppet making and stone painting. Save money on supplies by raiding the recycling to make Blue peter style models! Find lots of ideas, from origami animals to egg box crafts at

Lovely library events – Keep wee one’s brains busy with a trip to the library to search for their favourite books, magazines and audio books. Libraries offer lots of regular free events for parents and kids, from toddler bounce and rhyme sessions to kids craft clubs. The Summer Reading Challengetakes place every year during the summer holidays at local libraries across the country. You can sign them up at your local library to read six library books of their choice in order  to complete the Challenge, with this year’s theme being ‘Animal Agents’. To tempt kids to take part there are exclusive rewards to collect along the way. And it’s all completely free to take part!

As one of the West of Scotland’s longest-standing estate agents, we have had lots of experience managing the ups and downs of the housing market in recent times, so you can be confident you’ll be in safe hands when working with us. With an expert team by your side and a variety of properties on offer, including both property to let and homes for sale, Caledonia Bureau are confident that we can match you with the right home. Give our friendly team a call today, choosing from our offices in Clydebank, Helensburgh, Dumbarton and Paisley.

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