Museum of Childhood
42 High St.
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; during the Edinburgh Festival, also Sun 2-5pm
The world’s first museum devoted solely to the history of childhood is located just opposite the John Knox House. Contents of its four floors range from antique toys to games to exhibits on health, education, and costumes, plus video presentations and a small activity area. Because of the youthful crowd it naturally attracts, on weekends and school holidays it can be “the noisiest museum in town.”
134 Corstorphine Rd.
Apr-Sept daily 9am-6pm; Oct and Mar Mon-Sat 9am-4:30pm, Sun 9:30am-5; Nov-Feb Mon-Sat 9am-4:30pm Bus: 2, 26, 69, 85, or 86
April to September, a penguin parade is held daily at 2pm.
This zoo is Scotland’s largest animal collection, 10 minutes from Edinburgh’s city center on 80 acres of hillside parkland offering unrivaled views from the Pentlands to the Firth of Forth. It contains more than 1,500 animals, including many endangered species: snow leopards, white rhinos, pygmy hippos, and many more. The zoo boasts the largest penguin colony in Europe, with four species, plus the world’s largest penguin enclosure.
Castlehill, at the western end of the Royal Mile
Apr-Sept daily 9:30am-5:15pm; Oct-Mar daily 9:30am-4:15pm
No place in Scotland is filled with as much history, legend, and lore as Edinburgh Castle, one of the highlights of a visit to Scotland. It is believed the ancient city grew up on the seat of a dead volcano, Castle Rock. In the 11th century Malcolm III (Canmore) and his Saxon queen, later venerated as St. Margaret, founded a castle on this spot. The only fragment left of their castle–in fact, the oldest structure in Edinburgh–is St. Margaret’s Chapel, built in the Norman style, the oblong structure dating principally from the 12th century. Children will enjoy the climb and the adventure of exploring the site. They will also like seeing the cannon. Among the batteries of cannons that protected the castle is Mons Meg, a 15th-century cannon weighing more than 5 tons.