Easter weekend in Edinburgh: things to do with the kids

There's plenty to do with the kids in Edinburgh this Easter weekend (Photo: Shutterstock)
There's plenty to do with the kids in Edinburgh this Easter weekend (Photo: Shutterstock)

Easter weekend is the perfect time for all the family to get out and do something fun for a change.

After the long Easter holiday, parents might be struggling to come up with new activities to keep the children entertained - but fortunately there are a huge array of events and activities taking place in and around Edinburgh over Easter weekend which are sure to put a smile on their faces. And not just because of the chocolate.

From arts and crafts to Easter eggs hunts, there are lots of exciting activities on offer (Photo: Shutterstock)

From arts and crafts to Easter eggs hunts, there are lots of exciting activities on offer (Photo: Shutterstock)

So if you’re stuck for inspiration here are just a few of the amazing events happening near you this Easter.

Enjoy a Bunny breakfast

Start the celebrations off with a special breakfast. Dobbies Garden Centre is hosting these events over the Easter weekend, with a traditional, freshly cooked hot meal before the kids get to spend time making a variety of Easter-themed crafts.

They will also have the chance to meet the Easter Bunny and will get to take home their very own Lindt chocolate rabbit to be enjoyed later - if they can resist the temptation that long. There will also be a fancy dress competition, with prizes for the children who turn up in the best themed outfits.

The Easter Bunny Breakfasts are being held from 19 to 22 April, between 9am and 10.30am each day. The events cost cost £8.99 per child.

Get into the fun of science

The Edinburgh International Science Festival is running all weekend, with a range of activities for children.

Their central base is the City Arts Centre, where a Day Pass will give you access to a five-floor science playground packed full of workshops, shows and interactive activities. The pass lets you explore as many events as you like, with full details of the programme at the Science Festival website here.

Day passes cost £7.20 for adults, £8.65 for children over seven and £6.36 for children aged between three and six, and the centre is open from 9.30am until 4.30pm across the Easter weekend.

Spot some snow leopards

Five Sisters Zoo is hosting a weekend full of fun activities with all your favourite animals in honour of Easter weekend.

On Easter Sunday, they hold their annual Easter egg trail around the zoo with animal related clues. All children taking part will receive a chocolate treat. Standard zoo admissions apply, with an additional £1 charge for under threes, as well as children on season and corporate passes who wish to participate.

On Easter Monday, children’s entertainer Lauren Kyle will be hosting various art activities, singing, dancing and games in the play park area from 11am to 5pm.

There will also be face-painting, children’s rides, and appearances by the zoo mascots throughout the Easter weekend.

The zoo is open from 10am until 6pm every day, and entry costs £12.95 for an adult, £11.45 concession, £10.45 for children over three and free for under threes. A family ticket (two adults and two children) is £38.

Get competitive with an egg and spoon race

Lauriston Castle is holding its annual family Easter event on Sunday, with trails, games, crafts, lots of chocolate treats and the famous egg and spoon race. Are you skillful enough to win?

The event runs from 10am until 1pm and costs £7 per person. Children under three go free.

See an 8ft Lego dragon with glowing eyes

Yes, that is correct - The Centre in Livingston is hosting Brick Kingdom - an exhibition of fantastic Lego models, including Scotland’s first eight foot tall Lego brick dragon with glowing eyes and smoking breath.

Other models including a 4.2 foot unicorn, a five foot princess and a six foot wizard. The free event is on until April 22.

Discover Scotland’s coral reefs

Did you know that Scotland has its own coral reefs? Well, it does - and scientists from the University of Edinburgh are hosting an event at Dynamic Earth on Friday 19 April, to help you learn all about them, with a selection of interactive, sensory activities.

You can touch real specimens, find out why coral reefs are so important to the planet and - if you bring along a clean glass jar - you can even make a crafty coral creation to take home.

The event is free with admission, is recommended for children aged eight and over, and is on from 10am until 4pm.

Learn about the ‘aliens of the deep’

This wild workshop is being hosted by the Marine Conservation Society at Dynamic Earth, and children will be able to find out more about deep-sea animals and the adaptations that help them survive in the depths, then get creative and design their own 'alien of the deep'.

Suitable for ages seven to 11, the event is free with admission and is held at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30 pm on 20 and 21 April.

Join an Easter egg hunt

Nothing says Easter like sending the kids off on a hunt around the grounds of a stately home looking for delicious chocolate treats hidden by the Easter Bunny. This year, the National Trust has teamed up with Cadbury to run special hunts at most of its properties for Easter weekend.

This special Easter egg hunt is one for the whole family, with nature-themed clues to help track down the elusive treats, and only those who are able to become proper nature detectives will finish the day with a yummy chocolate treat.

The hunts are being held from 19 until 22 April at The Georgian House in Edinburgh, Newhailes House and Garden in Musselburgh, and Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot in East Linton.

Learn some circus skills

Newhailes House and Gardens are hosting some very special Wonderland Big Top Days from Circus Sensible, where families can be entertained by the fabulous performers at the comedy circus show in the splendid big top, and then learn some circus skills for themselves at a workshop outside.

Each performance lasts approx 45 mins with as much time as you like afterwards to practice your skills.

The circus skills days are being held from 19 to 22 April, with events at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, and cost £5.

Go on another Easter egg hunt

You can never have too much of a good thing, especially at Easter, so if you’re still looking for more chocolate treats then head along to Craigmillar Castle for Historic Environment Scotland’s Easter Eggsplorer Trails.

Running from 19 to 22 April, the castle is open from 9.30am until 5.30pm and entry costs £6 per adult and £3.60 per child.