Family weekend: Fringe, Rain & Museums

What to do on a very wet weekend in Edinburgh – for free?

This weekend certainly felt like the end of Summer with lots of persistent rain and colder weather.  On plus side, our cars no longer need cleaning.

We were in two minds about what to do on Sunday.  We had planned to be in Edinburgh for the day but the weather was shocking.  In the end we decided to go in and try parking in the centre (there’s free parking in all of Edinburgh for free on Sundays!) and got all the way in without major problems despite roadworks, constant drizzle and poor visibility.

We parked on Infirmary Street just off the South Bridge and proceeded to go to the National Museum of Scotland – which like a lot of Museums in the UK is free (although donations are welcome).  Not only is it free, it’s also really good especially for kids.  If you have the chance – go!  There was a great buzz about the place and a great live acoustic music set as part of the free Fringe with peformers Robyn Stapleton & Claire Hastings entertaining the crowds.

Edinburgh is a festival city and it is at its peak in August with the Fringe, Festival, Book Festival and maybe a few others too.  There is a hundred ways to be entertained and a you can spend a fortune on tickets for shows, food and drink and accommodation.  It’s a very expensive time to visit – and arguably not worth it.

In the Museum the Little Master was running around and playing in the kids room, having the time of his life.  We also got to see lots of cool things like sloths, an elephant and a tiger (who didn’t join us for tea), there’s so much to do and it’s great for the whole family.  I’m a bit cynical of everything for kids being “good for their development” but Museums are great at fostering development.

I’ve been trying to make the word “Museum” sound like fun for the Master, so that when he’s a bit older, he’ll think that museums are places to go and not places to avoid.

Whilst in the Museum, I got to observe the well heeled Edinburgers who brought their children to a museum on a rainy afternoon – maybe with similar intentions in mind.  These are parents who are thinking hard about how to raise their children and development them.  And on the whole, their kids looked like good kids – curious, creative and happy.

Back in work on Monday, I heard from another father of his Sunday – he spent 2 hours at softplay in Arbroath and said that it was dirty, noisy & packed full of badly behaved kids and even worse behaved parents.  It also cost him an arm and a leg to get in – over £40 for his kids, some food (nothing special I’m told) and drink.

I suggested that Edinburgh is an option, he didn’t seem to think it was an option.  “Kids wouldn’t like it” he told me with a weary look.  I suppose it’s what you get your kids used to, and I’ve been to softplay a few times – it’s fun but hard work and it’s a lot easier to go to a museum.  Add on that the musuem is cheaper too – it’s an easy decision for the Gentlman’s Family.



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