St Andrews has been a popular family destination for generations, and its appeal is as strong as ever – in fact, readers of the Primary Times school magazine recently awarded St Andrews with the Star Award for “UK Best Holiday Destination 2012″.
Here are some ideas for activities and days out which the kids are bound to love! As these outings will no doubt make for hungry little folk, you can read out blog on great places to eat with kids here.
Craigtoun Country Park Just two miles from the centre of St Andrews this park is a beautiful haven with mature trees, shrub and grass areas, as well as a fantastic, modern children’s play area. It’s a wonderful spot for a quiet picnic and is free to enter. There are seasonal attractions such as a miniature railway, road train, crazy golf and boating which do attract a small charge. There are good quality toilets (seasonal opening) and free car parking is provided. Dogs are allowed but must be kept under control.
East Sands Leisure Centre Here you will find a host of facilities for all ages and fitness levels – but, one of its most well-loved features is the free-form leisure pool with sloping beach area, tropical palms, giant flumes and aqua-run inflatable. We’re sure Mums and Dads will enjoy the steam room and spa bath! For more information and opening hours visit the centre’s site here.
The British Golf Museum is a great place for young people to learn about the history of golf. Discover fascinating histories, incredible facts and take part in fun hands-on interactives. Families who visit the Museum are encouraged to take the Children’s Guide which is available at the front desk and in the galleries. The Guide enables younger visitors to discover the history of golf in a simple, fun and clear way. There are also trails for younger children that highlight some of the interesting objects in the collection.
St Andrews Aquarium. Here your little ones can come face to face with some of the most beautiful, fascinating and dangerous creatures from the watery Worlds. From Blacktip reef sharks to seahorses, lobsters to lionfish, poison dart frogs to piranhas…… and not to forget the loveable seals and family of meerkats. Always a popular day out which children don’t forget! You can even book ahead to feed the penguins!
St Andrews West Sands. When the weather is fine what could be better than a trip to the beach? Pack your bucket and spades and enjoy a day out at this blue flag beach. There is plenty of car parking available and the beach zoning system keeps the families and the adventure seekers apart for optimum safety. You can even reenact the opening scenes of Chariots of Fire with a run if you’re feeling energetic!
Barbarafield Riding School, located about 12 miles from St Andrews, offer a variety of well mannered ponies for lessons, which are available from around 5 years upwards. During the Easter, Summer and October school holidays, Fun Days are organised for children of all riding abilities to spend the day with the ponies and taking part in a variety of activities including turnout competitions, a one-hour ride, quiz and a treasure hunt. Lessons are available all year round.
Cairnie Fruit Farm is home to the Mega Maize Maze, go karts, playground and you can also pick your own fruit – a great family day out! The maze, created entirely out of maize, is open from mid July until October.. Tickets purchased for the Mega Maze also entitle visitors to a whole host of other activities and attractions including a go-cart track and the giant straw bale climbing fortress. There are also trampolines, a massive sand box, swings, slides, a ‘young farmers yard’ where children can ride on peddle tractors, loaders & trailers, an XL bouncing pillow, 30m flying fox and other surprises. Please note this is a seasonal attraction so check before visiting.
St Andrews Castle. This dramatic ruin on the coast will make a fun trip with the kids. Explore the bottle dungeon and delve into it’s history in the interesting visitor centre. Why not also pay a visit to St Andrews Cathedral? Climb to the top of St Rule’s Tower and enjoy the view for miles around!
New Picture House Cinema is our local cinema here in St Andrews. They tend to always have something showing which is stuiable for the little ones, especially during the school holidays. It’s unlike the modern mega cinemas – so maybe not quite what the kids are used to which makes it all the more interesting – plus who doesn’t love popcorn and a movie? You can see what’s on at the cinema here.
MUSA is the Museum of the University of St Andrews , they have a fascinating collection of artefacts dating back throughout the history of the University. MUSA regularly holds special events for the youngsters such as “MUSA Young Archaeologist” where the kids can search for clues in the ground with a trowel and toothbrush! Details of MUSA’s upcoming events can be found here.
We hope you like our selection of things to do here in St Andrews. If you have your own suggestions why not Tweet them to us, post them on our Facebook wall or tag them on Instagram using the hashtag #visitstandrews.