Half-term break: anti-boredom ideas to entertain children during the school holidays

There are plenty of options for family outings during the mid-term vacation.

No parent or carer wants to hear the dreaded “I’m bored!”, and often it’s uttered just a day or two after school holidays.

With midterm break fast approaching, here are some boredom-busting ideas guaranteed to put smiles on your, ahem, little darlings’ faces.

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Bed knobs and brooms

Children who love history – and the adults who accompany them – will enjoy a visit to this grand townhouse in the heart of Edinburgh.

The house was designed by famed architect Robert Adam in the late 1700s and was a true statement of Enlightenment luxury, for those who could afford it.

It cost the first owner John Lamont (18th Chief of Clan Lamont) £1,800 in 1796.

The house has been beautifully restored to show a typical Edinburgh New Town house from the late 18th and early 19th century.

The fine collections of period furniture, china, silverware, and glassware reflect the Lamont lifestyle, including lavish entertainment for guests, as well as the social and economic context of the time.

Lamont also employed many servants. The kitchen and servants’ room provide insight into the arduous life “under the stairs” of the servants, which made possible the elegant lifestyle of the Lamonts.

A visit to Dynamic Earth is unlike anything else. It’s a chance to discover the primeval forces of nature that shaped our planet, to travel through space and time and even to go on a 4DVENTURE around the world.

You will embark on the interactive adventure of a lifetime – the life of our planet.

Fun and educational for the whole family, Dynamic Earth hosts events throughout the year. Check the venue’s website for details.

Edinburgh Bus Tours (Children Free)

Hop on, hop off and see the best of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Bus Tours is Scotland’s second most popular paid tourist attraction – and for good reason.

They offer four great tours, with something for everyone.

When visiting Edinburgh, you can explore the city center with an experienced guide.

Admire spectacular buildings including Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament and the architecture of the Georgian New Town.

The Majestic Tour heads north from Edinburgh city center towards the Port of Leith, with highlights including the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the Royal Yacht Britannia and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

A great option to keep kids entertained is the CitySightseeing Edinburgh tour, which covers all of the capital’s top attractions.

There’s multilingual commentary and a special Horrible Stories commentary for your kids, narrated by Terry Deary himself!

Alternatively, explore further afield with the scenic 3 Bridges Bus and Boat Tour.

Board your bus in the heart of Edinburgh for a guided tour of Queensferry, followed by a boat cruise on the Firth of Forth.

It’s fair to say that it’s not the first local castle that comes to mind, but there’s plenty to recommend a visit.

Edinburgh’s ‘other castle’, located a mile outside the Old City walls, provided a retreat from the Scottish capital.

Mary Queen of Scots used the castle as a refuge in 1566. Ironically, its owner, Sir Simon Preston, a loyal supporter of Mary, would become her jailer a year later.

On a visit to Craigmillar Castle today, you can climb the Tower House, which is one of Scotland’s oldest and most ancient houses, with fascinating features like a beautiful great hall and a prison.

Once at the top of the tower, you can take in views from the tower over Edinburgh, spotting Holyrood Park and Edinburgh Castle, among other landmarks.

Children will love getting lost in the nooks and crannies of Craigmillar Castle.

Fancy a fun family getaway? Escape the capital and take a tour of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, with passionate local guides in the lead.

These local experts will help you discover Scotland’s history, culture, wildlife and breathtaking scenery.

Visit Loch Ness, Stirling Castle and Inverness or sample Scotland’s national drink on a whiskey tour.

Tours to the most remote corners of Scotland take you to the stunning landscapes of the Isle of Skye, Orkney, Outer Hebrides, Isle of Islay, Shetland and the North Coast 500.

Step into a world of magic and fantasy as the classic Disney film makes its world premiere as an exciting new musical as it flies into the Festival Theater for eight performances from February 16-20.

Featuring original songs from the legendary Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) including Portobello Road, The Age Of Not Believing, The Beautiful Briny and new music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and a book by Brian Hill , Bedknobs and Broomsticks will be hosted by award-winning theater makers Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison.

It’s sure to be a big hit with the kids.

Behind-the-scenes tour of the King’s Theater

Did you know the King’s Theater opened in 1905 with the Cinderella pantomime? Or that there is a stream flowing just below? Want to take the stage and feel like a star?

This fun behind-the-scenes tour is a great chance to go behind the scenes – see how the theater works and walk down memory lane while discussing the theater’s interesting history.

Tours have been adapted to current government guidelines. The route uses the historic venue’s spacious foyers, auditorium, and stage, and has been modified to leave out some of the theater’s more enclosed spaces, without detracting from your experience.

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