Activities for children
As well as organised toddler groups, there are also plenty of great child-friendly museums, cafes and of course parks in the area.
In or near Strathbungo
Recover from pushing your pram up the steep hill with a cuppa while the wee ones exhaust themselves in the huge soft play area. If it’s sunny, take them to the play park afterwards or admire the ducks and swans on the ponds. Feeling really energetic? Continue the uphill walk to the flagpole for a panoramic view of the city.
A regular toddler group takes place in the boiler house on Thursdays but it is very busy. If you miss out, there’s plenty to look at in the lovely gardens, a great menu in the café and they’ll do half portions of any items on the main menu in addition to the children’s options. Tramway also runs regular family-friendly activities and is a venue for Mini Music Makers sessions, run by the National Youth Choir of Scotland.
Well worth the 10-minute bus ride or 30-minute walk as it’s easy to spend all day here. The Burrell is fantastically child-friendly (see Wee Wednesdays). There’s a tea pagoda designed to attract under 5s and my 4-year-old always makes a beeline for it. You can pick up free activity packs at the information desk to add structure to your visit or just have fun spotting the weird and wonderful – counting dragons and unicorns or hunting for knights in shining armour and princesses. The play park opposite the Burrell is one of the best in Glasgow with lots of equipment suitable for children of all ages.
The gardens around Pollok House are lovely for a wander, especially the walled vegetable garden, and during the school holidays there are often free rides on the horse-drawn cart, special activities in the courtyard and a chance to see the Clydesdale horses being groomed and reshoed.
Unless you’re a member of the National Trust for Scotland, you have to pay to look around Pollok House but it’s a gem of a stately home and is fantastic at Christmas when children can visit Mrs Claus and enjoy spying on what the teddy bears are getting up to over Christmas.
A nice 20-minute walk through Pollokshields gets you to this gorgeous Rennnie Mackintosh building. It has a lovely café and a wide range of exhibitions, usually on a childhood/school theme. To be honest, my eldest just loves to pretend being at school, sitting on the benches and behind old-fashioned desks.
Gymboree’s Play & Learn activity classes cater for newborns to pre-schoolers. Using puppets, slides, tunnels and climbers, infant singing, songs and musical instruments they aim to encourage and build on development. Their Music & Baby classes cover from 5 months to 4 years. Classes take place in pollokshaws Burgh Halls opposite Pollok Park and you can take a trial class to test the waters. Phone 07545957040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Outside the area
Lots of children’s books in the downstairs library and a good toddlers’ play area.
No need to sing the praises of everyone’s favourite museum but did you know it also has special toddler time sessions on Fridays at 11:30-11:55 and 2:30-2:55? They’re free and you just turn up on the day.
National Museum of Rural Life ( near East Kilbride)
Awkward to get to if you don’t drive and you have to pay to enter (unless you’re an NTS or NMS member) but a great day out for wee ones with a visit to a 1950s-style working farm and tractor rides. There’s also a nice café and great wee shop. They have regular events through the year and some great interactive exhibits. Did I mention the tractors?!