10 things to do with your kids in Falkirk this summer holiday


With the school holidays underway and – hopefully – hotter days coming soon, it’s time to plan your next family adventure.

Home to more than 500 miles of towpaths, many of them flat and traffic-free, the Falkirk area is perfect for cycling with the whole family while seeing some of the sights that the town has to offer.


1. Travel back to the 14th century at Callendar House


The stunning, French chateau-style Callendar House has something to keep everyone in the family entertained.



Enjoy a history lesson with the permanent displays, such as The Story of Callendar House and Falkirk: Crucible of Revolution 1750-1850. Then, head to the Georgian kitchen to taste early 19th-century cuisine alongside an interactive experience from costumed interpreters.


Kids are guaranteed a fun-filled day in the Roman-themed play park with a wide range of activities, including an adventurous new Natural Play trail which takes the whole family on a half hour wander through the woods. Plus, in the summer, there is a range of activities, such as a bouncy castle, children’s giant inflatable slide, crazy golf, and more. Or the whole family could put their skills to the test at the 9-hole golf course set in the woodlands.


If you’re feeling peckish, grab a coffee and scone at the newly refurbished Callendar House Tearoom.


2. Cycle through Callendar Estates’ beautiful woodlands


Callendar Estates’ heritage bike trails are a great way to take a break and explore nature together. Try out the Canada or Craigieburn trails for a family-friendly route and make sure you make a pit stop at the Café at Canada Wood.


Don’t worry if you don’t have a bike though, as Greenrig Cycles at the Callendar Estate Activity Centre offers quality mountain bikes and e-bikes for hire. And you can try out the bike routes on your own or with one of their qualified cycle guides to keep you on track.


3. Refuel with ice cream at The Milk Barn


For a well-earned break, head to The Milk Barn Ice Cream Parlour, a Falkirk family favourite set in the Callendar Estates. Using milk from their very own herd of cows, they serve up some of the best ice cream in Scotland to satisfy any sweet tooth. Meanwhile, savoury fans looking for a lunch stop, will be pleased with their selection of sandwiches, baguettes, and paninis.


The coffee shop also has an indoor and outdoor kids play area with a bouncy pillow, outdoor seating, and a large fibreglass cow called Glenda, so your kids can practice their milking skills.


4. See the world-famous Kelpies in Helix Park


A visit to the Falkirk area must include the majestic Kelpies! The two 30-metre-tall horse heads are the largest equine sculptures in the world. Pre-book a tour to see a Kelpie from the inside and admire the remarkable engineering.



The Kelpies are located in the 350-hectare expanse of Helix Park along with a lagoon, wetlands, splash play, trails, kids adventure zone, and accessible play area to keep your family busy.


Stop off at the visitor centre café to sample the mouth-watering menu of homemade and locally-sourced ingredients, including cakes, soup, sandwiches, and pizza.


5. Sail into the sky at the Falkirk Wheel


At the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s only rotating boat lift, you can soar 115 feet into the air in one of its barges.


Try out some of the other activities on offer – if the kids are 16+, hire an e-bike. Choose from boat trips, woodland walks, kids activity zone, mini golf, water play park, and much more for a jam-packed family day out.


When it comes to food and drink, there’s plenty to choose from. Grab a bite to eat from the airstream food truck and wood-fired pizza oven. Or sit inside and enjoy a lunch at the visitor centre café while watching the Wheel at work.


6. Board a vintage steam train at Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway


On the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway, you can soak up 10 miles of scenic, Scottish countryside views. Travellers can enjoy the on-train buffet where afternoon tea can be pre-booked on special dates. Or you can visit the on-site café which has now won Visit Scotland’s ‘Taste Our Best Award’ for using locally-sourced produce.



Check out their varied programme of special events for tiny tots up to avid train enthusiasts, including a Day Out With Thomas™, Murder on the Manuel Express, and more.


Keep the fun going at the Museum of Scottish Railways, Scotland’s largest railway museum. Climb aboard a Post Office Coach or try your hand at being a signalman.


7. Have a picnic in Zetland Park 


With gorgeous gardens, a kids play park, and ample space for picnics, Zetland Park is a great place to spend a sunny day. You can even hire a bike and safety gear from the park’s Grangemouth Bike Library and peddle around the cycle pump track.


Nearby, you can cool down on Polmonthill Snowsport Centre’s artificial ski slope or spot some wildlife at the Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre.


 8. Immerse yourself in nature along John Muir Way’s cycle trails


Stretching 134 miles across Scotland’s heartland and the Falkirk area, the John Muir Way offers breath-taking landscapes. It is accessible for everyone to use, passing through many towns and villages, and is serviced well by train by bus.



Why not give the 13-mile-long Bo’ness to Blackness Castle cycling trail a go?


The trail’s adventure begins along the coast from the Kinneil Estate where you can wander around the historic grounds, including the remains of James Watt Cottage, and a Roman fortlet. And don’t forget to explore the remains of the Antonine Wall. Built by the Romans around 142 AD, as the northwest frontier of their Empire, the wall is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Continuing through to Kinneil Nature Reserve, marvel at the landscape of the Inner Forth. You may also want to try out the Kinneil Trails pump track and skills area, then, follow the flat coastal path along to Blackness Castle.


9. See spectacular coastal views from Blackness Castle


Perched on the edge of the Firth of Forth, Blackness Castle’s ship-like resemblance has earned its reputation as ‘the ship that never sailed’. With remarkable views spanning the Fife coast and Forth bridges, the 15th-century castle has been the filming location for Outlander, Mary Queen of Scots, Hamlet, and much more. See if you can spot where your favourite scenes were filmed.


And after touring the castle, you can enjoy a snack or a delicious meal at the quirky ship-themed restaurant, The Lobster Pot.


10. Hit the shops in Falkirk town centre


With a traditional high street and a large shopping centre, the Howgate, you’ll be spoilt for choice with shops for kids and adults alike. Pop into one of your high street favourites or with a District Towns Gift Card, support local independent boutiques, gift shops, and food and drink venues.


Make sure you stop at one of the most magical shops in Scotland – The Lonely Broomstick. You can even make a day of it and visit the nearby Central Retail Park, complete with a 12-screen cinema and a wide selection of restaurants.


There’s so much for the family holiday in the Falkirk area, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Our ready-made itineraries are a great way to work out how much you can pack into your day.



*Banner picture by Scotdrone

Dunmore Pineapple Visit Falkirk heritage

Plan your visit

Plan your next adventure in Scotland and discover Falkirk and the surrounding area. You'll be truly amazed!

More info

Family Cycling Along Canal Towpath At The Falkirk Wheel C Peter Sandgroundjpg


From the National Cycle Network routes, to single track woodland trails, to easier canal side paths, there are cycle routes to suit all abilities within the Falkirk area.

More info