The trick to surviving the school holidays is finding the balance between keeping the kids busy and having some rest.

I have put together a list of 25 activities on offer in and around Dundee so you don’t have to go far to plan a fun filled day out.

**Please note** The details of this blog are correct at the time of publishing but you should always check opening times etc. directly with a venue before setting out for the day.

  1. Halloween Spooky Woods at Monikie Park

Date: 5th – 31st October 2019

Time: 10am – 4pm daily

Price: £1 per trail

If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise. There may be some ghosts and ghouls hiding up in the trees. Can you find them all? Trail’s are available for £1 from the ranger hut.

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Once you’ve completed the ghost trail why not try your hand at the Pumpkin trail?

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Pop in to the ranger house afterwards to pick up some duck food for 50p a bag and feed the ducks around the reservoir.

Please note – there may be a car parking charge at Monikie park. Some limited on street parking is available, please park respectfully.

Check out the Angus Alive Website for other activities, including paddle boarding in the holidays for older children.

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2. Family friendly cinema at Dundee Contemporary Arts

Dates: Daily

Price : £5 under 21s, £7 over 21s, Family ticket for four people £20

DCA have a children’s film showing daily. Full listings can be found here

‘Bring a baby’ cinema runs at the DCA on a Thursday so you can enjoy a grown up film with baby in tow.

3. Science Week at various venues in Dundee

Dates: 5th -12th October

Price: Some activities are free, some a small charge and activities in the Science

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Centre may also incur an admission price.

Early explorers, Space Exploration, Robot Building. There’s a jam packed programme of events on for Science Week but many activities require pre-booking. Full details about Dundee Science Week can be found here

4. Dundee Rep Theatre

SLUG – suitable for ages 7+

Dates: Wednesday 16th October

Times: 1pm and 3pm

Price: £8

The Whirlybird – suitable for ages 3-7

Dates: Friday 18th October

Times: 11.30am and 1.30pm

Price : £8

The Whirlybird Play Workshop – suitable for ages 3-7

Dates: Friday 18th October

Time: 2.30pm – 3.10pm

Price: £3 per child

For more information or to book tickets visit the Dundee Rep Website

5. Murton Farm and Nature Reserve, by Forfar

Dates: Open Daily

Time: 10am – 4pm

Price: Adult £3.50, Child £2.50, Under 1’s are free

Murton Farm has a variety of animals on site including birds, ferrets, guinea pigs, goats and pigs. You can enjoy a wander around the pond exploring the animal enclosures before heading off to play at the park. Activities in the park include trampolines, a large number of outdoor toys, an adventure trail and ride on cars.

It is a nature reserve so pack your wellies!!

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As well as lots of onsite fun Murton have additional activities running in the October holidays;

Autumn Adventures with the RSPB

Saturday 12th October

Drop in anytime between 10am – 3pm

FREE activities for the family where you can learn about bats and creepy crawlies. Park entrance fee is not essential for this activity.

Bush Craft Skills Taster Day

Sunday 13th October

Drop in anytime between 10am – 4pm

FREE activities for the family where you can learn about basic survival skills and try your hand at fire lighting. Park entrance fee is not essential for this activity.

Full Moon Event

Hot Chocolate Torch Walk

Sunday 13th October

6pm – 7.30pm

Price : £4 each

Take a torch lit walk through the nature reserve followed bu a story for children in the Tipi with popcorn and marshmallows toasted on the fire pit.

Booking essential – here

Mosaics at Murton

Tuesday 15th October

Drop in anytime between 10am – 1pm

Suitable for ages 3+ , children under 3 can take part with significant adult guidance.

FREE activities for the family where you can handcraft your own mosaic. Park entrance fee is not essential for this activity.

6. Pick your own pumpkin

It wouldn’t be the October holidays without some Pumpkin carving. I have put together a guide to the best pick your own pumpkin family events within 1 hours drive from Dundee. Full details can be found here

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7. Cairnie Fruit Farm and Maze

Date: Open Daily

Time: 10am-5pm

Price: Child £7.80, Adult £6.20, seniors and Under 3’s are Free. Family ticket is available for £27.50 for the entrance of 5 people

Just 20 minutes from Dundee Cairnie Maze offers a fun day out for the whole family. With an extensive play area children can work up an appetite before stopping for lunch in the cafe. Afterwards why not try your hand at picking your own fruits and if the season hasn’t finished yet you can also pick some Sunflowers.

*Pick your own is separate to the park and you simply pay for what you take away.

Full details are available on the Cairnie Website

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8. Olympia

Date: Open Daily

Time: Monday to Friday 10.00am to 8.30pm
Saturday and Sunday 10.00am to 5.30pm

Price: Adult £5.50, Child £4.40, Various concessions available, further pricing details available here

Dundee’s biggest public swimming pool is open daily throughout the holidays. With 4 flumes, rapid river, waves and bubble beds there’s something to entertain everyone. A toddler area is available for smaller splashers.

9. Brechin Castle Country Park and Fairy Trail

Date: Open Daily

Time: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday and Sunday 9am – 6pm

Price: Adults £5, Children £7, Under 2’s Free. Family ticket £22

Just 25 minutes from Dundee you can find the most magical fairy trail set alongside the backdrop of a large outdoor adventure park. I’ve written before at Brechin Castle Centre, see what we thought of our visit here

Parking is free on site and despite having a cafe on site Picnics are allowed in the park.

Full details can be found on the Brechin Country Park Website

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10. V & A Museum Dundee

The V&A museum in Dundee is free to enter.

During the October holidays these activities are available for children;

Drop in and Design

Dates: Sunday 6th and 20th October (further dates available out with the holiday period)

Time : 2pm – 4pm

Price: FREE

Drop in to the design studio for play based design challenges

Shaping Stories

Dates: Monday 7th – Friday 18th October

Time: 2pm – 4pm

Price: FREE

Daily workshops for families where you can learn about illustration and book binding. Design your own picture book to take home.

Family Design Day:Stories

Date: Sunday 19th October

Time 12 noon – 4pm

Price: FREE

Abertay University will deliver spooky workshops and storytelling. Expect ghost stories, ghoulish fun and playful frights in the story telling tent. Parental guidance is advised.

Shake, Rattle and Stroll

Date: Monday 21st October

Time: 10.30am – 11.30am  and 1pm – 2pm

Price: £3.50

Interactive session for under 5’s. Pick up an instruments and join in with musical play, story telling and dress up.

11. Woodland Walk

Prepare a flask with hot chocolate and head off into the woods. Can you find evidence of animals? What different coloured leaves can you find? Race to find the most conkers or build the highest pile of leaves and measure how tall it is with sticks. Take a screenshot of this Scavenger Hunt and see how many pockets you can fill along the way.

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We are lucky to have a number of woodland walks in and around Dundee; Templeton Woods, Camperdown Woods, Backmuir Woods, Riverside Nature Walk, Crombie Park, Clatto Country Park and may more. Why not venture somewhere new?

12. Newton Farm

Date: Daily * subject to change as this is a working farm

Time:10.15 am (2 hour duration)

Price: £10 per adult, £15 for 1 adult and up to 2 children, £25 for 2 adults and up to 4 children.

Newton Farm is a 10 minute drive from Dundee and a hidden Treasure.

We visited for the first time earlier this year to take part in a Farm Tour

You can check out thweir availability via their Facebook Page

13. RSS Discovery

Date: Open Daily

Time: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm

Sunday 11am – 6pm  

Price: Adult £11.50, Child £6.40, Family ticket £32.00

Part of the Dundee Heritage Trust, Discovery point is home too the RSS Discovery. Here you can learn about the construction of the ship here in Dundee, expedition to the Antarctic and other voyages including use of the ship during the First World War.  Once you have explored over 150 historic objects you can climb aboard the Discovery Ship and explore it for yourself.

RSS Discovery Website

14. Odeon Cinema

Throughout the holidays kids films are available at 10am each day and all ticket prices are £3.25. A great option if the weather particularly bad.

For screening information visit the Odeon Website

15. The Scottish Deer Centre

Date: Open Daily

Time: 10am – 4.30pm

Price: Adults £9.50, Children £6.50, Children Under 3 Free, Family 2+2 £30.00, other variations available.

Join the ranger for a guided tour around the deer centre and learn about the different species from around the world, learn about birds of prey and watch the otter feeding at the Scottish Deer Centre. Let the kids run wild in the adventure playground or take a seat on the trailer rides. There is also an indoor play space for wetter days.

See Website for full details

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Bushcraft Survival Skills Workshop at the Deer Centre

Date: Sunday 13th October

Time 1pm – 3pm

Price: Adults £20, Children £10

Learn practical survival skills such as how to build a shelter, make a fire and learn archery skills.

Booking essential via this link

16. – Clash of the Titans

Deer Stalking, Angus Glens

Date: Sunday 13th October

Time: 11am – 3pm

Price: Adult £9.83, Child £5.53

Join the ranger and a professional deer stalker on a 5 mile loop path through the Angus Glens and listen to roaring of the rutting Red Deer Stags in the hills. Appropriate footwear and clothing should be worn, bring binoculars if you have them.

17. St. Andrews botanic gardens and butterfly house

Date: Open Daily

Time: 10am – 4 pm

Price: Adult £6, children FREE

The Butterfly house is closing on October 20th. Tickets are £3.25 per person

The ‘Hug a Tree Trail’ offers fun facts and activities at each of the 8 stops around the garden.  This involves measuring trees, making leaf rubbings, searching for mini beasts and learning about the Mongolian Pine, Oliver’s Lime, Giant Aspen and more.  All equipment required including activity sheet, compass, tape measure, brush, bug pot and magnifying glass can be found in the handy backpack which can be collected at the ticket office and returned at the end of your visit.  This trail is suitable for ages 4 to 12.

Until 20th October the Tropical Butterfly house is open where you can explore butterflies up close and complete the butterfly house activity books.

Visit the website for further information

18. Wee Wellies Art Activities

Date: Wednesday 16th October

Time: 11am

Price: Free

Explore the Duntrune Community Garden at Dawson Park through arts and crafts with the community artist. Suitable for all ages, no booking required.

19. Ryze Dundee

Dundee’s trampolining park is open daily. Wee ones (age 2-6) can jump daily from 10am – 11am for £7 and accompanying adults are free of charge, out with these times the park is only open to children aged 5+ at a cost of £11 each.

Times are variable throughout the week. Check out the website for further details.

Dundee’s indoor trampoline park features a sea of interweaving trampolines, a ninja inflatable course, obstacle pits and walk the wall trampolines. If your child is feeling brave they can throw themselves safely from a ledge onto a bouncy pillow below. The centre has a large viewing window within the cafe if you feel your child is old enough to participate without your help or is with friends you can just watch them having fun from the cafe.

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20. Ferry Potty

Date: Tuesday – Saturday

Time: 10.30am – 5pm

Price: All items are individually priced but start from around £10

Ferry Potty is a walk in ceramics studio in Broughty Ferry where children can choose from a huge range of ceramics to paint. *Please note – Glazing does take time therefore items are required to be collected at a later date . You can book ahead by calling 01382 770099 and this is probably advisable during holiday periods. Lots of Halloween and Autumn themed ceramics in currently in store for painting

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21. Camperdown Wildlife Centre and park

Date: Open Daily

Time : 10am – 3.30pm

Price : Adults £6.00, Child £5.00, Under 3s £1.10, Family ticket £21.00

Camperdown wildlife centre has a range of animals including bears, marmosets, pygmy goats, lemurs, meerkats, birds and otters. Collect your map on the way in and see if you can find all of the animals in the centre.

With a cafe onsite you can refuel before heading to the very impressive Camperdown Park.

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Bat Walk

Sunday 20th October

5pm – 7pm

£2 per child – booking essential via Friends of Camperdown Page

A torch, warm clothes and wellies are recommended.

22. Dundee Ice Arena

Date: Online timetable of events os available here

Price: Variable prices available to view here

Snow Babies

Introduce your toddler to the ice in this play based sessions. You don’t even have to wear skates! Suitable for under 5’s

Sessions are on Mondays from 1.30pm -2.30pm and Fridays from 10am-11am.

Penguin Class

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If your child is ready to move on from Snow babies they can use the penguins for support. Ice skates must be worn.

Public Sessions

Sessions run daily at different times for open skate sessions. Details can be found in the timetable above.

 

 

23. Parklives programme of events

Leisure and Culture have a programme of events throughout different locations in the October holidays. All activities are FREE and cater for all ages. There is no need to book, just turn up on the day.

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24. Balnuith Alpaca Walking Tours

Dates and times variable. Contact Alison to find availability on Facebook

Price: £20 per Alpaca (session length is 1 hour)

Meet the Aplacas at Balnuith Farm before choosing which one you would like to take for a stroll in the countryside. Afterwards head back to the barn to learn more about these animals and complete some craft activities with their fleece.

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25. Head to the beach

The beach is the perfect place for topping up your vitamin D in the Summer but it’s also a super place to go rock pooling in the Autumn. Along the edges of the River Tay in both Dundee and Fife there are plenty of opportunities for rock pooling.

All you need to go rock pooling is a bucket. Lower it slowly into the water and bring it back up having a look to see what small creatures might have fallen inside. Lower them gently back into the water to set them free.

Pick up and move rocks to find shellfish hiding underneath, just remember to put them back when you’re done.

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Collect some empty shells and take them home to paint.

Make sure you’re wrapped up warm with a waterproof suit and wellies on. It’s quite cold on the waters edge just now but that shouldn’t put you off. There’s no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothing.

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of activities to keep your little one’s busy this October. If I have missed anything you think should have made it onto my list please let me know and I’ll update it.

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

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