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Ideas for keeping children entertained during the holidays

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Guest blogger Mary Hardie of What’s On For Kids offers some ideas for keeping the youngsters entertained during the school holidays…

The Festival 2014 programme which came out a couple of weeks ago looks spectacular and when you combine it with the actual sporting events of the Commonwealth Games, you know that this summer in Glasgow promises to be extra-special.

However, the schools are out and there are almost three weeks before the action starts. So the challenge remains how to keep kids busy.  So it’s a relief to know that in spite of the forthcoming excitement, Glasgow’s Museums are still running their popular family and kids events.

At the People’s Palace (closed Mondays) there are workshops inspired by the centenary of WWI and their current exhibition, Fred A Farrell, Glasgow’s War Artist. “Country at War: Your palace needs you” runs every afternoon from Tuesday to Thursday and Saturdays until 19 July.   At Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, (short walk from Kelvinhall Subway Station) families can explore the techniques used by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the ‘Spook School’ in the Glasgow Style Gallery from Monday to Thursday this week, 2.00-4.00pm.

At GoMA (close to St Enoch station), their popular drop-in art activities return and at Scotland Street School Museum (Shields Road Subway – closed Mondays), their summer timetable is running with drop in workshops including Tiddler Time for toddlers on Thursdays.

There are a variety of nautical-themed activities running daily at The Tall Ship (near Partick Subway/rail interchange) including storytelling on Fridays and Sundays, music and dancing on Mondays and family tours. Pre-booking is strongly advised to guarantee your place. The beach is back outside the Riverside and there are lots of other distractions outside as well as inside the museum.

Kinning Park Subway is the nearest stop for Glasgow’s Activity Zone, home to Wonderworld Soft Play, the Glasgow Golf Centre, The Climbing Academy and High Heaven, Glasgow’s first indoor trampoline park, which is opening soon. The Climbing Academy is all about bouldering and kids can take part in taster sessions every weekday at 12.30.  The Glasgow Climbing Centre (near Ibrox Subway) also runs very popular activities for kids. The Holiday Camp is 90 minutes and quite a good introduction to climbing covering all the basics. The Day Camp is four hours long and a high point is the chance to abseil down the church spire.

Near Kinning Park station is the Glasgow Science Centre.  It has some new interactive exhibits and a changing programme of workshops and demonstrations.  My advice is to get there early to ensure that you can take part in the workshops and demonstrations because they can get booked up pretty quickly.  Also taking place at the Glasgow Science Centre are Future Makers Summer Camps, which take place over five days and are dedicated to teaching youngsters how to code – for free.  The next one for ages 8-11 takes place the week beginning Monday 7 July from 10.00-4.00.

The big film release for the summer is How To Train Your Dragon 2. Author Cressida Cowell will be at The Mitchell Library (St George’s Cross Subway) on 7 July and this is a great chance to meet her and find out more about her popular books.  Also at any local library, kids can sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge, a great initiative to encourage children to read – the ultimate boredom buster.  This year’s theme is the Mythical Maze and children are encouraged to read as many books as possible – ideally 6 but the more they read, the better chance they have of winning prizes.