The National Museum of Scotland is full of fun for kids of all ages. Here are some favourite family-friendly exhibits and interactive games.

1. Light up the room on our Energy Wheel

Where: Energise, Level 5

Our Science and Technology galleries are full of interactive ways to get to grips with scientific ideas and discoveries. But only one offers you a workout as well! See how much energy you and your kids can generate in our human hamster wheel – and burn some calories too...

Running in the human hamster wheel

2. Bring a Chinese Dragon roaring to life

Where: Imagine, Level 1

The Imagine gallery is designed with our youngest visitors in mind. In this vibrant, friendly space, babies and toddlers can travel around the world without leaving the Museum, interacting with shapes, colours, patterns and music from around the globe. Dress up in traditional dress, dance on our giant sound board and work together to animate our huge Chinese Dragon.

Chinese dragon in the Imagine gallery

3. Race a Formula 1 car

Where: Explore, Level 1

Calling all budding Lewis Hamiltons! Find out what it's like to burn rubber in an F1 sports car in our racing simulator. Not your style? Why not take to the track in a vintage Morris Mini? Rides cost £1 a go and children must be at least 137cm tall to reach the pedals.

Racing in the F1 car

© Ruth Armstrong

4. Ask a robot to spell your name

Where: Explore, Level 1

At the Museum we value the personal touch – even our robots want to get to know you! Tell Alphabot your name and he'll spell it out for you.

5. Unearth a fossil monster in our dino dig

Where: Adventure Planet, Level 5

Adventure Planet is the perfect place for young explorers to come face to face with the natural world. Learn about camouflage by creating a fish and releasing it into the ocean, dress up as a deep sea diver or excavate a dinosaur in our palaeontologist's pit.

Dino dig

6. Try and beat a cheetah in our animal cycle race

Where: Animal World, Level 1

Do you feel the need for speed? Then pedal your way to victory as you race various contenders from the animal kingdom. Are you faster than a roadrunner? Beep beep!

Animal cycle race

7. Send our hot air balloons soaring

Where: Explore, Level 1

What makes a hot air balloon rise? Find out as you send our brightly-coloured balloons soaring up to the top of the gallery, to float amongst the aeroplanes suspended from the ceiling. 

8. Dress up in historical clothes

Where: Scottish galleries, Level -1,1,3,5

Kids will love travelling back in time in our Discovery Zones. From Vikings and Romans to 18th century emigrants, our historical costumes make the perfect photo opportunity. And grown-ups needn't miss out – there are outfits to fit you too!

Dressing up in historical clothes

9. See how you weigh up to our animals

Where: Animal World, Level 1

Step on our scales for the ultimate weigh in! Whose weight do you match? Emperor penguin or koala? Can your whole family measure up to a polar bear?

Animal weigh in

10. Design your own couture creation

Where: Fashion and Style, Level 1

Let your imagination run wild with this absolutely fabulous interactive. Budding Vivienne Westwoods or Alexander McQueens can create their own designer outfits based on garments in the gallery and let them loose on the catwalk.

Explore more

10 things to see and do at the National Museum of Scotland

At the National Museum of Scotland, you'll embark on a journey of discovery through the history of Scotland and around the world, taking in the wonders of nature, art, design and fashion and science and technology – all under one roof.

Events and resources for autistic children and young people

National Museums Scotland is committed to encouraging children and young people on the autism spectrum to visit and enjoy our museums. We now have a range of initiatives to support and welcome families with autistic children to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Tour the National Museum of Scotland on Google StreetView

The National Museum of Scotland has become the first museum or gallery in Scotland available for exploration online via Google Arts & Culture’s Museum View experience.
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