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Patterns of Life gallery

Top 10 activities to try with kids

The National Museum of Scotland is full of fun for kids of all ages!

1. Light up our Energy Tower

Where: Energise Level 5

Our Science and Technology galleries are full of interactive ways to explore scientific ideas and discoveries. And our new Energy Tower offers you a workout as well! See if you and the kids can generate enough energy to light up the whole tower – and burn some calories too.

Two children step on spots of coloured light on the floor around a black tower.

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 the world without leaving the Museum, enjoying stories, shapes, colours and sounds from across the globe. Have fun dressing up, dance on our giant soundboard, 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 it'll spell it out for you.

5. Discover a dinosaur

Where: Adventure Planet, Level 5

Adventure Planet is the perfect place for young explorers to find out about our amazing natural world. Take a ‘deep sea dive’ in our mini submersible, help a hedgehog get home safely or find out if you are a Clean-up champion in our Beach Clean-up Challenge. Plus our super popular Dino Dig has gone digital!

Two children touch an interactive table screen showing dinosaur bones.

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. Pick up a trail

There’s lot of fun, family-friendly trails to choose from. Download one before you visit, or pick up our latest trails from the trail holders at the info desk or dotted about the museum.

Animal illustrations.

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.

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