Be Inspired: School Holiday Activities

School's Out For Summer!

Calling all the parents, grandparents and anyone else in charge of keeping children amused during the school summer holiday.

Teachers are celebrating, kids are swinging from the curtains, and grown-ups everywhere are wondering how to keep hyped-up, sun-fuelled (we hope!) children amused for six long weeks.

We’ve pulled together some great classes, fun activities and outdoor adventures from across Perthshire to keep them smiling all summer long. From nature treks for primary school age and fun crafts for wee ones, to Land Rover Experiences for teenagers, it’s all going on in Perth City and Towns.

All Year Round Activities and Attractions

As well as our list of summer holiday specials here, check out our other action-packed Be Inspired blogs full of ideas from across the area.

  • Free Activities - From walks in the woods to the area's best parks, we've tracked down some free, gratis, cost-nothing fun stuff for the kids to enjoy. Read More >
  • Family Days Out - From treasure trails to sports centres, Highland safaris to playbarns on the farm, Perthshire is brimming over with family fun - and best of all, prices start at free. Read More >
  • River and Lochs - Get out on the water and let your inner adventurer out for a splash - no equipment necessary, enthusiasm is all you need! Read More >
  • Experience Nature - There is something instantly calming about being out and walking in nature and, here in Perthshire, Mother Nature has been especially kind. Read More >

Perth City Centre


The Black Watch Castle & Museum

Perth City Centre

Summer 2022 Activities: Around the World with The Black Watch.

Join them for a super summer of family crafts and discover some of the incredible places The Black Watch have visited over the last 300 years.

The Black Watch Castle and Museum is a 5-star multi-award winning visitor attraction situated on Perth’s Hay Street, a short walk from the city centre. It comprises Balhousie Castle, the ancestral home of the Black Watch regiment, set in beautiful gardens and grounds; the Black Watch Museum, with daily guided tours; the Bistro @ The Castle, offering a friendly, informal dining experience; a well-stocked gift shop; and a learning and access programme. 

Since its formation in 1739, The Black Watch has witnessed and contributed to many key moments in world history. A visit to the museum brings those moments vividly to life, and this summer The Black Watch will also offer family craft activities, taking you around the world to discover some of the incredible places the regiment has visited. 

On July 5, begin in North America at the time of the earliest settlers and celebrate Native American culture by making a dreamcatcher to hang beside your bed. On July 12, relive the Battle of Waterloo, foam print a famous French landmark – the Eiffel Tower – and create a collage background to make a striking picture for your wall. And on July 19, remember The Black Watch in Holland with your own model windmill.

Around the World with The Black Watch continues throughout the summer with further sessions featuring its travels to countries including Egypt, India, South Africa, and many more. Visit The Black Watch Castle and Museum website to see the full timetable and to book your place (or call 01738 638152). Remember all children must be accompanied by an adult.

The Black Watch WW1 trench will be open daily along with the kids play park.

•    Age group: All ages - aged 3-10yrs with their adults
•    Nearest town: Perth
•    Open: Sessions run on various dates and times – go online for the complete timetable
•    Price: Around the World with the Black Watch – Kids’ Summer Crafts at the Castle £3.50 per session

More info | www.blackwatch.co.uk


Willowgate

Perth City Centre

At Willowgate they have something for all the family!

Visit for a Taster Experience in kayaking, paddleboarding, archery, bushcraft or axe throwing; these are perfect for anyone wanting to have some fun and try something a little different. Send the kids, or come as a family, all ages and abilities welcome!

Or, why not send your young people down for a full Adventure Day?! This 7.5-hour day includes a whole host of activities sure to get them coming home tired and full of stories. These days are only £38 and spaces are available for ages 7-15. Kids will spend half the day splashing around on the water doing activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding and  giant paddleboarding and on land will have a go at activities such as archery, bushcraft, beach volleyball, and more.

•    Age group: 7-15 years
•    Nearest town: Perth City Centre
•    Open: All year round
•    Price: Full day Adventure Day £38

More info | www.willowgateactivitycentre.co.uk


Live Active Leisure

All over Perthshire

Superheroes assemble! Live Active Leisure, the largest leisure provider in Perth and Kinross, has announced its Summer Holiday Programme and its camps and sessions have everything your kids need to stay fighting fit throughout the holidays. With activities running from July 4 until August 14 2022 in venues across the region, there is sure to be something local to suit every budding Iron Man and Wonder Woman.

Over the summer there are cricket camps, featuring a mixture of games and skills, and crash course swimming lessons for pre-school non-swimmers, right through to the more advanced stroke techniques in Swim Skills 2. Choose from energetic football camps or single sessions, supervised gym sessions, gymnastics and Wee Springers, soft play and bouncy castles for the wee ones, and much more. Kids can become a ninja warrior, sign up for Battle Active to show off their Nerf training, or mix it up with Multi Sports, Sport Time or Gametime.

Live Active Leisure offers sports and fitness options for all ages and abilities, and its summer holiday activities give children the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a physically active lifestyle, while having fun with their friends. What’s more, as a local leisure trust, Live Active Leisure reinvests every penny of profit back into its services, serving the wellbeing of the entire Perth and Kinross community.
You can find out more information about all the activities and details of how to book on the Live Active website. Simply download the programme, pick your camps and sessions, and call your chosen venue to book. Holiday camps must be pre-booked, and Live Active recommend you book activity sessions in advance too.

•    Age group: All ages
•    Nearest town: All areas
•    Opening times and price: Variable according to activity and location

More info | www.liveactive.co.uk


Culture Perth and Kinross

All over Perthshire

This summer, Culture Perth and Kinross will bring-back Maker_Space Club, providing a range of accessible digital technology for children to use. Kids aged 9-12 can come along to any of the five Maker_Space sessions happening in libraries across the region and let their imaginations lead the way, experimenting with all the cool tech you might not have at home.

Develop hands-on creativity with activities including designing models in 3D, digital drawing and painting, and creating stop-motion movies. There is also designing, drawing and cardboard construction. Spaces must be booked in advance.

On August 5, children of all ages can become Dinosaur Detectives, searching for clues about the past at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. Enter the fascinating world of fossils, brought to life with puppetry, projection and shadow theatre, and view some of the historic fossils in the museum’s collection.

And on August 6, older children are invited to Perth Museum and Art Gallery to explore the new and thought-provoking art installation ‘The Serpent of Capitalism’ in a special behind-the-scenes session with local artists and staff. In addition, they will have the opportunity to create their own picket signs and discuss what they would like to protest – climate change, train prices or even school meals! Pre-booking is essential.

•    Age group: Maker_Space Club ages 9-12 / Dinosaur Detectives all ages / ‘What Would Kids Protest?’ ages 11-14
•    Nearest town: All over Perthshire
•    Open: Various times and locations
•    Price: Maker_Space Club Free / Dinosaur Detectives £5 / ‘What Would Kids Protest?’ £5

More info | www.culturepk.org.uk

Perthshire Wildlife

All over Perthshire

If you love wildlife and want to spot some amazing riverside birds and mammals during the holidays, why not join Perthshire Wildlife for a Riverside Beaver Safari or a Beaver Canoe Safari? The rangers have over 20 years' experience of leading guided walks and working in conservation, so you'll be in the best possible hands!

The Riverside tour involves sitting on the bank of a beautiful river for a few hours, listening to birdsong and the burbling water, and watching a wide variety of wildlife which could include dippers, goosanders, kingfishers, beavers and occasionally otters!

Most of the birds are busy feeding their chicks just now so they are easily spotted whizzing up and down the river with small fish in their beaks. It's always a real treat to catch the turquoise and orange flash of a kingfisher (but blink and you'll miss it!).

The real stars of the show though, are the beavers, and the whole family can be spotted swimming, chomping on their favourite foods sweet cicely and comfrey, grooming each other, and generally being beaver-tastic! 

Canoe safaris are run on the River Tay with Beyond Adventure in Aberfeldy, and look at all sorts of beaver signs such as chewed and coppiced trees, and beaver trails in and out of the river. Get up close and personal to a beaver lodge, find some beaver dams, and hopefully spot the beavers themselves. Plus, the paddling is brilliant fun.

All the trips will appeal to your love of the wild and aim to have you leave feeling happier from the joy of experiencing wildlife up close. 

•    Age group: Ages: 6+ years
•    Nearest town: All over Perthshire
•    Open: Tours are Wednesday - Sunday (beaver canoe safaris on Sundays)
•    Price: Riverside Safari family ticket £165, Canoe trip £65 per person

Photo credits: Brian Sloan

More info | www.perthshirewildlife.co.uk


Perthshire Farmers’ Markets

All over Perthshire

Home to the award-winning Perth Farmers' Market, which was the first of its kind in Scotland, Perthshire proudly boasts five fantastic markets in various locations across the region:

Perth Farmers’ Market
Pitlochry Market
Kinross Farmers’ Market
Aberfeldy Community Market
Perth’s The Yard

And is any wonder? The area is renowned for its rich agricultural land, long history of distilling, and award-winning producers. From the mighty berry fields of Blair to honey from hillside hives, crystal-clear gin from copper stills and beef fit for a king, here in the land of Scotland's larder it is all made possible.  

As with all good, authentic farmers’ markets, behind the stalls you'll find the producers themselves – and they all love to chat about their wares! Ask about their processes, their attention to tiny details, where they farm and even the name of the cow your rib-eye steak came from and they'll happily tell you. Bring the kids – they will be delighted when given a wee lump of cheese or other delicacy to ‘taste test’!

Although not strictly speaking a farmers’ market, we couldn’t not include The Yard! The Yard Market Place takes place once a month at the Ice Factory in Perth. It features creatives with their stalls across four areas, both indoor and outdoor. There is a guest street food trader each month, a tea and coffee van, plus they have an indoor seated bar area. It's £2 entry for adults and FREE for kids and dogs. Dogs are very welcome! The Yard Market Place is on the last Sunday of the month, 11am-4pm.

•    Nearest town: All over Perthshire
•    Open: Various dates and times
•    Price: Free

Read our Perthshire Farmers' Market blog>


Strathearn and West Perthshire


Auchingarrich

Crieff

Just outside the village of Comrie, seven miles from Crieff, Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre makes a great day out for the whole family. Tucked amongst the beautiful Perthshire hills (take a look from the hilltop viewpoint), Auchingarrich has more than 40 different animal species for you to meet and greet, several outdoor play areas, two indoor play barns (perfect for a rainy day), and the enticing Dizzy Duck Café with a range of refreshments such as hot drinks, home-made soup and generously filled sandwiches.

There are farm animals, exotic wildlife, reptiles and birds at Auchingarrich. See meerkats and lemurs, pigmy goats and micro pigs, emus and owls, chipmunks, otters, Scottish wildcats, marmosets … the list goes on! Visit the hatchery to meet the smaller animals, where children can get up close to tiny chicks, pet the rabbits, guinea pigs and tortoises, and learn all about them. 

Youngsters can try their hand milking ‘Clover’ the (model) cow, let off some steam careering around the farmyard circuit on a mini tractor, or play a game of badminton or football. With balance logs, climbing frames, mini golf, a small climbing wall, and a big playpark with a flying fox, giant net swing, sandpit and the famous rabbit warren tunnels, you really are guaranteed a carload of sleepyheads on the way home.

•    Age group: All ages
•    Nearest town: Crieff
•    Open: Daily 10am-5pm
•    Price: Adult £9.50 / Child £7.50 / Seniors £7.50 / Under 2’s free / Family £33 (2 adults and 2 children)

More info | www.auchingarrich.co.uk


Blairgowrie and East Perthshire


Nature Nuts

Blairgowrie

Based in Blairgowrie, Nature Nuts offers bespoke wildlife tours for all ages and abilities, giving animal lovers the opportunity to see some of Scotland’s most iconic fauna. Whether you’d like to get up close to cute red squirrels, industrious beavers, a magnificent mountain hare or the elusive pine marten, Nature Nuts knows where to take you for the best possible viewings of these creatures, and many more, in their native habitats.

Expert in the field, Bob Smith, is simply nuts for nature. With his passion for the outdoors and its wild and eclectic inhabitants, he loves to share his knowledge with as many people, young and old, as possible. Bob delivers memorable tours for small groups, and with under-16s accompanied by an adult going free, Nature Nuts is a perfect school holiday outing for family and friends.

Bob’s beaver tours are especially popular – with a record of more than 2000 visitors to his local beaver colonies, Bob has an excellent success rate for sightings on these tours. You will have the opportunity to see adult beavers, yearlings and kits, as well as otters, kingfishers, foxes, roe deer and many other riverside residents.

Nature Nuts also takes groups to its secluded woodland hide where you could meet pine martens, sparrowhawks, woodpeckers, jays and red squirrels. Or venture further afield on a Munro Magic Tour to look for ptarmigan, mountain hares, red deer, red grouse and ring ouzel – all amid stunning mountain views.

•    Age group: All ages
•    Nearest town: Blairgowrie
•    Open: Always open
•    Price: 3-4 hour Beaver Tour £100 / 5-6 hour Beaver Tour £130 (for up to 4 people)

More info | www.nature-nuts.org


Glendoick

Glencarse

Glendoick is a multi-award winning garden centre, cafe, food hall and gift shop easily accessible on the A90 between Perth and Dundee. Founded as a specialist nursery in 1953, it now boasts a world-class array of plants and gardening equipment, an extensive homewares department, a range of ladies’ and gents’ clothing, mouth-watering food and drink, and attractive play areas for children. Open all year round, seven days a week, Glendoick is the perfect pit-stop to treat yourself and the family … as well as helping you tame the jungle in your backyard.

While you indulge in some retail therapy, the kids will be content with Glendoick’s fun indoor and outdoor play equipment. Inside, there is a soft and safe play zone suitable for babies up to two years old, and a multi-level play frame – with nets, crawl tube, and spiral slide – for children aged between two and eight. It is open 9.30am-3.30pm (with a 10.30am start on Tuesdays and Fridays). 

The outdoor playpark, in the grounds of the garden centre, is open 9am-4.45pm every day, as long as weather permits, and is suitable for all ages and abilities. Children will love the large wooden frame for climbing and scrambling, as well as squeezing together on the basket swing, and enjoying the super-cool slide and wheelchair-accessible tunnel. For a quieter moment, there are interactive puzzles and a bug magnifying glass.

All play areas are free to use when parents or carers are shopping or using the café at Glendoick. To keep up your little ones’ energy (and your own), the Garden Café serves hot and cold drinks, lunch, afternoon tea, and sweet treats.

•    Age group: All ages
•    Nearest village: Glencarse
•    Open: Daily 9am-5pm
•    Price: Indoor and outdoor play areas free for customers

More info | www.glendoick.com


Hightland and North Perthshire


Scottish Crannog Centre

Kenmore

The Scottish Crannog Centre is a family-friendly museum on the banks of Loch Tay, a couple of minutes’ drive from the village of Kenmore. Showcasing the fascinating history of these prehistoric lake dwellings, the museum aims to engage and inform visitors about the lives of the people who made crannogs their home 2,500 years ago. With guided tours and exhibitions, hands-on crafts, music demonstrations and special events, there is lots to entice you here this summer.

The biggest event of the Crannog calendar, ‘Celts are Coming’ from July 29 to August 1, brings together some of the most talented traditional craftspeople from across the UK and beyond, to share their stories and skills of metalworking, woodworking and spoon carving, as well as making natural dyes and coloured thread for the communal loom. 

‘A Celtic Summer’, on July 16 and 17, is a celebration of ancient games, competitions, food and fun with live music and treats from the kitchen. Simply don your flower crown, relax amongst the Crannog community and enjoy the long summer days in this beautiful part of northern Perthshire.
Tours run all day between 10am and 4pm and the café is open serving hot and cold drinks and snacks during your visit. Dogs are always welcome!

Finally, visit the Crannog Centre in the evening for ‘Crannog Craic’ – stories, songs, music and tales of local myths and legends. This fundraising event is held outdoors every Wednesday at 7pm and is particularly suitable for children aged over five.

•    Age group: All ages
•    Nearest village: Kenmore
•    Open: Daily 10am-4.30pm
•    Price: ‘Celts are Coming’ or ‘A Celtic Summer’ – Adults £7 / Children £7. ‘Crannog Craic’ – Adults £10 / Children £5

More info | www.crannog.co.uk


Unique Adventure Tours Scotland

Aberfeldy 

Take a moment this summer to enjoy life in the slow lane – with Unique Adventure Tours Scotland stand-up paddleboarding, you can enjoy the wild and scenic landscapes of Perthshire from a different viewpoint. Travelling along stunning waterways such as the River Tay, the River Tummel and the River Dochart, a paddleboarding trip is more than a quick dip in the water, it’s an immersive experience and the perfect way to appreciate the natural environment.

The rise and rise of paddleboarding’s popularity can be partly attributed to its ease of access and, with just a few pointers, absolute beginners can start their adventures on the water. Unique Adventure Tours provides river-based paddleboarding guided tours, private bespoke sessions, and the exploration of Lochs Tay, Faskally or Freuchie. 

Suitable for children aged 16 and over, paddleboarding trips are led by your own private tour guide, and can be tailored to your specifications for transport, accommodation and hospitality. Unique Adventure Tours provides everything you need – including wetsuits and buoyancy aids – to get you started on your half-day or full-day experience.

•    Age group: 16 years +
•    Nearest village: Aberfeldy
•    Open: Mon-Sat 8am-8pm / Sunday 9am-8pm
•    Price: River Day Adventure £85pp / Half Day Loch Trip £45pp

More info | www.uniqueadventuretoursscotland.co.uk


Land Rover Experience Young Off-Roader

Dunkeld

Land Rover Experience Scotland, near Dunkeld, gives you the opportunity to experience the all-terrain capability of Land Rover under the expert guidance of world-class instructors and, this summer, is offering something new and exciting for young people. 

Young Off-Roader is a junior Land Rover Experience programme for 11-17 year olds which puts the kids in the driver’s seat. They will learn something new – and get that all-important adrenalin rush – going off-road on a specially designed driving assault course, tackling steep slopes, negotiating obstacles and driving through deep water.

With tuition from a specialist Land Rover instructor in a brand new, dual-controlled Range Rover Evoque, youngsters can increase their skills and confidence, impress their friends and have a lot of fun. The instructor will introduce them to the vehicle, teach them how to control it, then guide them as they drive round the agility arena before moving on to tackle a range of obstacles and challenges. 

The sessions last for one hour, they are running seven days a week throughout the school holidays, and can even be shared with a friend (30 minutes driving each) for double the laughs! The Young Off-Roader experience includes a certificate to take away with you.


•    Age group: Ages 11-17
•    Nearest town: Dunkeld
•    Open: Daily 8.45am-4.45pm
•    Price: £160 per vehicle (up to 2 junior drivers)

More info | www.youngoffroaderscotland.co.uk


Kinross and Loch Leven


RSPB Big Wild Sleepout

Kinross

Loch Leven National Nature Reserve is home to countless birds including tufted ducks and teal, migratory pink-footed geese and swans, and – in the summer months – ospreys. Families can stop by the RSPB Visitor Centre for pond dipping and wildlife explorer backpack hire, available every day between 10am and 4pm; there is a den building area full of logs for kids to make dens; and the RSPB trails, hides and car parking are open 24/7.

The RSPB also runs a programme of fun, informative events and one of the summer highlights is the Big Wild Sleepout. On July 30, families are welcome to spend the night camping under the stars and connecting with nature, as the nocturnal wildlife awakens all around. Enjoy bushcraft activities – den building and fire lighting – before a BBQ dinner, followed by toasting marshmallows over the campfire and the campfire quiz! Venture out on a night-time walk with a bat detector, then set a moth trap, attracting insects to examine in the morning.

You must pitch your own tent on arrival, and please book your tickets in advance. Toilets and washing facilities (hot water!) are available on site.

Age group: All ages
Nearest town: Kinross
Open: July 30 to July 31
Price: Big Wild Sleepout RSPB members adult £20.50 and child £12.50 / Non-members adult £24.50 and child £15.50

More info | www.events.rspb.org.uk