Summer fun and games

Yippee! lt’s summer, and Rachael Street and Morag Bruce roll out their ten ideas for keeping the kids happy

and entertained over the holidays.

In Town

Baby Meerkats

Be prepared to fall in love with the little scamps as they go mad for digging holes. rolling around and generally getting on wrth the business of being a meerkat. while being totally oblivious to the crowds of simpering humans that surround their fantastic enclosure. They're growing up fast but even the adults are ridiculously cute. so worry not. Entrance to the zoo is £78.50 for adults and £5.50 for kids; family ticket C26. Edinburgh ZOO. Murrayfie/d. 0737 334 97 77.

www. edinburghzoo. org. uk.

Burntisland Fair and Highland Games

The links next to the Blue Flag-awarded beach are transformed in the summer months into the long- running Burntisland Fair. with all the usual rides to make you wish you hadn't eaten so much candy floss. On Monday 19 July the Burntisland Highland Games join the fair on the links with lots of stalls and burly kilted chaps throwing a variety of stupidly heavy items as far as they can. Even getting there is fun. Expect much pressing of noses against the train window for the j0urney across the Forth Rail Bridge.

Scotrail, 08457 484 950; Kirka/dy Tourist Information, 07592 267 7 75. wwwburntis/andhet.

Big Art Wee Hands

Part of a summer programme of workshops. this is a chance for budding artists to get stuck into a range of media including painting. sculpture. installation. digital photography and animation. Workshops are held daily over the week and are split into 3-6 years in the morning and 7+ in the afternoon. It's 9220 for the week. but call to book as places are limited.

North Edinburgh Art Centre. 75a Pennywe/l Court. Edinburgh. 0737 375 2757, Mon 72—76Jul, www. northedinburgharts. co. uk.

Craft sessions at Lauriston Castle

Glitter and glue at the ready. prepare for a craft fest of epic proportions. In various workshops kids can make bird boxes. bags inspired by textures. shapes and patterns from the surrounding woodland environment and tinkly windchimes. All the fun. and someone else's mess!

Lauriston Cast/e, 2a Cramond Road South, Edinburgh, 0737 336 2026, Thu 8 Jul, Tue 73 Jul 8 Thu 75 Jul, {33—4.

CCA Art and Craft WorkshOps

Bring out the creative urges in your children by joining in on one of the regular Sunday workshops at CCA Glasgow. This month there is a special Exhibition Exploration Day on Sunday 78 July in connection with the Current Future's Show. Be prepared for plenty of noise making as the kids create their own musical instruments and sound paintings. following the themes of water. memOry and music.

CCA, 350 Sauchiehal/ Street. Glasgow, 0747 352 4900. noon—4pm. £5.

The Falkirk Wheel

Take an organised boat trip on the world's first rotating boat lift. This little feat of engineering can lift 600 tonnes of water and up to four boats at a time. using the same energy as it takes to boil two kettles. plus it's really beautiful. Clever and pretty. ooh don't you just hate it?

Lime Road. Tamfourhi/l, Fa/kirk, 07324 6 79 888. www. thefa/ £8 (E 4). Regular trains from Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotrail, 08457 484 950.

and Country

Isle of Bute

Beat the crowds that clamour around Rothesay by hiring bikes from Robb Cycles (01700 502333) and head off along the relatively flat road towards Mount Stewart. where the black heads of seals can often be spotted. It's also well worth making a trip to the west coast of the island. where the beaches are prettier. the crowds smaller and the excellent cakes at Ettrick Bay Tearoom on hand for reluelling.

For travel details visit www. calmac. co. uk and www. scotrail. co. uk.

Beecraigs Country Park

Kids and adults alike love to make fools of themselves by trying to complete the fantastic trim course at Beecraigs. An hour‘s drive from the cities brings y0u right into the heart of the beautiful West Lothian countryside and this 900 acre country park. Once you've exhausted the adventure playground. there are also beautiful woods for exploring. a working deer farm and an adventure activities centre.

Beecraigs Country Park. nr Lin/ithgow. West Lothian, 07506 844576, wwwbeecraigscom.


No summer would be complete without a trip down the beautiful west coast to the beach at Largs. where kids can play amongst the pebbles and paddle in the sea. Arriving by car. there are stunning views of the coast from the long winding approach road. And to complete the day. what could be better than a sweet treat from Nardini's ice-cream parlour? (Greenock Road. Largs. 01475 674555).

Hour/y trains from Central Station, Glasgow. www. scotrail. co. uk.

Finlaystone Country Park

There's nothing that kids enjoy more than digging around and getting mucky. so the ranger-led discovery events at Finlaystone Country Estate (wwwfinlaystonecouk) give them the perfect excuse. These run every Wednesday between 14 July and 18 August for ages 5—10. although there are also one-off family events such as the Woodland Art Day on 18 July. After this. turn the little ones loose on the adventure playground. with its huge wooden wigwam and pirate ship. Fin/aystone Cowitry Estate, Langbank, Renfrewshire. 07475 540505. 2pm. £3 (£2).

Finlaystone Country Park

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