We recently visited the Scottish National Museum of Rural Life, on the outskirts of East Kilbride. We had previously visited for a Christmas event in 2019, but it was nice to visit again on a quieter day!
National Museums of Scotland
The museum itself is laid out over several levels, with the reception, shop and cafe at the entrance level. From here you visit the next level down, walking past many interesting scaled down models of farming equipment from over the years.
The models were very interesting to the kids and in non-covid times there are also various interactive screens and activities.
From the farming models you are led down the corridor to find out how people in farming communities lived, over the years. These include how and what they cooked, toys children played with and various different artefacts from across the years.
My eldest’s favourite part is always the tractors and other machinery on the lower floor. There is a huge barn style of room where many machines are parked together. The kids love pressing the buttons to make some of the machinery work, but the buttons are currently inactive.
When visiting with children you can also take a museum trail sheet. This will give the kids lots of items to find, questions to answer and a few puzzles too.
From the indoor museum you can walk up the lane towards the farm yard. It’s a working farm so watch out for tractors!
There are various information boards on the walk up and there is also currently a willow sculpture trail to spot different animals. We saw plenty of real farm animals on our walk including cows, sheep, pigs and chickens.
In the little farm yard you can visit a few of the outside buildings including one with a pretend cow! We were lucky enough to see some young calves in one of the buildings, which were very sweet!
As mentioned above there are couple of children’s trails you can follow. The first is through the indoor museum, with lots of things to find whilst walking through. The second is the willow sculpture trail on your walk up to the farm.
There are some fantastic sculptures, which are pretty cool to see! The kids were impressed with them and we did manage to find them all, despite having to been shown the swallows at the very beginning!!
The kids were also impressed with the magnifying posts that are dotted around the paths up and down to the farm. They took turns finding different natural items to look at in the magnifier. We also noticed that there were some at the play park too.
The play park at the museum is a good size, plenty of green space to run around and picnic benches to sit at. Of course there is an old tractor for the kids to sit on and various climbing frames, swings and other play park activities.
You go past the play park on the way up to the farm so there’s no missing it! The kids will definitely want to play there!