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Our guide to the best children’s summer activities in Dundee – and most of them are FREE

Summer activities in Dundee 2022.
Summer activities in Dundee 2022.

School summer holidays are underway and most parents are on the look-out for ways to keep kids entertained.

Luckily there are a wide range of family activities on offer in Dundee this year, and we’ve scoured the internet so you don’t have to.

Below are our top picks of events and activities in the city this summer – and most of them are free!

Free activities

Try the Seek and Peek play trail from V&A Dundee. Designed by Dundee-based illustrator Cara Rooney, this colourful trail will take you and your family on a waterfront wander of discovery around the plaza, the urban beach and gardens. No need to book, just pick up a trail from the outdoor activity cart in the museum’s plaza, every Thursday to Monday.

Encourage teenagers to bond over reading for pleasure. A teen book group for youngsters aged 13 to 16-years-old will start during the holidays, in Central Library, Wellgate. The first session is on July 8 at 3.30-5pm, with sessions running every four weeks thereafter.

Tayview Primary School, in Dundee, took part in a Harry Potter reading challenge earlier this year.

Summer reading challenges and Bookbug classes for younger children are also on offer. Check your local library for session times.

The annual Eid in the Park event, from 12pm on July 10 at Camperdown Country Park, is always a hit with families. It’s a cultural event with a range of stalls, food vendors, fun activities and carnival rides.

To get kids outdoors, there’s children’s wildlife gardening with Froglife – a holiday activity for over 8’s to explore wildlife and gardening. It’s on July 12 and August 9, both from 10am, at Ninewells Community Garden. Ensure that children are dressed appropriately for the weather and for messy play.

There will also be story-telling days with Alex Turner at the community garden and a nature trail. This event is for over 5s, on July 20 at 10am, and August 1 at 2pm.

But our favourite has to be the Dundee Summer (Bash) Streets Festival 2022, from July 14-24 inclusive. The festival contains all-ages shows, street entertainment, live music, storytelling, interactive activities, workshops and more. The programme is packed with family activities, most of them free, so be sure to check it out.

Dundee will become Beanotown for the Summer (Bash) Streets Festival.

The festival will leave no one in doubt that Dundee is the home of comics, celebrating the characters, stories, history and upcoming talent. The city will be turned into Beanotown with a pop-up comic museum, workshops, talks, film screenings, street fun, marble runs and world record attempts.

And to round off the holidays there’s the Boomerang Community Centre Summer Fayre with food and drink, face painting, free children’s activities, craft stalls, raffle and The Makaton Choir on August 13, 12pm-4pm.

Free hands-on workshops

ScrapAntics is putting on a range of activities for children this summer, all for free. All classes run from 1pm-3pm. Spaces need to be booked in advance and children must be accompanied by an adult family member. Details below:

  • Fruit Bowls Community Garden: Make designs using salt dough, on July 9. Make herbal margarine and bread, on July 16. And make recycled creatures, on July 13. All classes for toddlers and older children.
  • Activities with the Ranger Service at Camperdown Country Park. Meet at Mansion House at 1pm, on July 11. Also includes pond dipping to find creatures in the water. For toddlers and older children.
  • Puppet Making with How it Felt. For children aged 6 years and up. Pre-booking essential. July 12, 15, 26 and 29.
  • Activities with the Ranger Service at Clatto Country Park. Family Games in the park. For toddlers and older children, on July 14.

3D virtual tour

See Dundee like you’ve never seen it before as the StoryTrails app and local performers guide you through an immersive tour of the city – through time and space.

Dundee’s well-known landmarks and buildings feature in the digital creation.

Guided by a mobile AR app, you will be led at your own pace to different story points along a route with a choice of story trails to follow, reliving history and flying through a virtual map of the city.

A virtual story portal to begin the StoryTrails experience is located outside Dundee Central Library on July 7 and 8, from 1pm-7pm.

Reasonably priced events

Pirate fun day on HMS Unicorn, July 9. Swashbuckling games, pirate crafts and treasure to hunt onboard the ship. A pirate parade takes place at 2pm so children can come in fancy dress. Prize for best costume. Advanced booking required.

There will also be music days onboard the ship on July 20 and August 10, both starting at 11am.

Emergency Vehicle Day, at Dundee Museum of Transport, July 17 at 10am. A host of emergency vehicles on show. Tickets must be booked in advance. This event is free for members who should show their membership card on arrival.

Summer camps

Leisure and Culture Dundee is hosting a variety of week long camps, all of which are charged and must be pre-booked. These camps include:

  • Urban Moves dance
  • Gymnastics at the McTaggart Centre
  • Netball
  • Football
  • Various water activities at Ancrum Outdoors Centre
  • Preschool activities, ranging from baby yoga to dancing.