As I mentioned earlier, our trip to Edinburgh was with Matthew (age 2) in tow. Because most of the main attractions in Edinburgh are more appealing to adults then children (the castle, Holyrood palace, etc), we were careful to pick out a couple of programs that would engage Matthew too.
One was an afternoon outing to the National Museum of Scotland. This museum has an extensive science and technology section with lots of hands-on exhibits. Matthew especially liked the race cars. There was even a Formula 1 race car simulator that you could drive. Matthew and I tried it out; I controlled the pedals while he handled the steering. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time crashing into walls. Hopefully he does a little better when he turns 16. The museum also had a nice exhibit about animals, as well as a room of activities for small children. All in all, it was a nice place for Matthew to spend a couple of hours.
On the last day, we decided to spend the morning at a museum near the castle called Camera Obscura. I wasn’t sold on the plan at first, since it really doesn’t have much to do with Scotland specifically, but we (Matthew included) all had a great time. The museum was filled with optical illusions, 3D holograms, and other interesting exhibits and interactive games. We especially liked walking through the dizzying vortex tunnel and trying to get through the mirror maze (where all the walls are mirrors). At one point in the maze, Matthew got a bit panicked and sprinted face first into one of the mirrors. It was also nice that we adults could take our time and look at lots of the pictures and exhibits, because each area seemed to have one interactive part that could occupy Matthew for an extended period of time.