Think back to your own childhood and much of your time would be spent outdoors, playing in the street, exploring and having a million small adventures. These days, many kids miss out on this freedom to roam, so getting the kids off the sofa and out into the fresh air will do both them and you the world of good…

Storybook Glen has been popular with generations of Aberdeenshire families, but its had a makeover and is now called The Den & The Glen. The Glen is home to fairytale and nursery rhyme characters, perfect for toddlers. You’ll also find Old McDonald’s farm a tuck shop, picnic areas and plenty of swings. The Den is an indoor play area with a climbing wall, football pitch, giant ball canyon and tons more. There’s also a great family restaurant on site. See for more information.

Balmedie Country Park is the perfect spot for kids of all ages to clamber amongst the sand dunes, stroll the shoreline and look for wildlife. You can pack a car picnic or, from April to September you can hire a barbecue by booking via Aberdeenshire Council on 01467 628261. Alternatively, a family forest walk on a crisp afternoon will restore a glow. Check for local trails.

If you prefer a more organised approach to outdoor fun, head for Hoodles at Oldmeldrum. As well as an outstanding play barn, Hoodles has an outdoor paddock area complete with football pitch, jelly belly, basket swing, trampolines, sandpit, pedal go-karts, a bale haystack and grass sledges. Phone ahead and they can even arrange a picnic for you. has all the details.

Stonehaven Outdoor Pool is open from the end of May and the Olympic size, heated seawater pool is perfect for the whole family. At 29oC, the water is delightful and it’s fun to swim even if it’s raining! Find out more at


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