Museum of Childhood
Museum of Childhood
4
About
Adults can indulge in a nostalgia-fest and children discover how their (not so) aged parents amused themselves as youngsters in a world before video games. There’s a wholesomeness to the construction kits and embroidery sets that once kept little fingers busy in a world that embraced the notion of "Improving Sunday Toys," while train sets and dolls houses have enduring appeal. If the implacable stare of the massed ranks of a compendious collection of dolls becomes a little unnerving, there are dressing-up boxes, and regular organized activities to provide diversions.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavored souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
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  • Malgorzata
    12,113 contributions
    Well worth a visit to reminisce on your childhood
    A charming free museum, suitable for adults and children which is located along the Royal Mile in the centre of Edinburgh. It has many old toys which reminds you of your childhood. Kids can wonder how people could play with such simple toys . A very educative place to your kids. This museum has lovely displays of 100's of toys, dolls and games , there's also a gift shop on the ground floor. The shop has plenty of interesting items for the kids too. Well worth a visit.
    Visited March 2019
    Written January 4, 2020
  • Anu
    United Kingdom896 contributions
    Relive Childhood Memories
    Fun museum for families and children with several hands-on exhibits for kids to enjoy. Takes a trip down memory lane back to our childhood days. Lovingly displays all sorts of old toys. Adults will also enjoy the museum for the history in the place too. It's also free.
    Visited February 2020
    Written March 8, 2020
  • Erik V
    Cleckheaton, United Kingdom763 contributions
    Wonderful memories of childhood spoilt by one member of staff
    When your childhood toys are part of a museum you know you’re getting on! However to see how simple toys have developed and to see the younger children there were excited was great to see We arrived with 44 minutes to go until close and got a chance to see the whole museum. At 10 to 5, one member of staff started to switch off the lights whilst we were still looking at the cabinets. A lady asked to use the toilet, which she was initially refused as ‘the museum was closing in 10 minutes’. The lady pointed out that the museum wasn’t closed yet and the member of staff continued to argue. Whilst one member of staff doesn’t represent the museum, it was a disappointing way to finish what was a lovely free experience.
    Visited October 2022
    Written February 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
1,246 reviews
Excellent
461
Very good
491
Average
229
Poor
49
Terrible
16

J B
London, UK62 contributions
Jun 2023 • Family
Popped in for a couple of hours with our kids aged 6 and 3 who enjoyed the interactive exhibits. NB: The museum is over a few floors and the lift is out of order. There were loads of interesting and nostalgic exhibits to look at did kids and adults.
Written June 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DunelmArts
Aberdeen, UK1,111 contributions
Jul 2023 • Solo
This small museum explores aspects of British childhood from the 1800s to the present day. The museum comprises display boards, some interactive games and a selection of toys. If you're of a certain age, you'll recognise the Chopper bike, Mousetrap and junior Scrabble games and Tiny Tears doll. Free entry, worth a look if you're passing.
Written August 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alan D
Perth, UK812 contributions
Oct 2019
If you find you and the family in the old town,high street it is worth while a visit to the museum of childhood.
The museum is full of thing from the past childhoods of grand parents and long before that.
I still remember going with my Grand mother and aunt how lived in near by Abbey Hill.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IvanG
Deganwy, UK316 contributions
Sep 2023
A great little museum that's free, although a £5 donation is suggested. It's a great place to spend an hour away from the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile. You'll see toys from your childhood and it's all very nostalgic. Friendly staff and lovely clean toilets too! Recommended.
Written September 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matilda
United Kingdom24 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
We visited about 2 weeks ago. When we arrived we found staff to be disinterested. They told us the 2 floors were shut because of covid.
We had a wander around and were very disappointed.
We were only in for 10 or 15 mins. It was dark and dingy .
We were so disappointed and would not recommend.
Written July 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

775Antony
London, UK89 contributions
Feb 2020
this is an interesting museum that is free (hurrah!) but don't count of spending too much time there. Yes, there are some little toys and artifacts that took my wife and I down memory lane, but all-in-all I don't think the displays are big enough. It didn't help that the whole of Gallery 2 (the Toys) was closed.
It's worth a 30 minute peruse whilst on the Royal Mile.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WhatAboutThisPlace
7 contributions
Sep 2019 • Family
This is a nice, little (free!) museum to visit if you're already passing. Very interesting to step back in time and see all the different toys from the past. The room full of dolls is creepy but fascinating! There aren't many toys from the 80's or 90's so unfortunately it isn't a trip down memory lane for me as it might be for some. I wouldn't go out of my way to visit, but if I'm on the Royal Mile with some time to kill, I do pop in.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bethanyweatherstone
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK285 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
There was a good range of old toys, dolls, games to look at. One of the exhibitions was closed. We spent about 20-30 minutes here. Quite small but worth a look. Brought back memories of toys we had when we were small. Musuem is free.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Adella
3 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Free entry makes this the only thing that’s worth it. A few floors are closed for refurbishment at the moment and the lift is out of order.
I really hope the refurbished floors offer more for children visiting the facility. It’s nostalgic for adults to look around but so dull and boring for kids. Very little interactive areas for kids. Mostly just random uninviting corners with books.
There is so much potential for a place like this but this is a let down.
I’d be happy to pay if it had more for kids. Why not have a game boy set up and let them play Tetris, or get some costumes of old style kids clothes and let them pretend to be in an old school with slates and chalk, let them host their own Punch and Judy show etc.
Written September 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

scotlass508
Edinburgh, UK396 contributions
May 2012
nostalgia dosent come any better than this, a small entrance fee, it was good to get all those blasts from the past.
Written July 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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