Things to do with Teenagers in Glasgow

Glasgow is a fantastic city. There’s plenty of great museums and galleries, bars and restaurants, shopping, games and entertainment. There’s also plenty to do for football fans and active teens too.

Many of museums and attractions in Glasgow are free. You could spend days here and not spend a penny.

Read on for lots of things to do with teenagers in Glasgow. Whether your a tourist or a local, there’s something all teens will enjoy!

Glasgow Science Centre

The science centre is a popular day out for families with kids of all ages. There are lots of interactive exhibits.

Highlights for teens include the bodyworks section. See dissections of parts of the body. Partake in experiments and simulations which show how the body works.

The planetarium and Glasgow Tower are both an extra cost but well worth it for teens. Teens will love the amazing views from the top of the Glasgow’s 415 ft tower.

Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel

The Riverside museum is an award winning museum which is free. There are over 3000 exhibits which feature everything from skateboards to locomotives, cars trams, bikes and toys.

There are many interactive displays. Things to do include:

  • Climbing aboard a train, tram or bus and get a real feel for old public transport
  • Walking through a recreation of an old Glasgow street and go inside the shops.
  • Touring the tall ship outside the museum.

You can also take the hop on and hop off bus to get here

Kelvingrove Art Gallery

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery is free and is Glasgow’s most popular attraction. The beautiful building opened as a museum in 1901. It features a wide range of exhibits from Renaissance art to medieval weaponry. Some of the highlights include Sophie Cave’s spooky floating heads, all sporting eerie human expressions. Another must see is Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross which is truly amazing.

The art gallery is located next to Kelvingrove Park where you can stroll by the River Kelvin. There’s also a skatepark here which may interest some teens.

Climb up the Lighthouse

Teens who have a head for heights will enjoy climbing the lighthouse. Head up the spiral staircase and when they reach the top they’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the city.

Hop on and off bus trip

The hop on and off bus trip is a great way to see all Glasgow’s landmarks and get an overview of the city. There’s recorded commentary so you learn all about Glasgow and its history as you travel. You can enjoy the tour in one go or hop and off at the stops along the way.

Scottish Football Museum

The Scottish Football Museum in Glasgow is a must for teenage football fans but also great fun, even if you don’t particularly like football!

It’s based at Hampden Park, the national stadium of football in Scotland. On the stadium tour, visit the underground roadway, team changing rooms, strike a ball in the Hampden Hotshots gallery and have the speed of your shot electronically measured. Walk down the tunnel, and then climb the stairs to the cup presentation area.

Other highlights include the world’s oldest national football trophy, the Scottish cup.

Shopping in Glasgow

If your teen likes to shop til they drop, here’s a quick lowdown on shopping in Glasgow:

Buchanan Street is Glasgow’s main pedestrianised shopping. It includes the original House of Fraser department store – founded in Glasgow in 1849. There’s also the Apple Shop and Nike which teens might like. At the top of Buchanan Street find Buchanan Galleries with lots of high street shops for all budgets including H&M and John Lewis.

Buchanan Street also connects Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street with shops including Superdrug and TKMaxx.

Royal Exchange Square – this is immediately adjacent to Buchanan Street and has nice shops and cafes. You’ll find Sweaty Betty here. If you fancy a break from shopping and your teenager likes art, nip into the the Gallery of Modern Art which is also located here.

Princes Square – this is where to find top brands such as Sheila Fleet, Ted Baker, Kurt Geiger, Dower & Hall

West End or Shawlands in the South Side – this area has more independent and smaller shops including vintage clothing.

Scotland Street School Museum

The Scotland Street School museum is free and very interactive. It tells the story of 100 years of education in Scotland, from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. There’s three different classrooms. Experience what life was like at school in Victorian times , during World War 2 and in the 50s and 60.

Younger siblings might like to try on school uniforms from different eras and write on wax tablets!

There’s also the Willow tearoom cafe in the museum with glass counters over sweets.

Football Stadium Tour

Another suggestion for teen football fans is a tour of the Ibrox Stadium which is home to Glasgow Rangers. It’s a beautiful listed building at the front. On the tour see the home and away dressing rooms, climb the marble staircase and explore the illustrious Trophy Room.

Alternatively tour Celtic football club’s stadium, Celtic Park. On the full guided stadium tour, take a journey through the history of the club and visit the Celtic Park boardroom, tunnel, dressing room and dugout.

The Hunterian Museum at the University

The Hunterain museum is small but worth popping in if your teen is interested in the exhibits. It’s more of a traditional museum rather than one with interactive element.

It has a good Mummy collection, dinosaurs and dinosaur egg displays. The exhibits are varied and include items such as a 17th century Chinese map of the world and Roman relics from the Antoine wall.

Teens might like the body parts in glass jars. Slightly gross but interesting.

While at The Hunterian be sure to check out the university campus, said to be the inspiration behind Hogwarts!

Glasgow Police Museum

This is a small, friendly museum that’s staffed by volunteer ex-police officers. You can learn about the history of policing in Glasgow from 1779 to 1975. Its International Room has uniforms and insignia from every country in the World.

Play Port

The Play Port venues are located in Port Dundas around the top of the Forth and Clyde Canal, just 10 minutes from Glasgow city centre.

The 3 sites include the Loading bay skatepark, Glasgow wake park and Pinkston watersports centre.

The Loading bay skatepark is a brilliant indoor space for skateboarding, roller skating, scooting or BMX biking. You can also book lessons. Additionally there is a parkour and trampoline room.

Active teens will love Pinkston watersports centre where they can kayak, paddleboard, canoe and partake in other watersports too. Glasgow wake park has fantastic wakeboarding facilities and you can book one on one coaching sessions to help you get started.

Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis

The cathedral and necropolis are located next to each other. Let’s face it, a lot of teens are going to moan about being bored. But if you can persuade them, they are both amazing to look around.

The Glasgow Necropolis a hidden time capsule of Glasgow, where approximately 50,000 people are buried.

It is essentially a graveyard but very impressive and well worth a visit. It has a creepy element which may persuade your teenager and makes it a good Halloween activity for older kids. There are some great views from the top of the Necropolis which may persuade some teens to climb up. It’s the final resting place of some wealthy Victorians. Looking at their grand tombs helps understand how rich they were.

Glasgow Climbing Centre

Glasgow Climbing Centre has some brilliant climbing routes for all ages and stages. Whether your teen is a regular climber or has never tried it before, the Glasgow Climbing Centre has something for everyone. You can hire equipment here. There are family climbing sessions so you can all have a go together.

Xsite at Braehead

About a 25 minute drive out of Glasgow city centre. Or you can take a bus which is about 30 minutes. Teens will love it here. There’s an indoor ski slope, good adventure golf, climbing and high wire activities, a trampoline park, virtual reality, bowling etc, and lots of places to eat.

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

Another free museum is The People’s Place. It’s situated in Glasgow Green, a lovely public green space. Explore the social history of the people of Glasgow. It is full of plenty of exhibits, objects, photos and information showing how Glaswegians lived from 1750 until the end of the 20th century.

More Fun Things To Do:

Here is a list of some more fun things that Glasgow has to offer.

R-cade – A retro video game arcade hosting 5 decades of video games consoles from Atari to Xbox. Buy a pass at rcadeglasgow.com and enjoy access to over 1,500 games for an hour. Who will win at Mario Kart, Space Invaders and more?

Escape Rooms: Like most UK cities, there are plenty of escape rooms to choose from. One to look out for is Escape Glasgow. It has 5 different rooms. The themes include witchcraft & wizardry and detective work.

Axe Throwing: Teens will love throwing axes at a target. No experience is necessary. An axe throwing coach shows you how to do it! Try axe throwing at either Harry Hatchet’s (Glasgow’s largest axe throwing centre) or Axe Hurling, Glasgow.

Cinema : if you fancy seeing a movie while you’re in Glasgow try the Glasgow Everyman. Kick back on sofas, have drinks and snacks brought to you. Watch all the latest releases.

Go Karting: You can go kart at the Skotkart Go Karting in two different locations either Clydebank or Cambuslang. They’re both about 20 to 25 minutes out of the city centre by car.

Laser Tag:  Laser Quest Glasgow is based in the heart of Glasgow, next to The Climbing Academy and a short walk from Kinning Park Subway station. There’s plenty of free parking too.

Green Spaces

If your teen fancies some time out from the city, Glasgow has many green spaces. Here are a few hightlights:

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green is by far the oldest of the city’s parks and is situated within walking distance of the city centre. It’s beautiful to walk around and has plenty of monuments and history. Visit The People’s Palace museum and see the Doulton Fountain, both located inside. There’s also the Winter Gardens with exotic palms and plants. Pop into the cafe for refreshments as well.

Pollok Country Park

The park is Glasgow’s largest park and is the only Country Park within Glasgow. It has extensive woodlands and gardens. If your teenager likes walking or running, there are some great trails through the park.

The park is also home to the world famous Burrell Collection.

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Glasgow Botanic Gardens are located in the West End of Glasgow. There are many exotic places to see inside the greenhouses. There are plants from various habitats, jungle, prairie and desert. Teens may enjoy the carnivorous plant section (slightly gross but interesting!). There is also small pond with guppies, and other warm water fish

The Gardens also have Heritage Trail with almost 30 points of interest taking you down to the Kelvin Walkway and the Gardens Arboretum.

Where To Eat Out With Teens in Glasgow

Here is a quick list of some good places to eat out with your teenager:

Picnic Cafe on Ingram Street – A vegan cafe with one of the best brunches in town. They also have amazing waffles.

TriBeCa dine – Another great place for brunch. If your teenager likes burgers, hotdogs and loaded fries, this is the place to come.

Topolabamba – Authentic mexican street food. Located on St. Vincent Street.

Bread Meats Bread – A great place for a burger. They won Scotland’s Best Burger of 2016 & 2018.

Koko house – for Japanese fluffy pancakes and bubble tea.

Loop and Scoop  – An ice cream parlour on Great Western Road is the place to go for fab takeaway deserts.

Black Vanilla cafe – great for coffee, cakes, afternoon tea and burgers.

Platform Glasgow –  it’s a street food place underneath Glasgow Central station. It’s good value for money  and lovely food to feed a family. You can check out their menus on the website.

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