About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Beaches, Nature & Wildlife Areas
Playgrounds, Game & Entertainment Centres
Arenas & Stadiums
Playgrounds, Gardens, Parks
Speciality Museums, Historic Sites, Gardens
Ski & Snowboard Areas, Sports Complexes
Room Escape Games
The Satrosphere, Scotland's first discovery science centre, is all about getting up-close and hands-on with the subject matter. Designed to be educational and enjoyable for kids of all ages (and parent-friendly to boot), the Science Centre boasts over 50 unique exhibits, as well as plenty of live shows and special events designed to engage families. Best of all, many of the exhibits are interactive, and cover a broad range of popular subject matter - ranging from ancient dinosaurs to the futuristic planetarium, there's really something for everyone!
The Gordon Highlanders Museum is a Scottish regimental museum, detailing over two hundred years of local military history. Housed in a large, cottage-style home, the museum's dioramas and interactive maps pull viewers of all ages into each successive time period, from Waterloo to World War II. Families can enjoy scale reproductions, original film footage, and memorabilia such as battle-worn uniforms and medals on display. Plus, despite being all about the past, some exhibits utilise modern touch technology, and all are housed in clean, contemporary spaces. A fun day out, especially for any military or history buffs in the group.
The quiet stretch of Balmedie Beach is favoured by local families for is soft sand, easy swimming, and recreational amenities. With boardwalks and bike paths located in and around the beach, as well as BBQ area and an immersive children's playground, it's a great location for an athletic morning, a picnic lunch, or a day of swimming and swings. The beach is famous for its large dunes, and its rocky scenery, and makes a good option for an active family on a warm day.
The Aberdeen Maritime Museum tells the tale of Aberdeen's early days as a fishing town, and the evolution of the city's industry as it shifted towards shipbuilding and offshore oil. It narrates the story in a larger-than-life way, with full-scale models, collectables, paintings, and even a 3D show. The museum's pride and glory however, has to be the huge mock-up of an oil rig itself, whose immersive attention to detail is bound to bring the old town of Aberdeen to life for adults and children alike.
Bumper cars, bouncy castles, and claw machines: Here is Aberdeen's answer to the traditional theme park, complete with coasters and a Ferris wheel. At Codona's Amusement Park, there are both indoor and outdoor play options to suit all ages. Older children will love the log flume and some of the faster roller coasters, while younger kids have even more to keep them entertained, including a soft play area and a small animal farm. Add to this mini-golfing greens, bowling lanes, and food stalls, and you've got the complete family-friendly package covered.
If you have a special occasion to celebrate during your trip, Rambo's Adventure Playcentre may have you covered. Located within Codona's, the modern design is especially suitable for young children, with a soft-play area for them to enjoy, and staff on hand to function as party helpers for birthday parties and other occasions. Exclusively designed and available for events, the area can accommodate larger groups, welcoming both kids and parents, and serving up typical party food and fare, like burgers, fries, and cake.
Little Treasures is a hidden gem of Aberdeen, home to a stunning collection of vintage and antique toys, dating from the 1860s to the modern day. This small house museum offers a rare look at children's play and artisan modelling through the ages, and proudly features Scotland's largest single collection of Doll Houses, with over 350 detailed works. Exciting for children and parents alike, it ignites the imagination and narrates history through play.
Duthie Park and the Winter Gardens span across 44 acres of lush park lank, peppered with shady spots and duck ponds. Especially wonderful for families, the space offers a breadth of activity options, from a rough putting area to a wooden adventure playground to a young children's play area. Feed the ducks, enjoy an afternoon of sport on one of the big fields, or explore the well-manicured botanical areas. There are many gardens to explore, with a tropical hot-house that's perfect for winter visits, a fragrant outdoor rose garden, and plenty of exotic flora from around the world, plus historical art and artifacts littered throughout. Or just take a stroll on a lovely day, surrounded by Duthie's 19th century charm!
KC Kangaroos is a great way for young children to work off some energy while in Aberdeen. With a soft play area that includes climbing blocks, a colourful ball pit, scramble nets, ladders, and ropes; there's a lot to do, see, and clamber onto. While KC Kangaroos is built for children up to the age of 12, it includes a dedicated toddler area, with smaller versions of equipment and toys located in a safe environment for those aged three and under to get hands-on with. A great place to meet local parents, the setting is comfortable, with a seating area and a cafe for adults to enjoy coffee or tea as they watch.
Linx Ice Arena is a regulation-sized ice rink, offering visitors open skate sessions. Ramping up the usual skate experience, frequent party and disco events are held here, featuring funky music and cool themes. Whether you're a hockey player, a figure skater, or just getting started, visitors can sign up for lessons and regular clubs. The Linx Cafe is also a neat relaxation option after a long skate, with reasonably priced warm drinks and snacks.
The wide lanes and verdant landscape of Seaton Park has all the makings of a peaceful family afternoon out. The park is perfect for walking and exploration, with flower gardens, forest trails, a river, and bridges to investigate. Scenic and enchanting, the park also has some surprising wildlife, including seals and deer. In addition, the park includes a children's playground area, not to mention a few cultural points of interest like St. Machar's Cathedral and a graveyard on the outskirts. Enjoy being whisked away from noise and hassle of the city in this fairytale landscape, well-kept and beautiful at any time of year.
Pitmedden Garden combines natural wilderness and ultra-manicured gardening to create a gorgeous backdrop for a fun family day out. Beyond their walled and kept gardens, the area has two woodland walks, which can be enjoyed freely and at your leisure. Inside, the well-maintained plots of the Great Garden include shapely hedges, maze-like plant design, and gorgeous flower plots. Staff are knowledgeable about the plants, and happy to educate interested visitors about the various local varieties, while for the even greener-fingered, the site's Farming Life Museum also tells the tale of Aberdeen's agricultural history. Take your time to explore every inch and then head to the onsite cafe for warm jammy scones and tea served in the elegance of the inner garden.
Aberdeen Snowsports Centre is the city's 'it spot' for skiing and snowboarding. Offering lessons and courses designed for learners both novice and advanced, it can be an exhilarating place for a family to pick up a new sport together, or brush up on an old favourite. A good option all year round - during warmer months the snow is simulated on plastic tracks and tubing remains available - instructors are friendly here, and classes are specifically geared towards kids, teens, and mixed-age groups.
Hazlehead Park is another wonderful spot to enjoy a lungful of fresh air and a day of outdoor fun together. The grounds include stunning vistas, both of beautiful flower-studded greens and of the sea beyond, while the attractions onsite include a playground, miniature zoo, and a cafe, where families can sit for a cuppa or take a rest stop. Walk, run, play, or just enjoy the weather!
Doonies Farm is a delightful day visit for animal lovers! A real, working farm with a countryside feel, Doonies has a collection of rare-breed animals and old favourites, all very happy to be met (and petted)! With a picnic area, a children's play area, and a shop selling local fresh produce all onsite, it's an especially good stop for younger kids, with plenty of space to run around. Plus, when you're all finished, there are hand and shoe cleaning facilities, to make sure you don't take the farm home with you!
The Slains Castle ruins, thought to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker's 'Dracula', sit on a cliff face overlooking the vast waters of the North Sea off Cruden Bay. While the stunning 16th century castle is now derelict, it can still be visited, though for families with young children, sticking to the surrounding grounds is recommended - the view is breathtaking, the castle from afar is stunning, and kids can enjoy a look at Aberdeen's history. For sure-footed families with older kids, climbing into the ruins can be a daring adventure, but be aware that there are no safety measure in place inside.
Breakout Games is an exciting option for families who love puzzles and teamwork. Especially geared towards slightly older children and teens, you'll be placed in a room from which you must escape, with clues and riddles to help you do so. With one hour to try to solve your way out - get ready for a mental workout like no other!