I'm a Mum of two boys living in Oxfordshire, enjoying lots of fun activities and writing about them when I get a chance.
Published December 10th 2012
Forfar Family Fun
Only twenty minutes from Dundee which is the fourth largest city in Scotland, you could imagine that you might go there for all your activities with children. However, Fofar has lots to do for kids of all ages both in the great outdoors and warmer indoors. Here are ten activities for kids, if you have any ideas then add them in the comments.
Peter Reid earned his fortune in confectionery and spent most of it on Forfar. One of his significant gifts to the town was Reid Park. Surrounded by a large stone wall, this great green park rises up towards Balmashanner Hill. There's nothing better for children than getting outside and enjoying the fresh air. I spent a lot of my childhood enjoying Reid Park. My sister and I would play hide and seek around the bushes and trees, kick around a football and even learned to fly a kite. There is a paved pathway around the park making it easy to take a walk with a pushchair and lovely views from the top of the hill. The slope makes it a popular spot for sledging in the winter when the first signs of snow appear.
2. Forfar Loch Country Park
Forfar Loch Copyright: Wikipedia Commons Alan Morrison
Another great outdoor area to enjoy with the family is the Forfar Loch Country Park. An inland loch, woodlands and grassland, it has a easy flat 2.5m circuit which is a popular walk. There are lots of ducks who are very keen to be fed which is always fun for children and a playpark close by at the Leisure Centre.
Forfar Sailing Club is based here, providing the opportunity for all ages to learn to sail. The club has a number of small light boats which can be hired to members for only £3 and beginner courses are available.
The Ranger service also has a base here. They run a club called Little Acorns for pre school children and their guardians. Call the Angus Council Ranger on 01307 461118 for more details.
3. Murton Nature Reserve and Farm
Copyright: Murton Wildlife Trust
Formerly a sand and gravel quarry, once this ended the Murton Trust for Education and the Environment was created. The land was restored to a 70 acre nature reserve with an additional farm and tea room. There are a network of paths making it easy to walk around and the lochs and wetlands provide ample opportunity to spot over a hundred different birds and wildfowl. April is a great time to visit if you want to see the sand martins returning from their winter adventures.
Murton Farm includes a variety of animals including Kune Kune pigs and rare breed poultry. Kids can also try out the adventure trail, sand pits and outdoor games. Entry to both the reserve and farm are free making it both an educational and great day out without breaking the bank.
A visit to the nature reserve and farm can work up quite a thirst and there is a tea room on site. If you manage to get a sunny day you could even eat al fresco.
Forfar has it's fair share of cold weather and wet days so Frostys Funhouse is a great place to take the kids. It's an indoor soft play centre with an ice theme. There's a great multi level play frame with four lane slide and a dedicated area for threes and under.
Inspire a love of reading and books by taking your children to the library. Forfar's library has a lovely children's section which gorgeous mural (from my time as a kid) and lots of colourful chairs and tables. They run a story and music time for young children on a Thursday, but best to call ahead to check exact times.
The Meffan Museum brings to life the history of Forfar and the surrounding area. Children can take stone rubbings from a real Pictish stone and walk through an old cobbled vennel, peering through the shop fronts to learn about clock makers and Peter Reid's sweetie shop. You can even learn about Forfar's darker past with a display on the witch trials.
7. Angus Farmers' Market
Running on the second Saturday of the month, you can explore a wide range of stalls at the Angus Farmers' Market. A friend of mine took her two girls here recently and they really enjoyed themselves. If you're lucky and Wee Cooks have their stall on the day you visit, your children could get involved in a cookery lesson.
8. Lochside Leisure Centre
Based by the Fofar Loch, the leisure centre has lots of activities for children. They provide a range of structured activities for kids aged from pre school to eleven. Check their website for details on football, trampolining and gym teds.
For a relatively small town, Forfar is lucky to have Forfar Indoor Sports where you can skate, curl or bowl. The ice rink has various sessions tailored to families. You could try the family skating session on Friday evenings. Coaching is available too and there's even a snow babies class for 18 months to 5 years on a Friday.
If fancy a lunch out or delicious cake, then try The Stag. The coffee shop is upstairs but there's a lift if you have a pushchair and plenty of space around the tables if you're meeting a group of mummy friends. It's a lovely cosy place and family friendly with high chairs and even a box of toys.