For SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Experience one of the country's most interesting engineering achievements, Cruachan Power Station (Cruachan Visitor Centre, Dalmally), which lies deep within the mountain of Ben Cruachan, on the shores of Loch Awe.
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This power station is buried one kilometre below ground in a cavern. Open daily from 9.30am-4.45pm. Call 01866 822 618.
For a boat ride with a difference, take a journey out to the islands in the Firth of Forth and keep your eyes peeled for seals, dolphins or even whales. Try forthtours.com or seafari.co.uk for trips from Edinburgh or the seaside resort on North Berwick.
There's more wildlife-watching at the Scottish Seabird Centre (www.seabird.org) at North Berwick harbour.
BEST FOR WATER LOVERS
Join in with your children at an evening watersports course at the Low Port Centre in Linlithgow on Monday, October 28. The class is best for children aged over 11 years and the price is £72 per participant. Call 01506 775390 or check lowportcentre.co.uk
BEST FOR CULTURE
The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh has a jam-packed calendar of events, many of them free.
Highlights include: Queens, Kings and Wild Things, a daily drop-in event with costumes, crafts, stories and shows inspired by the museum's Mary, Queen of Scots exhibition (from October 12-20, except Oct 19, from 12-4pm, free); or Make & Take, a craft-making workshop that will be running simultaneously.
There are also tours, a chance to "meet" Mary, Queen of Scots and, for £3, a Viking musical show - with Sven Roaring-Lungs and Ulrika Redhead - on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday October 13 (11.30am or 2pm, for ages five and above. Book in advance or on the day). Check nms.ac.uk
BEST FOR RAINY DAYS
The Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre in Glasgow plays host to their Magipup Festival, until October 20. There is a Punch and Judy special on Friday October 18, Jack and the Beanstalk on Saturday 19 and Pinocchio on Sunday 20. See www.maskandpuppet.co.uk; 8-10 Balcarres Avenue, Kelvindale, Glasgow; 0141 339 6185; email@example.com
Older kids who are into their bikes and skateboards will love Unit 23 Skatepark in Dumbarton, the largest indoor skate park in the UK, with rails and a foam pit. If you don't want to participate (£9 for two hours), the venue is hosting the Rule Britannia Scooter Championships on October 12 from 12-8pm (£5 for spectators). Check unit23skatepark.co.uk
BEST FOR HALLOWE'EN
To build a broom Harry Potter would envy, Polkemmet Country Park in Whitburn and Beecraigs Country Park in Linlithgow are each hosting a broomstick workshop for Hallowe'en. Suitable for children aged 5-14, each event costs £2.20 and runs from 2pm-3.30pm on Sunday, October 27, respectively.
Beecraigs will also run a Spooky Hallowe'en Walk on Thursday, October 31, from 6.30pm-8pm, for all the family.
Wrap up warm, bring a torch and meet at the Sutherland Building. Tickets cost £3.30/adult and £2.30/child. Booking essential for all events.
For spooky tours of a ghostly nature, the National Trust for Scotland's Crathes Castle in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, has ghost tours between October 24-31. Tours start at 7pm most evenings and cost £12.50 for adults, £7 for children. Call 0844 493 2166.
BEST FOR HISTORY BUFFS
Find out what great-grandad did in the Second World War at the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune (East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian; 0300 123 6789). Its Life in Wartime event takes place every day until October 20, from 12-4pm and is included in the admission fee (£9.50/adult; £4/child, with kids under five going free). Kids will learn how to research their family's military history and make their own scrapbook. Check nms.ac.uk/our_museums/museum_of_flight.aspx
BEST FOR ALL THE FAMILY
If you've yet to experience it, the Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry is an annual event - now in its 11th year - that's not to be missed.
Named best cultural event at the 2013 Scottish Event Awards, the light show experience uses Faskally Wood as a natural backdrop, setting the forest against an original music score, including a new orchestral piece. It's on until Sunday, October 27, and tickets start at £12.50 for adults and £7.50 for children aged three to 15 (children under three are free). Check enchantedforest.org.uk
BEST FOR OUTDOOR FUN
Fife is an excellent part of the country for outdoor activities. Not only are there seven nature reserves (check fifecoastandcountrysidetrust.co.uk for more information) but Kirkcaldy is home to the Cluny Clays outdoor adventure play area (01592 720374; clunyclays.co.uk), which includes straw dens and mountains, zip lines, electric trikes, dens and hides and a pedal kart track. There is also indoors space if it's raining. Kids over 10 can also take part in archery, air rifle shooting and clay target shooting. Families can also go karting at the Kartstart Racing Circuit, an indoor track at Merchant Place, Mitchelston Industrial Estate, Kirkcaldy (01592 650 200; kartstart.com). There is also a Kartstart track at Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.
BEST FOR NATURE LOVERS
Grab your wellies for a muddy adventure at Mugdock Country Park in Milngavie tomorrow. From 10am-11.30am and 12.30-2pm, kids aged 5-9 can go on adventure, without parents, amongst the woodlands and moorlands of the park, deer tracking and playing games. £5. Booking essential; call 0141 956 6100 or book at mugdock-country-park.org.uk. Experience a Children's Land Rover Safari in Glencoe and Dalness during the October holidays (Wednesday October 16 and Wed 23). Best for children aged five to 11, booking is essential (£8/child) and the tour begins at 10.30am at the Glencoe Visitor Centre and lasts 90 minutes.
Call 0844 493 2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.