Like a hi-tech hall of mirrors combined with a science museum, the six-storey Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is a celebration of visual trickery, packed with optical illusions, holograms and interactive exhibits that are – for all their educational value – simply funny.
Lose yourself in the mirror maze; get shrunk by giant children in the big-small room; and stagger through the vortex tunnel (but take seriously the motion-sickness warning).
The Camera Obscura itself is like a 19th-century webcam, projecting live images of Edinburgh through a pinhole camera in the roof on to a viewing table (or your hands).
Best Things About It
Your phone will be full of wacky photos – although the exhibit offering your child’s severed head on a salad plate may upset the grandparents.
This may be an ideal rainy-day attraction, but it’s also great in fine weather: the 360-degree views from the roof terrace (telescopes included) should be seen in all their glory.
What About Lunch?
There’s no on-site cafe, but a hand stamp lets you come and go all day. Camera Obscura visitors get discounts at certain cafes on the Royal Mile.
Failing those, Hula, a few minutes away on Grassmarket is a wholesome and child-friendly lunch spot, serving bagels, wraps and soups all day.
Exit Through The Gift Shop?
Yes (via musical steps), but you wouldn’t want to miss it. Sneak in without the kids to get a head start on Christmas shopping, from joke-store stocking fillers to hi-tech science toys.
It’s a 15-20 minute uphill walk from Waverley station. Keep your off-peak train ticket to get one child in for free under Scotrail’s Kids Go Free scheme.
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Value For Money?
Yes - by Edinburgh standards. There’s enough here to keep you giggling for three to four hours. Adult A$30, child A$20.
Open every day except 25 December. 9am-9pm July-August; 9.30am-7pm September-October; 10am-6pm November-March; 9.30-7pm April-June; extended opening hours during school holidays – 9am-8pm.
Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Edinburgh.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk
This article was written by Rachael Oakden from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.