The October school holidays are here!

Things might be a little bit different this year – but there’s still plenty of fun-filled family activities for everyone to enjoy during the holidays in Paisley and Renfrewshire.

From outdoor adventures and exploring stunning scenery to cycling and free town centre trails, we’ve gathered some helpful info for you to plan out your October break with the family.

Scroll down to find out more – plus, you can see more online October week activities with Renfrewshire Leisure here.

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Everybody loves a free day out, don’t they?

With the school summer holidays fast approaching, there’s plenty of fantastic events, activities and family days out to enjoy in Renfrewshire over the coming weeks – and best of all, they’re all free!

Enjoy everything from popular annual events and family fun trails to great outdoor adventures and fascinating indoor attractions.

Join us to take a look at the range of amazing free things to do in Paisley and Renfrewshire that are guaranteed to keep the kids entertained this summer.

And remember to check out the rest of the Paisley.is website to see more fantastic things to do in the area all year round.

Enjoy amazing events taking place this summer

Take a town centre trail - it's out of this world!

Then take a tour of our secret collection

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See spectacular sights around Paisley

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The summer holidays are upon us – and there’s so many ways to enjoy fantastic days out in Renfrewshire.

We’ve got fun-filled events for all the family, great outdoor adventures, cycle routes in beautiful scenery, water sports, a whole host of free activities and so much more!

There’s plenty to suit everyone, come rain or shine. So, make the Paisley.is website your go-to this summer and plan some top days out with our handy guide.

It’s heating up in Renfrewshire with fab events taking place this summer

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Explore the great outdoors

Thousands of our secrets are out... and you can come and see them

For the thrill seekers

Fancy a swim?

Get on yer bike!

There's plenty to gems to discover around the area!

Fancy a round?

Cap off the summer with Doors Open Days

Paisley’s popular Halloween and Spree 2019 festivals delivered a £1.2million economic boost to Renfrewshire.

That’s according to the findings of independent assessments into the two October events, which also showed record numbers of people attended the festivals in 2019.

One of the largest events of its kind in the UK, the Dark Circus themed Paisley Halloween Festival attracted 41,000 people across the two-days – up 17% on 2018. The event was delivered alongside internationally-acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou.

More than 350 costumed performers and community groups took part in the Mardi Gras style parade, the centrepiece of the festival, which wound its way through the town centre. The parade also featured fantastic, giant lion and elephant floats, ferocious fire performers, creepy clowns and curious creatures, to delight the gathered crowds.

Twenty six percent of attendees to the Halloween festival were from outside Renfrewshire demonstrating the popularity and stellar programme of the free, family-friendly activities on offer.

The Paisley Halloween Festival was awarded £16,950 of National Programme funding from EventScotland for the 2019 event.

The festival delivered £824,250 to the local economy with local businesses benefiting from the high number of visitors in the town that weekend.

Paisley Halloween Festival scooped the Best Cultural Event or Festival at the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards West Scotland regional finals and will now go on to compete in the prestigious national final on March 5, 2020.

The Spree also delivered impressive results for the area. More than 12,000 festival-goers turned out to enjoy the diverse range of acts in the stunning Salon Perdu Spiegeltent in Paisley’s County Square – allowing for more people to enjoy the performances.

The numbers also add up, with a £411,000 total economic boost from the 10-day music, arts and cultural festival.

The Spree 2019 saw record ticket sales with music and comedy fans being treated to sell-out shows from Hue and Cry, Glasvegas, The Snuts, Jerry Sadowitz and spectacular performances from Soul legend PP Arnold, Hayseed Dixie, Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook and two Friday comedy nights compered by Fred MacAulay and Scott Gibson.

The festival was programmed by Regular Music and sponsored by Tennent’s Lager.

There was also a packed Wee Spree programme for kids during the school holidays with 2,822 people heading along to enjoy the events – the highest number of attendees on record for the event.

The festival also provided a boost to local traders with many festival-goers choosing to Spend Local and sample the great bars, restaurants and cafes in the area.

Jacqueline McCaig, owner of The Old Swan Inn which hosted the Spree Festival Club of daily events during the festival, said: “We absolutely loved hosting the Spree Festival Club at The Old Swan – it was a fantastic week of live music. The pub was really busy with a great atmosphere and a great mix of customers old and new, who came to see what the Festival Club was all about and enjoy the variety of talent we had on show.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It was phenomenal to see such great numbers coming along to Paisley’s Halloween Festival and to Spree and now this report shows the positive impact these major events have on the local economy and local businesses.

“We’re continuing to work with partners to offer a fantastic calendar of events to attract residents and visitors from across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Renfrewshire has so much to offer and major events are an important part of our plans to use our culture and heritage to drive footfall and cement our status as one of Scotland’s top visitor destination.”

It’s the festive season and there’s every reason to be jolly with so many great things to do in Paisley and Renfrewshire this month.

There’s fun-filled activities for all the family, from Paisley First’s WinterFest and pantomimes to exploring the area’s beautiful scenery with winter walks and much more.

The Paisley.is website is your go-to-guide for what’s on this Christmas – and we’ve gathered some helpful info for you here, but it’s also worth exploring the rest of our website.

Enjoy all the fun of the fair at WinterFest

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Discover Paisley - Scotland's largest town is a real gem!

Everyone loves a freebie, don’t they? Well, that’s why Paisley and Renfrewshire is the best place to be during the October school holidays – there’s so many free activities available for everyone to enjoy!

From fun-filled activities for all the family, music and arts festivals, adventures in beautiful scenery, cycling, free events and so much more!

The Paisley.is website is your go-to-guide for what’s on during the October break – and we’ve gathered some helpful info for you here, but it’s also worth exploring the rest of our website.

Free fun for the kids at the Wee Spree

Music and more with a Spree For All across Renfrewshire

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Calling all Mods - this free Spree show is for you!

Get on yer bike!

Discover Paisley - Scotland's largest town is a real gem!

People say the best things in life are free – it’s hard to argue otherwise when you see all the  free activities available in Renfrewshire this summer.

We’ve got fun-filled activities for all the family, adventures in beautiful scenery, cycling, water sports, free events and a whole bunch more!

Make the Paisley.is website your go-to-guide this summer…we’ve gathered up some useful info for you here, but it’s also worth exploring the rest of our website.

Explore the great outdoors!

Not sure where to begin? Let us guide you...

Have a 'roarsome' time on the trail for dinosaurs!

Get on yer bike!

Discover Paisley - Scotland's largest town is a real gem!

Paisley and Renfrewshire boast a pretty enviable list of famous faces, from David Tennant and Gerard Butler to Paolo Nutini and Richard Madden. There’s something to be said for the area’s creative talent and there’s plenty of places to nurture and grow the superstars of tomorrow.

PACE

PACE has helped support the early careers of some of Paisley’s most recognised talent including Paolo Nutini, Scott Reid (Still Game’s Methadone Mick) and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, Cinderella).

One of the largest independent youth theatre company’s in the UK Pace offers weekly workshops in drama based in Paisley, for anyone aged 3-18 years. The workshops aim to increase communication skills, confidence and self-expression as well as performance skills.

To find out more visit: www.pacetheatre.com or call 0345 130 5218.

Loud ‘n’ Proud

Loud ‘n’ Proud is the rock and pop music school based in Paisley High Street. It is perfectly placed to prepare eager students for a career in music through the study and practice of contemporary music.

The school offers lessons in everything from drums, guitar and bass to vocals, keyboard and playing in a band.

Find out more about the classes by visiting www.loudnproud.org.

Right2Dance

In the west end of Paisley is Right2Dance. Established in 1973 the company has catered for a range of dancing abilities from the absolute beginner to the aspiring professional, with a belief that everyone has the ‘right2dance’.

The company has welcomed world-class companies like Matthew Bourne’s New Directions to expose its students to other forms of teaching and expertise. The school offers classes in a wide range of disciplines.

To find out more visit: www.right2dance.com.

Erskine Music and Media Studio

The Erskine Music and Media Studio is a community interest company run by young people for young people. The dedicated space offers great amenities and support for creative young people such as rehearsal space and practice instruments, recording studio and music lessons to filming photography, pre and post production.

To find out more please visit www.emmstudio.co.uk.

Elma Whyte’s School of Dance

This family-run dance school has been a stellar training ground for talented dancers throughout Renfrewshire for decades. Offering technique-building training in everything from classical ballet, tap and jazz to hip-hop there’s a class to suit all young dance enthusiasts.

Previous students of the school have gone on to the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Urdang Academy London, Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

To find out more call 0141 848 1005 or visit their Facebook page.

Razzamataz Theatre School

Razzamataz provides affordable part-time performing arts training for children and young people giving them access to some of the most talented performers through specialist workshops and classes. Razzamataz uses theatre arts within small class sizes to nurture a child’s confidence and self-esteem, all while making sure they are having a lot of fun.

Young people can participate in a range of classes from classic west end musical theatre to contemporary street dance and pop singing. There’s always plenty of opportunities to show of your kids talents at a range of performances.

To find out more visit www.paisley.razzamataz.co.uk or call 07554 451 308.

Diane Mitchell School of Music

The Diane Mitchell Music School provides an excellent way for children to enjoy learning about music.

There’s a whole host of music classes offered to children from 3-11 years while the musical tots classes is available for children from 1 – 4 years. For children who love to sing and perform, the school has a children’s singing club and there’s also a Community Gospel Choir for adults. The school provides lots of fun opportunities to meet, sing and perform with others.

To find out more please visit: www.dianemitchellmusicschool.com.

Things to do with the family in Paisley and Renfrewshire

We secured funding through the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund which allowed us to run a class that was accessible to everyone. By removing the barriers, it’s given young people the chance to take part in dance and see if it’s something they would like to learn more about.

Aileen Palombo
right2dance

We began in a small garage and now have a bespoke studio and shop on Paisley High Street, and a rehearsal and recording studio in Renfrew.

Tommy McGrory
Loud 'n' Proud

It’s not just all about the shawls…Paisley Museum is packed with things to see!

1. Natural History

The natural history collections at Paisley Museum consist of an estimated 70,000 specimens, ranging from fossils dating back 545 million years to butterflies and moths, tropical shells and British birds. They show the diversity of life both past and present, from the local area of Renfrewshire and further afield.

The collection is divided into three main categories:

  • Vertebrate Zoology consisting of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians and invertebrate zoology including corals, molluscs and insects, in particular butterflies and moths.
  • Botany which consists of flowering plants, ferns, mosses and lichens.
  • Geology which covers rocks, fossils and minerals.

The Paisley Natural History Society host talks at Paisley Museum throughout the year.

2. Art Galleries and Ceramics

Paisley Museum holds an extensive Art Collection of studio ceramics, sculpture and paintings, including work by artists from the Glasgow School, the Scottish Colourists and Paisley-born writer and artist John Byrne.

The museum also has close links with the Paisley Art Institute who stage their annual exhibitions and competitions in the Art Galleries.

The ceramics collection is considered one of the finest in Scotland with over 500 pieces by the majority of important recent and contemporary British studio potters, such as Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie and Hans Coper. The ceramics collection contains both studio ceramics (made by a single artist who controls the whole process of making the object) and factory wares that have been mass-produced partly by machine and partly by hand.

3. Archaeology

The museum holds an extensive archaeological collection of local objects, from the prehistoric through to Roman and medieval artefacts. Objects in the collection also come from farther afield, including South America and Ancient Egypt.

Items on display include a Bronze Age log boat found near Kilbirnie and a carving of the ancient Babylonian God Nisroch which is over 3,000 years old.

4. Local history

The local history collection gives a fascinating insight into the social and industrial heritage of the town. From the story of the textile industry in Paisley, to the history of the old jail in County Square, and the devastating effects of both world wars, reminders of Paisley’s social and industrial past are represented here.

One of the most poignant sections of this collection is the memorabilia relating to the Glen Cinema disaster, where 71 children died in a fire in 1929. Artefacts such as a projector reel, a pair of shoes and telegrams from all over the world are displayed here in a reminder to the tragedy.

And, of course, let’s not forget…

5. Textiles

The museum contains the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls – those exotically-patterned, delicate woolen shawls that took the town’s name around the world.

Hand loom weaving was a traditional industry in Renfrewshire throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and examples of original hand looms are housed in the Loom Gallery.

Contact

Paisley Museum
High Street
Paisley
PA1 2BA

ram.els@renfrewshire.gov.uk

+(0)300 300 1210

Other places to visit after the museum

Architectural treasures and hidden gems

Tens of thousands of our secrets are out – and you’re invited to come and see them.

The Secret Collection is the first publicly-accessible museum store on a UK High Street – and it’s right here in Paisley.

The large basement unit houses tens of thousands of items from Renfrewshire’s museum collections not on display in the main museum – many unseen by the general public in decades or longer.

The £3.7m facility was only completed at the end of 2017 – and is now open for public tours, meaning you can enjoy the treasure trove it contains.

The collection includes some of Paisley’s world-famous textiles, plus a mix of ceramics, world cultures, social history, art and sculpture, natural history and local archives.

Some of the items in the collection are a product of the town’s former textile wealth – with the mill-owning Clark and Coats families having been famed for their generosity.

The building is run by Renfrewshire Leisure, whose museum experts are on hand to give tours of the collection.

The good news is it’s free to see inside but you will have to book a tour in advance (tours last 45 minutes to one hour). All the details are on Renfrewshire Leisure’s website.

Contact

9 High Street, Paisley, PA1 2AE

0141 618 5129

tours@renfrewshireleisure.com

 

 

Explore more of Renfrewshire's museums

I regularly visit the Paisley Museum and Art Galleries and Paisley Arts Centre and try to attend as many of the festivals and events in the town as possible... I particularly enjoy Sma’ Shot Day.

Laura Gray
Artist

No matter what, I can strike up a conversation from the bus shelter to Morrisons, from a wee coffee shop to the library. I love my town!

Mary Macrae
What's Our Story?

I think what makes Paisley great is our history. We have the Abbey, the mills, the Paisley Pattern and some great architecture. We have great heritage in music with the Tannahill Weavers and other great singers.

Phyllis Arthur
What's Our Story?