By Bill Heaney

Summertime and finding a place to entertain your children and keep them happy is not easy.
So,  as the youngsters put the exercise books and laptops away for the holidays, they’ll be looking around for things to do and places to play.
Look no further then than this list compiled by West Dunbartonshire Council of things to do, places to go – and even to get something to eat.

Pupils will be on holiday for seven weeks until the new term starts on Wednesday, August 16.

West Dunbartonshire Council will continue their Holiday Hunger Fund ‘SHINE’ – which stands for “School Holidays Involve Nurture & Engage” and has been running since 2019.

The council have agreed to work with local organisations as part of a £100,000 a-year investment over the next four years to give families access to a wide range of entertaining and engaging activities with many offering a free snack and lunch over July and August.

Activities suitable for five to 16-year-olds will be held in various locations across Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven.

Peever, skipping ropes and the like are no longer on the list of things to do for 21st century children.

Bellsmyre Digital Community

Venue: various as shown below

Spaces: various depending on session

Age Group: 8yrs – 16yrs

Booking via: 

Drones Academy Note: Youngsters will be required to sign up for the full two weeks

Designing, 3D printing parts, building and flying drones

  • Week 1 Mon 17 – Fri 21 July 10am until 4pm
  • Week 2 Mon 24 – Fri 28 July 10am until 4pm

Venue: Unit 14, Lomond Valley Enterprise Centre, Castlehill G82 5BN

Gaming/Virtual Reality in Dumbarton Central

  • Wed July 5 10 am until 1pm
  • Wed July 12 10am until 1pm

Venue: Concord Centre, St. Mary’s Way, Dumbarton G82 1LJ

Gaming/Virtual Reality in Bellsmyre

  • Fri July 7 10am until 1pm
  • Fri July 14 10am until 1pm

Venue: Community Point, 7b Merkins Avenue, Bellsmyre G82 3EB

Gaming/Virtual Reality in Dumbarton Central

Sat July 8 10am until 1pm

Sat July 15 10am until 1pm

Venue: Concord Centre, St. Mary’s Way, Dumbarton G82 1LJ

Bellsmyre Summer Club 23

Venue: Cutty Sark Centre, 58 Howatshaws Rd.

Spaces: 32 per day

Age Group: 5yrs – 11yrs

Booking via:

“Free activity session throughout the summer holidays. Including: Group Play, Arts & Crafts Activities, Cinema Screenings, Bespoke Children’s Party Entertainers Sessions (Balloon Modelling, Face painting and Electronic Gaming Event.”

  • Week 1 – 10 – 14 July 2023
  • Week 2 – 17 – 21 July 2023
  • Week 3 – 24 – 28 July 2023
  • Week 4 – 31 July – 4 August 2023
  • Mondays: 12.30pm – 3pm
  • Tuesdays: 9.30am – 12noon
  • Wednesdays: 9.30am – 12noon
  • Thursdays: 9.30am – 12noon
  • Fridays: 12.30pm – 3pm

Ben View

Venue: Strathleven Place, Dumbarton.

Spaces: 30 per session

Age Group: 6-12yrs

Booking via:

“Join the fun at Ben View, we’ll be offering a varied range of activities  including arts & crafts, cooking & baking, health & well-being activities and access to a good outdoor space for games & activities.”

  • Mon July 3 2pm-5pm, Wed July 5 2pm-5pm, Thurs July 6 2pm-5pm
  • Mon July 10 2pm-5pm, Wed July 12 2pm-5pm, Thurs July 13 2pm -5pm
  • Mon July 17 2pm-5pm, Wed July 19 2pm-5pm, Thurs July 20 2pm-5pm
  • Mon July 24 2pm-5pm, Wed July 26 2pm-5pm, Thurs July 27 2pm -5pm
  • Mon July 31 2pm-5pm, Wed Aug 3 2pm-5pm, Thurs Aug 4 2pm-5pm

Ben View 2

Venue: The Myre Community Hub, Howatshaws Road Bellsmyre.

Spaces: 30 per session

Age Group: 6-12yrs

Booking via:

“Join the fun at Ben View, we’ll be offering a varied range of activities  including arts & crafts, cooking & baking, health & well-being activities and access to a good outdoor space for games & activities.”

  • Mon July 3 12-3pm, Fri July 7 12 – 3pm
  • Mon July 10 12-3pm, Fri July 14 12 – 3pm
  • Mon July 17 12-3pm, Fri July 21 12 – 3pm
  • Mon July 24 12-3pm, Fri July 28 – 3pm
  • Mon July 31 12-3pm, Fri August 4 12 – 3pm

Clifftop Projects

Venue: The Phoenix, 17a Quarry Knowe, Dumbarton

Spaces:  20 per session

Age Group: 5-15yrs

Booking via:

“Clifftop return this year to continue their exciting arts workshop In each session young people will explore a range of art forms from paint to clay to performing arts and work towards creating their own gallery that will be on display at the end of the week for their invited guests to come and look around and interact with​.”

  • Monday July 24- Friday July 28
  • Primary 1-Primary 3:  10am – 12noon
  • LUNCH served by The Phoenix:  12noon – 1pm
  • Primary 4 – Primary 7: 1pm-3pm P4-7
  • S1 – S4: 3-5pm

Levengrove Park Family Fun days

Venue: Levengrove Park Dumbarton

Spaces: various

Age Group: families

For more info contact:

“We will be offering a range of family fun activities including Lawn games for families and children’s pony rides, Drop in and Draw events, Storytelling and  Nature Activities.”

  • From July 3– Aug 4

Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels Group

Venue: Unit 5, Nu Scope Centre, Station Road, Old Kilpatrick

Spaces: 30

Ages: Primary age up to 12yrs.

Booking and more info:

“We will be offering a day at the movies, bake along with OKFP.

“Magic moments, circus skills and creative, crafty kids.”

  • Mon-Fri 1-4pm, July 3 – August 4

Haldane Youth Services – Rise & Shine

Venue: Annexe Building old Jamestown Primary, Main  Street, Jamestown

Spaces: 30 per session

Age Group: 5yrs – 16yrs

Booking via:

 “HYS Rise & Shine returns with another summer full of activities for local children and young people. Running every week day throughout the holidays as well as activities and games participants will receive a packed lunch. HYS is also offering a weekly Family Breakfast Pack collection, every Monday.”

  • July 4 – August 12
  • Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu & Fri (12.30-3pm)

Milton Summer Activities

Venue: Milton Community Hall, King George’s Field, Milton Brae, Milton

Spaces 15

Ages: all school ages

Booking & more info:

“Cookery, afternoon tea, Jewellery making and games.”

  • July 1, 21
  • August 4

Summer @ The Phoenix

Venue: The Phoenix, 17a Quarry Knowe, Dumbarton,

Spaces: 22

Age Group: Pr 1 – Pr 7

Booking via:

“A full summer extravaganza is coming to Dumbarton West. Six full weeks of lunch, trips, activities and fun! From 4th July – 12th August, every Monday – Friday, anyone 5 – 16 can grab a free lunch and join in with our camps, each running with a different theme each week. Dance with Ashley, Monaghan Taekwondo and Clifftop Projects will be partnering with us to provide a summer of free, safe activities for local young people.”

  • July 4– August 12 – Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu 7 Fri (12noon – 3.30pm)

Tullochan Breakfast and Lunch Holiday clubs

Venue: Tullochan, Unit 10, Lomond Galleries, Alexandria

Spaces: 10

Age Group: 8yrs – 12yrs

Booking via:

 “Alongside the provision of nutritious food, Tullochan breakfast & lunch clubs offer young people the opportunity to take part in our action-packed programme including arts and crafts, outdoor sports and group activities, movies, gaming, S.T.E.M activities and more. We offer a safe environment to make friends and take part in fun activities aimed at developing confidence. The morning and afternoon clubs will also utilise the local area and parks for fun outdoor activities.”

  • Wednesday: July 13, 20, 27  & Aug 3 (9am-12noon & 1pm-4pm)
  • Thursday: July 14, 21, 28  & Aug 4 (9am-12noon & 1pm-4pm)

Vale of Leven FC Summer Camp (boys & girls)

Venue: Millburn Park Alexandria

Spaces: 30

Age Group: 6yrs – 14yrs

Booking via:

“New to our summer shine programme is Vale of Leven Football academy. Come along and join in the team games and learn new ball skills!”

  • Monday July 11 – Friday July 15 – (10am – 12noon)

Pace Youth Theatre

Venues: Dumbarton Academy, Crosslet Road, Dumbarton

Booking via: Shine – PACE (

Ages: (5-10yrs & 11-18yrs)

“Join the cast of one of our performance events and create a show in a week!”

The Little Mermaid

“Join us under the sea for this musical performance based on the classic story about a mermaid princess who wants to be human. With music, dancing, unforgettable characters and a dark twist this show is sure to be a hit. Don’t miss it!”

  • Monday July 10 – Friday July 16, 2023 (10-4pm)

Councillor Clare Steel, convener of Educational Services, pictured right,  said: “We know how difficult and expensive it can be to keep young people entertained over the summer holidays, so these events will be very popular with families.”

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