Paisley residents and visitors may struggle to come up with budget-friendly ideas for winter activities, especially as the museum and observatory remain closed until the four year renovation project finishes in 2023. While we eagerly await the grand reopening and cannot wait to see what they have done, there are still plenty of things to do in the town and its surroundings in the meantime. From family-friendly activities to outings for adults, here are our top ideas for things to do in Paisley on a budget during the winter months.

Try a low deposit online casino

When the weather really is too terrible to contemplate leaving your house or hotel room, you need an activity that you can do from your own cosy space. Online casinos may not seem like a small-budget option, but if you choose a low deposit site you can have hours of fun for under £10. 

A little really can go a long way if you claim a bonus too, which can often double your playing time at no extra cost. Play for the lowest stakes possible and you can keep your bankroll going for hours and hours. The best part is, you could even end up with more money than when you started. 

Hiking and biking

The best way to beat winter is to get out in it, so bundle up and go for a hike or a bike ride on one of the many great walking trails in and around Paisley. If you’re with kids, or a less experienced hiker, there are plenty of easy walks including Killoch Hill at Gleniffer Braes Country Park, and Jenny’s Well Nature Reserve. You may even be lucky enough to spot some otters, since they don’t hibernate and are easier to spot with less foliage cover in the winter. For a more challenging route, you could try tackling a section of the Whithorn Way – but at 143 miles long you won’t be doing it in a day. 

Indoor play for the kids

If you have a young family, the indoor play area The Big Adventure can be a good indoor option when it’s cold outside. The centre has different zones for the various age groups from babies and toddlers up to kids aged twelve. This venue is definitely an affordable way to keep younger kids entertained, with ticket prices for kids starting at just £1.95 for toddlers. Adult tickets are just a pound each. 

For kids aged seven and up, try Climbzone in Renfrew for an activity-packed day indoors. There are climbing walls, a 60-metre aerial adventure course, and a 16-metre indoor slide that is the tallest in the UK. Climbzone is slightly pricier than The Big Adventure, but for daring kids it is a must-visit.

Paisley history and culture

Paisley has a long and interesting history, which is reflected in the many historical buildings and attractions around the town. Paisley Abbey is perhaps the most impressive structure in the area, standing on the site of the original 12th century structure. The building that stands there now is more recent, since the abbey was destroyed by the English a little over a century after its founding in 1163. 

As well as the abbey, another fascinating historical venue is the Sma’ Shot Cottages. These original 18th century buildings have been turned into a museum documenting the history of Paisley’s textile industry. Guides dressed in authentic costumes offer fascinating insights into the lives of weavers and their families at this time. Entry is free, although donations are appreciated. 

Get inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born a stonesthrow from Paisley in Townhead. The iconic artist, designer and architect is known as one of the most important figures of the British Art Nouveau movement. House for an Art Lover, located in the grounds of Bellahouston Park just outside Paisley, was built in 1990 based on an original design that Mackintosh had submitted to a magazine competition in 1901. Today the stunning building is primarily used as a venue for weddings and other events, but it is open to the public and well worth a visit.

Take in a show

Paisley Arts Centre is housed in the former parish church for the area, and hosts a roster of entertainment events in its intimate interior. The centre is right in the heart of the town, and one of the most vibrant and eclectic venues in the area. The programme of music, comedy, theatre and arts runs year-round, so there will always be something to see. The site itself also has an interesting history, so even a casual daytime visit is a fascinating activity. Warm up with a hot chocolate from the cafe after visiting the grounds. 

Treat yourself to a whisky tour

If you live in Paisley or you are just visiting, the closest distillery is less than twenty minutes drive from the town centre. The Clydeside Distillery offers a number of different tours, but for the visitor on a budget we recommend the Clydeside Tour at just £15 per adult. This is great value considering you get a full tour of the distillery plus a tasting session. Children are also welcome, and will be provided with Irn Bru in lieu of the hard stuff. Even drivers are catered for, as they offer a dram to take home. 

As you can see, you can have a great time in Paisley during the winter without breaking the bank. In the lead-up to Christmas there is even more to do, with town centre events and entertainment for families and shoppers. Even in the least inspiring months of January and February, anyone who finds themselves in Paisley can attend one-off events in one of the town’s live music venues or at the Arts Centre.


Founder of in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X