Edinburgh book festival – opening this weekend !!

So, it looks like even more great things are happening and one of our favourites – the book festival – is about to open its doors in its brand new venue at the Edinburgh College of Art and as usual there are lots of free events going on – along with the bookshop which is always great for a browse….

New for 2021, the book festival is screening a selection of children’s events on the big screen in the Festival Village Courtyard each day during 14th-30th August for FREE.
You can see the daily timetable for the big screen and outdoor stage here

Young festival-goers can enjoy livestreamed events, DrawAlongs and costumed character appearances in the lovely leafy Courtyard at Edinburgh College of Art. Entry to the fesitval village is free and unticketed so just turn up and join the outdoor fun!

There is plenty to keep the kids entertained all day with an ‘Animal Spotting’ trail designed by Debi Gliori featuring 8 animal illustrations to find on site, a children’s play area and a café.

Kids of all ages can draw along with their favourite illustrators every morning at 9.30am during the Festival over on our Facebook page. If this time doesn’t suit, budding artists can still join in later as the videos will be available to watch following the livestream. We’re delighted to welcome a fab line-up of illustrators to take part in some arty fun including Dapo Adeola, James Mayhew, Harriet Muncaster, Beatrice Blue and lots more. Check out the daily schedule for more details.

This year’s Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme of online events is available to watch live and on-demand on a Pay What You Can basis. Pay What You Can is designed to help audiences who are struggling financially, whilst also providing sufficient income for the Book Festival to continue to produce a wonderful, international programme of events for everyone to enjoy.

Hopefully you all get a chance to enjoy some of these great offerings over the next few weeks….

Fringe By The Sea 2021 6th-15th August

It’s great news that Fringe By The Sea is also returning this year, bringing a whole host of shows and events to entertain you in their gorgeous seaside setting…

There’s lots of family friendly shows and this year it seems there are loads of great workshops you can get involved with, including

hula hooping

hip hop and streetdance

potion making,


renewable energies


A few top picks from the rest of the family programme include :

Colouring in With Eilidh Muldoon – We’ve been to a few of these events at the book festival before, and loved all of them – and her new colouring book looks fab ! 15th August 10am

Brainiac Live ! – We saw these guys in 2018 – read review here – it was brilliant – everything you want from a live science show – lots of bangs and colour ! More mischievous than ever before Brainiac Live! explodes on stage and will take you on a breathless ride through the wild world of the weird and wonderful. Watch from the safety of your seat as the Brainiacs delve fearlessly into the mysteries of science and do all of those things on stage that you’re too scared to do at home! 10th August 1am and 1.30pm

Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 – we’ve all been missing festivals and live music lately, so it’ll be such a treat to see these guys and finally get to dance !!

14th August 1pm

Beano – Bringing you fun from the brilliant comic ! Calling all Mischief-Makers… Join in the fun and mayhem with this 45-minute show from the brains behind Beano. Get ready for LOLZ in an interactive session led by Mike Stirling and Craig Graham, creators of Beano’s brand-new book, Dennis & Gnasher: The Battle for Bash Street School. Learn how to develop your own personal Manual of Mischief with hilarious tips from Dennis, Gnasher, Minnie and friends. 8th August 1pm

Some top picks for 2021….

So, I’ve finally had a moment to gather myself together and look through the programme for this year’s festival – though it’s being added to all the time so do keep checking for new additions !

My top picks so far include :

The Adventures of SleepyheadOnline On Demand

She’s the dreamer of dreams. The walking-talking nap. A snoozer and a muser. Children and adults alike will delight in this adventure to the heart of dreamland as Sleepyhead fends off the Zzz… This show takes you on a journey to discover where dreams come from and where they go….

Available to watch online from 6th August

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The Snail And The WhaleOnline Scheduled

Tall Stories never fail to deliver in their charming adaptations of Julia Donaldson’s well loved books – and this is no exception. We were lucky enough to see this show in Edinburgh in 2016 and LOVED it – read our review here. Join an adventurous young girl and her seafaring father as they reimagine the story of a tiny snail’s incredible trip around the world…

August 6th – 15th

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You ChooseIn Person

Based on the brilliant book by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt, Nonsense Room Productions (Shark in the Park and Hairy Maclary Shows) bring you a brand-new interactive musical show for all the family. But in this show – You Choose what happens! Using the picture book as inspiration and through a series of games and challenges, each show will be unique with different characters, locations, costumes and much more every time!

  Aug 3-10, 12-17, 19-22

Tom Brace: Eat, Sleep, AMAZE, RepeatIn Person

We were lucky enough to see Tom Brace two years ago, and even got a personal magic show as we were eating lunch too ! He amazed us with his tricks then, and his show was brilliant – highly recommended for everyone !

Featuring magic inspired by classic board games, internet crazes and all the day time television he watched. Get ready to expect the unexpected at an evening for the whole family. 

9th – 14th August

BromanceIn Person

Again, we have been lucky enough to see this show a few years ago and were were amazed by it then, and look forward to seeing it again and how its grown and changed. Prepare to be awestruck ….

Audacious, touching, exhilarating tour-de-force of physical heroics where handshakes become handstands and backslaps become backflips

August 3rd – 29th

It’s a really important year for everyone involved in the festivals this year so please show your support – online and in person if you can !

Special spaces…

image of event

Those of you who have read this blog before will know that I love the beautiful, creative and magical space and shows presented by Swallow The Sea Caravan – I am delighted that they are returning with their unique blend of artistry and imagination to the Summerhall secret courtyard and are treating us to two shows this year ! Object theatre, shadow and tabletop puppetry and live soundscapes: intimate all-immersive theatre in the tiniest of settings with the smallest of audiences.

You’ll need to be quick with this one as spaces are limited for each performance and I am reliably told that half of tickets have already sold !!!

Hello my old friends……

It feels very strange to be writing this….like picking up a neglected diary from years gone by….and I know I am very late in my rambles this year (I’ve returned to university in my fourth decade and its a little distracting !), so please accept my apologies…

But it’s so very very exciting to have walked past George Square and see the Spiegal tent in situ; to see the food trucks take their places and walk down the Royal Mile and catch a street performer back in action…..these are all the signs of a festival slowly and cautiously returning.

This year will obviously be very different, with a mix of live shows, on demand shows to watch in the comfort of your own home and digital shows at set times and dates….I am still trying to wrap my head around all of the offerings and hope to slowly share a few of my findings with you over the next few days and weeks.

To start off, here are all the children’s shows in the programme at the moment, have a browse, and we’ll catch up soon……