Free Events and happenings !

I wanted to be able to put all the great free events and happenings in one space so they’re easy to find….so I’ll just put links to the blog posts telling you more about them !!


  • Book festival – Read about some of the free events in a blog post here. Also has a great space to hang out, with a playpark and the dedicated children’s bookshop is a great space to while away some time looking at all the incredible books from authors appearing over the festival.
  • Film Fest In The City – From 12th – 14th August, free outdoor films at ST Andrews Square – lots of family friendly screenings !



  • Book Festival – Once the Book festival opens on the 11th August, everyday there will be free arts and crafts activities in the story box space – often themed these activities are always great fun – team them up with a visit to the wonderful Children’s Bookshop there too for a great day out !
  • Five Telegrams – Edinburgh International Festival season bursts into life with a spectacular free outdoor digital performance celebrating Scotland’s Year of Young People and reflecting on the centenary of the end of the Great War. Tickets booked here
  • Bureau Of Untold Stories – Interactive detective drama at The Museum of Childhood – Sunday 12th August only…
  • Woodland Tribe – Fabulous woodland tribe are returning to their space next to the Pavillion cafe – allowing kids to grab a hammer and nails and build their own adventure playground. Tickets are FREE this year ! Grab them quick…
  • Portobello Big Beach Busk – all along the prom at Portobello beach from noon on the 25th August – come see what talent there is !!


  • Edinburgh Mela Festival – 2nd and 3rd September on Leith Links – expect lots of music, dance and great food ! And a kids zone too !!!
  • BBC Tent – Returns this year to it’s picturesque venue in George Herriots School – has daily arts and crafts and story times for kids and special weekend events
  • Big Beach Busk 2017 – At Portobello beach and prom – lots of street performers and fun and games on the beach too…from 12 noon.


  • Septemberfest – On Saturday 24th September at Broughton high School, featuring lots of sports activities, a craft fair, magic shows, food stalls, balloon creations, samba bands and much much more !
  • Epic Chalk Day 4 – On Sunday 4th September 12-3pm, Inverleith Park – come along and get creative !
  • Portobello Big Beach Busk – On Saturday 27th August, from noon, there will be a plethora of performers all along the prom at Portobello – artists, musicians, street performers….and a sand castle competition too !!
  • Edinburgh Art Festival – Running until the 28th August – including free workshops at Ocean Terminal fri-sundays. Surreal Adventures free playground at the Gallery of Modern Art on till the 11th September.
  • Fringe for bairns – Running from the 31st July -3rd August, this is a pre-festival festival for children at the Three Sisters and its all free ! There will be an outdoor cinema, face painting, balloon modelling, magicians and the Five Sisters Zoo will be there on the 3rd August 11am-2pm with a petting zoo.
  • BBC Tent – As usual the BBC tent is set to have loads of free activities and events for children, with crafts, music and activities daily for kids and other special events including Dynamic earth Dinosaur Day (17th August) and Sapce Day (21st August)
  • Mardi Gras and Carnival – As part of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival, the Mardi Gras will be on 16th July and Carnival the 17th July, both great free events and lots of music and dance to watch.
  • Playday 2016 – taking place on the Grassmarket on the Wednesday 27th July from 12.30-4.30pm, lots of activities for 0-8 year olds including water play, junk drumming, a mud kitchen and a giant sand pit.


  • BBC Tent – lots of free family events on daily at BBC including their CBeebies weekends !
  • Albertious Connundrum II – This circus returns once more to the Botanics with a free daily show between August 9th and 16th, 1.00 – 1.45pm.

  • Book festival – the book festival hosts an area dedicated to kids called the story box – it is full of arts and crafts, face painting, books to read and other activities. The opening weekend of 15th/16th August will see visits from Gorgie farm and from Miffy!
  • Big Beach Busk Portobello – This event on the 29th August looks really fun – lots of performers and musicians head down to the seaside to entertain the crowds..


  • Playday 2014 – fantastic afternoon with gaint sand pit, water play, magic potions, cardboard city, mud kitchen, junk drumming and more.
  • A sunday in the park – Circus at the Botanics. August 17th – 24th 1.00 – 1.45pm daily.
  • Free festival – lots and lots of childrens shows in different venues across the city – I’ve picked out a few that stand out.
  • BBC tent family events – lots of free family events on daily at the BBC tents including their fantastic family CBeebies weekends.
  • Festival Fireworks – spectacular fireworks display to mark the end of the summer festival season. Family viewing area in Inverleith park. 31st August.


  • Mardi Gras and Edinburgh Festival Carnival – 20th/21st July , the weekend is filled with free events for the family, with the Edinburgh Festival Carnival sounding like a highlight and loads of fun with performers and costumes and entertainment all down on Princes Street from 2pm-4pm.
  • Wish you were there –  From the 1st-11th August, East Lothian Council will be showcasing their top attractions, food and drink, golf heritage and more in St Andrews Square. Daily from 10am – 7pm
  • Free Festival – There are lots of childrens shows at the Free Festival this year in a range of venues throughout the city…from 1sy – 25th August.
  • Botanics – There are lots of free events, dance and circus performances in the Botanics this August including a special weekend celebrating Colombia !
  • Playday 2013 – A lovely afternoon event with lots of water play, sand, cardboard cities, large games and face painting. July 31st 12.30-4 pm Royal Mile
  • Rastamouse at BBC tent – On the 3rd and 4th August Rastamouse and the Rocksteady Reggae School will be at the BBC tent with workshops for children and shows, all for free.
  • Absolute Genius and CBBC science – will be at the BBC tent the weekend of 10th/11th August with lots of hands on activities and shows all for free.

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