Happy New Year !

So, with Christmas almost upon us, it’s time to have a wee think about celebrating New Year ! This year, for the first time Edinburgh’s Hogmanay are putting on a dedicated children friendly event ahead of the main street party chaos ! It’s called Bairns Afore and if you’ll be spending New Year in Edinburgh looks like it could be alot of fun !

31 December 2017, 5.00pm

A new event for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, this is one for the families! Celebrate with the kids, with spectacular fireworks and family entertainment, and all afore bedtime hosted by Forth One’s Mickey Gavin.
Dizney Rascal headline the main stage in West Princes Street Gardens, mashing up Disney classics with your favourite pop anthems for an hour of sing-a-long fun for all the family.  Then it’s time to look up and celebrate the end of the year and the start of the new, with a special early fireworks show lighting up the sky over Edinburgh Castle.

Bairns Afore gives families the chance to enjoy your own Hogmanay experience, and still have the kids tucked up in bed well before the midnight bells.



A bit of Christmas cheer…

Following on from my last blog post about all the wonderful shows you can catch this Christmas in Edinburgh, I have now been lucky enough to see three of them and can confirm that they are indeed well worth a visit :

First up, I saw Shark In The Park and it was everything I remembered and loved from seeing it when it was up during the fringe last year (read the full review here )..it had a new cast, but the same old toe tapping, catchy songs and music and plenty of audience participation to  keep little ones engaged.  If you’ve got smaller children, this show is perfectly pitched for them, with some great puppets, lots of familiar phrases from the well loved books and of course shark spotting galore !

Next up was The Arabian Nights, which was certainly a highlight for my daughter….she absolutely loved the idea of ‘a story within a story, within a story, within a story…’ and was gripped by the tales we were treated to. The costumes are beautiful and so is the set design, in this brilliant production which will whisk you away to far off lands and completely entrance you with epic storytelling. At this time of year it’s nice to see something a bit different and get utterly absorbed in all the magic and colour. Humorous, touching and totally gripping – get your seat and get settled in for the journey ahead!

Lastly I saw Shona Reppe’s Cinderella at the Traverse Theatre which is only on until the 24th December. This captivating and gentle re-imagining of the story is simply exquisite ! Every last detail has been carefully thought out – the puppets are filled with emotion, the set is full of clever drawers and openings which continually keep you guessing and the soundscape perfectly accompanies the story, making this one hour show bursting to the seams ! Rick Conte is super talented and brings this production alive with his plethora of voices and facial expressions. I am sure anyone who sees it, like me, will just want it to last even longer  – it’s certainly worth checking out.

Christmas Theatre Fun

With the approaching festivities, we are also being treated to some more spectacular theatrical performances…there seems to be an abundance of shows to choose from this year, which will make this Christmas time that little bit extra special !

With ballet, puppet shows, theatre and of course the Panto, it looks like there is definitely something for everybody this year ! :

  • The Arabian Nights – Following huge successes with Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia in previous years, the Lyceum is bringing us a storytelling feast with the familiar faces of Aladdin, Sinbad and Ali Baba – along with mysterious genies, magic carpets, talking birds and a whole host of heroes and villains. Rich with suspense, enchantment, romance, and hilarity, the ancient tales of The Arabian Nights are irresistible for all ages, and a great opportunity to bring families together, transporting them to the glittering heat of a faraway magical and musical world, this Christmas.           Royal Lyceum Theatre  November 25th – January 6th  (ages 5+)


  • Shark in the Park – For those of you who missed this at last year’s fringe festival, this is well worth seeing. A bright, colourful and musical production which is perfectly pitched for younger audiences and those who are familiar with a phrase or two from the extremely popular books. From Nonsense Room Productions (Hairy Maclary and Friends), this is another foot tapping, musical delight of a show.    Festival Square Spiegeltent    December 1st – January 6th  Recommended for ages 2-7 (under 2s dont require a ticket provided they sit on someone’s lap !)


  • The Nutcracker – Scottish Ballet – Christmas 2017 sees the return of Scottish Ballet’s much-loved production of The Nutcracker created by Scottish Ballet’s founder, Peter Darrell. Travel on an enchanting journey with young Clara, who falls asleep after a Christmas party and dreams of helping the Nutcracker Prince defeat an army of mice. Join her as she visits the glittering Land of Snow, where delicate snowflakes come to life and be dazzled by the Kingdom of Sweets, the enchanted realm of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Scottish Ballet’s dancers create magic in this most famous festive tale, with luxurious Victorian costumes and colourful sets. The world famous Tchaikovsky score is performed by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.   Festival Theatre  December 9th – December 30th   Recommended for ages 4+


  • La Clique Noel – I’m personally super excited for the return of La Clique !! I remember lots of late nights in the Spiegeltent watching the absolute talents and madness of the creativity of La Clique and what cabaret acts they could put together – it never failed to astound ! This special seasonal show is not for those with younger children – but I predict will go down well for those with older children keen to see something a little out of the ordinary !    Festival Square Spiegeltent 17th November – 6th January

And this year it appears we are being treated to not one, but two very different Cinderella’s:

  • Cinderella –  Every day is a bad hair day for Cinderella…..The classic fairytale is beautifully re-imagined by Shona Reppe and performed by acclaimed puppeteer Rick Conte, in this highly visual award-winning production featuring secret hatches, hidden drawers and a handbag full of magic!  Following the galloping success of Black Beauty, Shona Reppe returns to the Traverse this Christmas with an enchanting show that will dazzle young people and grown-ups alike.   Traverse Theatre  December 8th – December 24th  Recommended for ages 6+


  • King's Panto 2017/18: CinderellaCinderella – Cinders is also this year’s much loved Pantomime at the Kings Theatre! Expect plenty of singing, dancing and audience participation !!  Kings Theatre 2nd December – 21st January

It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas!!!!

Image result for edinburgh's christmas 2017Yes, it’s that wonderful time of the year !

The nights have got darker, the days colder and the beautiful Christmas lights in Edinburgh are being switched on this Sunday (19th November) at light night. Starting at 3pm, this free event marks the beginning of Edinburgh’s Christmas 2017, with choirs from across Scotland performing and the lighting of the Christmas Tree on the Mound, a gift to the City of Edinburgh Council from Hordaland County Council in Norway. Finishing up with fireworks at 5pm – this is set to be a fantastic afternoon !!

Other free events during Edinburgh’s Christmas include :

Edinburgh’s Giant Advent Calendar which is new for this year and features a free to access giant Advent Calendar which will be projected onto General Register House, with 25 glimpses of Edinburgh Winters from years gone-by, one revealed each day throughout advent.

Edinburgh’s Giant Advent Calendar will be projected on General Register House at varying times from 5.30pm to 10pm every day, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled when you’re passing!

24 Doors of Advent – The free event 24 Doors of Advent returns from 1 – 24 December, allowing you to peep behind usually closed doors throughout the city during advent! 24 Doors of Advent opens many new doors for you to explore what’s behind this year including Trinity House, Mansfield Traquair and Lauriston Castle. A full list of what buildings are featured this year can be found here .

All we need now is a light dusting of snow and we’re all set ….




Doors Open Day 2017

This weekend is Doors Open Day which gives you the chance to discover some of Edinburgh’s most unique and interesting buildings which are normally closed to the public. Across the weekend you can visit these fantastic sites across the city, completely free of charge.

Now in its 27th year, the Edinburgh Doors Open Days are fast becoming one of the city’s favourite free days out. This is your chance to explore some of Edinburgh’s most important buildings. Many venues will offer behind the scenes tours, talks or exhibitions to bring the history of these monumental buildings to life.

Highlights include :

Image result for anatomical museum edinburghAnatomical Museum – The Anatomical Museum was designed by Robert Rowand Anderson as an integral part of the Medical School, and the specimens are still used by Anatomy students.

The Museum opened in 1884 and was described by William Turner, then Professor of Anatomy, as ‘an ornament to the city’. Specimens include skeletons, death masks and fascinating anatomical curiosities.

Image result for lothian buses doors open dayLothian Buses – This is a family favourite ! Open23 September 2017 (12.00-1600).Originally built for the Industrial Exhibition of 1922, the Category B-listed building was purchased in 1926 to become the home of Edinburgh Corporation Transport’s bus fleet. The garage was extended in 1933 and again in 1963. By the mid-1960’s the garage was home to 242 buses and the company also had satellite garages at Longstone, Portobello, Tollcross and Leith.

Image result for royal observatory doors open dayRoyal Observatory – The Royal Observatory of Edinburgh, originally located on Calton Hill, combines state-of-the-art facilities and original Victorian observatory buildings in a beautiful hilltop site overlooking the city. Instruments for some of the best telescopes in the world are designed and built on site. Catch talks, demonstrations, exhibits and go behind the scenes at one of the UK’s leading scientific establishments. Discover how we contribute to astronomy at every stage from designing a new telescope to using and storing the data produced.

Image result for victorian schoolroom edinburgh doors open dayVictorian SchoolroomInside the History of Education Centre is a fully functioning Victorian classroom with wooden desks, blackboards, finger-stocks, and the tawse, as well as a museum full of Victoriana including a kitchen range and a variety of household items, most of which can be handled. Enjoy a Victorian-style lesson in the classroom and explore the exhibitions, household and other items in the museum room.