Magical musical moments…

The fringe has so much to offer, and more so than ever before for children and families, we have comedy, circus, storytelling ….and also music ! There are a few events that aim to introduce little ones to the wide world of music, whether it be classical, opera , drag queen pop or indy…here are some of our favourites :

Paddington Bear’s First Concert -Join Paddington Bear on his adventures and the mayhem that naturally follows !  We really enjoyed this absorbing introduction to classical music and an orchestra, set within the story of Paddington’s first visit to the Royal Albert Hall. The narrator is mesmerising, leading us effortlessly through the adventure and keeping even wee ones engaged, she has lots of energy and passion for the music. She runs about into the audience and collects things hidden under chairs. The whole thing is totally interactive with dancing, singing and giant inflatable fruit, there is plenty to keep excitement levels high.  Getting to see and touch the instruments at the end is a real highlight too.

Opera Mouse – Tilly Mouse lives under an opera house, and she just loves to sing! Tilly has stumbled upon music and is transformative powers – she is inspired and motivated to sing and to share her new found gift with the world. However, being a mouse, she must overcome the huge obstacle of everyone being very afraid of her first…(Read our full review here )

BambinO – The story follows a bird, the egg she finds and the relationship that occurs once the baby bird hatches. BambinO is a first operatic adventure for six to 18-month-olds and their carers.Written by Scottish Opera’s acclaimed Composer in residence this show is great to nurture your baby’s musical taste. All the babies were kept enthralled throughout.

Denim: The Denim Juniors–  Denim is the place to scream, dream, and become a queen. Five pop princesses celebrate the power of being yourself. For something spectacularly different and altogether fabulous, join Denim as they remind us all to be ourselves, sing loud and proud and add a lot of glitter and sparkle in the process…(Read our full review here)

Nick Cope – We LOVE Nick Cope – sadly he’s only making a flying visit to Edinburgh and his show at the Book Festival is already sold out.  His banter is highly entertaining and all kids will love his songs about pirates, dragons, poo and more !!! Tickets for this fab looking Super Saturday Summer Sandwich Show are selling fast – grab yours quick !

Recitals For Wrigglers – These guys bring a fun, interactive and educational classical concert for babies and toddlers where wriggling is allowed! They’ve got two shows during the Fringe – The Lion and The Mouse and Wriggle Around The World – For a gentle introduction to classical music – it’s perfect !

We even have a brand new musical venue this year in the form of the Pianodrome, with five working pianos embedded within the structure that everyone is welcome to walk in and play on, there will be piano lessons and multiple other events and concerts …please please do go and check it out ! It’s amazing, something truly unique and in the Botanics too so you can combine it with a visit there….

Shows for the even littler little ones….top five

Once again, the selection of wild and wonderful shows for children at the festival this year includes many aimed at the even younger little ones ! We are so lucky to be able to introduce the wee ones to the sights, colours and sounds of the Fringe in these gentle and accessible productions.

I’ve narrowed down my top picks to the following five shows, but if you have an even littler little one, there are lots more shows and events out there to explore during the Fringe – I’d be keen to hear what you think !

MamaBabaMe – Starcatchers create beautiful shows for younger children, and MamaBabaMe looks to be something special for the under threes. Part of the Made in Scotland showcase this looks gorgeous and as it’s only on for two weeks, worth getting a ticket early. The audience sits within the set around a mini arena with soft boundary edges from which to enjoy the performance. With the soothing sounds of live cello and intimate lighting and set design, MamaBabaMe explores the profound connection between parent and child and how this eternal bond evolves and grows.  1st – 17th August (not 6th or 13th)

Four Go Wild In Wellies – Another from the Made In Scotland showcase is this fun sounding, playful adventure featuring tents, bobble hats and of course lots of wellies !! A show for audiences aged three to five years from Indepen-dance 4, Scotland’s inclusive professional dance company.  3rd – 26th August (not 6th/13th/20th )


BambinO – Returning from a very successful sold out run last year – Katch took her little one and really enjoyed it (read all about it here ). Scottish Opera introduce wee ones age 6 -18 months to the world of opera – at an age when their minds are wide open to new sounds, images and experiences. Babies are free to explore during the performance, interacting with singers, musicians and each other. Catch it while you can as it’s sure to sell out again especially with its limited run !  7th – 19th August ( not 13th )


Paddington Bear’s First Concert – Join Paddington Bear on his adventures as he leaves home, meets his new family and enjoys his first concert – not without causing his fair share of mayhem, of course! The charming tales of everyone’s favourite bear come to life with storytelling, narration and a live orchestra.        1st – 26th August (not 13th) 


Shhh….The Elves Are Very Shy – Ipdip Theatre return to the Botanics with another creative tale suitable for very young audiences. The elves are very shy and elfologist Dr Faye Greenwood is here to tell us why – and how you can help. Can her two tiny friends be encouraged to come out and say hi? And can you spot the evidence of elf activity all around us? A small scale show for the smallest of audience members and their families. Multi-sensory, musical and magical.  5th – 26th August (not 6th/13th/20th )

Baby Shows From Scotland….

Katch has been busy checking out what’s available at the festival for babies and littler little ones this year for the blog :

”So we’ve been to our first few shows of the Fringe and I’ve had my first taste of being a mum during crazy August. There are plenty of ways to avoid the busiest crowds and introduce your very little one to the delights of the festivals! We checked out the following shows for little ones, and all of them homegrown and made in Scotland too ! :

First up we enjoyed the soaring voices of Scottish Opera’s BambinO. The story follows a bird, the egg she finds and the relationship between her and the baby bird which hatches. The show is for 0 to 24 months and babies are free to move about as they wish. With live instrumentation and wonderfully expressive faces my little one was content to watch and listen for most of the performance, only becoming a little wriggly towards the end when I put her down and she sat at the performers’ feet and stared up at them.

Written by Scottish Opera’s acclaimed Composer in residence this show is great to nurture your baby’s musical taste. All the babies were kept enthralled throughout. I believe the show is now sold out for the rest of the run, but keep an eye on Scottish Opera as I’m sure there will be more baby shows where this one came from.

Snigel and Friends is an absolutely delightful show which is perfect for non movers and crawlers. Part of the Made in Scotland programme, it has been conceived by Glasgow based Caroline Bowditch, performance artist and choreographer.

Snigel the snail and his brightly coloured friends interact with each other and the babies with friendly faces, noises, props, movements and music. You are requested to keep little ones out of the performance space until the very end so if your little one is an early walker and very active or restless it might not be ideal. Having said that, my crawler was one of the oldest babes in the audience and still content to watch and enjoy until the very end.

Held at Dancebase in the Grassmarket it is advertised for 0 to 12 months – a wonderful sensory experience and a rare example of a show for little ones featuring visibly disabled performers. Highly recommended for the very little ones. (On until 27th August (not 21st) )

Calvinball is brought to you by the company Ipdip, which specialise in early years theatre. One great thing already about this show is that it takes place in the Botanic Gardens, which if the sun is shining is a lovely relaxed place to escape the festival crowds and let a crawler get active.

The show is advertised for 0-5 years. It is led by three very lively and friendly performers who take you through the game, the rules of which are made up on the spot! A mixture of physical activity, song and theatre with props, it is perfect for siblings or an energetic toddler as the audience are encouraged to get up and involved with each other and the performers. Although my little one wasn’t quite ready to get up she was nonetheless kept entertained throughout. It’s also good value if you’re watching the pennies – £5 for everyone over 6 months. If raining you will need to take waterproof clothing as it takes place under some trees outside.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 11, 2pm, 3pm  (Until 27th August, not 22nd) ”



Shows for the littlest little ones….

Once again this year at the Festival they are including a large sprinkling of shows for the even smaller little children ! It’s fantastic to see such a variety of shows aimed for this age group, primarily the under threes and great to see that they are able to be introduced to the arts in such an accessible and enjoyable way !!

I’ve narrowed my picks down to the following five shows, but there are even more out there if you’ve got a very small little one and are looking to explore the festival and get fully involved this year.

BambinOBambinO is a first operatic adventure for six to 18-month-olds and their carers. This unique and colourful work reinvents opera for children at an age when their minds are wide open to new sounds, images and experiences. Babies are free to explore during the performance, interacting with singers, musicians and each other.   8th – 20th August (not 14th)


Snigel and Friends – Dancebase brings this lovely looking production for children under 12 months. Join Snigel, the inquisitive snail, in their cosy home underneath the leafy canopy; a colourful and sensory world where Snigel’s insect friends come to visit, brought to life by dancers. They dance, play, sing and make music in the undergrowth while uncovering secret treasures.   4th – 27th August (not 7th/14th/18th-21st)


Nick Cope’s Family Songbook -You’re never too young to be introduced to Nick Cope ! If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know we’re huge fans – we love his melodic, catchy tunes and loved his morning show last year. I’m delighted to see him return with even more of his gorgeous songs. With songs about dogs eating soap and dragons called Keith rummaging around second hand shops, this will be a firm family favourite for sure !   2nd-20th August


Calvinball Ipdip Theatre are returning after their success with Head in the Clouds to bring Calvinball back to the Botanics !! Lively, musical and slightly wild, this unique theatre experience draws on the natural curiosities of children inviting, but not demanding, participation. Inspired by the anarchic game played by Calvin and Hobbes; we know the rules must be out there somewhere but we need help in finding them. Set in the gorgeous Royal Botanic Garden it really will be outside so don’t forget to dress for the weather!  5th -27th August (not 8th/15th/22nd)


The Polar Bears Go Up  – This is for kids aged 2-5 and looks lovely and is part of the Made in Scotland showcase which makes it extra special too ! The Polar Bears are moving up in the world. They’ve lost their balloon and they need to get it back. It’s time to get up, step up, climb up, jump up. One thing’s for sure, the only way is up! These lovable Polar Bears are intrepid explorers, famous for their wild expeditions. Of course, they’ll stop for sandwiches on the way! 10th – 27th August (not 23rd)