First Week Highlights…

I’m not even sure if this was technically the first week- I think it’s been more a preview week; but for me, having seen 13 shows so far, it definitely feels a lot longer than a few days ! The good news is the Book Festival has not even started yet and there is still another 3 weeks of the Fringe left – yipee !!  I’ve seen some fantastic shows so far and am looking forward to even more in the next few weeks, I’ve only popped in to the BBC tent briefly and look forward to exploring all their great children’s activities and I’m hoping for a few beautifully sunny days to enjoy an ice cream or two while I soak up the festival atmosphere…

For now, my highlights so far have been :

  • Nick Cope’s Family Songbook – A lovely melodic start to any festival day – featuring songs about dragons, pirates and poo ! A real gem of musical delights.
  • I Got Superpowers For My Birthday – An absolutely brilliant show, featuring spellbinding storytelling and located in the rather lovely Roundabout theatre venue…three young people gain superpowers on the eve of their thirteenth birthdays and have to fight ‘the darkness’. For ages 7+ -not to be missed !
  • Children Are Stinky – Very fun and silly acrobatic and clown show from a lovable Australian Duo – featuring hula hoops, chairs and a fantastic soundtrack, lots of fun for the whole family !
  • 360 Allstars – Featuring some spectacular BMX tricks, brilliant basketball, impressive breakdancing and live beat-boxing – this show has something for everyone ! A jam packed hour of talented performers showing off their skills !
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Weekend-ing…

So, we have had yet another lovely weekend of festivalling, and it feels a bit sad as the schools are going back this week and so our time together to go and see shows and hang out in all the fun places is now being cut short…

We made the most of it this weekend and saw the fantastic Albee Vector the Sound Collector, which I have been wanting to see since last year. It was a brilliant show, with lots of audience participation in the collection of sounds and some clever use of all those old jam jars that are normally thrown away ! I would highly recommend seeing it if you can, Albee and the lovely Adromeda are skilled storytellers and you’ll love meeting Mustard – the sound hoover too !

We also made it down to the brilliant Book Festival ! It was a great morning of events, discovering new books in the bookshop and squeezing in some colouring in too…I am looking forward to returning there a few times in the next two weeks.

I have been busy writing up reviews for the shows we have been seeing, so please take the time to check them out here if you have a moment….

It’s that wonderful time of year….

Oh my….what a busy busy year it’s been and then all my hopes of getting this blog going again with all the festival updates was delayed due to family holidays, weddings and worst of all a frozen neck which was very very sore (ouch)…thankfully all that is over now and I’m as excited as ever about all of the upcoming festival delights about to hit our city !!

I have already booked plenty of tickets for the book festival which you may know by now is one of my favourite places to be during August in Edinburgh…highlights this year include Cressida Cowell talking about the final installment of the How to train your dragon books – which my daughter and partner are currently devouring !, the Teddy Bear Sleepover, the ever fantastic Oliver Jeffers, the regular Bookbug sessions and on the 16th August the Book Festival is celebrating Miffy’s 60th birthday – and you may even get to meet her yourself !

Happy Birthday Miffy

I’ve slowly started leafing through the multitude of festival brochures and exploring whats on and what there is to do with the kids and I’ll be sure to update the blog as I go along, so please do keep checking back…..I’m also very very happy that the BBC tent is already getting itself into gear and I’ll post about what kids events they’ve mentioned so far shortly….there’s just not enough time in the day to do it all !!

Let’s hope the sun also decides to come visit in August too !

Last few days…

The last weekend of the festival is one day away, so its a great time to squeeze in a last visit or two….below are a few free activities going on over the weekend that are worth checking out !

The BBC tent are having an Art Fun Weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 4.30pm both days, activities include:

  • Your Paintings: Paint your own masterpiece. Come along and recreate a giant modern masterpiece.
  • Deadly Masks: Let the little ones discover their inner artist by making a Deadly 60 animal mask.
  • ZooLab brings wildlife out and about in the Garden

As well as these activities, they will be having a Deadly Doodle event in the blue tent which is ticketed –  CBBC’s Michelle Ackerley  will show you how to create some astounding animal art! Get up close and personal with tarantulas, snakes, lizards and cockroaches and learn how to draw them like a pro. To find the times of this event see the timetable for Saturday and Sunday

We're Going on a Bear HuntAt the Book festival they are celebrating the book ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ being 25 years old ! On Sunday 24th they will be having some bear related activities and fun in the Story box between 11.00 and 15.00 .

If you are visiting the Botanics the show A Sunday In The Park is on every day until Sunday 24th, – Albert & Friends Instant Circus troupe of highly skilled young performers (aged 11-18 years), bring to life a day in the park with the story unfolding in a delightful array of short montages. Its on at 1pm every day. 

Enjoy the weekend – especially those of you cramming in some last minute shows !!!

Highlights so far….

Sorry for the gap in festival updates this week – been busy with little one’s first day at school etc, so not had too much of a chance to get out and about !

I thought I’d do a bit of a run through of some of my highlights so far in shows and activities as the last week of the fringe festival is fast approaching !

  • Dinosaur Zoo – we saw this right in the first week and we loved it – it works for younger children obviously as they mostly love dinosaurs and the puppets are incrediably realistic but also for older kids as it’s very informative and interactive which I really enjoyed – there’s also a chance to meet and greet some of the dinosaurs after the show which was fab ! – on until 25th August
  • Pirate Gran – we saw this last week and again it was great – I loved previous Scamp Theatre productions and this one had the same entertaining songs, cleaverly thought out set design (the set changes were infact one of the best bits of the show as mundane lounge furniture got trasformed into a pirate ship !) and fast paced storyline to keep everyone engaged. – on until 25th August
  • Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and his singing tiger – Dr. Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger I managed to catch this show last week too – I absolutely loved the first Dr Brown kids show and this time Dr Brown is packing for an adventure and its a whole new delightful, funny, interactive show with the fantastic singing tiger melodically guiding us through! I love this show as it totally involves the audience and this is great for kids and also pretty brave for the performers as anything can and will happen !  They have just added two extra dates for the show – TOMORROW the 15th August and Saturday 16th August, both 11.30 in the Bosco Tent George Square Gradens – I highly recommend catching it while you can.
  • A Simple Space – Although this is not strictly advertised as a kids show – it’s playful physical theatre that young people will both enjoy and be totally inspired by.  Seven Australian acrobats (who all happen to be gorgeous) playfully compete against each other and push themselves to their physical limits. My children sat entralled throughout the entire thing and it is awe inspiring – I didn’t manage to see this show last year and I am SO happy I saw it this time, its the best show I’ve seen so far this year and you leave feeling very very happy ! – On until the 25th August (not 18th)
  • Celeste’s Circus – I personally haven’t seen this show, but a few friends have, and it comes highly recommended – I know its one of the few shows out there suitable for very young children and apparently they are loving it ! Hurry though, as it finishes this weekend on the 17th August.

You are not short of good places to hang out and for the kids to be entertained this August – I have had some great days out and about exploring activities on offer :

  • Pleasance Kidzone – This is always a great place to hang out between shows or even just to go and absorb some of the festival atmosphere. They have some good arts and crafts activities on offer again this year, from shrinkie necklaces and keyrings, to painting your own mug, designing t-shirts or smaller things like decorating tiaras. I was pretty impressed that prices started at £1 and we spent a great morning making things and exploring the toys in the area. Theres also a little cafe with food and hot drinks which is always much needed !
  • BBC area – By now you’ll know that I love this space and its a total gem of a place to go with the kids. They have free childrens events going on most days, have a fantastic kid friendly area with deckchairs, fake grass, a ping pong table and Ipads to play on ! The CBeebies weekends offer even more chilrens actvities including facepainting and you can even get your photo taken and then superimposed onto scenes so you can be a weatherperson, be hanging out in Albert Square or with the tardis or with Mr Bloom or the ZingZillas and best of all – its all for free. Do, do check it out !
  • Edinburgh Book Festival – I was hanging out at the Book festival today and like previous years the childrens bookshop is a great place to spend some time with the kids exploring all the fantastic books and there’s a lovely area with cushions and shelves to spend some time getting lost between the pages. Then there is the always amazing storybox which offers arts and crafts activities everyday with a new theme daily and offer a range of activities around this as well as providing a cosy space with books and toys.

I’m just hoping I find some more time to get out and about and enjoy it all for a bit longer !