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….

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 !


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 !!!