Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 14th-23rd July 2017

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Goodness ! Festival season has totally crept up on me and now it feels like its hurtling towards us at fast speed !! Kicking things off this summer is the Jazz and Blues Festival from the 14th to the 23rd July. This features two very fun and family friendly events, namely Mardi Gras and the festival Carnival ! So expect some magical musical madness and colourful feathers galore !

Mardi Gras is on Saturday 15th July 1pm-4pm. The historic heart of Edinburgh becomes a mini New Orleans for the afternoon.A host of bands create non stop entertainment and a party atmosphere on stages across the Grassmarket, including   latin-swing band mixed with upbeat ska rhythms Swing’It Disney which sounds like one for the little people !

Carnival! imageCarnival is on Sunday 16th July at The Mound, Princes Street and  Princes Street Gardens. It is free admission, thanks to City of Edinburgh Council, timings are:

2.30pm: Parade from The Mound to the West End of Princes Street
3.30pm-5pm: Performances in Princes Street, Princes Street Gardens

There will be over 800 Carnival Performers! With music, dance, costumes, circus acrobats, puppetry from all over the world, this is not to be missed!


Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 15th-24th July

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Festival time is fast approaching and to kick things off in style, we’ve got the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival in a couple of weeks time, running from the 15th-24th July..

This provides two very fun events for kids and families, namely the Mardi Gras and then of course, the festival Carnival…

Mardi Gras will be on the Saturday 16th July and will be in the Grassmarket, for the whole afternoon, The Grassmarket becomes home to multiple stages, non-stop entertainment and a host of bands. This year’s musical line up includes: Criterion Brass Band, St. Aidan’s Swing Band, James Brown Is Annie, Rosie Nimmo and Stuart Allardyce, Jambouree, Charlotte Marshall & The 45s.       1-4pm


Carnival! imageCarnival is on Sunday 17th July , kicking off at 2.30pm from the Mound, Princess Street:

2.30pm – Parade from The Mound to the West End of Princess Street

2.30-5pm – Performances in Princess Street, Princess Street Gardens,

There will be over 700 Carnival Performers with music, dance, costumes, circus acrobats and puppetry from all over the world!

If you have never been before, its a really fun and colourful afternoon -come and see giant puppets, exotic sounds, bright costumes and street performances and join the fun!

Edinburgh International Book Festival 13-29th August

If you have read this blog before you will know I’m a huge fan of the Edinburgh book festival, so I was most delighted when the rather lovely and jam packed book festival programme fell onto my doorstep a few days ago…

It looks like another great year and the children’s events look as fantastic as always….

Some highlights from the programme include:

Julia Donaldson & FriendsJulia Donaldson and friends – Julia Donaldson is just super duper fantastic, if you love her books, then you will love any of her shows. She brings her family and friends, she sings and engages all ages in her interactive retelling of some of her favourite tales…On three dates- Sat 13th, Sun 14th and Sun 28th August

On Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th August, the opening weekend, there will be free drop-in activities in the story box all around the theme of ‘get stuck into science‘ which looks fun….

Jacqueline Wilson – talking about her latest tale Rent a Bridesmaid (14th August)



Picturing Harry Potter – Illustrator Jim Kay brings his breathtaking full-colour edition of this well loved wizarding story. (Monday 15th)

Guinness World Records – This looks fun – taking a look at some wacky feats from over the years.( Tuesday 16th)

Sing-Along with Nick CopeSing-Along with Nick Cope – If you’ve not seen him before, please don’t miss out (he’s also got a family show at the fringe too) – fantastic, acoustic folk songs for kids…(Wednesday 17th August)


Tea, Cake and Colouring-in– looks lovely, with the colouring book of Scotland (Wednesday 17th August)

On Friday 19th August there will be a Beatrix Potter birthday party in the story box with free drop in activities to mark the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth. Celebrate with all your favourite characters…

You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum!

For fans of Mr Gum, Andy Stanton will be at the book festival on Friday 19th August with his first book of the series – You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum


Nick Sharratt – will be at the festival on Saturday 20th with some nonsense poetry….

On Tuesday 23rd August, they will be celebrating Paddington Bear’s birthday – its 60 years since Michael Bond first came up with his idea for everyone’s favourite bear from Peru…


Chris Riddell – Meet the Children’s laureate – Chris’ illustrations are exceptional, this is ure to be a great event and interactive too…(Sunday 28th August)

Pirate Adventures with Jonny Duddle – yet another pirate adventure with Matilda, Jim Ladand the Jolley-Rogers…(Sunday 28th August)




And that list hardly touches it to be honest, every year the programme gets better and better and all of the activities in the story box look great too…its a fantastic venue to take the kids to, even if you are not going for an event, the children’s bookshop is immense and you can spend a very long time browsing all of the wonderful books on offer, you can enjoy lunch in the gardens on the deckchairs and take part in the daily free activities in the story box.

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 21st June at 8.30am – grab them while you can !!




Mardi Gras at the Grassmarket and Edinburgh Festival Carnival

The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival kicks off the summer festivals with a weekend of free events which look great for families.

On Saturday 20th July its the Mardi Gras at the Grassmarket starting from 1pm featuring lots of bands, different stages and a party atmosphere…

On Sunday 21st July its the Edinburgh Festival Carnival (which has replaced the Cavalcade). This promises to be a great afternoon, with street performers, music, costumes and lots of entertainment. Its on Princes Street and in Princes Street Gardens from 2pm – 4pm and best of all, its free !

Over 35 acts, with a total of over 400 performers, will come together to create a vibrant international Carnival party.This year, audiences will be free to promenade around Princes Street (between South Charlotte Street and the Mound) and all over West Princes Street Gardens..

There will be a family area in the West End of Princes Street Gardens, featuring the ‘Big Red Bus’, which will have storytelling and facepainting.

Lets hope it a sunny weekend !