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….

Hello my old friends……

It feels very strange to be writing this….like picking up a neglected diary from years gone by….and I know I am very late in my rambles this year (I’ve returned to university in my fourth decade and its a little distracting !), so please accept my apologies…

But it’s so very very exciting to have walked past George Square and see the Spiegal tent in situ; to see the food trucks take their places and walk down the Royal Mile and catch a street performer back in action…..these are all the signs of a festival slowly and cautiously returning.

This year will obviously be very different, with a mix of live shows, on demand shows to watch in the comfort of your own home and digital shows at set times and dates….I am still trying to wrap my head around all of the offerings and hope to slowly share a few of my findings with you over the next few days and weeks.

To start off, here are all the children’s shows in the programme at the moment, have a browse, and we’ll catch up soon……

Edinburgh Mela ….

The summer festival season just keeps on giving it seems with the Edinburgh Mela just around the corner!!  The Edinburgh Mela is fantastic – two days of music, dance, fashion and food – its colourful and vibrant and a great day out with the kids !! Its held at Leith Links and will be taking place on Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September ….

This year along with the usual music, stalls and dancing which the kids will no doubt also  enjoy there will be another dedicated kidzone, supported again by sponsors Forestry Commission Scotland and Scotland Natural Heritage. There will be four different environments: Forests, Farms, Hills and Mountains and Shore and children will be encouraged to explore all of them…

They will find interactive nature inspired activities and creative arts workshops, environmental educators and wildlife experts will also be present to help young people find out about the Scottish countryside.

Excitingly there will be a storytelling longboat, staffed by a crew of tall tale-telling Vikings, telling stories that span the seven seas!

Tickets are on sale now and are a mere £4 for a whole day !! And, under twelves get in for FREE ! You can buy them via the website here or pop into the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Box Office on the High Street and purchase them there if you want to avoid the queues buying them at the Mela on the day itself.

Super Summerhall…

I keep on hearing more and more great things about the venue Summerhall since it first opened and this festival season it seems it’s the place to be !  Added to this, they have just opened their new children’s play and activity space called Animal Antics …this place looks FANTASTIC and I’m super keen to go check it out: offering soft play, fancy dress, arts and crafts and a library all in one space !! Open Thurs-Sun from September, during the festival its open 11 – 16th August / 18 – 19th August  and 23rd August.

As well as providing a cafe and a great space to hang out and keep the kids occupied, there are some great children’s shows happening at Summerhall this festival, lots happening in a yurt, and I’ve heard some great personal reviews about some of them- this show in particular :

L’Apres-midi d’un Foehn -Version 1 – This show involves plastic bags beginning their own life – with beautiful musical accompaniment, the ‘plastic dancers’ are propelled by air currents to dance. A growing number of my friends have been to see this show and both their children and themselves loved it – it states it is ‘strongly recommended for those aged above 5 years’


These events happening during August also look great :

YurtaKids! UnLeashed_Scatenati – This is a seafaring journey, an adventure with no words: just light, sound and action. A trip for little ones over waves of sound, as cleverly manipulated chains play centre stage in an experience of metamorphosis, discovery and enchantment. Suitable for ages 0-5..

YurtaKids! The Red Bike – Discover the eccentric history of Marta’s family – they make a living by putting toys inside chocolate eggs but their lives are complicated by Mister Moneybags, the villainous ‘owner of everything’(!), of the chocolate egg factory and of the house and also of the moon and the stars. But Marta and her family have a plan…Ages 5+

Crying out loud presents Daydream – This unusual events definitely looks worth checking out – and the whole family could go at once…Come in. Settle down. Close your eyes and listen. Are there bees living in your ears? Has the sea stopped crying? Is the house sighing? Let the music caress you (inside a 40’ shipping container).

The performance runs every 15 minutes in three 4 hour blocks through the day

  • 11.00 – 15.00 (last show 14.45)
  • 15.30 – 19.30 (last show 19.15)
  • 20.00 – 00.00 (last show 23.45)

So – lots of reasons to go and check this venue out – playspaces, events, a cafe, shows, yurts…..I’ll be heading down their way very very soon !


Catch it while you can….

I am totally disappointed that I only found out about this today, but there are some fantastic free play opportunities going on right now at Leith Links….

Play On The Links is being run by the team from The Yard (the purpose-built indoor and outdoor playground for young people with additional support needs) and is a free play space on Leith Links for children aged between 5 and 12 years old (though I think younger children will also really enjoy it too !)…

Children have an opportunity to take part in all kinds of outdoor activities including den building, obstacle courses, water slides, arts, crafts and musical instrument making, using loose parts and recycled materials.

To find the activities, look out for the yellow flags…

Hurry though – its only on tomorrow and friday, so the 8th and 9th     11am to 3pm