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….

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

Image result for edinburgh jazz and blues festival 2017

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!


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 !

Fringe for Bairns 2016 – Three Sisters 31st July – 3rd August

Returning for a second year, Fringe for Bairns is a four day long series of free events for children featuring a whole host of activities and shows including a  kids ceilidh, balloon modelling, face painting, magician acts, outdoor cinema and not to forget a petting zoo- all located in the courtyard at the Three Sisters on the Cowgate.

For more details and to see what day certain activities will be, check their facebook page for updates…

So far it looks like the Five Sisters Zoo will be there on Wednesday 3rd August from 11am – 2pm with the petting zoo which is sure to be popular…

All of their childrens shows will be running during these days too, highlights including:

Show ImageBaloonaticsWelcome to the wild and wacky world of Baloonatics. This show is for anyone aged 5 to 105 (older people are welcome) who likes being silly, doesn’t want to be a grown up, has a good imagination and loves balloons


Show ImageBubble Show with Milkshake and Dr BubbleCome see every bubble trick imaginable. Big, Small and sculpted bubbles, the bubble carousel, the square bubble, smoke bubbles, caterpillar bubbles, tight rope bubbles, the bubble blizzard, bubbles in bubbles and children in bubbles.


Show ImageScience MagicPrepare to enter the magical world of science. Forget Harry Potter, Dónal is the real wizard. He will show you how to put a skewer through a balloon without popping it, mix potions to create your very own volcano, set paper on fire without burning it, turn water upside-down without spilling it, conjure an invisible force to blow out a candle, make a cola bottle explode in a fountain and more.

Its a great way to catch some festival shows early before full festival hecticness begins…

BBC at the Edinburgh Festival 2016


It’s back, it’s one of my favourite places to be during the festival, it’s got pink and blue tents and it’s got a brand spanking new location at George Heriot’s School – it is of course the BBC at Edinburgh festivals. This is a brilliant place to head to with kids during the festival as they have free kids activities on every day and the space itself is always fun to explore with deckchairs, ping pong, a huge tv screen and various food stalls….

If you’ve read the blog before you will know how much I love this place and how much fantastic free stuff there is here every year for kids, this year is set to be no exception and their children’s activities and events are looking great…

On Sunday 14th August they have CBeebies presenter and author Cerrie Burnell and on Friday 26th August they have Steve Cole, bestselling author of Stop Those Monsters! and Magic Ink. Apply for tickets here.

Starting from Monday 8th August, there are daily craft and music activities for kids in the Castle tent, with Sparkle Arts appearing on Monday 8th, the RSPB doing activities on Tuesday 9th, Travelling Tales on Wednesday 10th, Caterpillar music on the Thursday 11th and Creative Crafts finishing off the first week on Friday the 12th !

Other highlights include:

BBC at the Edinburgh Festivals 2016Animal Magic on Saturday 20th August from 10am –Come along and meet Mork the huge python, say hi to Sui the Galah Cockatoo, or be brave and handle some creepy crawlies! Find out more here


Dynamic Earth: Dinosaur Explorers  – Wednesday 17th August      Want to hold some Triceratops horns? Or even some fossilised poo? This is the perfect activity for any budding paleontologists. Find out more

BBC at the Edinburgh Festivals 2016Dynamic Earth: Space Explorers  – Sunday 21st August  Come along and find out about life as an astronaut. Dress up as an astronaut, do some simulated astronaut training and get your picture taken on board the International Space Station using green screen technology. Find out more


So…lots to be starting off with and I am sure there will be plenty more announced during the festival too so keep an eye out on their facebook page for more regular information about events – they are very good at updating daily during the festival about what’s going on.

I’m very much looking forward to being back on the deck chairs hanging out in this space once again !!…