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5 Great Things To Do With Kids During The Edinburgh Festival

As exciting as the month of August is for Edinburgh, knowing how to entertain the troops during the festival can be difficult. You want to make great memories with the little ones but that’s often easier said than done. Which children’s shows are the best? Are there any suitable activities for the whole family? And where do you escape to when the crowds become a bit too much to handle?

Fun For The Whole Family

Edinburgh’s festivals aren’t just about comedy shows for adults – there’s also a whole host of varied performances and activities for children of all ages. And when we say all ages we mean everything from toddlers to teenagers! The key here is planning – and that’s where we can (hopefully) help.

As well as entertainment, there are many fun children’s activities taking place in different areas of the city. From theatre and magic to hands-on activities and special museum exhibitions, we’re sure you’ll find many ways to entertain your wee ones this August. So keep reading to discover our top tips for things to do with kids this festival season!

1. The Amazing Bubble Man

Photo: The Amazing Bubble Man

Bubbleologist (it’s a thing!) Louis Pearl has been thrilling audiences worldwide with his amazing bubble tricks for over 30 years. Art, magic, and science come together in this hourlong show, with the humble bubble taking centre-stage. Combining comedy and artistry, The Amazing Bubble Man lives up to his name with spellbinding tricks that will captivate you from start to finish. For anyone who doubts that bubbles can fill an hour of stage time, you will be pleasantly surprised…

Where: George Square (Underbelly)

When: 1st – 26th August – 1.15pm daily

How much: From £11.80

Suitability: 2+

Duration: 60 min

Purchase tickets to The Amazing Bubble Man here.

2. Baby Loves Disco

Photo: Baby Loves Disco

#babylovesfringe at Baby Loves Disco – a festival sell-out for ten years running! In a safe environment created to be the best of both worlds, parents can sit back with a drink and some proper music, mixed by the DJs at the legendary Jam House, while the little ones let loose on the dance floor amid bubbles and balloons. With face-painting, a selfie-booth, craft zones, and healthy snacks included in the ticket price, it’s the ideal event for any family with young children. There’s even a chill-out zone to escape to during those inevitable meltdowns!

Where: The Jam House

When: 10th, 11th, 18th, 24th and 25th August – 11am and 2pm

How much: From £7

Suitability: 1+ (Note buggies are not permitted inside but can be stored in the entrance area)

Duration: 2 hours

Purchase tickets to Baby Loves Disco here.

3. The Edinburgh International Book Festival

Photo: Edinburgh International Book Festival

Enjoy a family day out at the world’s largest public book event with an inspiring programme, including over 200 children’s events! From toddlers to teenagers, there’s something for all ages at this year’s book festival. Meet your favourite author, illustrator or literary hero on stage, attend a storytelling session, or draw and create at the Story Box – open daily from 11am-4.30pm. Afterwards, why not browse the bookshop or enjoy a treat at one of the many festival cafés or food stalls. Or, simply relax on the grass and enjoy the sunshine and lively atmosphere. The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the ideal family day out!

Where: Charlotte Square and George Street

When: 10th – 26th August – open daily from 9:30am until late

How much: Entry to the Book Festival Village is free and events start at varying price points

Suitability: All ages

Duration: Varying depending on the event

View the full EIBF children’s programme here.

4. Edinburgh Zoo

Photo: Edinburgh Zoo

Though it may not be the obvious choice during the festival, Edinburgh Zoo is the perfect place to escape to when your kids have grown weary of the festival crowds. Conveniently placed at the outskirts of the city and easily accessible by public transportation, the zoo is home to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals, housed in over 82 acres of land. It’s not just fun for the kids, but grown-ups love it, too! There are daily talks and workshops, plenty of food and drink available, and you could literally spend hours marvelling at the adorable penguins in their huge enclosure!

This summer the zoo is housing the world’s largest collection of LEGO-built ocean wildlife, where you can see over 30 life-sized sculptures made out of over one million LEGO bricks! There’s a killer whale, a giant squid, sea turtles, and much more. These amazing sculptures form a trail around the site, adding another dimension to the zoo-going experience.

Read more about the Edinburgh Zoo in our post: 7 reasons you’ll visit Edinburgh Zoo and never forget the experience!

Where: Edinburgh Zoo, Corstorphine

When: Open every day – 10am-6pm

How much: Tickets start from £9.95 and entry is free for children under 3 (purchase your tickets online for a discounted rate!)

Suitability: All ages

Visit Edinburgh Zoo’s website here for more info.

5. Free Fringe Music at the National Museum of Scotland

Photo: National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum is a great place to escape to when you’ve run out of ideas for entertaining the kids! Not to mention, it’s been voted one of the best days out in the UK several times. Once inside, your wee ones can safely roam free while checking out their favourite hands-on exhibition or attending one of the museums many children’s events.

This August the museum is hosting free drop-in musical performances, every day at 2 o’clock. Some of Scotland’s best up-and-coming musicians will perform live music from a variety of genres and cultures, with sessions lasting around 45 minutes. It’s the ideal opportunity to take a moment out of your busy day to sit back and unwind with some music.

Where: National Museum of Scotland

When: 3rd – 25th August – 2pm daily

How much: Free (drop-in)

Suitability: All ages

Duration: Approx. 45 minutes

Visit the National Museum’s website for more info.

Visiting Edinburgh with family this year?
We have a home away from home waiting for you!

With a wide range of family-friendly homes available to let, Dickins has the perfect holiday home for family’s travelling with small children. We also wrote a blog post recently on what makes Edinburgh such a brilliant city to visit with children, with suggestions for places to stay and things to do. You can read it here.

View more of our family-friendly homes here.

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