Enjoy a family day at the festivals

A photo from the Edinburgh International Book Festival of two women, one boy and one girl, posing for a photo with author and actor Mackenzie Crook

Whether you've got an exuberant little one or a too-cool-for-school teenager, Edinburgh's Festivals have thousands of activities to keep the whole family happy this August. Their only complaint might be that they ever have to go to bed!

A photo from the Edinburgh International Book Festival in which a small boy sits on an oversized seat, reading a book, while another child plays underneath a similar seat

Rise early and start your family festivals day with a morning at the Book Festival. The festival has a huge and very highly regarded children's programme, with events for all ages including author events, storytelling sessions, creative writing workshops, panel discussions, and book signings - ideal for helping open young minds to the wonderful world of literature.

Photo of a boy jumping happily off play apparatus while other children play behind him, at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art's Surreal Adventures play area

After lunch, keep the kids creative with Edinburgh Art Festival who have some great options for smaller art lovers - check out the Surreal Adventures play area (pictured) at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, or head to the Dazzle Hub in Leith to let them become dazzle designers!

A photo of a little girl smiling at the camera, while behind her we see the Fringe crowds of the Royal Mile

Want to wow them next? Check out the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the afternoon, where there are hundreds of shows suitable for families including Shakespeare for kids, circus schools, fairy tale plays, music classes, and much more. Or, if the Fringe shows themselves prove a little overwhelming, take a step back and just enjoy the outdoor opportunities. Wandering up the Royal Mile (pictured), down Middle Meadow Walk or through the University of Edinburgh's main campus will let them see an eclectic mix of street acts. 

A heavily edited photo showing a figure walking towards the camera up one of Edinburgh's closes. The picture is in black and white and is inverted to create a creepy effect
As night time creeps in, take advantage of Edinburgh's reputation for spooky happenings and ghostly goings on! Use our guide to explore some of the most haunted venues like the International Festival's Playhouse and then win the parent of the year award by spooking them with some brilliant ghost stories of your own (and if they're really good, enter them in the Storytelling Festival's ghost story competition!)


A photo of a group of people looking down across Edinburgh at night from Arthur's Seat

And then end your evening on a high by watching the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo fireworks as they close the show every weeknight at around 10.30pm, or 9pm and midnight on a Saturday. Climb Arthur's Seat (pictured) or Calton Hill with a flask of hot chocolate and even the sulkiest teenagers will surely be impressed!

See also: our guide to bringing very young children to the festivals.

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