30th Science Festival visits 30+ venues

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Edinburgh International Science Festival celebrates its 30th edition this spring, with events at more than 30 fantastic venues.

Science Festival spots this year include two nuclear power stations, a pair of Old Town pubs, a grand stone tower overlooking the city, a converted airfield and many more. 

Major venues

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City Art Centre

Always a huge favourite at the Science Festival, the CAC will once again host six floors of family fun, with a huge range of hands on activities and experiences for the scientists of tomorrow to enjoy. 

A family pass for the centre will provide a full day of discovery, with lots of sticky goo, buried dinosaurs, robot construction and more. And there's even a special one-night-only chance for adults to have a go at everything without the kids around!

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National Museum of Scotland

With over 2.2 million visitors in 2017, Scotland's most popular visitor attraction is a must see for any visitor to Edinburgh - and when it's the Science Festival that's even truer. 

More than 50 different Festival events and exhibitions will be happening at the museum, including activities like coding for kids, making monsters, and mixing potions, as well as discussions on the likes of Dark Matter, climate politics, and healthy eating

There are also live shows covering chemistry, comedy, and the science of superheroes and amazing exhibitions of wildlife photography and the nature of existence itself.

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The former location of Edinburgh University's renowned School of Veterinary Studies, Summerhall is now one of Edinburgh's key cultural venues hosting events throughout the year, including for a number of the city's major festivals. 

During the Science Festival, visitors to Summerhall have the chance to catch over 120 events including a celebratory discussion of women in astronomy, an insight into brewing and a series of 'very short introductions to...' subjects including blood, cancer, mammals, materials, measurement, oceans, the immune systemwater and perception

There are also discussions of superstition, the legacy of Frankenstein, and space travel, and shows for young and old covering what it's like to be eaten by a lion, a musical alphabet of animals, and a lie-busting panel game.

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Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

These stunning gardens in the north of Edinburgh are a treat to visit at any time, and with the Science Festival in residence there's even more to enjoy with 15 great events. 

Look out for a specially-built amphitheatre constructed from discarded pianos, find out more about the project, or even help make it happen through a unique fundraising event in the already-built venue. 

There are also workshops on the nature of food and making musical instruments, plus shows about the importance of bees and what happens when you take a piano to pieces live on stage.

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RZSS Edinburgh Zoo

The fifteen events at Edinburgh's 82-acre Zoo, are unsurprisingly animal-based, with opportunities to learn about pandas and birds and their eggs

Beyond our furry (scaly, feathered...) friends though, there's a discussion on the importance of bilingualism, a look at how the zoo is using virtual and augmented reality and a chance to take a guided morning tour of the Zoo's gardens before they open to the public.

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Dynamic Earth

Lying just off the foot of the Royal Mile in the shadow of the stunning Salisbury Crags, Dynamic Earth is a fantastic visitor attraction featuring numerous interactive and immersive exhibitions - a perfect place then for more Science Festival fun. 

Using the venue's excellent planetarium there's a chance to view the wonders of the cosmos during the day as part of a regular visit, plus special evening double-bills suitable for ages 5 and up. 

Visitors can also Meet the Scientists in subjects like forests, oceans and the Arctic, enjoy an outdoor nature detective trail or help complete The Lost Poem of Dynamic Earth

Other venues

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Beyond the big six above, the Science Festival visits a huge range of other locations for special unique events, including the chance to: 

And there's loads more across the city, with many other venues including: 

  • National Library of Scotland
  • Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
  • Stills Gallery
  • Holyrood Park
  • Holyrood Park Education Centre
  • George Square Theatre
  • Mound Precinct
  • Oriam, Scotland's National Performance Centre for Sport
  • National Museums Collection Centre
  • Royal College of Physicians
  • Patrick Geddes Centre
  • St Giles Cathedral
  • Scottish Storytelling Centre
  • Playfair Library
  • Edinburgh Printmakers
  • Jubilee Gardens, Stockbridge
  • Water of Leith Visitor Centre
  • Wild About Scotland Bus, North Edinburgh Arts
  • North Edinburgh Arts
  • City Chambers
  • Surgeons' Hall Museums
  • Pleasance Sports Complex (for Holyrood Park) 

So for two weeks in March and April, visitors can wander across Edinburgh and find themselves surrounded by fun, fascination and fantastic science-based entertainment. Start planning your trip now! 

Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from 31 March to 15 April - find out more about what's happening at sciencefestival.co.uk/

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