Families at the Festivals

There is plenty of things to do in Edinburgh with kids - no matter what time of year you visit. At Edinburgh's Festivals, you’ll find endless opportunities. 


In April and May, you should check out the Edinburgh Science Festival and Edinburgh International Children's Festival. The Children's Festival delivers consistently great theatre experiences for children of all ages, even the very young. Meanwhile, the Science Festival presents a wonderful programme of interactive fun and learning for young and old. 


In the summer there’s loads to do, with a range of different festivals offering lots for little ones – here are our top tips for what to look out for:

  • Edinburgh International Film Festival – along with all the more serious and grown-up content at the festival, there’s always a range of great family-friendly material to take your kids to. And look out for open air afternoon screenings of kids’ favourites too!
  • Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival – Lots of lively fun music events to keep young ones entertained, plus don’t forget the Carnival Parade through the city centre with colour, noise and fun for all.
  • Edinburgh Art Festival– for ease of buggy access, the recently opened “Gardens Entrance” link between the Royal Scottish Academy and the Scottish National Gallery is hard to beat (as is their café!)
  • The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo - the spectacular splendour of the Tattoo will amaze and delight everyone in the family – though be sure to book well in advance as this is an incredibly popular event. 
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival – a fantastic programme of readings and author events for children of all ages – and don’t miss just hanging out in Charlotte Square Gardens too, a lovely spot to get some shade and do some people-watching before heading to your next event!
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe – nothing says Fringe more than having a wander down the High Street, checking out the musicians, acrobats and other street performers, gathering flyers from the hundreds being offered, and taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the city in full on festival mode!
  • Edinburgh International Festival – don’t miss the end-of-Festival fireworks concert which lights up the skies above the Castle while the Scottish Chamber Orchestra plays stirring and beautiful classical music in Princes Street Gardens below.


Introduce your children to the magic of storytelling with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival taking centre stage in October.  


And finally, there’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay - the capital's spectacular New Year celebration including a torchlight procession, Bairns Afore, when kids can experience their own 'midnight moment' and plenty of other family-friendly events.

That concludes our list of things to do in Edinburgh for families. Need help planning your trip and finding somewhere to stay? Get accommodation tips here and advice on getting around Edinburgh here

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