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Enjoy a family fun day out at the Fringe

This article is from 2018

Enjoy a family fun day out at the Fringe

Brainiac Live!

Grab a bite to eat, chill out at the Circus Hub and catch a world-class show

Planning a day out at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe can be a daunting task – with a massive 3,548 shows in 317 venues across an entire city, you may not know where to start. Add kids into that equation and it can feel like mission impossible. However, a family-friendly day out at the Fringe doesn't have to be stressful for you this year as we've planned out the perfect day for anyone who hopes to visit with their full crew. From where to eat, to what shows are kid-appropriate, and where to go in-between the shows, we've got you and your little ones covered.


Hangry kids are what every parent wants to avoid at all costs to ensure a successful day out. Finding somewhere to eat that is suitable for kids can be tricky at the best of times, but in Edinburgh during the Fringe, when the population swells, it can be particularly hard. If you need a lot of space for buggies, bags or just kids who like to encroach on others' space, then Vittoria on the Bridge is the ideal place to go. The local Italian is situated in the heart of Edinburgh where all the Fringe action happens and offers a fantastic kids menu with lots of choice for fussy eaters. If you find yourself nearer the Scottish Parliament and Dynamic Earth, head to Hemma, a family-friendly haven during the day which serves up Swedish food, like smörgåsbord platters, alongside yummy cakes and brunches. Head to @pizza if you find yourself out of the centre in Edinburgh's west end. Their concept is an interesting one, giving diners the chance to construct their own pizza which will no doubt keep the kids busy while letting them have some creative, messy fun.

Enjoy a family fun day out at the Fringe


Hang-out spots

Spending the whole day out-and-about in Edinburgh during the festival can be tiring for little legs (and big ones), so it's good to know where you can stop to relax between shows. Check out Underbelly's massive upside-down purple cow that takes residence in George Square. The area is a haven of bars and food stalls so you can laze around and take in the atmosphere with a drink. The Circus Hub is another area where you can chill with the fam, the nearby Meadows are ideal for enjoying the outdoors (weather permitting) and there is also a playground where kids can blow off some steam. If you want to kill some time, but like to do that while being busy, street performers are a staple of the Edinburgh Fringe. Lining the High Street and Mound, hundreds of artists strut their stuff daily. Meander from one to the other and see the amazement in your kids' eyes while the time slips by.

Enjoy a family fun day out at the Fringe

Circa: Wolfgang / credit: Damien Bredberg


The highlight of your day-out in Edinburgh will undoubtedly be the world-class shows that you see. Finding out which shows are suitable for the kids at the Fringe can be hard, especially when you want to make sure it also keeps the adults entertained. The folks over at Underbelly have recognised just that and provide a great selection of family-friendly shows that even the adults can enjoy. Circa: Wolfgang fuses together the arts of circus and music with Wolfgang Mozart reinventing his classical masterpieces with a circus twist. The kids will laugh out loud at the cheeky acrobats and silly fumbling humour. The Splash Test Dummies also bring a side-splitting show with the dummies embarking on a water-filled circus adventure. Expect stunt work, acrobatics, juggling and belly laughs as the dummies get wet and wild. 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Brainiac Live! at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The daring live science studio presents crazy experiments (that are not to be tried at home) and the cool, weird mysteries of science.


If you're not from Edinburgh or don't visit regularly you may want to take the opportunity to check out some attractions. The National Museum of Scotland is free to enter (special exhibits have an entry fee) and offers a number of galleries and events specifically for children. Another free museum where families are welcome is the Museum of Childhood. It is the first museum in the world dedicated to childhood and you can learn all about toys of the past and how children grew up through time. Finally, Dynamic Earth, the top visitor attraction in Edinburgh, is a must-see. It's centred around the big-bang and educating people on how this moment shaped the earth we live in. The building's location beside the Scottish Parliament and Arthur's Seat means you can also take in other important Edinburgh landmarks at the same time.

Enjoy a family fun day out at the Fringe

credit: Peter Dibdin

A @pizza
4 Charlotte Lane, Edinburgh, EH2 4QZ
An imaginative concept where diners can create their own pizzas for takeaway or eating on the premises.
B Vittoria on the Bridge
19 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EN
Bustling city-centre venue with a loyal, friendly staff serving Italian classics made from quality ingredients.
C Underbelly Circus Hub
Middle Meadow Walk, Edinburgh, EH9 9EX
D National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
In its landmark building, occupying more than half of Chambers Street, the National Museum of Scotland was formerly two different museums – the Royal Museum, built in 1861, and the more modern Museum of Scotland, completed in 1998. The facilities were…
E Underbelly George Square
George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL
F Museum of Childhood
42 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1TG
The Museum of Childhood situated on the iconic Royal Mile showcases a rich and nostalgic collection of toys, clothes and memorabilia from the last century, spread over three floors. The first museum in the world dedicated to the history of childhood, it…
G Hemma
75 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AU
Hearty and heartfelt, Hemma’s Swedish-inspired dishes warm the bones on even the coldest of Nordic evenings.
H Dynamic Earth
Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS
Located directly between the Scottish Parliament Building and Arthur’s Seat, Dynamic Earth presents a linear journey through the creation of the Earth, from the Big Bang to the present day. Exhibitions make use of sounds, smell and visuals to make the…


1. Gavin Pringle26 Jul 2018, 3:20pm Report

I can also recommend Eaten, a family show at the Storytelling Centre, on the Royal Mile, which is about eating and being eaten! It was nominated for best family show by CATS.

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