Family guide to Edinburgh Fringe

Happy 70th Birthday to the Fringe

With over 250 venues across the city centre, Edinburgh Fringe is by far the world’s largest arts festival and a fabulous treat for the whole family 4th – 28th August.

The Fringe – as it’s usually referred to – is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year so that is reason alone to go and check out the amazing events, theatre, comedy, street art and more that makes the Fringe the most remarkable of art festivals this August.

kids at festival

Planning is key!

If you have a week or just a day, the best place to find suitable shows, organise your day and buy tickets is on the official Edinburgh Fringe website or download the Fringe App. 

Here you can search title, venue, date, category of show and find out what is happening. With so much going on across the city, it is definitely advisable to book tickets in advance to save frustrating queues.

There are two different ways to buy tickets; either from the Fringe central box office or from the venue hosting the performance. Worth a bit of planing and the official website has all details on tickets here.

When shows are selected, it’s a good idea to check locations are not too far apart. Parts of Edinburgh are very crowded, parts are very hilly so don’t underestimate the time it takes to walk from one venue to another. That said, Edinburgh has an above average number of great, independent coffee shops and lovely places to eat and many ice cream shops, so there are always treats to encourage tired feet.

More on shows and tickets…

girl playing at Edinburgh Fringe

Free show preview on the Royal Mile

Once in Edinburgh the most exciting street to head for is the Royal Mile, a cobbled pedestrian stretch packed daily with entertainers touting their shows in many different guises, FREE show previews, amazing street performers. Expect this to be very crowded but highly entertaining!

Children and the Fringe

Entertainment at the Edinburgh Fringe for children is fantastic and from around midday onward there is a daily programme of children’s shows, theatre, magic and dance. Shows tend to be about an hour or so in length so perfect for fidgety kids and ideal for packing as much into a day as possible.

Here is a selection of favourites recommended to see.

Must-see new take on Jungle Book

The hugely talented Aquila theatre troupe are performing Rudyard Kipling’s classic story Jungle Book, giving it a contemporary urban jungle theme.

Running from 7th – 12th August at SpaceTriplex, this is a must-see take on an incredible tale of friendship and survival. More…

kids performing play

David Walliams’ ‘The First Hippo on the Moon’

Children’s theatre company Les Petits performs the wonderful ‘The First Hippo on the Moon’ featuring puppets and music with typical Walliams-esque mayhem.

Suitable for three year-olds and up, the show provides an uproarious escapade as Sheila the Hippo competes with the fabulously wealthy Hercules Waldorf-Franklin III to be the first hippo to land on the moon. More…

David Walliams and hippo on the moon

Book early for Baby Loves Disco

The idea of Baby Loves Disco is to create an environment that is safe, different and a funky alternative to entertainment for young kids. It’s the best of both worlds… parents can chill and socialise with a cocktail and listen to some proper music while the kids go crazy on the dance floor!

It has been a sell-out success for the last eight years at the Fringe and this year’s Jam House is set to be the same with club DJs mixing retro music  along with your requests via the Twitter wall #babylovesfringeMore…

girls disco dancing

If you need a break from the Fringe or would like to do more exploring of Scotland’s capital city, there are some great attractions to visit and below in the carousel is a section of the best. Also, click here to search for more ideas.