Easter holidays in Edinburgh: things to do with the kids

The Easter break has officially started, which for kids across Edinburgh means two weeks of blissful freedom and non-stop fun.

Monday, 8th April 2019, 2:52 pm
Updated Monday, 8th April 2019, 2:54 pm

If you’re a parent in need of some last-minute inspiration to help you keep your youngsters entertained for the next fortnight, read on.

Get seriously into science

Timed to coincide perfectly with the Easter break, Edinburgh will once again be inspiring young minds to create a better future for all of us, with the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

There are plenty of exciting events and attractions on around Edinburgh to keep children of all ages entertained over the Easter holidays.

Running from 6 to 21 April, the festival will include events across the city at venues, including the Scottish Parliament and the National Museum of Scotland. Its main base is the City Art Centre, which will be packed full of workshops, activities and adventures for children aged three and over.

Join an out-of-this-world mission in Mars Master Constructors, scrub-up and save lives in ER Surgery or create your own gooey, gloopy slime to test on the Splat-o-Metre in Splat-tastic. A day pass gives you access to drop-in activities and workshops, although some need to be booked in advance.

The full programme is available at https://www.sciencefestival.co.uk

Go to the theatre

In a world of endless movie screens and on-demand entertainment, the magic of the theatre is often overlooked, but thankfully Edinburgh is hosting the perfect show at the perfect time for parents and kids to rediscover why it is still so popular.

Matilda: The Musical has been adapted from Roald Dahl’s beloved book by comic and composer Tim Minchin, and will be performed at the Edinburgh Playhouse by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The tale of an extremely clever girl, who uses her extraordinary powers to free her classmates from the tyranny of sadistic headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, is sure to be a holiday highlight for everyone who see sit.

The show is at the Edinburgh Playhouse from 4 to 27 April. Performances start at 7.30pm and tickets are £15–£97.50.

Check out some amazing Lego

Edinburgh's own not-for-profit Lego display Edinbrick show returns to the Potterrow Dome, to display new models from builders from throughout Scotland and beyond, as well as offering build areas and activities.

All profits raised from this event will go to Fairy Bricks - a charity which brightens the lives of sick children through Lego.

The show is being held on 18 May, from 10.30am until 4pm, and tickets cost £3, while Under-5s are free.

Get hands-on at the farm

Gorgie City Farm is the perfect place for kids this Easter. The farm is offering activities for kids, including the Farmer’s Helpers holiday programme, for young people aged 8 to 13 which runs on weekdays throughout the school holidays, 10am to 12.30pm.

Farmer’s Helpers do real jobs across the farm such as gardening, mucking out stables, painting, feeding animals and grooming our goats, and you can book whole week or just one session, at a cost of £12 per session.

They are also offering a daily one-hour Animal Crackers event, for 5 to 7 year olds, from 2pm to 3pm, where children will have the chance to stroke and handle animals and find out about how to look after them. The cost is £6 per session.

Try to find signs of spring

This Easter the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is offering youngsters the chance to join the Botanics Bunny and some special friends on a spring quest through the Garden to find the first signs of spring. And for those that find them all, there will be a special Easter treat.

The trail will be held daily between 6 and 22 April, from 10am until 4.30pm, and costs £2. Entry to the garden is free. Booking is not required.

Have a wild day out in the heart of Edinburgh

There’s a wild adventure waiting for you at Holyrood Park, with RSPB Scotland and Historic Scotland holding a day of discovery for youngsters to learn more about the rugged landscape and the amazing wildlife of Holyrood Park.

Expect face painting, worm charming, minibeast hunts, a nature science lab and lots of other hands-on activities, so don’t miss the opportunity to discover your wild side at this drop-in family event taking place at the Holyrood Park Education Centre.

The event is free to attend and is being held on Saturday 13 April, from 10am

Get hands on with puppets

The 2019 Puppet Animation Festival is running throughout the Easter holidays, with events across Edinburgh giving youngsters the chance to learn about the art of puppetry, take part in puppet making workshops and watch performances of some incredibly creative shows.

Sure to be among the most popular events are the puppet making workshops, being held at various locations.

Full details of all the events can be found on the festival’s website here: https://puppetanimationfestival.org/

Join a cuddly corgi treasure hunt

To celebrate Easter the Royal Yacht Britannia have brought back their Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt - take the kids along to see one of the UK’s top visitor attractions and keep your eyes peeled for cuddly corgis hidden around the ship for the chance to win a prize.

The hunt is on from 4 to 30 April, and tickets for the The Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith, are £16.50 (Concessions/Students £14.50; Children £8.75).

Take a trip into the past

The Edinburgh Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile will be giving kids of today a glimpse into how their grandparents were raised.

The fascinating Bringing Up Baby exhibition features Paddi Pad disposable nappies invented by British mum, Valerie Hunter Gordon, in 1947, Kamella Baby Bag popular in the 1930’s and a charming selection of baby’s clothes, including home-made knits and a selection of clothes popular through the decades.

The exhibition runs from 4 April to 28 September, and the museum is open seven days a week between 10am and 5pm. Entry is free.

Get musical

The Easter Youth Gaitherin' will give young musicians the chance to come and take part in three days of workshops led by some of Scotland's finest traditional musicians. Each participant can choose from options, including fiddle, whistle, song and mixed instrument group work.

This event for 10 to 18 year olds is all about creativity, making friends through music and having fun. Over the three days, youngsters will work towards an exciting performance to showcase to family and friends on the final night.

This years ERG will be based at the Leith Theatre, and runs from Monday 8 to Wednesday 10 April. Places cost between £64.55 and £128.51.

Become a zoo hero

Edinburgh Zoo is celebrating Easter with a series of Zoo Hero workshops, giving youngsters the chance to make their very own animal - such as tigers, pandas and penguins - while learning how the zoo are helping real-life animals in the wild.

The workshops will guide kids through building a cuddly toy, choosing a heart and making a pact to play their part to protect wildlife all over the world.

Every Zoo Hero comes with a mini-enclosure pack, a birth certificate and a copy of the Zoo Hero Promise. The Workshops will run on select dates through April, with sessions at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, and cost £20. Entry to the zoo must be purchased separately.