Festival of Museums: Steampunk ceilidhs, human anatomy and pirate adventures

Children and grownups across the city are set to enjoy the Festival of MuseumsChildren and grownups across the city are set to enjoy the Festival of Museums
Children and grownups across the city are set to enjoy the Festival of Museums
As the festival celebrating places collecting keepsakes hits ten we preview an equal number of fascinating events this weekend

IT is the showcase designed to celebrate the sites and venues which make Edinburgh one of world’s leading cultural locations.

Now, in its tenth anniversary year, the Festival of Museums is offering workshops, displays and activities, including tea party dancing tours and anatomy exhibits.

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Organisers are keen to build on the event’s growth over the past decade, which featured highlights including what is thought to be the world’s first Steampunk Ceilidh in Surgeon’s Hall.

And, seeking to reflect the full range of artistic and social activity in Scotland, the festival has even ventured into the agricultural sphere.

2014 saw baby lambs make a guest appearance during a special event at Tweeddale Museum in Peebles, sparking joy and excitement among children and parents in attendance.

Festival planners are hopeful of seeing a record turn-out across the Capital and surrounding regions over the course of this weekend. And they say the cultural extravaganza will help highlight the diverse range of attractions available locally, boosting prospects for future growth.

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Joanne Orr, chief executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “This is the tenth anniversary of Festival of Museums and it’s looking like one of our best yet.

“There’s a fantastic line-up of events taking place across Edinburgh and Lothians that will ignite the imagination.” She added: “We hope that the events encourage people to look afresh at what their local museums have to offer – not just this weekend but also throughout the year.”

Here are ten events in Ediinburgh that are well worth seeing this weekend:

1. Adventures in Human Being at Anatomy Lecture Theatre, University of Edinburgh

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Perfect for biology fans out there, Adventures in Human Being is a unique exhibition where visitors can explore the human body up close with the university’s globally renowned anatomy collections.

• Sunday 2.30pm-3.30pm

2. Adventure Ahoy! Pirate Storytelling at Anatomy Lecture Theatre, University of Edinburgh

Bringing stories of historic pirate crusades to life, The Festival of Museums will be hosting an adventure complete with storytellers. Sailing the seas through stories, rhymes and craft, this exhibition is suitable for those aged between three and six.

• Tomorrow 11am-12.30pm

3. A Vintage Tea Dance at the Museum of Edinburgh

Afternoon tea with a side of traditional dancing, accompanied by the Ugly Bug Ragtime Band, this event is sure to be a hit with all the family. And, if dancers can’t keep in time with the music after all the tea and cake, the Fly Right Dance Company will be there to keep them in check.

• Today 2pm- 4pm

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4. We’re Not in Kirkcaldy Anymore: Scottish Adventures in Medicine, University of Edinburgh Anatomical Museum, Teviot Place

Those working in the medical field will enjoy this unique event, which dives into the history of the Capital’s medical heritage. The exhibition highlights the evolving world of medicine and how treatments for illness have changed over the years.

• Tomorrow 12.30pm-1.30pm

5. A Magical Fancy Dress Party, Museum of Childhood

Showcasing popular toys throughout history, this lively exhibition includes activities such as magic, art and storytelling. And it’s not just children who can join in the fun – all family members are encouraged to come in fancy dress.

• Today, 1pm-3.30pm

6. Architectural drawing with the Edinburgh Sketcher at the Royal College of Surgeons

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This event will take place in the historic buildings of the Royal College of Surgeons, and features classes with the Edinburgh Sketcher, whose work features in the Evening News weekly.

• Tomorrow 1.30pm-3.30pm

7. Joan Eardley: A Private View at the Scottish National Gallery

Visitors are invited to watch a preview performance of a new play based on the life of artist Joan Eardley. Playwright Anna Carlisle and director Marilyn Imrie will be hosting a question and answer session on the play, and will also be discussing its production.

• Today and tomorrow 6.30pm-7.30pm

8. John Muir’s Dunbar in Lego, John Muir’s Birthplace, High Street, Dunbar

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A family event focusing on John Muir and his childhood in Dunbar, East Lothian, the event aims to bring his adventures to life through the use of Lego. Using historic images from Muir’s book, The Story of my Boyhood and Youth, to inspire the Lego creations, this event will be a hit with kids aged five and upwards.

• Today at 10.15am, 11.30am, 2.15pm and 3.30pm

9. An Adventure at the Reid Concert Hall

In a workshop led by Jared Taylor, director of Edinburgh College of Art’s animation programme, visitors will learn about creating animation with a camera, images and a record player. They will then be able to watch their creations come to life on the big screen.

• Today 3pm-5pm.

10. A Secret Garden at Lauriston Castle

Visitors are invited to step into a world of mystery, magic and fairies with this unique event based at Lauriston Castle. The tour includes a sneak peak into the magical gardens and woodland that surrounds the castle.

• Today 11am-2pm