30 great things to do in April

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From Easter egg hunts and Science Festival fun to terrifying animatronic dinosaurs and the slightly less frightening Gary Barlow in concert there’s lots to see and do in Edinburgh this month. Here are 30 suggestions to make your April a month to remember . . .

April 1

There are lots of Easter egg hunts to kick off April

There are lots of Easter egg hunts to kick off April

Easter Egg Hunt

Newhailes House hosts an Easter Egg Hunt in collaboration with a certain purple-happy chocolate company. Become a nature detective as you follow the clues to sugary satisfaction (best enjoyed as part of an active lifestyle blah blah). The fun runs from 11am-4pm, £3 per child.

April 1

Miracle Brew

Jurassic Kingdom has roared into life at Lauriston Castle

Jurassic Kingdom has roared into life at Lauriston Castle

Take your seat at the Summerhall bar with beer writer Pete Brown for a flight of beers that will tell the incredible story of the most popular alcoholic drink in the world. 8-9.30pm, tickets £10/£12.50.

April 1

Justin’s Band

Join CBeebies star Justin Fletcher and his friends when his brand new show Justin’s Band comes to Edinburgh Playhouse, 11am and 3pm, tickets from £16.90 (plus a whacking £4 transaction fee)!

Justin Fletcher's show will be a treat for little ones

Justin Fletcher's show will be a treat for little ones

April 1-2

Easter Eggsplorer Trail

Historic Environment Scotland’s Easter Eggsplorer trails return for another year. Visit Craigmillar Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Dirleton Castle, Tantallon Castle or Blackness Castle to see if you can find all of the clues and complete the challenge. The event is included in the normal admission price. Free for Historic Scotland members.

April 1, 4 and 5

Gary Barlow is doing two nights at the Playhouse

Gary Barlow is doing two nights at the Playhouse

Primates Stall

Find out how zoos manage what the animals in their collections eat. Take part in activities organised by the RZSS keepers that look after the diet of Edinburgh Zoo’s primates. 11am-3pm, drop-in, included in admission.

April 1-14

ER Surgery

Be a (very) junior ‘doctor’ in the ER and help diagnose your ‘patient’, before performing life-saving surgery on the knee, abdomen and brain. Ages 8-plus, 10am-4pm, with City Art Centre day pass.

April 1-15

Jurassic Kingdom

Lauriston Castle is home to the terrifying reptiles of Jurassic Kingdom for two weeks. Family ticket £44

April 1-16

Easter Eggcitement

Spring is in the air and there’s new life on the Almond Valley Farm so grab your clue sheet, sharpen your pencil, and collect the clues on the springtime trail. And keep a look out for the hidden eggs that might win you a prize.

April 1-29

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

More than 100 images from this prestigious contest are on show at the National Museum of Scotland. Open 10am-5pm, tickets £8 (concessions £6, under-16s free).

April 1-30

Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt

Come and spot the cuddly corgis hiding around Britannia at Ocean Terminal. Clarence the corgi is back and the whole family can join in so keep a look out and, at the end of your tour, receive a badge and enter a prize draw. 10am-4pm, family tickets £45.

April 1-22

Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour of India

The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse hosts treasures given to the Prince of Wales when he set off on a four-month tour of the Indian Subcontinent in In October 1875. 9-30am-6pm, £7.

April 1-30

A New Era: Scottish Modern Art 1900-1950

This show reveals the remarkable yet relatively unknown response by Scottish artists to the development of modern art in the first half of the 20th century. More than 100 paintings, sculptures and works on paper by over 50 artists are on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. 10am-5pm, £10.

April 1-30

When We Were Young: Photographs of Childhood

Using photographs from the permanent collection of the National Galleries of Scotland, When We Were Young explores not only how the experience of childhood has changed over the years, but also how the portrayal of children has shifted too. Free, 10am-5pm.

April 2

Spaceflight on a Shoestring

Join science presenter Neil Monteiro and experts from the Scottish space industry to discover how and why space travel will get cheaper. Summerhall, 8-9.30pm, tickets from £6.50.

April 2

Easter Escapades

Fort Douglas at Dalkeith Country park offers a host of egg-citing activities, including facepainting, egg rolling and the egg and spoon race, free, 10am-4pm.

April 2-4

Meet the Pandas

The world is fascinated by giant pandas! Learn more about them in Edinburgh Zoo’s Beyond the Panda workshops. 11am-3.30pm, with admission.

April 2-6

Easter Studio

Pop along to the The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for some Easter family activities! 2-4pm, free.

April 2-3

Nature Detectives

For thousands of years, Holyrood Park has been home to a rich variety of wildlife. Take a walk on the wild side to discover creatures past and present who have made their home here, explore unique habitats and learn all about this special ecosystem with the Dynamic Earth Learning Team. Meet at Dynamic Earth. Wear sturdy shoes and bring waterproofs for this outdoor event. 10am-1.30pm, free.

April 2-18

Wildgenes Lab

Learn about what happens in the Edinburgh Zoo WildGenes Lab and make your own DNA origami! It’s at Edinburgh Zoo, included in admission. 11am-3pm, free.

April 3

Arthur’s Secrets

Come along on a guided walk to learn more about the turbulent past of Arthur’s Seat. Find out about the people who lived and worked in the Park from 7000 years ago up until the present day and learn more about the rare wildlife that makes the Park so special. 1-3pm, free.

April 3

Poet Explorers

The Scottish Poetry Library invites all keen explorers to embark on a science poetry adventure. Complete the “lost poem of Dynamic Earth” as you travel through time in the exhibition by assembling words hidden within the galleries. 4pm, with admission.

April 3

Minibeasts with Jess French

Join CBeebies presenter Dr Jess French as she explores everything from bird-eating tarantulas and glow-in-the-dark scorpions to metre-long stick insects and more! Summerhall, 3-4pm, £6.

April 3

Cheeseology 3.0

Come along to Summerhall for a tutored tasting journey on the technologies used to produce cheese in its many delicious varieties, 8pm-9.30pm, £15.

April 3-5

Easter Youth Gaitherin’

The Easter Youth Gaitherin’ moves this year to the Music Box at Edinburgh College (Sighthill Campus). The classes for 9-18 year-olds will include mixed instrument group work, fiddle, flute & whistle, guitar, song, drama, and keyboard. 9am-8pm, £100 (concessions available).

April 3-5

Double Dome Nights

Dynamic Earth unleashes its legendary 360 degree dome screen for a pairing of 30-minute films for all the family, 6-7pm, £5/£8.

April 4-8

Valentina’s Galaxy

Join award-winning theatre company Frozen Charlotte for Valentina’s Galaxy – an intergalactic inspiration for starry-eyed 2-5 year olds and their adults. Summerhall, 10am-1.30pm, from £5.

April 10-14

A Play, A Pie and A Pint: Rachel’s Cousins

Fancy a lunchtime play? Rachel is a successful woman and, frankly, a bit of a snob. She wants nothing to do with her mother’s side of the family, whom she thinks of as a reckless bunch of benefit cheats. But when Rachel discovers she is at risk of breast cancer, she feels duty bound to let her cousins know. She didn’t mean to let them into her life but they come barging in anyway, and shake up her tidy life. Traverse Theatre, 1pm and (13th only) 7pm, £13.50.

April 10-14

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde

Phil Daniels stars as the extraordinary Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in this adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic gothic thriller. Go along to see how they pronounce ‘Jekyll’... King’s Theatre, 7.30pm Matinees Wed & Sat 2.30pm, tickets from £18.

April 16-17

Gary Barlow in Concert

The Take That takes to the Edinburgh Playhouse stage, 6.30pm (he must like an early night…), tickets from £40.15.

April 24

Anna Morris: Bitchelors

The award-winning character comedian Anna Morris presents her critically acclaimed Edinburgh sell-out show Bitchelors at The Stand, 8.30pm, £12.