The best shows for kids at the 2021 Edinburgh Festival

There’s plenty for little ones to ejoy in Edinburgh this summer.

With the Fringe, Pleasance and Assembly Festivals all taking place, expect an array of plays, performances and pantomimes to entertain the whole family.

From mind-boggling magic shows to Shakespeare as you’ve never seen it performed before, here are the ones to watch.

The Big Birthday Show With Magic Gareth

If anyone missed out on a birthday party – or any other kind of celebration – because of Covid, this is a great chance to catch up on some fun. Expect all sorts of impressive balloon-twisting, tricks, games and other nonsense.

Best for over-fives.

Until Sunday, Cabaret Bar, Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance Festival

The Garden of Delight

Follow Tumshie, the jester, on a quest around the enchanting gardens in this award-winning, interactive promenade performance with music and songs.

You’ll encounter good and evil magical creatures while learning how important it is to care for the planet’s ecology before it’s too late.

Best for four-to-tens.

Until Aug 29 (not 21-23, 26), Duddingston Kirk Manse Gardens, Edinburgh Fringe

Meet Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking

Olivier Award-nominated Wizard Presents is in Edinburgh with a lovely solo show performed by storyteller Sofie Miller.

It’s all about the fearless nine-year-old Pippi Longstocking, who moves to a new home with her monkey and horse, but no parents, and no rules. It’s going to be chaos, right? Best for over-fours.

Until Aug 29 (not 23/24), Rear Courtyard, Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance Festival

Rapunzel

Did you and your family miss out on a pantomime last year (and the year before)?

In this highly relatable story in which our heroine is stuck in a tower and not allowed to see anyone, help comes in the form of Dam Donuts, Ramsbottom, a talking skunk and, of course, the audience.

Expect lots of interaction, music, dancing and fun.

Until Aug 26, MultiStory

You Choose

You’ve heard of choose-your-own-adventure books, but have you ever been involved in a live version of one?

Based on the book by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt (of Daisy fame), this show from Nonsense Room Productions, who brought you Shark in the Park and Hairy Maclary, involves a series of games and challenges, with different characters, locations and costumes each time.

Until Sunday, Palais Du Variete, Assembly George Square, Assembly Festival

Elliot Bibby: Leftover Lunch

This award-winning Scottish performer is here on a mission to reveal the magic to be found in an everyday lunchbox.

He’s got loads of experience of astounding adults as well as kids, and this promises to be a funny and engaging magic show for all ages.

Aug 27-29, Palais Du Variete, Assembly George Square, Assembly Festival

The Circus Sonas Family Show

The father-and-son act with quite possibly the biggest beards in the business (careful with those flames, guys) hit town with their family-friendly show.

Martin and Logy, from Northern Ireland, are masters at keeping kids gasping and laughing with their well-rehearsed juggling, catching, throwing and various other things you shouldn’t try at home.

Sun-Tue, The Ballroom, The Ballroom – The Counting House, Edinburgh Fringe

Bicycle Boy

Young Sam has 24 hours to clear out his grandfather’s old bike workshop, and the old man seems to have left him a present somewhere.

Sam needs to generate some electricity in order to solve the clues, and guess where that power is going to come from?

Wheels! This is a popular outdoor, eco-powered musical that explores themes of sustainability.

Aug 27-29, MultiStory

Something in the Water – For Kids! Online

Not all children see themselves in Barbies or GI Joes. Grumms certainly doesn’t, preferring to escape in their superhero comic books.

But one day they transform into a horrible squid monster and need to hide their secret identity and disguise themselves as a ‘normal human woman’. This online show is best for over-eights.

Until Aug 30, Assembly Showcatcher, Assembly Festival

A Rubbish Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Rubbish Shakespeare Company are great at bringing the Bard’s plays alive for kids.

Using some very simple props (including, perhaps, some Super Soakers) and the most basic of costumes, these four goofballs tell the tale of potions, love and involuntary shapeshifting.

It’s best for over-fours.

Wed-Aug 29, Rear Courtyard, Pleasance, Pleasance Festival

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