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Misadventures in Wonderland: Edinburgh International Science Festival

24 Apr 2014

Our intrepid columnist Alice makes slime, touches a heart and makes giant bubbles

What is the Science Festival? It's packed full of activities to learn about our bodies. I went to the City Art Centre but there's other bits scattered about. It's, and I'm sorry if this causes offence, a lot more glossy than I thought it would be. It…

WATCH: The hilarious teaser trailer for Aardman's Shaun the Sheep movie

3 Apr 2014

The scene-stealing sheep from Wallace and Gromit is set for his own big-screen adventure

A teaser trailer for Aardman Animation's Shaun the Sheep movie has landed, and it's reassuringly hilarious. While the new footage doesn't offer any plot details – the movie itself won't be released until 2015 – Aardman's signature talent for humanising…

Edinburgh International Science Festival finds room to grow at Summerhall

24 Mar 2014

The former veterinary school is now home to a wide range of family-friendly science events

For decades it was the home of scientific enquiry and medical research – so what better venue for Edinburgh International Science Festival to move into, than the former veterinary hospital-turned arts complex, Summerhall? One of a number of venues…

The Secret Life of Suitcases

18 Mar 20144 stars

A charming, ingenious piece of puppet theatre infused with a spirit of adventure

Despite the spirit of adventure running through this charming new show, there’s also a real sense of calm. Performers Ailie Cohen and Rick Conte deliver the tale of conscientious office worker Larry at a confident, unhurried pace that keeps us hooked…

The Wee Write Family Day provides an opportunity for young readers to engage with books

25 Feb 2014

Debi Gliori, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory & Elmer the Elephant are among this year's highlights

After almost a decade of Aye Write!, this established Glasgow books festival has now spawned Wee Write!, a debut spin-off for children, schools and families. Thousands of children will take part across the festival (which runs from Wed 5–Fri 14 Mar…

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Are your kids too old for Baby Loves Disco? Try Pop Lock-In

18 Feb 2014

The new afternoon event gives kids a little more independence in a club environment

When afternoon clubbing event Baby Loves Disco first got off the ground, it was as much for the grown-ups as the offspring sitting on their hips; a chance to hang out with friends in a nightclub environment, have a dance and recapture days gone by…

Artist Helen McCook discusses kids' embroidery event The Big Stitch Up!

28 Jan 2014

Back in the day, learning how to work magic with a sewing needle was essential for schoolchildren (well, the girls anyway). Opportunities for today’s young generation to get creative with fabric are few and far between – but Birmingham-based embroidery…

TV review: Hank Zipzer

28 Jan 20143 stars

Henry Winkler stars in the adaptation of his own children's book series for CBBC

Henry Winkler will remain forever in the hearts of those who grew up in the 1970s as The Fonz, the leather-clad cool greaser-dude from Happy Days. To later audiences, he might also be remembered for his roles in Scream and Arrested Development, but away…

The stage adaptation of The Lion King to call at Sunderland's Empire Theatre

17 Jan 2014

Tickets for the run in autumn 2014 will go on sale from Tue 21 Jan

Julie Taymor's blockbuster stage adaptation of The Lion King is set to continue its tour around the UK with a run at Sunderland's Empire Theatre in autumn 2014. The musical version of Disney's epic 'Hamlet with lions' animation will visit the theatre…

The Selfish Giant

9 Dec 20133 stars

Andy Cannon and Iain Johnstone's stage adaptation is a taut, family-friendly morality tale

It may sometimes feel as if Scotland only has one season, but this theatrical adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s short story, The Selfish Giant, reminds us that spring does actually exist. It tells of a giant who lives in a castle in the Scottish Highlands…

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Scottish Ballet stage shortened Wee Hansel & Gretel for younger audiences

5 Dec 2013

60-minute version of 2013 winter show is aimed at children

As full of wonder, magic and charm as Scottish Ballet’s new Christmas show is, when you’re still growing your attention span, two hours can feel like an awfully long time. Which is why, for the second year running, Scottish Ballet is staging a condensed…

Edinburgh's Christmas - kids' events round-up

26 Nov 2013

From Santa's Grotto to Christmas Crafternoons, there's something to capture the kiddies' imagination

It is, of course, a massive cliché to say that this time of year is all about the children. But when you look at the amazing array of events laid on for the nippers this Christmas and New Year, you know it’s true. Naturally, Santa is going to be…

Interview: performer Judith Williams, star of Hans Christian Andersen adap The Red Shoes

18 Nov 2013

The family friendly stage adaptation dispenses with some of Andersen's more grisly details

Hans Christian Andersen didn’t shy away from the dark side, but even he excelled himself with the macabre punishment in The Red Shoes. Happily for family audiences heading to Tramway this winter, the new stage version, created by Glasgow-based…

The Lion King

7 Nov 20134 stars

Costume and puppet designs steal the show in Julie Taymor's stage production of the Disney film

The Lion King has played to audiences the world over, with different casts bringing the Disney film to life each time. Everywhere it goes, the show is a hit, regardless of who dresses up as Simba, Scar or Pumbaa. And why? Because unusually for a stage…

A guide to the programme highlights of Edinburgh's Christmas and Hogmanay 2013

25 Oct 2013

Limbo, Pet Shop Boys and Chvrches set to entertain Edinburgh over the festive period

Edinburgh's winter celebrations are set top be bigger than ever this year, with the Underbelly (usually only seen around these parts at Fringe time) taking the reins of Edinburgh's Christmas. The new programme features all the things we loved about the…

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Le Week-End - a recommendation from Visible Fictions' Douglas Irvine

15 Oct 2013

The artistic director of the kids' theatre urges you to see the Jim Broadbent-starring romcom

I create a lot of work for younger audiences – maybe this is the reason I’m so excited to see Hanif Kureshi and Roger Michell’s latest cinematic collaboration, Le Week-End. Starring the brilliant Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan, this tale of a…

Vox Motus join forces with NTS and Tianjin People’s Art Theatre with Dragon

14 Oct 2013

The story of a young man's friendship with a mythical beast contains 'dark themes'

A collaboration between the National Theatre of Scotland, Tianjin People’s Art Theatre from China and Glasgow company Vox Motus, *3Dragon*2 is a wordless play that moves between a young boy’s fantasy friendship with the fire-breathing monster and a more…

Interview: CBeebies' Chris Jarvis on The Chris & Pui Roadshow

14 Oct 2013

The two stars of Show Me Show Me present a show of songs, sketches and a whole lot of joining in

It’s one of the unwritten rules of life, that children’s TV presenters come and go. Kids grow up, the next generation comes along, and the revolving door of television spins in another smiling face to engage with our children. But two people who have…

Midlothian Science Festival 2013 - programme highlights

19 Sep 2013

The science festival's second outing features biscuit architecture, moon rocks and Dr Bunhead

Midlothian is soon to be laden with lab coats, bustling with bunsen burners and stockpiling the safety glasses, as the Midlothian Science Festival returns for a second year. The event, which believes that science should be for everybody, offers a…

Music lovers of all ages welcome at the Glasgow UNESCO City of Music Family Day

18 Sep 2013

Among those providing soundtracks to the free & cheap events are the RSNO, BBC SSO and Red Note

When you’re trying to appeal to a child barely out of nappies, right up to a teenager with fixed ideas on what’s cool, planning a ‘family fun day’ can be an arduous task. Now in its third year, the Family Music Fun Day aims to get the balance right…

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Dinosaur Zoo promises to give kids a close encounter with prehistoric lizards

18 Sep 2013

The live show by Australia's Erth theatre company uses puppetry to educate and entertain

Animal handling sessions at the zoo usually involve creatures of the cute and cuddly variety – or who, at the very least, have a pulse. The brainchild of Australian physical theatre company Erth, Dinosaur Zoo proves that being extinct for over 60…

Barrowland Ballet to debut two versions of same show for kids and adults

16 Sep 2013

Tiger and Tiger Tale incorporate similar elements for two very different audiences

Natasha Gilmore was reading to her two young children when the idea came to her. Why not create two dance works with the same subject matter and similar title, but perform them to completely different audiences? ‘I’m really interested in how children…

Sally Magnusson - Horace the Haggis and the Ghost Dog

27 Aug 20134 stars

Magnusson's follows up her children's book Horace and the Haggis Hunter with an enjoyable sequel

It’s just over a year since Sally Magnusson jumped from behind the news desk onto children’s book shelves with one graceful leap. The new role must suit her, because Magnusson’s likeable hero, Horace the Haggis, is back for an even more exciting…

Sam Rose in the Shadows

21 Aug 20134 stars

Warm, sensitive and uplifting tale about sadness from puppetry and theatre company Tucked In

It’s a strange feeling, coming out of a show about sadness with a smile on your face. Even before this piece from puppetry and theatre company Tucked In begins, a warm atmosphere is in the air, buoyed by gentle ukulele songs and pre-show chatter with…

Little Howard's Big Show for Kids

21 Aug 20134 stars

An enormously fun hour of technical wizardry and audience interaction

There’s an intriguing mix of the hi-tech and old-school about geeky comic Howard Read and his cheeky sidekick, Little Howard. Since arriving on the comedy scene over a decade ago, Read has been known for his work with screens, laptops and animation…