Best events for kids at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

Best events for kids at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

ER at the Edinburgh Science Festival, City Art Centre, Sat 4–Sat 18 Apr

From making scabs in the Blood Bar to forensic investigation, 2015's programme has plenty in store for little ones

Dino Day
It’s a dinosaur takeover at Summerhall, with a range of workshops and family activities. From robotic dinosaurs to dressing up, discovering fossils to hunting dino eggs, the prehistory fun never stops.
Summerhall, Sat 4 Apr, times and prices vary.

Blood Bar
Who could resist a workshop where you make your own scabs and blood clots? Discover the science of blood, how it can help us diagnose disease and what happens when we get cuts and bruises. Apparently you can also touch a real heart (let’s hope it’s not your own). Ages 8+
City Art Centre, Sat 4—Sat 18 Apr (not Sun). 9.30am–4.30pm (drop in). Day pass: Adults £7.50; Children under 3 free; ages 3–6 £7; ages 7+ £9.50.

Forget medical school: this workshop will teach you how to be an emergency room surgeon in just 45 minutes. Identify the injury, then use an endoscope to operate on your patient, picking up some body part knowledge along the way. Ages 7+
City Art Centre, Sat 4–Sat 18 Apr (not Sun). 10am–4pm (hourly). Day pass: Adults £7.50; Children under 3 free; ages 3–6 £7; ages 7+ £9.50.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Always a big hit at the Science Festival, this fun workshop invites you to become a forensic scientist. Enter the crime scene, study the evidence, work out the clues left behind by fingerprints and blood – then catch the criminal. Ages 8+
City Art Centre, Sat 4–Sat 18 Apr (not Sun). 10am–4pm (hourly). Day pass: Adults £7.50; Children under 3 free; ages 3–6 £7; ages 7+ £9.50.

The Ugly Animal Roadshow
With videos and demonstrations to support their cause, the Ugly Animal Preservation Society helps raise the profile of those creatures less easy on the eye. Audience participation is to be expected – as is some fascinating biology from the animal kingdom.
Summerhall, Sun 12–Tue 14 Apr, 2.30pm, £5; family ticket £16.

Junior Scientist Training School
Real life scientists from Scotland’s rural college set you a three-part challenge featuring an experiment, a game and a craft. If you can show you’ve learned about the science of farming, you’ll go home with a Junior Scientist Certificate.
Royal Botanic Garden, Tue 14 Apr 11am–4pm (drop-in). Free.

Proving you’re never too young to get into science, this half hour of sensory songs and activities with a space theme is pitched at tinies aged 0–3. Limited spaces so book early.
National Museum of Scotland, Tue 14 Apr–Sun 19 Apr 10.30am, 11.30am. Free.

The Chemistry Show
At the risk of making the other sciences jealous, chemistry provides the biggest bangs and brightest colours – if this hour of fun experiments is anything to go by. Get ready for flames, foam and discovering what happens when things get really cold. Suitable for all ages.
National Museum of Scotland, Wed 15–Thu 16 Apr, 11am. Free (but ticketed).

Horrible Science with Tony De Saulles
Learn how to draw all manner of nastiness, with illustrator Tony De Saulles – the man responsible for the graphic pictures in the Horrible Science book series. Whether it’s exploding, stinking or oozing pictures you’re after, De Saulles has all the drawing tips you need.
Summerhall, Fri 17 Apr, 2.30pm. £5; family ticket £16.

Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire
From robotic puppets to motorised skateboards, the Mini Maker Faire brings you the weird and wonderful inventions and creations of enthusiasts, engineers and artists – some of whom will be sharing their skills in workshops. Suitable for the whole family.
Summerhall, Sun 19 Apr, 10am–5pm £5 (under 3s free).

Edinburgh International Science festival runs from Sat 4 Apr–Sun 19 Apr. Find out more at

Edinburgh Science Festival

Hands-on science for families in venues across the city with a programme ranging from the entertaining to the controversial and, of course, the icky. The theme for 2020 is Elementary with events focusing on earth, air, fire and water, plus fifth element 'aether'.

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