While the Fringe, Book Festival and Science Festival offer many events for kids, it’s the Edinburgh International Children's Festival (formerly Imaginate Festival) which is entirely dedicated to entertaining youngsters.
The festival showcases high quality Scottish and international performances to an audience of around 10,000 children, their teachers, and families each year. For many children, attending these performances may be the first time they set foot in a theatre, for others it’s a chance to be inspired and take part.
Beginning in 1990, the festival has taken various forms and now brings a carefully curated programme of performances from around the world to Edinburgh. In 2017 the nine-day festival began with a weekend of free events in the National Museum of Scotland, including pop-up performances and arts activities.
As well as families, schools from around Scotland were invited to attend the festival, including school children from economic and socially disadvantage areas.
Each year the festival draws not only Scottish families and schools, but also children’s theatre curators and children’s festivals directors from around the world, who look to the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival as an example of excellent programming.
Here’s a taste of the performances during the 2018 festival.