A Family Guide to Edinburgh’s Festivals

Rocco Forte Hotels
A Family Guide to Edinburgh’s Festivals

Pack your suitcase and your tartans, we’re off on a summer holiday to the Scottish capital. Edinburgh's vibrant festivals offer a curated programme of performing arts, music, marching bands, and comedy, promising to inspire and entertain the whole family. 

This year, visitors will find even greater cause for celebration, as the city commemorates its 900th anniversary. Within walking distance of the festivities, The Balmoral’s spacious rooms and suites await, while our Concierge can help with recommendations and reservations to ensure a seamless stay. 

Read on to discover more about what to expect from this year’s programme.

Highlights of the 2024 Edinburgh International Festival

Bringing together a variety of art forms and performers, alongside an audience of over 10,000, a visually spectacular outdoor event will open the festival from Friday 2nd of August. 

Elsewhere, catch a mesmerising family concert inspired by the animal kingdom. Festival Director Nicola Benedetti takes to the stage with a violin solo, a soaring rendition of Ralph Vaughan William’s The Lark Ascending, amongst other beloved classics performed in collaboration with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

The festival also resumes its popular Beanbag Concerts, inviting audiences to sit amongst the action as renowned conductor Sir Mark Elder leads a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. Experiencing the magic of classical music up close, from the comfort of a beanbag, is both a unique and memorable experience for aspiring young performers. 

Edinburgh International Film Festival, 15th - 21st August

Celebrating more than 70 years of innovative productions, discover a curated programme including short films, documentaries, experimental cinema, and family-friendly screenings. Stay tuned for the official programme, released on the 10th of July. 

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, 2nd - 24th August

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo presents a dramatic showcase of marching bands and international performers, set against the majestic Edinburgh Castle. Experience an evening of spectacular celebration as the sounds of the bands echo across the city. Catch the colourful firework displays every Monday to Saturday, visible from The Balmoral’s Family Castle View Suite.

Edinburgh International Book Festival, 10th - 25th August

Edinburgh International Book Festival is attended by a global roster of critically acclaimed authors and poets, alongside a dedicated children’s programme of more than 150 events. Join a charming Gruffalo tail around the festival village, or discover new stories and adventures with numerous live readings. For the perfect family afternoon, bring a picnic and make use of the festival’s surrounding green space.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2nd - 26th August

While traditionally the Fringe has held a reputation for being tailored to adult audiences, today there is plenty on offer that’s both interactive and amusing for children. Highlights include the Abracadabra Family Friendly Magic Show, The Alphabet of Awesome Science, and a humorous theatre production of Hamlet Hears a Who. A familiar face at the festival, Louis Pearl’s bubble show has been delighting families for over a decade, and this summer he prepares for even more weird and wonderful entertainment. 

Our concierge team at The Balmoral can recommend shows perfect for families and help secure tickets. Contact us by emailing reservations.balmoral@roccofortehotels.com or calling +44 131 556 2414.

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