Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2024 – Free Family Friendly Events

Hot on the heels of the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2024 programme launch, comes the launch of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2024 programme. With over 3,000 shows to choose from it can get a bit overwhelming – and the costs can add up too if you have a whole family to take along. However, there’s also quite a few free shows to choose from, so just like last year I’ve rounded up the free listed children’s shows, plus a few from the general programme that are listed as family friendly. I’ve listed them in order of the recommended age suitability. Most of the free events are non ticketed, meaning it’s first come, first served.

NOTE: As always, the information is correct at time of writing, but please check before you travel. Click on the show titles to visit the relevant entries on the Fringe website.

Little Companion Art Troupe: Beautiful Earth

17 August only at EICC (Venue 150)
Suitability: age 3+
Start time: 14:00 | Duration: 1 hr

“The art troupe will present a performance which blends dance, folk music, vocal music, western music and other art forms.”


1 – 25 August (not Wednesdays) at The Counting House (Venue 170)
Start time: 17:30 | Duration: 1 hr
Suitability: 3+

“An all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza celebrating South Africa’s 12 official languages, sprinkled with that incredible township vibe.”

(NOTE: the programme lists it as 3+ but due to the late starting time and length I feel this would be more suited to older children who enjoy music and dancing – you can view clips from last year’s show here https://imibala.com/yes-ya-yebo-is-back/)

Mark Grist’s Big Box Bonanza

3 – 13 August at Little Plaza (Venue 159)
Start time: 15:50 | Duration: 55 mins
Suitability: age 5+

“26 boxes full of joy and fun. Which one should we open next? You decide! Join multi award-winning poet, ex-teacher and children’s author Mark Grist on a journey through 26 magical boxes, each one bursting with fun and surprises.”

Puppet Zoo Adventure!

6 – 25 August at Little Plaza (Venue 159)
Suitability: age 5-10
Start time: 14:40 | Duration: 40 mins

“A delightful blend of laughter and learning where animals come to life! Join Steph and Layla as they explore the Zoo and the animals that need your help!”

Abracadabra Family Friendly Magic Show

3 – 13 August at CC Blooms (Venue 171)
Suitability: age 6+
Start time: 12:30pm | Duration: 1 hr

“Join Alex the Magician for an exciting children’s magic show, back for its fourth year at the Edinburgh Fringe. Laughter, participation, fun, and of course, magic await!”

A Magic Morning!

3 – 18 & 20 – 25 August at Little Plaza (Venue 159)
Suitability: age 7-12
Start time: 11:10 | Duration: 50 mins

“Tim Licata astounds audiences throughout Scotland with his brand of delightful deception. Great humour and classic trickery, this is a show the whole family can enjoy.”

Original Children’s Drama Ancient Ship

16 August only at EICC (Venue 150)
Suitability: age 8+
Start time: 14:00 | Duration: 1 hr 15 mins

“Based on a real shipwreck, the story explores the past and present lives of ancient ships through fantasy adventure stories, and shows the development of the essence of ancient Chinese culture through Shanghai archeology.”

Chinese Culture Carnival

12 August only at Central Hall Edinburgh (Venue 295)
Start time: 14:30 | Duration: 2 hrs
Suitability: age 8+

“Immerse yourself in a vibrant showcase of Chinese traditional culture at Chinese Culture Carnival. Adults and children from diverse Chinese cities unite in a captivating performance, featuring music, dance and various artistic forms.”

The Grumpy Magicians Present: Now You See It, Now You Don’t!

3 – 17 August at Brewdog Doghouse Hotel (Venue 603)
Start time: 14:35 | Duration: 50 mins
Suitability: age 8+

Wordy Wordy Words

1 – 7 August at Home Bar (Venue 106)
Start time: 14:15 | Duration: 1 hr
Suitability: age 8+

“Sid Ozalid – Scotland’s top dyslexic comedy poet…If you like silly, you will love Sid…A veteran of interactive high-energy nonsense verse and dad dancing.”

Ancient Coins of Forgotten Kingdoms

3 – 26 August (not Tuesdays) at Burrito ‘n’ Shake (Venue 605)
Suitability: age 10+
Start time: 13:15 | Duration: 50 minutes

“Ancient coins are rare, historical, often beautiful and sometimes funny. This is a family-friendly show – silly humour, hands-on coin-making, amazing pictures – but not just for kids.

Simon Hall – Unhappily Ever After

1 – 12 & 14 – 25 August at 32 Below (Venue 442)
Start time: 11:15 | Duration: 45 mins
Suitability: age 10+

“We all know the fairy tales and their immortal final line: happily ever after… But that isn’t real life. Could Aladdin give up the life of a thief? How did Peter Pan cope with aging? What did Cinderella think of Prince Charming? Find out these answers and more in…a collection of poetry exploring the lives of fairy tale characters after their stories end.”

(Note: this is listed as a children’s show, but includes a warning about allusions to adult themes)

Kane & Abel: Magician Twinpossible

3 – 25 August (not Wednesdays) at Liquid Annexe/ Warehouse
Start Time: 14:30 | Duration: 1 hr
Suitability: age 12+

“Kane & Abel return with magic and comedy based on being twins. The brothers seamlessly move between stand-up comedy magic pieces and theatrical illusions set to music.”

You can browse the full programme on the Fringe website. Go to “Find Shows” in the tabs, then “Advanced Search”. Under the “Category and genre” filter you can select “Children’s Shows”, or under “Suitability” you can filter by age. To find free shows, use the filter “Special pricing”. Once you have selected your filters (you can combine more than one filter) click on “View Results” top right.

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