Save the Elephants Halloween Party: two bands, nibbles, mini-auction, raffle. All funds will go to Kuki Gallmann Conservancy in Kenya, which works with wildlife conservation, especially elephants. Come in your scariest fancy dress!  7pm-midnight, Function Rooms, Dalriada Bar, 77 Promenade, Portobello. Entry by £5 cash donation on the door (Dalriada bar open as usual with no entry charge.)

thinking out loudThinking Out Loud: a young people’s gathering. Get involved, meet new people, talk about the things that are important to you, vote to decide the most important issues – whether they are equality, justice, the voting age, jobs, sex education, or something else – and enjoy music, face painting, selfies, lunch and smoothies. 12 noon-4pm, Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place.  Booking essential: call 0131 469 3354, email Mary.mitchell@edinburgh.gov.uk or speak to your local CLD worker. Organised by the Edinburgh Youth Participation Mentors Team.

Nature’s Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir’s Botanical Legacy. A major new exhibition celebrating the life of Scottish-American naturalist and author John Muir who, one hundred years after his death, is still celebrated for his understanding of the need to preserve wilderness. The exhibition traces his travels to Canada, Indiana, the American South-East, California and Alaska, and presents vivid images of the actual plants that Muir held in his hands, carried in his backpack, and preserved for all time. 10am-3.45pm, John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Garden, Inverleith Row. Free. Closes 25th January 2015.

Polish Bookbug: songs, stories and rhymes for babies, toddlers, pre-school children and their families. 11am, Granton Library, Wardieburn Terrace.

The Leith Gallery: Drummond and Durning – a new exhibition. 11am-4pm today then at same times Tuesday to Saturday until 29th November 2014, The Leith Gallery, 65 The Shore.

GENERATION Tours at Modern One: free, discussion-led tours of the exhibition, focusing on key themes and artists. 11-11.45am or 1-1.45pm, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art ONE, Belford Road. Free and unticketed.

croods dvd 2Family Cinema – see your favourite films for free! Adventure, excitement, fun and laughs. Juice and choc ices available in the interval for 50p each. Best for children under 10: all children must be accompanied by an adult. Subtitles are available, please ask. This week: The Croods (2013), next week: Meet the Robinsons (2007). 10.30am-12.30pm,  St Brides Centre, Orwell Terrace. Free.

The Edinburgh Poetry Tour. The Scottish Poetry Library has begun an annual tradition of bringing poets from around the world to stay for a two week residency; the first poet-in-residence will be Polish poet Maciej Wozniak – join the SPL as they show Maciej around Edinburgh, paying a visit to various places of poetic interest. 2pm, Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, and other locations. Free: book via eventbrite.

St Cuthbert’s Parish Church Coffee Morning: 10.30am-12 noon, St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, Lothian Road.

Portrait Gallery Thematic Tours – Hidden Gems: the Discovery of Medals, Miniatures and Medallions. Monthly thematic tours of the Portrait Gallery’s collection. This month Susanna Kerr, former Senior Curator, explores a varied selection of these tiny, often overlooked, treasures. 2-2.45pm or 3-3.45pm, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street. Free and unticketed.

out of the blue flea marketOut of The Blue Flea Market: rummage for treasures at this monthly market – over 45 stalls full to bursting with clothes, jewellery, small furniture, music, books, bric-a-brac and so much more. Coffee and delicious cake available to buy from the Drill Hall Cafe. 10am-3pm, Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street.

The Edinburgh Gallery November Exhibition: Sheila Macmillan PAI and Connie Simmers. Opening 11am-1pm today then 11am-5pm Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm Saturdays, Edinburgh Gallery, 20a Dundas Street. Closes 29th November 2014.

Mickey’s Magic Pencil: storytelling and colouring fun with children’s author Vivian French. Suitable for children aged 4-8 years. 2pm, Christ Church Centre, 6a Morningside Road. Please contact The Edinburgh Bookshop on 0131 447 1917/mail@edinburghbookshop.com to reserve your free tickets.

velvet easel edge of winter poster 2The Edge of Winter: a new exhibition featuring work by Malcolm Dobbins, Michael Dawson, Christine Clark and others . Opening today 10am-5pm (with drinks and nibbles), then Sundays 12 noon-5pm, Thursdays to Saturdays 10am-5pm, Velvet Easel Gallery, 298 Portobello High Street. Ends 1st February 2015

Beginner’s Guide to Reading and Talking About Poetry: all you need to (re)start your enthusiasm for poetry and feel great sharing it with others – ‘a crash course poetry-spotter’s guide.’ Coffee, croissants and ‘no question deemed too daft.’ 10.30am-12.30pm, Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate. Tickets cost £5/£4 and can be booked via eventbrite.

Open Eye Gallery: two new exhibitions – Ben Risk’s Field Work and Thomas Wilson’s Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread: Recent Drawings. The gallery is also showing jewellery by Sarah Straussberg and ceramics by Anna Noel. Preview today 12 noon-2pm, then 10am-6pm Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm Saturdays, Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place. Ends 25th November 2014

Death and Fish: Ian Stephen’s new novel is an exploration of storytelling and a lyrical exposition of living by and on the sea. Following the book launch with Saraband Publishing, Ian will weave material from Death and Fish with his new collection of traditional stories from the Western Isles. 5.30-6.20pm,  Scottish Storytelling Centre, Royal Mile. Free: part of Once Upon A Place: Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2014.

the peerie monsterThe Peerie Monster and the Christmas Sneak ThiefEdinburgh author Nyssa Pinkerton (The Peerie Monster and the Colour Crocodile) will read from her new book and sign copies. The Peerie Monster is a ‘hairy, grubby wee dog’ (based on Nyssa’s own dog) who, through a little bit of magic, courtesy of her different coloured eyes, saves the world. 10.30-11.30am, Waterstones, 83 George Street. More information on 0131 225 3436.

The Big LGBT Music Jam: a creative and supportive space for making music. Play, sing your own song, or just be an appreciative listener; all music tastes welcome. Bring your own instruments, some percussion supplied. 1-4pm, LGBT Health & Wellbeing, Howe Street. No booking required, just turn up: group contact: biglgbtmusicjamedinburgh@gmail.com

Doubtfire Gallery: City and The Sea. A new show from Edinburgh-based art teacher Chris Nugent, who has been exhibiting throughout Europe since graduating in 1986. ‘He has developed a fluid approach to the interaction of light and colour on the elements of land, sea and sky.’ 12 noon-5pm today, then 10am-5pm Monday to Friday, 12 noon-5pm Saturdays, Doubtfire Gallery, 3 South East Circus Place.

Dugs N PubsDugs ‘n’ Pubs: bring your dug for a pint and meet other four-legged furries. A great opportunity to socialise your dog and meet other lovely Leith pups and owners. 12 noon, Sofi’s Bar, 65 Henderson Street.

Gallery Talk – Ruth Pelzer: Pictures of the Floating World? Japanese Print Then, Now and In Between. Ruth (Edinburgh College of Art) will examine Japanese printmaking since the early 20th century, drawing on her recent participation in the Second International Mokuhanga (Japanese Wood Block) Conference at Tokyo Geidai University. She will explore the implications of the Japanese print tradition for recent Japanese artists and question how contemporary artists relate to, reject, ignore and adapt this tradition. 2-3pm, Edinburgh Printmakers, Union Street. Free but booking should be made via eventbrite or calling 0131 557 2479.

Numbers Are Futile: Decagram 1.9.9.  Decagram is a series of extended Saturday nights featuring Decagram artists and special guests, with short films, visuals, live music and club all in one. This is the last event of 2014 and an afterparty to series 1.0. 10pm-3am, Henry’s Cellar Bar, 16a Morrison Street. Tickets are £4 before 12pm and can be purchased from Brown Paper Tickets. After 12 they are £6.