The weather forecast may not be promising quite as much sun for the weekend, but there’s still plenty to keep you busy, indoors and out. If you’re not up for Pedalling on Parliament or joining Christian Aid’s Forth Bridge Cross, how about the Shetland Pony Derby at Musselburgh, the Northern Streams music festival at the Grassmarket Centre or North Merchiston Playgroup’s Treasure Hunt? For some of you the Filmhouse’s Dead By Dawn season, featuring three days of on-screen horror, may be a highlight… just don’t forget your cushions to hide behind.

As always, please check details of any event before setting out.

barnyardSt Bride’s Family Cinema: see your favourite films for free! Adventure, excitement, fun and laughs – everyone welcome. Juice and choc ices are available to purchase in the interval at 50p each. This week’s film is Barnyard (PG). Please note that all children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. 10.30am-12.30pm (includes interval), Saturday 23rd April, St Bride’s Centre, Orwell Terrace, Dalry. Next week’s film is Bambi (U).

magic-carpet at NMSMagic Carpet Weekenders: monthly special weekend story activity sessions – come and explore different objects on the Magic Carpet. For under 5s and their adult helpers – please note that at there must be at least one adult per two children. 11-11.25am, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April, National Museum of Scotland (sign up and meet at the Green Fountain, Grand Gallery, Level 1), Chambers Street. Free (places limited).

miracle the dogAmanda Leask and Miracle the Dog who Refused to Die: come and meet the winners of the prestigious Friends for Life Award at Crufts 2015. Miracle was rescued from a Thai street market and has become the best friend of Kyle, Amanda Leask’s young son, who suffers from cerebral palsy and autism. Amanda will be signing copies of Miracle: The Extraordinary Dog That Refused to Die. 1pm, Saturday 23rd April, Waterstones West End, 128 Princes Street.

shakespeare cakeShakespeare’s Legacy: a special Shakespeare storytelling session to celebrate the bard’s 400th birthday, with themed craft activities, a play writing workshop for children – and Shakespearean cake! 11am, Saturday 23rd April, The Bothy, Far From The Madding Crowd, 20 High Street, Linlithgow. (Cake may vary!)

pedal on parliament poster 2016PoP 2016: Pedal On Parliament. A light hearted, family-friendly day with a serious message about making cycling (and walking) safer and easier. The ride starts from The Meadows at 12 noon (assemble from 11am) and proceeds to the Scottish Parliament via roads that will be closed to other traffic. Feeder ride routes are available from as far afield as Glasgow and Fife (details on PoP’s website here, plus details of public transport options). You can also walk the route, or even ‘pram’ it! 12 noon, Saturday 23rd April, The Meadows.

Bookbinding_tied_blockBookbinding: as part of Martino Gamper’s Post Forma project for British Art Show 8, book binder Ciara McDermott will be giving practical demonstrations in the gallery and offering a service for members of the public to bring along their own books to be renewed. 12 noon-3pm, Saturday 23rd April, Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, Inverleith Row. Free, no booking required.

cats protectoin logocatCats Protection Rehoming Day: come along and meet the cats and kittens looking for a new home. There will be a Cat Café, tombola and stalls – West Lothian Cats Protection would appreciate your support! 1-3pm, Saturday 23rd April, Newyearfield Farm Community Centre, West Brae, Livingston EH54 6AB.

christianaid-lrgChristian Aid Forth Bridge Cross, Forth Road Bridge, South Queensferry. Register at either side of the bridge. Reception from 1pm, walk 2-5pm, Saturday, 23rd April. For more information email Amy Menzies, Events Fundraising Officer or call her on 0141 241 6138.

rachelmaclean-feed-me-still - British Art ShowBritish Art Shows: free discussion-led tours of the British Art Show. Focus and content will change weekly. 2-2.30pm Saturday 23rd April, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art ONE (meet at the main entrance), Belford Road. No booking required. Image: Rachel Maclean Feed Me 2015 − courtesy of the artist and Film and Video Umbrella, © Rachel Maclean, 2015.

family-beltane-2016-for-webFamily Beltane: a bright and beautiful Beltane celebration providing a lovely introduction for children over 5 years of age to all of the skills and traditions that are employed during the creative preparations behind the annual night time celebration of the Beltane Fire Festival. Children (who must be accompanied by their adults) can come together and explore through the media of storytelling, face-painting and arts and crafts the changing of the seasons that leads to the birth of summer. 1.30-4.30pm (drop-in), Saturday 23rd April, Storytelling Court, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street. Free.; donations to the organisers, Beltane Fire Society (a registered charity), welcome.

don quixote marathonDon Quixote Marathon Reading: this year is the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, author of the best known book of Spanish literature in the world. Don Quixote was the first modern novel and is one of the most translated books ever. What do you know about this beloved and misunderstood hero, who still inspires all generations today? Drop in at any point during Vamos Scotland’s four hour celebratory public reading of the English translation of the novel, which will be hosted by contemporary Spanish writer Carlos Castán. 6-10pm, Saturday 23rd April, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall.

french family saturday - origamiFrench Family Saturdays: Mes petits pliages. Who said a piece of paper was boring? At this all-in-French origami workshop children will discover the joy of folding paper – animals or flowers, a piece of paper always hides a creative side. Unveil yours ! Drawings, stories and a goûter will also be part of this Family Saturday. 1-3pm, Saturday 23rd April, Institut Français d’Ecosse, 13 Randolph Crescent. Tickets £7 (members £4) per child, accompanying parent free. Children under 7 must be accompanied. Sessions are limited to a maximum of 20 children, so advance booking is highly recommended: email or call 0131 225 53 66.

drop in drawing session at mod artHave a Go Drop-In Session (April) – don’t just look, come and have a go with artist Rosie Lesso. Taking inspiration from a different artwork each session, Rosie will demonstrate, encourage and help. Limited capacity. 2-4pm, Saturday 23rd April, Scottish Gallery of Modern Art ONE, Belford Road. Free, no booking necessary – please ask at the front desk for exact location.

oxford playhouse bed timeOxford Playhouse: Bed Time. It’s bed time, but it’s not quite time to go to sleep… Celebrating the routines and loving nonsense of this very special time of day, with songs, storytelling, humour, lots of silliness and maybe a pillow fight, put on your PJs and come join in just before it’s time to switch off the light and say goodnight. This show is specially created for very young audiences; it reflects and celebrates the daily routines that bind us together. For ages 2-6. 11am or 2pm (50 minute sessions), Saturday 23rd April, The Brunton, Bridge Street, Musselburgh. Tickets £7.50 or £28 for a family of 4 from the Box Office (0131 665 2240) or via The Hub here (administration fee applies). A Porty Events production.

Buglife_logoBug Walk: come and join a Bug Walk and find out about the insects and other wildlife that can be found in the grassland meadow being managed in the Botanic Garden. 11am-12.30pm Saturday 23rd April, Real Life Science Studio, Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, Inverleith Row. Booking is essential: please email Buglife, the Scottish Inverterbrate Charity Trust.

Peter BackhouseSounds on Saturday: Choral Classics with St Giles’ Cathedral Choir. Vaughan Williams, Mozart, Byrd, Stanford, BaintonHolstBritten, Grayston Ives and Handel. Peter Backhouse (organ), Michael Harris (Director). 5.30pm, Saturday 23rd April, St Giles’ Cathedral, High Street. Admission by programme (£5) on the door. In aid of the Cathedral Choir’s USA tour 2017.

Northern Streams: a four day festival of music, song and dance from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Scotland. Today there are workshops in Scottish Songs, Swedish Tunes & Accompaniment, Danish Songs, Norwegian Tunes & Accompaniment, Playing for Dancing and Scandinavian Dances, followed by a sharing session. northern streams festival bannerWorkshops take place 10am-6.30pm (click here for details). In the evening there will be a concert with Ingunn Bjørgo (accordion) and Åasmund Reistad (guitar) followed by a ceilidh with The Northern Streams Ceilidh Band led by Sandy Brechin. Saturday 23rd April, Grassmarket Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row. The Centre’s café and bar will be open – please support them! Workshops cost £7.50/£5.50 each; concert/ceilidh tickets £11/£9 – book online here or by calling 0795 191 8366 or emailing

steinway at Edinburgh Society of MusiciansEdinburgh Society of Musicians: pianists Mark Spalding and Iain Matheson play Machaut, Frescobaldi, Purcell, Kurtag, Stockhausen and Cardew. 7.30pm, Saturday 23rd April, Edinburgh Society of Musicians, 3 Belford Road. Admission free.

romeo and juliet 2Picturehouses After Dark: Romeo and Juliet (12A), starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Clare Danes. The classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy is updated to a post-modern Verona Beach where swords are merely a brand of gun and bored youths are easily spurred towards violence. Longtime rivals in religion and business, the Montagues and the Capulets share a page from the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story when they form rival gangs, creating an impossible fate for the young star-crossed lovers. 10pm, Saturday 23rd April, Cameo, Home Street. Tickets may be purchased from the Box Office in person, by calling 0871 902 5723 or online here.

Gangs at Voodoo rooms

The Bad Touch + Gangs + Harry & The Hendersons: a new Alt-Sleaze Edinburgh Five-Piece + two bands from Glasgow. 7.30pm, Saturday 23rd April, The Voodoo Rooms, West Register Street. Tickets £10 + booking fee from Ripping Records here.

rhythm machine at summerhall 2Nothing Ever Happens Here and Above A Sleeping City Present Rhythm Machine: Summerhall’s first monthly music & art party night. Inspired by the Art Party format of Andy Warhol’s Factory & the unifying musical ethos of Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage, Rhythm Machine puts live art & installation work side by side with transcendental dance music. Featuring the musical explorations of DJ Yves & Miyamoto San in the Main Room & The Bugatti Suite’s towering Ferrero Rocher Empire in the Green Room. For over 18s only. 11pm-3am, Saturday 23rd April, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall. Tickets £5.

Fdead by dawn logoilmhouse Dead By Dawn 2016: Scotland’s international horror film festival. Today’s films are Astraea (18) showing at 12 noon, Shorts: Where The Wild Things Are (18) at 2.15pm, The Bunker (18) at 4.15pm, Antibirth (18) at 7.45pm, The Corpse of Anna Fritz (18) at 10pm and The Terror Triple: We Go On (18), From Beyond (18) and Dead and Buried (18) commencing at 11.50pm, Saturday 23rd April, Filmhouse, Lothian Road. Tickets may be purchased from the Box Office in person, by calling 0131 228 2688 or online. An all-inclusive pass for this season of over 20 films is also available for £75.

howl's moving castleFilmhouse Junior: films for a younger audience. This week: Howl’s Moving Castle (U): in a land of witches, wizards and war, Sophie is a young milliner befriended by Howl the wizard. The jealous Witch of the Waste loves Howl, and puts a spell on Sophie, turning her into an old lady. Sophie runs away so her friends can’t see the transformation and ends up working as a cleaning woman in Howl’s Moving Castle, the remarkable, magical contraption that walks the land. 11am, Sunday 24th April, Filmhouse, Lothian Road. Tickets cost £4 per person, big or small.

musselburgh racecourse family day poster april 2016Musselburgh Racecourse Totepool Family Day Featuring The Shetland Pony Derby. This colourful and exciting family day has something for everyone, from great racing to free entertainment for the children, including a birds of prey display, bouncy castles, kids’ roundabout, two large fairground rides and exciting games such as hook-a-duck and coconut shy plus more.Musselburgh Races Finishing Post The Shetland Pony Derby which will take place one hour before the first race; the beautiful ponies will be in the parade ring from 12.40pm so be sure to make your way to the ring in good time. 11.30am (doors open), Sunday 24th April, Musselburgh Racecourse, Linkfield Road, Musselburgh. Tickets may be purchased here. Children aged 17 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.

dead by dawn logoFilmhouse Dead By Dawn 2016: Scotland’s international horror film festival. Today’s films are Creature Designers (18) showing at 12.30pm, Shorts: Apocalypse Soon (18) at 2.45pm, She Who Must Burn (18) at 4.30pm, Shorts: I Blame The Parents (18) at 7.15pm, What We Become (18) at 9.30pm and Men and Chicken (18) at 12 midnight, Sunday 1st May, Filmhouse, Lothian Road. Tickets may be purchased from the Box Office in person, by calling 0131 228 2688 or online. An all-inclusive pass for this season of over 20 films is also available for £75.

treasure island library posterplaygroup logoNorth Merchiston Playgroup Spring Treasure Hunt: with refreshments, home baking, face painting, crafts and much more! 1-3pm, Sunday 24th April, North Merchiston Club, Watson Crescent. Adults £2, children £1, babies under 12 months free. For more details please call 0131 622 1757 or email

la piscinePicturehouses Vintage Sundays: classic films back on the big screen. Today: La Piscine (12A) starring Alain Delon, Romy Schneider and Maurice Ronet. Lovers Marianne and Jean-Paul spend their vacation in a villa near St Tropez. The main feature of the villa is a swimming pool, which becomes a stage for most of the action; when Marianne decides to invite her former lover Harry and his teenage daughter to stay, the tension rises with deadly consequences. 1pm, Sunday 24th April,  Cameo, Home Street. Tickets may be purchased from the Box Office in person, by calling 0871 902 5723 or online.

pond dipping lauriston castlePond Life: Pond Dipping. Discover what lives in the wonderful pond in the Japanese Garden at Lauriston – record what you have found in a special little book like a scientist, then create your very own wooden sailing boat to sail in the pond. With Mike Durnan. 10.30am-12.30pm, Sunday 24th April, Lauriston Castle, 2a Cramond Road South. £4 per person: advance booking is essential and must be made via the Usher Hall Box Office, Lothian Road, in person, by calling 0131 228 1155 or online here. Please note that these sessions are intended for families working together: children cannot be booked into events alone; at least one paying adult must accompany them.

before trilogyPicturehouses Culture Shock: the best in cult and genre films. Today: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight Trilogy (15) – a rare opportunity to reunite with Jesse and Céline as the Cameo screens Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy back-to-back. 5.30pm, Sunday 24th April, Cameo, Home Street. Tickets may be purchased from the Box Office in person, by calling 0871 902 5723 or online.

Northern Streams: a four day festival of music, song and dance from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Scotland. northern streams logoToday’s afternoon session offers a chance to play and/or sing together –  or come along and listen – in the relaxed setting of the Grassmarket Café. 1.30-3.30pm, Sunday 24th April, Grassmarket Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row. The Centre’s café and bar will be open; please support them!

st giles 3St Giles’ at Six: Anna Rea (soprano), Michael Devlin (clarinet) and Stuart Hope (piano) perform Mozart, Liszt, Mendelssohn and Schubert. 6pm, Sunday 24th April, St Giles’ Cathedral, High Street. Admission free; retiring collection.

rock and roll ping pong at bongoRock & Roll Ping Pong with DJ Ding & DJ Dong: a free, monthly Sunday-night social with balls on! Fine beers, fine company, free-play, silly ping pong games, and music from every genre to play along to courtesy of the in-house soundtrackmeisters. Plus an optional, strictly amateur tournament (£1 to enter, winner takes all). 7-11pm, Sunday 24th April, The Bongo Club, Cowgate. The Bongo Club is a nightclub, live venue and all-round artistic hub owned by local arts charity Out of the Blue, which has an established track record as a catalyst for creativity in Edinburgh. ‘Putting the sounds of the underground and imaginative aspirations before the mighty dollar’.

Jacob Fischer – Leif Jorgensen Swing Four: an afternoon of top-notch Swing Jazz from two accomplished Danish stars, Copenhagen-based, leif-jorgensen-150x150award-winning ‘Django’ guitarist Jacob Fischer, and clarinettist Leif Juul Jorgensenjacob-fischer (now resident in Scotland). Fischer has played all over Europe with countless top US and European jazz names, and on some 200 CDs across Scandinavia. Highly experienced clarinettist Leif Juul Jorgensen has also played with many touring US top jazz names, and fronts the Danish Jazz Quartet. They’re backed by locals Ed Kelly (bass) and Bill Kyle (drums). ‘An afternoon of totally enjoyable and tuneful top-level swing music – bring the family!’ 3-5.30pm, Sunday 24th April, The Jazz Bar, Chambers Street. Admission £5/£4 on the door: please note this venue is strictly cash only.