Family Storytelling Events for the October School Holidays

With the October school holidays coming up next month, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival’s 2023 programme is packed with family events suitable for all ages.

This year’s theme explores our Right To Be Human, and celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Over the two-weeks of the festival (13-29 Oct) children and families can take part in craft and storytelling sessions, story walks, belly dancing and even a three-day school of storycraft where aspiring young storytellers can come and try to tell their own story.

Plus, for those living outside of Edinburgh, Go Local returns this year, with new voices from more regions in Scotland, including North and South Lanarkshire, coming together to share stories and songs. From Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway, there will be tales of battles, adventure, love and friendship shared by the fireside throughout October and November, and many of the main festival’s new commissions will also be going on tour.

We have listed all of our Family Events for you to explore in the list below. It’s really important to make sure that ticket pricing is accessible, which is why tickets to each event at the festival cost a maximum of £10, with family events costing just £5 per ticket.

Indoor events, Edinburgh-based:

The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse (Sat 14 Oct, 11am)
Scottish Storytelling Centre – £5 per child – all ages
This well-loved Aesop’s Fable about a proud town mouse who visits his cousin in the country is told by Ailie Finlay using multi-sensory props. Includes an arts and crafts session with artist/illustrator Kate Leiper. Particularly suitable for children with additional needs.

Isis and Osiris (Sat 14 Oct, 2pm)
Scottish Storytelling Centre – £5 per child – age 5+
This Ancient Egyptian myth is retold by Fergus McNicol and belly dancer Moyra Banks

School of Storycraft (Mon 16 – Wed 18 Oct, 10.30am)
Scottish Storytelling Centre – £15 per child – age 7-12
Storytellers Sarah Wedderburn-Ogilvy and Ailsa Dixon invite young aspiring storytellers to join in a series of fun-filled storytelling sessions and explore stories in their spoken form, through art, games and movement.

Makin a Brew (Mon 16 Oct, 11am)
Scottish Storytelling Centre – £5 per child – all ages
Musician Gica Loening and storyteller Claire McNicol share a mix of songs, rhymes, music, dance and stories aimed at small children with older siblings welcome.

Kamishibai Workshop (Thu 19 Oct, 11am)
Scottish Storytelling Centre – £5 per child – age 7+
The art of the Kamishibai storyboard with renowned storyteller, harpist and Urasenke Japanese Tea Master Mio Shudo. Along with enchanting harp music, Mio welcomes audiences to the world of original Japanese storytelling and shows them how to create Kamishibai and some secret tricks.Participants will also learn manga drawing techniques, story composition and performing skills.

Bear with Me: A Polar Bear in Scotland (Fri 20 Oct, 1.30pm)
Scottish Storytelling Centre – £5 per child – age 8+
This 2023 Edinburgh Fringe sell-out takes audiences on a rip-roaring adventure across heather, hill, ocean and snow as young Scottish polar bear Arty inadvertently ends up on a voyage far from home. A moving spoken-word show from critically acclaimed collective Stuart Kenny (poet), Grant Robertson (musician/composer) Lottie Whittingham (musician) and Lewis Gillies (illustrator).

The Well At The World’s End – Where the Heck Is It? (Fri 20 Oct, 2pm)
National Library of Scotland- Free, ticketed  – age 6 +
Allison Galbraith shares family-friendly folktales collected by John Francis Campbell. Escape with a gang of farm animals as they set out to live the dream. Meet a fox with a flea problem and help solve the age-old riddle: where exactly is the Well at the World’s End, and how do you get there? An interactive,vivid storytelling show filled with gentle humour and a Gaelic-singing frog.

Visual Fun With Sports (Sat 21 Oct, 2pm)
Scottish Storytelling Centre – £5 per child – age 5+
Presented by Deaf Action and performed at the Edinburgh Deaf Festival earlier this year with Petre Dobre & Craig McCulloch. Get ready to dive into the world of swimming, cycling, and skateboarding with lots of fun to be had along the way. ages 3+.

Family Samhuinn (Sat 28 Oct, 12pm)
Scottish Storytelling Centre – free, ticketed – age 3+
This delightful Beltane Fire Society tradition allows parents to share in the magic of the Samhuinn celebration with their little ones through storytelling, face painting and arts & crafts, in advance of the Samhuinn Fire Parade on Tue 31 Oct.

Outdoor events, Edinburgh-based:

Rewilding Cinderella: An Eco-Storytelling Concert (Sun 15 Oct from 1.30pm)
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh – £5 per child, Storywalk 1 – Adults and 12+, Storywalk 2 – All Ages
Weaving together stories from all over the world about the ash-child told by a Choir of storytellers: Gauri Raje, Kestrel Morton, Laura Sampson, Wendy Shearer, Joanna Gilar and Fleur Hemmings; with poetry from Tunde Balogun, music from Heulwen Williams and artistic enchantments by Hannah Battershell.

Once There Was A Bug (Sun 15 Oct, 12-1.30pm & 2.30-4pm)
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh – Free, drop-in- all ages (20 min sessions)
A family story session about trees, animals and bugs. 

Macastory’s Caddie Capers (Sat 21 Oct, 11.30am)
Edinburgh’s Old Town – £5 per person, age 5+
Interactive, entertaining storytelling on the cobbled streets of Edinburgh with Macastory’s Old Town Caddies,  where the characters of Deacon Brodie and Aggie the Fish Wife come to life through story, song and rhyme.

Go Local (out and about across Scotland)

Oban (The Rockfield Centre) – Tickets:
The Laughing Mermaid and Other Stories (Tue 14 Nov, 4pm) – Pay What You Can age 7+
An hour of funny folktales from Denmark with storytellers Svend-Erik Engh and Alice Fernbank bringing you an assortment of stories from Svend-Erik’s book Danish Folktales. Meet laughing mermaids, giant snakes, a fat cat, a runaway sledge, giants, devils, and of course Vikings. 

Dunfermline (Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries)
Fabulous Fables (Sat 11 Nov, 2pm) – Free, ticketed – age 4-10
Local storytellers Mary Snaddon, Kate Walker and Sarah Wedderburn-Ogilvy craft and tell old stories of wonder and wisdom tales for today. Booking and info: Kate Walker –, 07745 957 134

Falkland (The Stables)
Wild Adventures: Stories of Connection (Thu 19 Oct, 2pm) – £6/£4 adults free – all ages
Storytellers David Hughes and Sarah Wedderburn-Ogilvy host a family session of stories and wild crafting. Bring your grown-ups and join us for some nature crafting as we search for the wild stories that connect us. Booking and info:

Dornoch (Dornoch Library)
Tales & Tunes (Fri 13 Oct, 11am) – Free – age 7+
Enjoy a morning of stories and music in the company of storyteller Bob Pegg and listen to the sounds of Scotland’s oldest instruments. Info: Bob Pegg –

Evanton  (Victoria Diamond Jubilee Hall)
Multicultural Ceilidh (Sat 25 Nov, 3pm) – by donation – all ages
Storyteller Lizzie McDougall invites you to a multicultural and family-friendly ceilidh of stories, songs and music, with tea and scones. A lively afternoon to celebrate traditional stories and music from Scotland and distant lands, with contributions from international musicians living in the Highlands. Info: Lizzie McDougall –

Biggar (Wiston Lodge)
The Wee Folk of the Woods (Sat 25 Nov, 12.30pm) – £8 – all ages
Follow the Path of the Little People with storytellers Kirsten Milliken and David Hughes for a family-friendly story walk with games and creative activities. Enjoy mulled apple juice and toasted marshmallows by the fireside, and hear tales of the creatures that live in the woods, in the branches of the trees and behind the faerie doors. Booking and info:, email: 

Isle of Lewis (Museum nan Eilean)
Interactive Family Storytelling (Thu 19 Oct, 11am and 1pm) – free, ticketed – all ages
Family friendly sessions featuring storytelling, arts and crafts. Booking and info: Booking and info:, email:

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival will take place Friday 13 – Sunday 29 October. Tickets to each event cost a maximum of £10, with family events costing just £5 per ticket. For those planning on attending multiple events, the Festival Pass offers discounted tickets to many live festival events, online and at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, as well as a discount at the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s bookshop and Haggis Box Café.

To purchase tickets and browse the full programme, visit and browse the full programme.