Events Planner: Children's events

Where to entertain the kids, from Boston to Prague



25 May-2 June

Imaginate Children's Theatre Festival, Edinburgh

Imaginate is the young person's answer to the Edinburgh International Festival, with 13 theatre productions from around the world for children of all ages. Attractions range from an ethereal performance of puppetry and dance about children living in the clouds to a Canadian contemporary dance production and a musical about a frog.

More traditional material such as Beauty and the Beast and the legend of King Arthur will be given a European twist by German and Dutch performers respectively, and Edmond Rostand's Cyrano has also been adapted for the festival. Events take place at the Traverse Theatre, the Royal Lyceum Theatre, the North Edinburgh Arts Centre and the Garage Theatre. After Edinburgh, the festival will be touring in Glasgow, Inverness and Shetland. Ticket prices vary; a book of six tickets (for any combination of shows, adults or children) is available for £20. For more information call 0131-225 8050, or go to


30 May-6 June

World Festival of Puppet Art, Prague

If Imaginate is the children's Edinburgh Festival, then the World Festival of Puppet Art is the Cannes of the marionette world, with entries from around the globe competing for coveted awards. Czech puppets have been an integral part of the nation's cultural history since the 18th century and still enjoy an elevated status. There are several marionette theatres around the country, and the festival will showcase the best of Czech and world puppet art with seven days of productions.

From China, there will be a seminar on the subject of Chinese puppetry; for children, productions include Chicken Licken from England and The Witch with the Vacuum Cleaner from Greece. Venues include the Black Light Theatre, the Kinsky Palace, the Russian Cultural Centre, City Hall and the Little Broadway Theatre. For more information and ticket prices call 00 42 02 2222 0913, or go to


10-12 June

Festival of the Fairy Tale, Bordeaux

This literary festival takes place in St Michel, and although it is primarily a celebration of storytelling, the focus is on fairy tales. These have played a vital role in cultural communication and folklore, from Arthurian legend to the tales of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. During the festival, street performers will present various fairy tales around St Michel, and storytellers, artists and musicians will also take to the streets. Stories will be told in cafés, bars, open spaces and even on a barge during the festival, and there will be events for children of all ages. A festival pass costs €15 (£10.70) for adults and €10 (£7.10) for children, and it gains you access to all the events. Pre-booking is recommended. For further information and to book, call 00 33 556 913 208, or go to


20 June

Laut and Luise Children's Music Festival, Hamburg

Hamburg's Plantem und Blomen Park will be packed with thousands of children on 20 June. The music festival is fully interactive, and children can not only listen to various concerts, but also play instruments from around the world and even make their own (earplugs not supplied). Children can, moreover, create their own rain-makers in one of the instrument-making workshops, or play on one of the many sound installations, such as a water organ created by the Dusseldorf artist Michael Bradke.

Concerts include the premiere of Five Cats and a Porcupine for woodwind quintet, piano and narrator by the American composer Ira-Paul Schwartz, as well as performances by a children's choir, and a young Russian troupe of dancers.

The event takes place from 1pm-6pm and is free for both adults and children. For further information, call 00 49 40 2999 1137, or go to


30 July-3 August

Hong Kong Comics Festival

This year, the Comics Festival joins with a games fair to form "Summer Funtasy" (sic), so this is a festival for children big and small. Thousands of comics, collectibles, toys and models will be coming together under the vast roof of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre for fans to marvel at, and - if the purse strings allow - to collect. Hundreds of computer games will also be on show, and a number of competitions will take place including a "Game Girl" contest (banishing the myth that only men enjoy computer games) and even a "Game Characters Imitation" contest. The X-Zone will feature a market selling music, art and clothes, as well as live music from young bands and a dance competition. Admission to the event costs Hong Kong $20 (£1.50). For further information, call 00 852 2344 0415, or go to


1 July

Children's Day at Harborfest, Boston

Boston Harborfest runs from 30 June to 5 July, celebrating both the Fourth of July festivities and Boston's maritime heritage with about 200 events. The date of 1 July is reserved for children, however, with events taking place at the City Hall Plaza. Entertainers such as jugglers, face-painters, puppeteers and musicians will amuse the little ones from 10am-3pm. Children will get the chance to tour one of Boston's infamous "duck boats" (renovated Second World War amphibian landing vehicles now used for tours of the city on land and in the Charles River), listen to the music of Wayne Potash and his Music Fun Band or watch a puppet show. Balloon twisters, a farm display and a marine tank are sure to add to the fun. The event is open to kids aged between three and 10 - and accompanying adults - and admission is free. For further information, call 001 617 227 1528 or go to

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