Katy Holland: You have to see the funny side in Edinburgh

There aren't many family holidays where you can take the kids to the Greatest Bubble Show on Earth, find out how the giraffe got his neck and watch a pirate engaged in a potato battle with aliens disguised as camels.

In fact, there's only one place, and that's this year's Edinburgh Festival and Fringe – the latter starts today. As usual, it promises a month full of fun, culture and very silly things for kids (and adults) to do.

And it's not too late to go. There are some decent festival deals about town on visitscotland.com/liveit at the moment. Take the Mercure Point Hotel (0870 609 0965; mercure.com), which has a package that includes two nights b&b and a ticket to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

For those who simply can't do without their luxuries, there's also availability at the five-star Edinburgh Residence (0131-226 3380; theedinburghresidence.com), which offers spacious family suites and townhouse apartments. They've thought of it all here, from bedtime milk and cookies to babysitting services, and if you get in quick you'll be able to book a special summer package, whereby you can stay two nights and get the third free.

If you fancy escaping the crowds, check out Manse Cottage (08700 782100; cottages4you.co.uk), with its own garden and sun lounge in a quiet area. This company also has properties with August availability in the nearby countryside.

Oh, and if you want to find out where you can see that bubble show or pirate potato fight, you'll find all the highlights for kids listed on gouk.about.com. The silly season starts here.

k.holland@independent.co.uk

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