Every year, Edinburgh celebrates Easter with a number of events for people of all ages and interests, and 2016 is no different, with a host of activities taking place to keep locals and visitors alike entertained.
The Royal Botanic Garden is running a month of activities that begin before Easter and continue into April, providing plenty of opportunities to participate. Saturday March 19 will see the Caravan Obscura display, as artist Kenny Bean explores the use of light, lenses and mirrors to create a fascinating optical illusion.
There is family fun from Thursday March 24 to Sunday April 3, with the annual Easter egg hunt, which will this year see attendees join Botanics Bunny on the hunt for a golden egg. This will be complemented by the Easter Explorers family fun day on Sunday March 27, with even more egg-citing activities.
The Spring Flower Show on April 2 and 3 invites visitors to enjoy the beauty of plants and discover more about the science of planting, growing and exhibiting flowers, while the Survival of the Smartest from Monday 4 to Sunday 10 April gives people an opportunity to visit an explorer's camp and meet scientists to discover some of the most intelligent plants in the world.
Finally, the Building Better Homes for Animals: A Guide for Humans on Monday April 4 aims to better educate people about how the environment depends on animals recycling energy and nutrients, and the Easter activities at the Royal Botanic Garden come to a close with Back to the Future Food on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6, with visitors invited to discover the science of tastier, more nutritious food with scientists from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.
As always, Edinburgh Castle has plenty planned for the Easter period, with historical re-enactments of Schiltron and the Battle of Flodden taking place in March.
Easter weekend itself will then offer a unique opportunity to get up close with the cast at Edinburgh castle and discover one of Scotland’s most iconic castles. Visitors can relive the tales and events by listening to historical figures as they bring its rich history to life, featuring entertainment from a jester and an Easter quiz in the ticket-only event.
The action then extends into April, when Edinburgh Castle plays host to a re-enactment of the lengthy Wars of Independence, showcasing how the Scots of the era fought with pikes in schiltrons and giving members of the public the chance to get involved and learn more about the country’s rich history.
The museum’s year-round programme of events never fails to disappoint, and Easter 2016 is no exception, with the 49th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition captivating photography fans. Breathtaking wild landscapes, inspirational animals and a stunning selection of awe-inspiring images on loan from the Natural History Museum will provide a captivating collection.
Meanwhile, the Mammoths of the Ice Age exhibition is still in full force, with a fascinating display revealing what life was like for the iconic creatures during that period. Attendees have the opportunity to joust with mammoth tusks, touch the teeth of a mastodon and then interact with a replica of a 42,000-year-old baby woolly mammoth.
April 1 will then see the National Museum of Scotland play host to Big Bang Bash: Beyond Planet Earth, giving attendees the opportunity to unleash their inner astronaut by sending an encrypted message on a genuine Enigma machine and learning about the astrolabe whilst crafting one. There will also be talks from space experts including Mars One finalist Ryan MacDonald and astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell, and the chance to try a space-themed cocktail from the Bar at the End of the Universe and a set from DJ Kid Canaveral to wrap up the interplanetary proceedings.