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Tickets now available Event National Museum of Scotland

Edinburgh Science Festival

6 Apr - 21 Apr 2019

Throughout the museum

Enjoy hands-on workshops, shows and a whole host of free drop-in activities throughout the festival to explore frontiers of knowledge in all walks of life.


10:00–17:00 for daytime events

17:30–21.30 for evening Auditorium events, entry via Lothian Street


Free and ticketed events


Here's what's happening across the Museum...

Grand Gallery

Our main gallery will be playing host to Build and Break, two giant free play zones. Visit BUILD IT to unlock your creative spirit and build magical, massive structures with super-sized construction blocks. Then head over to BREAK IT to be set loose on a huge pile of discarded electronics with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers.  

  • Due to the nature of these activities, adult supervision is required.
  • An under-5s area will also be available for our younger visitors.

To provide an accessible environment for families with autistic children and children with complex sensory profiles we are hosting two bookable early doors sessions on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 April.

Hawthornden Court

Visit Hawthornden Court for a changing programme of drop-in science for all the family,  from calorie countdown bikes to virtual nuclear reactors.

Event Space

Head to level 2 of our Learning Centre for some amazing family-friendly drop-in science from the University of Edinburgh. Meet real engineers, vets, immunologists and more and get hands-on with experiments and challenges. Programme changes every few days throughout the festival so do visit us more than once!


Our 200-seat auditorium will host a fantastic variety of talks and shows throughout the festival.  Family shows include the Chemistry Show and It’s My Turn, whilst the extensive adult programme (age 14+) will investigate topics from forensic science to fats in food.  Book tickets on the Science Festival website

National Museums Scotland will be contributing two of its own talks to the programme, Spotlight On: Microscopes and The Future is Robot.

Studio workshops

Our studios on level 4 of the Learning Centre will host a variety of children’s workshops including computer game programming and Physics Wizardry.  All workshops must be booked in advance on the Science Festival website.

Museum-led events

Spotlight On: Microscopes

Curator Julie Gibb explains the development of the microscope from the 18th century to the present day, through the makers and users of an instrument that has been fundamental in improving our understanding of the natural world. 

When: Thu 11 Apr 14:00–15:00
Where: National Museum of Scotland - Auditorium, Level 1. Entry via Chambers Street.
How much: Free
Booking: More details and booking here.

Early Doors: Build and Break

Join us at pre-public opening sessions for autistic children and their families. 

When: Mon 15 & Tue 16 Apr 09:00-10:00
Where: National Museum of Scotland - Grand Gallery
How much: Free
Booking: Call Edinburgh Science Festival Box Office on 0131 226 0005

Natural Sciences Collection Tour - SOLD OUT

From minuscule insects to mighty whales, our Natural Sciences collection documents the incredible diversity of life on earth. Join our curators and conservators to tour selected highlights of this remarkable collection at the National Museums Collection Centre in Granton.

When: Thu 18 Apr 10:30–11:45
Where: National Museums Collection Centre, 242 West Granton Road, Edinburgh, EH5 1JA
Booking: Essential (Age 14+)

The Future is Robot with Timandra Harkness

Join Timandra Harkness, comedian and broadcaster, to delve into questions such as what role will robots play in our lives? What does our future with robots look like? And how does the information and programming we give a robot affect its role in society and in our lives?

When: Tue 16 Apr 20:00–21:30
Where: National Museum of Scotland. Entry via Lothian Street
How much: £8.50, £6.50 Members & Conc., £5 Students
Booking: More details and booking here.

Getting here

National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street


Map and directions


There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge. Lifts are available to all floors and accessible toilets are available on most floors, as well as a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0. Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted. Click here to find more information.

Further afield

The Science Festival will be happening all over Edinburgh, in venues including the Pleasance, the City Arts Centre and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Our own National Museum of Flight will be presenting Further, Faster, Higher from Monday 15 to Monday 22 April with technical challenges, family trail and activities.

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