Autumn is one of the prettiest seasons in Edinburgh – the leaves turn orange and golden, the nights grow darker, and the air has that distinct autumnal crispness. We have compiled a list of things to do in Edinburgh during the Autumn months to keep you busy. We think there is something for everyone, whether you are a fan of the arts, pop culture, or Celtic traditions.
Scottish International Storytelling Festival, 14th – 31st October
This autumn the world’s largest collection of storytellers will assemble in Edinburgh to gather and share stories from around the globe. The International Storytelling Festival is one of the most admired in the world, with a theme this year to ‘Keep it Lit”. This is a nod to the traditional practices of gathering around a fireplace or hearth to tell stories. The festival acknowledges that people’s everyday lives are under pressure and impresses that a story shared is a trouble eased. ‘Keep it Lit’ aims to connect, inspire, and invites everyone to Ceilidh.
Doors Open Day, 23rd – 24th September
Experience Edinburgh buildings often hidden from the public during Edinburgh Open Doors weekend this September. This annual event sees unique buildings and houses with rich histories throw open their doors to members of the general public. Over the course of the weekend, guests are invited to wander and explore spaces, while finding out more information about their past uses and inhabitants. This event sees many delightful structures reveal secrets that delight and surprise.
Big Big Gin Festival, 23rd – 25th September
The O2 Academy in Edinburgh plays host to the most anticipated event of the autumn calendar, the Big Big Gin festival. A must for gin lovers wishing to educate themselves on newcomers in the small batch craft gin market, alongside the familiar drinks cabinet favourites. Guests can enjoy samples from local and national distilleries, and cocktails made by expert mixologists.
Samhuinn Fire Festival, 31st October
Samhuinn Festival is the sister festival to Beltane Fire Festival and is a modern twist on the traditional Celtic festival that celebrates the transition from summer to winter. It is the perfect event to celebrate the darkening nights, with the festival immersing you into folklore and ancient wisdom, using the sound of ancient drums, fire-play, and interactive performances, Calton Hill will become a riot of colour for this family-friendly event on Halloween Night and is not to be missed, booking tickets is highly recommended.
Edinburgh Oktoberfest, 6th – 9th October
Princes Street Gardens will host the annual travelling Oktoberfest, inspired by the world-famous beer festival that normally takes place in Munich, Bavaria. Edinburgh Oktoberfest is fast becoming an Edinburgh autumn tradition and will see revelers enjoying a weekend of true Oktoberfest hospitality, including German food, drink, and music! Guests are expected to dress in traditional Bavarian folk costumes, like Lederhosen and Beer Maid dresses while they enjoy themselves in the very center of Edinburgh, under the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.
Comic Con, 8th – 9th October
Something for the diehard comic and movie fans – ACME Comic Con comes to the Royal Highland center in Ingliston this autumn. The guest list is long and expected to include appearances from Star Wars actors Ewan McGregor and Anthony Daniels, alongside Hollywood actors Alicia Silverstone and Billy Zane. The event will run for three days and features guest appearances, with the option to pose for photographs with your favourite celebrities. Comic Con also features an impressive list of Gaming and Anime voice actors, as well as Cosplay stars, with attendees encouraged to wear their own costumes.
The Seeing Hands, Katie Schwab, 8th October – 5th March
Acclaimed artist Katie Schwab will turn The City Dome art gallery on Carlton Hill into a site of play, with the installation of a large-scale interactive exhibition. Schwab has created installations for the Serpentine, Tate, Baltic and Anofolri that invite families to play, by creating new images and patterns and exploring new possibilities with materials. She has an interest in early mid-twentieth century design and craft and her practice is hands-on, collaborative, and preparatory. The Seeing Hands exhibition has in part been inspired by the Italian artist and designer Bruno Manari, who suggests making a touchable library for children.