Edinburgh cocktail week

From half term activities to spooky Hallowe’en nights, here’s our selection of some of the best events on offer in east central Scotland this October.

Quest for Oz
4th – 28th October

An augmented reality adventure from Leith-based arts company Vision Mechanics, Quest for Oz is an exciting outdoor installation packed full of real and virtual characters from Oz. Set in the Drummohr House and grounds near Musselburgh, attendees must locate the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, collect yellow bricks and get back to the Emerald City, with the help of the Quest for Oz scanner app. Find out more at questforoz.org

Access All Areas – Fife Festival of the Great Outdoors
6th – 21st October

The first Access All Areas (Fife’s Festival of the Great Outdoors) took place over a fortnight in October 2017, with more than 300 people taking part in a varied programme of events, including Nordic Walking taster sessions, a 10km trail race in Lomond Hills Regional Park, a series of ranger-led walks, family park events and a guided walk of a section of the Fife Pilgrim Way. After the success of last year’s event, the festival has returned for 2018, with over 20 outdoor events scheduled to take place, including trail races, Seashell Safari, Seal Spectacular, a Wemyss Caves tour and a navigation course. Find out more at fifecoastandcountrysidetrust.co.uk

Midlothian Science Festival
6th – 20th October

Starting in 2012, Midlothian Science Festival organises a range of science activities in Midlothian every October. It aims to inspire and engage visitors in science and discovery, and build trust between local science centres and local communities. This year, a huge number of events will take place across venues in Midlothian – from discussions about the impact of plastic and climate changes to gourmet cooking and building balloon cars, there is something to suit all ages. It’s the perfect way to entertain young scientists during the half term week. Find out more at midlothiansciencefestival.com

Edinburgh Cocktail Week
15th – 21st October

With a whisky escape room challenge, the brand new Cocktail Village, a hidden masterclass hub, distillery tours, and over 80 participating bars, Edinburgh’s cocktail week is back and bigger than ever. Harvey Nichols, Tigerlily, Dragonfly, The Voyage of Buck, The Voodoo Rooms and The Grand Café are just some of the city’s bars taking part. All participating bars have designed a signature cocktail, which is available for £4 with an Edinburgh Cocktail Week wristband. This year will also see the debut of the Cocktail Village at Festival Square, which is free to enter with a wristband, and will feature 15 pop-up bars, including Edinburgh Gin, Poco Prosecco and a ‘golden ticket’ themed bar from The Pop Up Geeks. Find out more at edinburghcocktailweek.co.uk

The Linlithgow Exfearience
26th – 28th October

Taking place in Linlithgow Palace, this event asks if you will ‘be brave enough to face what the archaeologists have uncovered?’. Offering a unique opportunity to see this historic site after dark, and visitors will get to follow Victorian Professor Michael and his sidekick, Night Watchman Gibby McPherson, as they enter the palace to investigate rumours of ghosts and paranormal activities. Find out more at historicenvironment.scot

Samhuinn Fire Festival
31st October

Organised by the Beltane Fire Society, Samhuinn is the sister event to the Beltane Fire Festival in May, and marks the transition from summer to winter, featuring the society’s characteristic mix of fireplay, drumming and immersive performance. This year, Samhuinn will be hosted on Calton Hill. Children are welcome at the event, but the organisation are also hosting a Family Samhuinn event on the afternoon of the 27th October, specially created for kids. Find out more at beltane.org