The Festival is great for kids. We live here and my 4 year old is having a blast! -Royal Mile street performers -more street performers at the Mound - picnics in Princes Street Gardens. Often you will find performers rehearsing there - George Street is largely pedestrianised for August. Lots of the restaurants have outside seating. The area in front of the Spiegeltent has several outdoor, undercover pop up food stalls. Great place selling curries in a kilt! - the Book Festival is in full flow - Childen's activities at the Pleasance
Thanks everyone, I have found a few on on airbnb and am anxiously awaiting responses from the hosts!
The premier inns still had rooms but very pricey, so last resort really.
Despite having been here before, I think my dad doesn't realise how long it takes to get everywhere. He's still measuring driving time in hours, thinking 2-3 hours away is a reasonable distance for a day trip with young children. Never mind that 2 hours sometimes only gets you about 40 miles away!
I know having lived there that Edinburgh hotels get booked out early, as do a lot of private rentals. Seriously though, check the link I posted, there are still a lot of private rentals available on airbnb, certainly beats travelling from Glasgow.
I would stay in Glasgow and travel to Edinburgh. Not only will it be a bit quieter but you won't be paying the ramped up Edinburgh festival prices.
Train is quite expensive Glasgow-Edin... if memory serves a one off return is about £20. You can book the megabus from Buchanan bus station though which takes about the same length of time but is only £4 each. (You have to book online and redeem at the bus but the coaches are quite pleasant.)
If your kids are Julia Donaldson mad like mine then there's a julia donaldson storytime/play thing that looks good. Otherwise there's the free museum of childhood, the camera obscura, the tattoo, dynamic earth.... loads of stuff to keep kids interested.
The festival is fantastic for kids, there are loads of kids shows, free street entertainment, the book festival has lots of children's authors as well as the usual museums/ parks / sights of the city. Your major problem will be accommodation so make that the priority.
Our schools go back on Wednesday so will be a lot quieter than what it has been this week. You could try innkeepers lodge on the A8 which is a direct bus trip into the city centre. There is a novotel at Edinburgh Park along with a premier Inn and the train takes about 8 minutes into the city centre.
You'll definitely not get a flat as a lot of them are taken by the performers.
Doubt you'll get a flat - they'll be rented to performers and temp staff. Best bet for two night is probably a Novotel or travel inn type place. But you'll be very lucky if you find anything in the actual city. Some people travel from Glasgow each day - 50min on train - find a hotel very near queen street station.
My dad and his partner are arriving on Monday, and have just emailed to say they'd like to go to Scotland, Edinburgh in particular, and mentioned the festivals. I've never been, but my impression from living in the UK for 10 years is that it would be an absolute nightmare with small children (have a near 4yo and a 12mo).
They've said they'll pay for accommodation, but will anything be available at this late date that isn't extortionate? I was thinking we might be best trying to find a flat. I think they only want to stay 2 nights.