Special events for kids

THIS year’s programme of Tartan Day Scotland special events coincides perfectly with the start of the local school holidays, ensuring that, from March 30 until April 8 there will be no shortage of things for children to do and places to go across Angus.

As part of Tartan Day Scotland, which is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, on Saturday, March 31, Scottish Opera comes to Arbroath Library with an exciting bill of storytelling and music.

Scottish Opera Director of Outreach & Education, Jane Davidson, said: “A Little Bit of Northern Light is a wonderfully atmospheric tale brought to life by a storyteller with the help of colourful illustrations, a singer and two musicians.

“Aimed at children aged four to eight, the show follows the fortunes of a lonely lighthouse on the Scottish coast and is perfect for families, full of fun, music and song.”

Also on Saturday, March 31, children of primary school age can make their own tartan designs at the Tartan Craft Workshop at the Gateway to the Glens Museum in Kirriemuir.

On Sunday, April 1, people of all ages can discover the important place Angus played in aviation history with the opening of the 2012 summer season at the award-winning Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, which offers free entry for children under 16 (£3 for adults).

One of the Tartan Day Scotland events that’s fast becoming a Tartan Day tradition is the Tartan Teddies Picnic at Crombie Country Park.

This year, the Tartan Teddies Picnic will take place on Monday, April 2, from 2 pm to 3 pm. Entry is free – but teddies must wear tartan and be accompanied by a child (and an adult)!

Following the arrival of Tian Tian and Yang Guang at Edinburgh Zoo at the end of 2011, over 100,000 people have visited Scotland’s pandas.

To celebrate the ‘tartan adoption’ of these magnificent animals, the fun children’s film Kung Fu Panda II will be screened at the Webster Theatre in Arbroath at 2 pm on Wednesday, April 4 (adult £5.50, child £3). And the pandas won’t only be on the big screen – movie goers will be welcomed by two cuddly and very friendly giant pandas!

Young Highland Dancers are in for a treat during the Tartan Day Scotland celebrations. The Tartan Day Highland Dancing Competition at Arbroath Community Centre on Saturday, April 7 will be followed by the Big Tartan Day Family Ceilidh Dance, with country dancing, stovies and music by The Alba Ceilidh Band. Then, on Sunday, April 8, Forfar Highland Dancing Association’s Tartan Day Dancing Festival will be held at the Reid Hall in Forfar.

Several other children’s activities will take place throughout the eight days of the Angus Tartan Day Scotland celebrations, including a Hairy Haggis Hunt around Forfar Loch, a children’s competition to spot differently-coloured thistles in Carnoustie shop windows and, on Wednesday, April 4, colouring competitions with a Scottish twist at Monifieth Library.

Café Amor in Arbroath will be holding Scottish storytelling sessions at 9.45 am every morning from March 30 until April 7 (expect Sunday, April 1) and, at 5.15 pm on April 5, will be screening the children’s film, Hook, which has strong Angus connections as it stars several characters from the imagination of JM Barrie, the Kirriemuir creator of Peter Pan and, of course, Captain Hook.

“Café Amor is a community project and we’re keen to be involved in anything that will encourage people of all ages to appreciate Scotland’s heritage,” said Marco Agolini of Café Amor. “It’s so important to remember – and celebrate – our Scottish identity.”

Provost Ruth Leslie Melville expressed delight at all the events going on across Angus for children during Tartan Day Scotland 2012.

“In Angus, the Tartan Day Scotland celebrations are very popular and involve all ages and interests across the communities,” said the Provost. “They are the beating heart of our county.”

For more information about all Tartan Day events, pick up The Tartan Day Angus Events Guide from leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries and tourist attractions across Angus or visit www.tartandayscotland.com.