Harry Potter 20th Anniversary

For all you muggles out there that have been hiding under a rock you may not have notice the magic in the air last weekend. We had a great time here at Camera Obscura joining in the celebrations for Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary! Whether you are a brave Gryffindor, a kind Hufflepuff, an intelligent Ravenclaw or a sly Slytherin there is something for you at Camera Obscura!

During the weekend we enjoyed reliving our childhood magic by having sorting hat ceremonies throughout the day, where lots of new wizards and witches were sorted into their appropriate houses, Harry Potter face painting so you too could have the mark of he who cannot be named, and lots of fabulous Harry Potter gifts and sweets to buy, including a competition with one lucky winner!

It truly was a celebration of 20 Years of Harry Potter Magic!










written by Christine McCleary


Teeny Tiny Toddler Fest ‘17


It’s finally that time of year again.  No, not Christmas or Hogmanay:  Teeny Tiny Toddler Fest is back and this year bigger than ever!  To help you organise your visit, check out our special schedule of events available to download below.

Big Schedule of Events!

This year we have an under-the-sea theme for Teeny Tiny Toddler Fest. Come and enjoy the six floors of interactive exhibits, fabulous workshops developed by Developmental Psychologists, play-stations with hands-on fun from Camera Obscura and all the usual favourites. Make coloured shadows fish theatre, swim without getting wet, take unique family photos, and watch your toddler delight in their mixed up reflections.

Extras include a Quiet Room for feeding, relaxing and sharing a free cuppa with friends or if you want to take advantage of our tickets being valid all day, there are great local discounts if you would prefer to check out some of the cafés in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

Toddler Fest will run from Friday the 13th until Sunday the 22nd of January.  Although we might add more activities as the event nears, we’re pleased to release a preliminary calendar of activities down below.  Pick a day, any day, and have a look below to see what you and your Toddler will be enjoying together this Toddler Fest, and don’t forget to grab your tickets at www.hubtickets.co.uk !

Festive Fun in Edinburgh

At Camera Obscura we are excited about the run up to Christmas! We wanted to share some of the exciting events that taking place across the city.

The Street of Light will be back this year after its huge success last year, it will take place at a new location on George Street. The stunning light show will take place from 21st of November right through 24th of December. It will have a fantastic display of over 60,000 lights alongside synchronised music – it is truly spell binding.  For those of us at Camera Obscura that saw the lights last year we would definitely recommend!

street-of-lightImage found via http://www.edinburghspotlight.com/2015/11/streetoflight/

Of course Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas here in Edinburgh without two visible features – The Big Wheel and of course Edinburgh’s Christmas Market. There is nothing like freezing in the December cold with a mug of mulled wine and pretzel in one hand.

The Big wheel is a noticeable addition to Princess Street and will be operational from 19th November – 7th January 2017, it will be open from 10 am each day but remember its first come first served. It is a fantastic way to see the city and we bet you’ll want to go on the Big wheel more than once!


Image found via https://www.theinnonthemile.co.uk/edinburghs-christmas/

The Christmas Market will return once more and delight us with its mulled wine, fresh foods, warmth and haven of Christmas trinkets. This year the Christmas market will be open until 10pm meaning you never miss the fun.

For those good boys and girls writing their letters to Santa you’ll have to be quick as The Royal Mail will need them sent in by Friday 9th December to send them to Santa himself!letter_to_santa_logo

Camera Obscura will also be joining in the festive activities this year with free Christmas face-painting in our gift shop throughout the festive period. We have some beautiful Christmas displays and Christmas hampers available in our gift shop, perfect for those who are hard to buy for.

We will also be supporting Save the Children’s Christmas jumper day on Friday 16th December and we look forward to coming to join in our Christmas fun!

Halloween Fun!

We hope everyone has had a fantastically spooky Halloween this year, the staff here at Camera Obscura certainly enjoyed getting dressed up!

Take a look at some of the wonderful costumes…..



Until next year…. Lets hope its even spookier!


Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween……. We love everything weird and spooky here at Camera Obscura, so you can tell why we’re very excited for it to come along! Every year we decorate our building with everything Halloween related so we can join in the fun! We’re always trying to add a little spook and scare into our already weird and wonderful building!

Our shop love Halloween so much they’ve got some Halloween bits that you can pick up for yourself! Here are some staff favourites, if you’re looking to add to your Halloween decoration collection or looking for a gift with a theme!

First favourite product chosen by staff are these amazing firefly jars. They come in all different colours and would make great home decorations all year round! Even better they’ve been reduced in price by 25%, so are the bottles are now only £7.50 and the jars are only £3.50!

If you fancy getting your hands on some of these Lenticular photographs, we have around 20 different ones to choose from! They are £10 each, but are currently on offer for Buy One Get One Free! If you fancy a book of Witches’ Spells, these lovely little books cost £4.

And last but not least… an X-Ray book.

This book features a vast amount of real life x-rays of humans, animals and all things odd… very spooky and only £14.99.

If you like the look of this book, any of the other favourite picks or want to have a look at anything else we have on offer, stop by our shop!

We hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

A Great Body of Work

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The Human Chameleon – Body paint Artist Johannes Stoetter

A new exhibit in the Magic Gallery features images created by visual wiz Johannes Stoetter. The world renowned body painter tricks the mind by creating body paintings that transform his living models into objects inspired by nature including animals, fruits, flowers and more. According to the World Body Painting Championship 2012, body-painting to him is a way of “creating a unity between an image and a person”, and is made especially unique by the fact that the artwork is alive and able to move. Each of Stoetter’s art pieces are painstakingly planned and take up to 5 months to design and up to 8 hours to paint. Unlike canvas paintings however, these body-painting’s only exist for a few hours. Steal a peek behind the scenes of Stoetter creating his famous paintings The Chameleon and The Parrot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yHkAac-KG0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMwvsePCvPM


written by Maria Grenman







Gay Pride in Edinburgh 2016

At Camera Obscura we are excited to support Gay Pride here in Edinburgh as you can see with our colourful addition to our Rooftop.


Scotland’s national LGBT pride festival, starts with a March and rally, and afterwards is a festival encompassing live music from Scottish and international acts. It takes place on the 2 July 2016.

If you are looking to support Gay Pride in the city here are some events to look out for; of course the Gay Pride march that will take place here in Edinburgh. The March route will start later than previous years due to the Queens March taking place on the same day.

March Route this year will take place down Royal Mile, Past Scottish Parliament, Abbeyhill past the Regent Bar, Royal Terrace, down onto Leith Walk (onto the pavement at RBS at corner of London Road/Leith Walk Roundabout).The march will disassemble at The Omni Centre at Greenside Row at the top of Leith Walk.

The march is expected to take between 45-60 mins with a possible stop briefly at bottom of the Royal Mile to allow the Police to reopen the road at Parliament following the Queens Parade. This information and more is available at http://prideedinburgh.org.uk/march/ if you are interested.

At Camera Obscura we will add photos on the day is show the exciting events in Edinburgh and how our staff support Gay Pride 2016.


written by Christine McCleary

Teeny Tiny Toddler Fest ’16 Schedule of Events Out Now!

It’s finally that time of year again.  No, not Christmas or Hogmanay:  Teeny Tiny Toddler Fest is returning to Edinburgh!  To help you organise your visit, check out our special schedule of events down below!

Continue reading

The wee ones need entertaining – there’s nothing new!

Those of you with a toddler in the house will know how challenging it can be to keep them entertained, especially over the holidays! Thankfully, there are plenty of places to visit in Edinburgh for a great family day out.  There are some fantastic open spaces to visit right in the City Centre.  How about a walk through Princes St. Gardens and a visit to the playpark? Royal Botanic Gardens is another gem to do some leisurely exploring in nature. Or why not grab an ice-cream and take a stroll along the Portobello Promenade?

But as we all know, the weather at this time of year can get a bit miserable, so chances are high that it will be cold, wet and windy when you venture out….here are some of the best family attractions to visit in Edinburgh if you would rather be indoors!

National Museum Of Scotland

Picture Source: National Museum website

From meeting a giant T-Rex in the interactive ‘Adventure Planet’ to exploring the Universe in ‘Earth in Space’ – there is so much to discover at the National Museum.  The kids will love the interactive ‘Imagine’ gallery, looking at colours patterns and shapes from around the world.  And currently you can see a fantastic exhibit on children’s toys over the last 150 years!  Free to enter, it is a great place to spend a day, for people of all ages. Check out their website for further information.

Our Dynamic Earth


Picture Source: Our Dynamic Earth website

A five-star visitor attraction in the heart of Edinburgh, learn all about Planet Earth through a series of interactive exhibits at Dynamic Earth.  There are many discoveries to be made as you explore the world and how it works – you can see everything from a watching a bubbling volcano to touching real polar ice! Fun for the whole family (and educational too!). Further information can be found here.

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions


There are an incredible six floors of interactive fun to explore here at Camera Obscura.  Check out some of the incredible optical illusions before exploring the Mirror Maze and the Magic Gallery.  With some incredible city views from the rooftop terrace, you can even spy on the city when you reach Camera Obscura…. a great place to spend a family afternoon together! Check out our website for further information and current opening times.

Museum of Childhood


Picture Source: Museum of Childhood website

A must-see for all ages, the Museum Of Childhood in Edinburgh is the first of its kind!  Kids can marvel at toys and games throughout the ages, with interactive games and even a dress-up station! And of course the grown-ups can get involved too – how many toys do you recognise from childhood? Bring the family for a free day out and catch the current exhibition “26 Children’s Winters”. Further information can be found here.

 Further great ideas for activities and events in Edinburgh can be found at http://www.edinburghforunderfives.co.uk

Camera Obscura’s Vortex Tunnel – the science behind the illusion!

Test your walking and balancing skills in our vortex tunnel. But be warned, you may be left feeling a tad dizzy!

This bizarre and exciting contraption works by tricking your mind and body into thinking and feeling like the ground beneath you is moving when in fact it is completely still and fixed in place.

So, to get a little more technical as to how your mind is tricked, we need to introduce the human senses of sight and touch. Contradictory messages from these two senses make it difficult for your brain to decide what is actually happening. Your visual receptors, your eyes, see that the outer tunnel is moving, while your touch sensors (in this case your feet) feel that the ground is completely still and you are not moving. These conflicting messages make you feel off balance and a little bit dizzy.

As sight is one of the most developed senses within the human body, the brain chooses to believe sight over touch. Therefore, even though you can feel the bridge is still, your eyes see the tunnel moving which causes your brain to automatically think you are moving.

Don’t believe us? Come and give it a try for yourself!!