Wed 14 Jan 2015
All this week Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is hosting Teeny Tiny Toddler Fest. All of their exhibits and shows are adapted to be toddler-friendly. I think this is a great idea! Most attractions welcome young children, but it’s nice for parents to know that their little ones are free to touch everything and make as much noise as they like.
I went to check it out with my husband and our two year old daughter yesterday. When we arrived the staff were very friendly and helpful. The buggy park was full, so they stored our buggy away safely. Then they explained what was on throughout the day.
First up was the Camera Obscura Show on the top floor, so we headed up there. This is one of the oldest shows in Edinburgh dating back to Victorian times. The Camera Obscura is a giant periscope which projects live moving images onto a large viewing table. It gives amazing panoramic views of the city. During Toddler Fest they have the shows on as normal, but also some shorter ones adapted for children. We went to the toddler show and happened to be the only ones there! It was brilliant because we got our own private viewing. We were shown all around the city and my daughter was even allowed to sit on the viewing table, where she tried to grab the little people and cars as they moved around. It was great fun.
Then we made our way back down through the five floors of World of Illusions exhibitions, which are full of optical tricks and interactive games. Some of the displays had been lowered to toddler-height. Others had stools provided, so the little ones could reach them.
There was so much to see and we all enjoyed exploring. I think our favourite was the Magic Gallery, with those old-fashioned bendy mirrors, a giant plasmaball and a mirror maze. There was also a Vortex Tunnel with coloured lights moving around it, which gave the illusion that you were spinning around. It was so disorientating it made me feel sick! But my daughter loved it so much she was running through it over and over again and wouldn’t stop talking about it. We even bumped into a journalist who was writing a piece on Toddler Fest. She took a few pictures of us for the newspaper, which was very exciting!
It took us a good three hours to go around and we could have spent longer. I would highly recommend this interactive, fun and fascinating experience for adults and children of all ages. Teeny Tiny Toddler Fest is on until Sunday, but you can visit the attraction all year round.
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions, Castlehill, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2ND