Joyful celebration of play in Dalkeith

Friday August 11th 2023

Play Midlothian celebration of play

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

The spirit of childhood was alive and thriving as Play Midlothian held Playday 2023 at One Dalkeith on 2nd August. The event brought together over 70 children for a day of imaginative play and adventure. Despite the drizzling rain, children revelled in a variety of activities that celebrated the essence of child centered play.

Hosted at One Dalkeith, this year’s Playday event was a testament to the power of play in bringing communities together. Organised by Play Midlothian, the event aimed to provide a platform for children aged 0-13 to experience the joy of play in its purest form. The event featured an array of engaging play activities that catered to various age groups and interests. One Dalkeith’s Supper Club provided a healthy lunch for families, prepared in the One Dalkeith Kitchen.

The outdoor ‘Out2Play’ session held in Eskdaill Court circle was a highlight of the event, thanks to the efforts of the Dalkeith Guerrilla Gardeners who have breathed new life into the space. Children embraced the rain and took part in den building and outdoor games, showcasing the importance of nature-inspired play even in less-than-ideal weather conditions.

Councilor Colin Cassidy commented “The revived circle provided the perfect backdrop for children to immerse themselves in creative play. It’s fantastic to see Dalkeith Town Centre brought to life with children and volunteers enjoying the public space”.

One Dalkeith’s surroundings were transformed into a haven of playfulness. An artificial beach transported children’s imaginations to sunny shores, while bubble play created a super soapy welcome to the building. Messy play allowed young minds to indulge in tactile experiences that foster creativity and sensory development.

Denise McKenzie, the Chief Executive of Play Midlothian, shared her insights on this year’s Playday theme: “This year’s Playday theme focused on the everyday low-cost or no-cost play adventures that children can enjoy at home, in settings, and in our communities. Play opportunities don’t need to involve expensive activities, costly toys, or trips to far-off destinations. It is often the simplest ideas, the free and found opportunities, which offer the most fun, and are the most developmentally beneficial for children and young people.”

Playday provided parents, caregivers, and the community at large with an opportunity to see public spaces in the town Centre transformed to accommodate children.

Despite the rain, Playday 2023 turned out to be a resounding success. The event was a reminder that the simplest joys often hold the greatest value and that rain or shine, the power of play knows no bounds.

For more information about Play Midlothian and their initiatives visit: or follow PlayMidlothian on Facebook.

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