A day of family-friendly events and activities for younger book lovers, ahead of the return Glasgow's literary festival Aye Write! next month. There are a range of free and ticketed sessions (priced from £5) for tots to young adults, including celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of Elmer the elephant and the 50th birthday of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. There will also be stories and songs with Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and appearances from CBeeBies presenter Cerrie Burnell and broadcaster Sally Magnusson, introducing their latest children's books.
National Astronomy Week
Held every few years, this initiative promoting astronomy offers a great excuse to get outside and appreciate the night sky. While there's no way of anticipating a repeat of last week's spectacular and unexpected appearance of the Northern Lights, if the conditions are right, there's a great chance to spot the planet Jupiter, at its highest point in the sky for several years. Look out for public viewing nights in St Andrews, Stirling, Peebles, Aberdeen on Saturday, and West Lothian's Almondell Country Park and Mills Observatory in Dundee tonight.
Scottish Motorcycle Show
Royal Highland Showground, Edinburgh, Saturday/Sunday
Scotland's biggest consumer show dedicated to motorbikes roars into Ingliston this weekend. Along with latest models from top manufacturers, there's also the chance to shop for new and used gear including helmets, leathers, boots, and accessories. Visitors can also hear from biking celebrities and check out more than 350 classic motorcycles dating back to the 1930s. Kids can also try out a mini motorbike on a specially constructed track while a Live Action Zone includes demonstrations from Scotland's Kevin Carmichael and the Broke FMX stunt team. Tickets on the day are £12-15 for adults, with children under 15 free.
Stanza Poetry Festival
St Andrews, until Sunday
The 17th edition of Europe's leading poetry festival started yesterday in Fife, and continues until Sunday. Included in this year's programme of 90-odd events are performances, readings, talks, children's events, exhibitions, film screenings, music and song - with a topical focus on poetry from conflicts past and present, as well as countries of the Commonwealth. Among notable names on the bill are Louis de Bernières, Paul Muldoon, John Burnside and UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, making her first appearance at the festival for five years.
Glasgow St Patrick's Festival
Various venues in Glasgow, until March 16
Also starting yesterday, this 12-day festival celebrating Glasgow's Irish links continues through to the end of next week. Weekend highlights include Irish dancing and language taster sessions, a live battle of the bands event and the chance to dress up for Sunday's gala dinner dance at the Hilton Hotel. Further ahead, there's a concert showcase headlined by Michelle McManus, Gaelic football sessions at Toryglen and a family fun day at Merchant Square on March 15, with live music, dancing and face painting.
Can You See Me?
Mugdock Country Park, Milngavie, Saturday
A half-day of muddy adventuring for children aged 9-12 under the watchful eye of outdoor experiences company Wild About Nature in Mugdock Park, north of Glasgow. Participants will get the chance to explore different kinds of camouflage and learn about how animals use concealment to survive in the wild. There will also be plenty of mucky activities and games to enjoy along the way. Running from 12.30pm-3.30pm, it costs £17 per child, with advance booking essential.
Mitti: Our South Asian Heritage
Scotland Street Museum, Glasgow, Saturday
Organised with a nod to Commonwealth Day on Monday, this family-friendly drop-in session showcases Glasgow Museum's new collection of contemporary South Asian folk art from West Bengal, the Punjab and Assam. Visitors can see works inspired by the collection and create new pieces of their own, with the opportunity to turn their hands to clay modelling, block printing and mirrorwork coaster making based on traditional Indian designs. On from noon to 4pm, admission is free.
SECC, Glasgow, Thursday to Sunday
More crafty fun in Glasgow with this huge four-day exhibition and consumer show, which starts today. As well as stands from an abundance of exhibitors and suppliers, there will be a host of demonstrations revealing the mysteries of everything from knitting to card making. There are also numerous workshops, daily catwalk fashion shows and experts on hand from organisations specialising in flower arranging, geneology, and sugarcrafting (fancy cake-icing to you and me). Open from 9.30am to 5pm each day (and until 5.30pm on Saturday), entry is £8-£9, with kids free.
Glasgow Comic and Toy Fair
Renfield St Stephen's Church, Saturday
If your hobby happens to be of an inkier, more papery kind, a quick jump across town to the Charing Cross end of Bath Street on Saturday will bring you to Glasgow's thrice-yearly comic book fair - a veritable haven for lovers of comics and graphic novels, as well as games, dvds, trading cards, merchandise, toys and collectables. Featuring free entry, more than 30 stalls, a café, and wifi, organisers say it's the perfect way to get grab a bargain and get your geek on.
Italian Film Festival Scotland
Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee, from tomorrow
The best in contemporary and classic Italian film, screening across Scotland over the next couple of weeks. Highlights include Cannes prize-winning mafia saga Salvo, political farce Long Live Liberty,and The Best Offer, the latest from Oscar-winner Giuseppe Tornatore. Elsewhere, there's a mini retrospective on directing great Federico Fellini, just over 20 years on from his death. Edinburgh's Filmhouse hosts the bulk of the programme, with screenings at Glasgow Film Theatre and Dundee Contemporary Arts into next week, and more to come in Kirkcaldy and Inverness.