Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival

George Square Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh, Friday to Sunday

The return of this annual event for outdoor enthusiasts - three days of films, lectures, and exhibitions covering everything from mountain climbing, snow sports and exploration to white-water kayaking and base jumping. Among those sharing their stories in person are National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Al Humphreys, Edinburgh ultra marathon runner Dr Andrew Murray, and writer and climber Nick Bullock. There's also a chance to catch up with friends and hob-nob with festival guests at a free party on Saturday night. www.edinburghmountainff.com

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Glasgow Short Film Festival

Glasgow Film Theatre, today to Sunday

An engaging appetiser for the Glasgow Film Festival proper, which starts next week, the Short Film equivalent spans four-days of screenings, talks, workshops and happenings. Focusing on the relationship between films and music, highlights include opener PULSE, a new collaboration between Scottish filmmaker Ruth Paxton and Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova. There's also a discussion on the potential ramifications of independence for the Scottish film and TV industry, a low budget visual effects workshop, and a showcase of comedy shorts compered by the very funny Josie Long. www.glasgowfilm.org

Winter Words

Pitlochry Festival Theatre, from Friday

Back for a tenth successive year, Winter Words' celebration of the written and spoken word brings light to the February darkness with its trusty blend of attention-grabbing names and a hospitable Highland Perthshire location; nine days of talks, author events, concerts, workshops and literary lunches begin tomorrow. Guests include mountaineer Sir Chris Bonnington, TV history expert Neil Oliver, Scottish broadcasting lynchpins Sally Magnusson and Lesley Riddoch, and photographer and performer Mike McCartney, who will be sharing tales from a life spent on the fringes of fame as the brother of Sir Paul. www.pitlochry.org.uk

Jack Vettriano: A Retrospective

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, until Feb 23

One of Glasgow's most successful exhibitions ever is drawing to an end, having welcomed more than 100,000 visitors since opening in September. In case you've missed the acres of coverage, it's the first ever career-spanning collection of work by the hugely popular Fife-born artist, featuring many of his best-known paintings, including The Singing Butler and The Weight. If you haven't made it along yet, you still have a couple of weeks - tickets are £3-£5 for adults, with children under 16 free. www.glasgowlife.com

Vintage Cabaret

Summerhall, Edinburgh, Friday and Saturday

Another leftfield offering at Edinburgh's Summerhall, in the form of this retro cabaret show by Scottish Borders-based equine-canine stunt team Les Amis d'Onno Equine. Titled An Auction of the Late Captain Cuthbert Cruikshanks' Collection of Curios, three performances promise displays of horsemanship, escapology, and knife throwing, plus song, dance, music, magic, and routines from the troupe's crack dog team. Tickets are £9-£11, with the show transferring to the equally storied setting of the Tall Ship in Glasgow on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 February. www.lesamisdonno.com

The Travelling Museum of British Invention

Riverside Museum, Glasgow, until February 23

Made from a specially converted bus that's been touring schools across Scotland since October, this mobile museum is now parked at Glasgow's Riverside Museum for the next couple of weeks. Filled with exhibits based on 100 of Britain's most important inventions, discoveries and social innovations, the bus is free to board and accessible during museum opening hours (10 or 11am until 5pm every day) - somehow managing to cram in displays on the jet engine, the NHS, penicillin, gravity, radar, and more. www.travellingmuseum.co.uk


Scone Palace, Perth, Friday and Saturday

Regular readers will note the increasing popularity of after-dark woodland sound and light attractions; here are two more options for the weekend. Enlighten, billed as Scotland's largest ever illuminated display, brings the formula to the ancient grounds of Scone Palace near Perth tomorrow and Saturday. Visitors can marvel at a series of spectacular projections and sound installations, then soak up the ambience in parts of the Palace lit entirely by candles. Running both days from 5pm until 9.30pm, tickets are £9-£12. Book in advance from www.scone-palace.co.uk

Snowdrops By Starlight

Cambo Estate, Fife, until Sunday

The Cambo Estate near Kingsbarns in East Fife has been serving up their take on the twilit adventure theme since 2010. Home to 70 acres of woodland, the entire place is currently carpeted in thousands upon thousands of snowdrops, lending a sprinkling of fairytale magic to trails lined with illuminated trees and natural sculptures that imaginative wee ones will love. As usual, the recommendation is that visitors wear warm waterproof clothing and sturdy shoes or boots. Tickets are £5.50-£10.50, with under 4s free. www.snowdropsbystarlight.com

Haunted Highways Tour

Dumfries, Saturday

Dumfries and Galloway's A75 is said to be one of the most haunted roads in Scotland. Join this tour run by paranoramal experts Mostly Ghostly to find out why. Touching on tales of phantom hitchhikers and local legends of unearthly creatures stalking the countryside, the two-hour trip uncovers the supernatural legacy of Annan, Dornock, Gretna Green and the Kinmount Straight. Pick up points are the Crossways Inn in Gretna at 5.45pm and the Dumfries Visit Scotland Centre at 6.40pm, with the tour starting at 7pm. Tickets are £17.50 through www.mostlyghostly.org/haunted-highways-tour

Animal Kingdom

Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh, from Saturday

Unleash your inner beast with this crafty, family-friendly workshop at Holyrood Palace, running from Saturday until the end of next week. The brickwork of the royal residence is festooned with all manner of heraldic creatures - from lions, dogs and monkeys, to more fantastical unicorns and dragons - your job is to find as many as you can. Younger visitors can then create masks based on what's been discovered. Tip: tickets can be converted into full year Palace passes free of charge - details at www.royalcollection.org.uk