Five Games things to do in Glasgow

Image caption All the big Games events will be shown on giant screens

You don't have to have a ticket to a sporting event to experience Glasgow's Commonwealth Games. Here are five things you can do.

1) Watch the biggest sporting events live on a giant screen.

There are four key "Live Zones" for watching events for free: Glasgow Green Live Zone, Merchant City Festival, Kelvingrove Bandstand and BBC at the Quay.

So why don't you peel yourself away from your TV, come out and enjoy some live atmosphere as you watch the year's biggest sporting moments.

Image copyright Grinagog
Image caption The Pokey Hat celebrates stories of Glasgow's east end

2) Festival 2014

There are an overwhelming number of cultural events to choose from at Festival 2014, which runs until 3 August.

Most of the action, including music, dance, theatre and stand-up, centres around the four main Live Zones.

Here's four examples from each of the four main venues:

  • How about listening to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra perform film music favourites, including Jurassic Park and Harry Potter. That's at The Living Room at Glasgow Green from 14:00-15:00 on Tuesday 29 July.
  • Or what about watching a show pop out of an ice cream van. The Pokey Hat celebrates stories from Glasgow's East End and there's the added incentive that cones are handed out at each performance. Find the van on 2 and 3 Aug at 13:00, 14:30 and 16:00 on King St in the Merchant City.
  • The Glasgow International Comedy Festival is back for stand up at the band stand. The Kelvingrove Bandstand has recently been re-opened after being left derelict for more than ten years. On Tuesday at 19:00, Fred MacAulay introduces John Moloney, Jo Caulfield and Phil Nichol. There's also a wider programme of music, film and story-telling.
  • Or why not book a ticket to watch your favourite show live. BBC at The Quay is hosting lots of live and recorded radio and TV programmes. If cooking is your thing you could come along to a special recording of The Kitchen Garden at 14:00 on 31 July.

View the Festival 2014 guide or check out the website.

Image caption Everything from musicals to beat boxing will be covered at the Big Big Sing

3) Get involved

Your experience of Glasgow's Commonwealth cultural celebrations needn't just be as a spectator. A series of interactive workshops are planned as part of Festival 2014, including Get Scotland Dancing and the Big Big BIG Sing.

Are ye dancin'? Well there's a ceilidh on Saturday at the Spiegeltent on Glasgow Green from 15:30 - 17:30.

Don't worry if you don't know the steps, the caller will keep you right.

It's all part of a Get Scotland Dancing drive. Check out their website for other events.

On Sunday, there is an all day Big Big BIG Sing event at the Glasgow Green Live Zone from 08:00-21:00.

There are various sessions to help you find your inner voice, from sing-alongs to hit musicals, to Beat Boxing and Indian singing.

At 15:30, there's also the opportunity to be part of Scotland's biggest pop-up choir in a singing celebration of the 2014 Games

Don't be shy, the bar has been set very low for singing ability - apparently there's even a singing horse.

Or for wee ones, there's an abundance of sports to try at The Back Garden at Glasgow Green. Come and try athletics, cycling, hockey or judo with Glasgow Sport.

Image copyright OYT
Image caption All the boats of the Commonwealth will form part of a flotilla

4) Watch the Flotilla

On Saturday, more than 250 vessels will cruise down the River Clyde.

From James Watt Dock in Greenock to the centre of Glasgow at Pacific Quay, all the boats in the Commonwealth Flotilla will make the 17 nautical mile (32km) journey to the heart of Glasgow.

The lead boats are expected to pass Erskine Bridge at about 12:00, Clydebank at about 12:20, Braehead at about 12:50, and reach the area between the Glasgow Science Centre and the Riverside Museum at about 14:00.

You can track boats' journeys on this interactive map.

Image caption The cycling road events will be free to watch

5) Be a spectator at a free Commonwealth games event

You don't need to have a ticket to experience the thrill of live sport. There are two free Games cycling road events as well as the marathon.

All three vents start and finish in Glasgow Green.

The Time Trial event on 31 July includes a single loop course (40km for men, 30km for women) around East Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and the city's East End.

The cycling Road Race will be held on 3 August. Riders will lap a 14km circuit along Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and St Vincent Street, on to the city's West End and Kelvingrove Park, and back towards the city centre.

The Marathon on 27 July will take athletes through the Merchant City, George Square, Buchanan Street and the Clyde Arc as well as Bellahouston Park and Pollok Park.

View a PDF of the route map.

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