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One more sleep till Edinburghs Christmas 2023

With only one more sleep until Edinburgh’s Christmas officially opens, locals and tourists alike can now plan out their Christmas agenda with festive fun planned for every corner of the city.

One more sleep till Edinburghs Christmas 2023

Article Source: Edinburgh’s Christmas
Last Updated: 16 November 2023 9:25

Fri 17 Nov 2023 - Sat 6 Jan 2024

A world-renowned destination for festive fun throughout the holiday season, Edinburgh’s Christmas will run for seven magical weeks, opening Friday 17 November until Saturday 6 January 2024. From shopping for gifts at the traditional Christmas markets, funfair rides for all the family, ice skating with friends, live events, that first mulled drink of the season and the all-important visit to Santa – Edinburgh is the place to be this festive season.

Edinburgh’s Christmas, produced by UniqueAssembly on behalf of City of Edinburgh Council, will take place across four locations throughout the capital this year with events in East Princes Street Gardens, West Princes Street Gardens, St Andrew Square and George Street. Full programme information and tickets to attractions and events are available now via www.edinburgh-christmas.com.

HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS...

There’s something for everyone at Edinburgh’s Christmas in 2023 – whether taking in views of the city skyline from the Forth1 Big Wheel, skating your way into the festive season at the Ice Rink or settling in for a Santa Story...it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Landing in St Andrew Square straight from the North Pole itself, Santa and some very helpful elves will welcome families to Santa’s Stories – a magical storytelling experience where every child will meet Santa and receive their own gift, as well as learn the importance of giving this Christmas season. Create new Christmas traditions at St Andrew Square’s special Post-Box and Letter Writing Station where Santa’s elves will help kids post their requests off to the North Pole.

Get your skates on and take a trip around the ice at Edinburgh’s Christmas Ice Rink with Jet2holidays – back bigger and better than ever before on George Street. The clear undercover rink is the ideal way to take in the majestic Georgian skyline of Edinburgh’s New Town whilst embracing the festive spirit and showing off your best moves before warming up with a hot mulled cider at George Street’s cosy warming zones.

Take a ride on the Forth1 Big Wheel, Scotland’s largest festive ferris-wheel standing at 46m tall and providing stunning views of the city’s skyline. Or take a ride on the TechnoPower, reach new heights on the Starflyer or take the long way down on the Helter Skelter, all located in East Princes Street Gardens.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY LIVE EVENTS:

The iconic Ross Bandstand will play host to a programme of free family-friendly events each weekend in the build up to Christmas. The programme features four key themes of LIGHT, MUSIC, DANCE & SANTA and will include live concerts, Diwali Celebrations, ceilidhs, silent discos, carol concerts and even a pup-tastic Santa Paws event.

Edinburgh’s Christmas Opening Concert will officially launch festivities on Saturday 18 November with a welcome speech from the Lord Provost of Edinburgh; plus performances from the Little Stars Big Voices Choir, Dance@Studio21, Siamsoir Irish Dance Performance Troupe, and Sprog Rock.

Other events include the culmination of Edinburgh Diwali (19 Nov) with performances and a dazzling fireworks display; Sing-a-long Saturday (2 Dec) and a Nativity Carol Concert (3 Dec) where you can join the chorus for your favourite Christmas songs; and a St Andrew’s Outdoor Ceilidh (26 Nov) in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Rounding things off at the Ross Bandstand events is Santa Paws (9 Dec) and the When You Wish Upon A Star’s Santa Fun Run (10 Dec). Dress up as Santa and fundraise for a good cause at the 19th annual Edinburgh Santa Fun Run & Walk.

Events at the Ross Bandstand run Saturdays and Sundays, 18 November – 10 December. Tickets are free or from £4 for the Silent Disco with £1 of every ticket being donated to One City Trust.

FIND THE PERFECT GIFT:

Edinburgh’s traditional Christmas Markets are world renowned and this year, over 80 stalls will be located across the city from East Princes Street Gardens to George Street. The local and international stalls will sell everything from handmade gifts and bespoke products to tasty treats and delicious drinks.

The perfect place to pick up gifts for under the tree this year, the Christmas Market in East Princes Street Gardens will welcome independent traders including; The Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company, LoudElephant, From the Olive Tree, Hairy Fairy Gifts and returning favourites The Christmas Nutcracker Shop and many more.

Shoppers can take a trip down one of the city’s most famous streets for shopping as George Street becomes home to a stunning selection of Christmas markets and boutique traders including family-run Soctopus, locals Brownhill Whisky and Native Handicraft.

Foodies looking for tasty festive treats in East Princes Street Gardens can try out everything from Ting Thai’s award-winning Pad Thai to hot pies from Jarvis Pickle Kitchen and finish off with sweet churros, crepes and waffles, or luxury hot chocolate from Hector and Harriet.
For more gift ideas, head to Local Motive’s Christmas Market on Castle Street from 25 November to 22 December, featuring 22 stalls selling quality made local, fair trade and ethical gift including arts and crafts, food and drinks.

SPREADING CHRISTMAS CHEER:

It’s not just the city centre that gets into the Christmas Spirit, with festive exhibitions and events taking place across Edinburgh.

Pantomime favourites Allan Stewart, Grant Stott and Jordan Young join The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan (25 Nov – 31 Dec) at the Festival Theatre; The Snow Queen (23 Nov – 31 Dec) makes her way to The Lyceum; the Balkan bad boys of puppetry bring Boris & Sergey's A Christmas Carol (A Cabaret) (12 – 21 Dec) to Assembly Roxy; and the 14th annual Edinburgh International Magic Festival (20 – 31 Dec) comes to Edinburgh with performances from Elliot Bibby, Cameron Gibson, Kevin Quantum, and more.

Christmas at the Botanics (16 Nov – 30 Dec) returns with a magical, botanical illuminated trail for all ages; The Polar Express Edinburgh steams its way into Waverley Station for a thrilling theatrical experience; and Christmas at the Palace takes place at the Palace of Holyroodhouse with Exclusive Evening Tours and a Carol Concert in the State Apartments.

Summerhall hosts its Big Christmas Weekend (1 – 3 Dec) with arts, Christmas creativity, and wreath making workshop; the Christmas Arts Market (2 – 10 Dec) returns to Out of the Blue Drill Hall; Edinburgh’s Zoo Winter Village (1 Dec – 7 Jan) comes to Corstorphine; and the Tron Kirk Market (1 Nov – 1 Jan) boasts over 20 Scottish artists and designers all affiliated with the Scottish Design Exchange.

Details of Christmas events across Edinburgh can be found at www.edwinterfest.com

Culture and Communities Convener, Councillor Val Walker said: It’s fantastic that Edinburgh’s Christmas is opening to the public this week, and I can’t wait to experience the magic alongside our residents and visitors. For six weeks our city is transformed into a true winter wonderland with a wide range of activities for people of all ages. From the Ice Rink on George Street, to the Botanical Gardens being lit up, the amazing Christmas market in Princes Street Gardens and so much more we’re truly spoilt for choice.

“We’re exceptionally proud of the internationally stellar reputation that our Winter Festivals command and I’m sure this year will be every bit as special.”


Edinburgh’s Christmas opens early evening Friday 17 November with the Big Wheel and Christmas Market at East Princes Street Gardens. The Festive Family Funfair, Ice Rink with Jet2holidays, and Santa’s Stories begin on Saturday 18 November and run till Saturday 6 January 2024.

Tickets and further information on Edinburgh’s Christmas full programme of events and attractions is available at www.edinburgh-christmas.com.

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