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.
Wingstop UK, the ultimate experience for iconic wing flavours to enjoy with family and friends, is delighted to open its second site in Edinburgh today.READ MORE
Scotland's Kiltwalk Heroes are being urged to once more get walking to raise money for the charities they love as registration has opened for all four 2024 events.READ MORE
Christmas cinemagoers in Edinburgh get the chance to enjoy a new heart-warming animated short film this month and raise funds for the homeless.READ MORE
One of Scottish music’s biggest names over the last 50 years will join Celtic music supergroup Skipinnish at two major concerts in Edinburgh and Inverness to mark their 25th anniversary.READ MORE
Cineworld are delighted to invite film fans to experience the 4DX version of Wonka which will feature an all new special limited edition chocolate scent sure to transport viewers into Wonka's world.READ MORE
Edinburgh's Hogmanay’s world-renowned Torchlight Procession is set to make a return for this year’s 30th anniversary celebrations for the first time since 2019.READ MORE
Families invited to Jollyes, Hermiston Gait Retail Park, this Saturday (9th December) for Santa visits, Jollyes Joe dog mascot and prizes to be won.READ MORE
Dobbies is announcing over 300 nursery groups and local schools across the country who are set to receive a free real Christmas tree as part of its Not Your Average Community campaign.READ MORE
All Gusto Italian restaurants will be adding £1 to every bill from 1st December - 31st January in aid of charity, Young Lives vs Cancer.READ MORE
Two of Scotland's best known brands, Social Bite and itison, have joined forces for the 10th year to launch their annual festive fundraising campaign.READ MORE
Caledonia Gladiators has partnered with family business and leading highlandwear manufacturers Slanj to embrace its Scottish routes with a bespoke tartan for the club!READ MORE
Edinburgh Zoo has been announced as an official livestream venue for this year’s Royal Institution (Ri) Christmas Lectures, taking place Tuesday 12 and Thursday 14 December 2023.READ MORE
Renowned Scottish broadcaster and passionate reader, Heather Suttie, has unveiled a captivating podcast series destined to inspire and entertain book lovers around the globe.READ MORE
London North Eastern Railway (LNER) spread festive cheer today by unveiling a charming chocolate Sharing Station at Edinburgh Waverley Station, to celebrate the release of the film Wonka.READ MORE
Scotland’s world champion curling team has launched a new winter wonderland experience on the rooftop bar of Edinburgh’s iconic Cold Town House.READ MORE
Hearts FC fans will have the opportunity to meet their favourite players this week as the team is hosting a meet-and-greet at St James’ Quarter in Edinburgh.READ MORE
Virgin Hotels Edinburgh is hosting its inaugural Christmas Market in partnership with Support the Makers on the 10th of December.READ MORE
Time is running out to secure a fully-funded place at Fettes College, with applications from students to be completed before mid-January.READ MORE
Royal Collection Trust today announces that The Queen’s Galleries at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will become The King’s Galleries.READ MORE
In preparation for the Christmas season, the award-winning Kimpton Charlotte Square hotel has launched a new art exhibition with local gallery Colinton Arts.READ MORE
Guinness are partnering with THINK! and Greene King to give away free pints of 0.0 to designated drivers this Christmas!READ MORE
World's number one Scotch whisky puts Scotland at the forefront of global food & drink tourism.READ MORE
Embark on a magical journey this holiday season at Hotel Indigo Edinburgh with a donation from each festive-themed room going to Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity.READ MORE
VisitScotland's new campaign encourages people to enjoy train travel by promoting a route that connects all of Scotland’s historic cities by train.READ MORE
Experience the magic of shortbread with Walker's 125 Old Fashioned, a limited-edition whisky-based cocktail with a twist! Now available in 28 Scotsman Group bars across Scotland.READ MORE
Barratt Developments Scotland has joined forces with Dobbies Garden Centres to share top tips and insights on how to dress your front door this Christmas – sustainably and on a budget.READ MORE