The Christmas season has officially begun, sweeping through Edinburgh in a sea of tinsel, snowflakes, fairylights and festive cheer.
Princes Street’s Christmas Market will once again serve as the city’s seasonal hub, filled with funfair rides, stalls and other festive attractions.
Above all else, Christmas is a time for family, and this year’s celebration will be putting on a great range of family-friendly events.
As well as the huge range of stalls selling all kinds of hand-crafted goodies and delicious treats, this year’s Christmas Market is home to a Santa Land filled with rides for children of all ages.
For the tiny ones, there is the Santa Train, giving kids their very own Polar Express-style adventure.
For those looking to kick things up into a higher gear, there is the Race-o-Rama, as well as the Candy Cane Bungees, Chairoplanes and the Reindeer Ride.
Community Christmas will once again spread festive spirit with dazzling projections at 12 locations across the city over 12 nights.
Accompanied by local choirs, it’s sure to get even Edinburgh’s Scrooges in the mood for Christmas.
24 Doors of Advent
Christmas is all about throwing open the doors and inviting everyone to celebrate together.
In that spirit, each day of Advent will see a building in Edinburgh open its doors to the public.
From Murrayfield Stadium to chapels, churches and courts across the city, 24 Doors of Advent ensures that there has never been a better time to go exploring in Scotland’s capital.
Baby Loves Disco’s Christmas Glitter Ball
For the last five years, this all-ages dance bonanza has been a sell-out success and one of the family-friendly highlights of Edinburgh’s Christmas calendar.
This year, it’s up and moved over to the Assembly Rooms Ballroom just to try and fit everyone in.
As well as the resident DJ throwing out nostalgic festive jams, there will be face painting, crafts, toddler play equipment and dancefloor games to keep all of the little ones in tune - and a bar to keep the adults smiling!
Never one to miss a party, Santa Clause will be making a quick appearance as well – busting out moves and giving out gifts before he gets back to work.
Tickets are required for everyone of toddling age and above. They can be purchased here from £10.50.
The Winter Windows have become a key part of Edinburgh’s Christmas transformation.
Boasting artwork by some of the city’s most creative students, these colourful stained-glass windows add a festive, local flavour to locations across the city. Hunting them down makes for the ideal Christmas-time activity.
You’ll find them all over Edinburgh, from Main Street to the City Chambers, White Park and beyond.
Christmas Tree Maze
Disaster! Some of Santa’s helpful elves have got themselves lost inside the Christmas tree maze!
On the upside, anyone who helps to find them is sure to be in for a great reward.
A seasonal favourite, the Christmas tree maze returns once again for those who feel ready to match their sense of direction against the festive labyrinth.
Best off all, 25p from every ticket goes towards the Tree Time project which re-plants trees across Edinburgh.
Tickets are £4.50 and are available here.
The highlight of any good Christmas market is Santa’s Grotto - the perfect treat for tots who can’t quite contain their enthusiasm until the big day.
While a market of skilfully crafted wears, indulgent comfort food and seasonal drinks might enchant the older market-goers, anyone below a certain age will have eyes only for the man in the big red suit.
Not only do the kids get a gift straight from the hands of old Nick, but they can sit and listen to him reel off a seasonal story that’s sure to delight them.
Tickets cost £8.50 for each child, with no charge for their accompanying adult.
Welcome to the Jingle
Great crowds of people quietly bopping through the city streets have become so common a sight in recent times that they mostly go unnoticed until they burst into song – the silent disco tours have truly taken over Edinburgh.
The city’s headphone disco maestros, Silent Adventure, have joined forces with this year’s Christmas market to create Welcome to the Jingle, a Christmas-themed version taking place over at Princes Street.
Wandering through the marketplace with your brain soaked in festive jingles, you’ll be the perfect envoy of Christmas spirit.
Children’s Classic Concerts: Santa’s Workshop
Santa’s Christmas preparations are thrown into disarray after he gets stuck in the chimney, leading to a race against the clock to get things back on track before the big day.
With hit songs from major Christmas movies, the RSNO and the Manor School of Ballet combine forces to put on a show that’s sure to be brimming with talent and festive spirit.
The show will take place on Sunday 8 December at Usher Hall. Tickets cost £16.50 for adults and £10.50 for kids, and are available here.