Six great festive family days out across Scotland

Skaters will be taking to the rink at Glasgow's George Square. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Skaters will be taking to the rink at Glasgow's George Square. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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CHRISTMAS isn’t just a one-day turkey extravaganza – there are plenty of things to do with the family in the run-up to the 25th


Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden gets a glowing makeover for the festive season. Using 3D projections and lasers inspired by the natural elements, this lightshow shines an eerie spotlight on the garden’s wildlife.

Oct 29 - Nov 22: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh / more info


Scotland’s biggest and best, Princes Street Gardens is home to a number of little wooden chalets from November onwards and it’s a perfect place to pick up some mulled wine, bratwurst and Christmas cheer. The Christmas market has been a part of the city’s festive charm for over 20 years and offers a number of unique gifts as well as all your favourite fairground rounds in the shadow of the Scott Monument.

Nov 20 - Jan 4: Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh / more info


While many would be content to accept the foodie treats readily available this time of year, Perth decides to crank up the gluttony with their own festival celebrating all things chocolate. The two-day celebration of the cocoa bean sees a number of artisan chocolatiers offering unique Christmas gifts and lots of other treats. There’s also a kids’ tent, putting on entertainment for your own wee chocolate scoffers.

Nov 20-21: King Edward Street, Perth / more info


Few things quite says Christmas like the sound of skates moving across the ice. Glasgow’s George Square will be home to the largest outdoor ice rink in Scotland over the festive period, a perfect family day out for your mini Torvill and Deans who can glide across the ice while you browse the food and drink stalls on the upper pavilion.

Nov 27 - December 31: George Square, Glasgow / more info


Just as Christmas dinner really isn’t complete until the cheese board makes an appearance, the season itself wouldn’t be quite the same without a slice of pantomime cheese too. This year’s clear standout is Glasgow, with the SECC hosting X Factor winner Michelle McManus, comedy duo The Krankies as well as the Knight Rider himself, David Hasselhoff. A true Christmas cracker.

Dec 12 - Jan 3: SECC, Glasgow / more info


The Royal Scottish National Orchestra will be providing a live orchestral accompaniment for Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman, narrated by a special guest still to be announced. It’s an event and venue that’s perfectly matched.

Dec 17: Music Hall, Aberdeen / more info