Top child-friendly Christmas experiences to enjoy in Scotland next month

With the festive season about to get into full swing, here's some of the best events to enjoy with the kids this December

Picture: On various dates throughout December, New Lanark World Heritage Site will be showcasing its spectacular Christmas at the Mills experience.
Picture: On various dates throughout December, New Lanark World Heritage Site will be showcasing its spectacular Christmas at the Mills experience.

Festive Sound Walk

From 9th December, Edinburgh’s West End

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Enjoy a tour of the capital with a difference this Yuletide, courtesy of a free Sound Walk. This festive walk centres around the picturesque west end and is available to download here from 9th December throughout the holidays.  

Picture: Shutterstock

The guided audio walk allows the listener to follow a festive trail around this beautiful area of the city, following a series of clues. At the end of the walk, the everyone will be rewarded with a glass of mulled wine or a child-friendly refreshment for little ones.  

Escape Reality

Until 23rd December, Edinburgh

Treat the kids to a mind boggling game at Edinburgh’s Escape Reality. With some child-friendly campaigns running until the 23rd December, these mini version of the adult’s games.

Picture: Shutterstock

Who Stole Christmas invites kids to a Christmas scene (decorated tree, tinsel, opened presents etc). Using the 10 witness statements/profiles, the players must determine who it was that stole Christmas. Once they’ve worked it out, they must fill out the ballot paper and place it into the box in order to be the winner of the week.

Save a bit of cash by using the discount code, CHRISTMAS15 when booking here.

Christmas Fair and Foal Show

3rd December, East Kilbride

If you want to spend a festive day on a farm then the annual Christmas Fair and Foal Show event at The National Museum of Rural Life is perfect.

Children will be able to meet the farm animals, which include Shetland ponies, donkeys, cows and ducks; take an elf-driven tractor ride to the farm, make their own Christmas decorations and meet the main man himself at Santa’s grotto. There’s also treats for adults such as shopping at the craft fair and a chance to make your own mulled wine sachets.

Glasgow’s Christmas Markets

Until 29th December, George Square and St Enoch’s Square

Glasgow’s Continental Christmas Market opens this month in the city’s St Enoch’s square, bringing the best of traders and stalls from all over Europe.

Featuring traditional flavours and produce from countries like France, Germany and Italy, there are also guests from further afield (including a special visitor from the Finnish part of Lapland).

Kids will love the George Square market, as it is home to live entertainment, the big wheel and funfair rides.

Santa’s Grotto

Until 24th December. Dobbies Dunfermline

With various places to see Father Christmas this year, he will be kept very busy. But if you’re in Fife, you can catch him at Dobbies Garden Centre in Dunfermline.

Father Christmas’ Grotto is one of the most exciting festive experiences for children, who are invited to explore the enchanted setting, be welcomed by Father Christmas himself and receive a toy brand of your choice. 

The garden centre is also hosting tea with Father Christmas until the 24th December. This popular event includes a children’s hot dish or sandwich selection followed by party games, activities and a small gift from Father Christmas,

This year, families can also join in the fun with the adult menu options which include afternoon tea or cake and coffee.

An Ice Adventure: Journey through frozen Scotland

Until the 24th December, Edinburgh

Brave the elements and take a journey through frozen Scotland in this immersive walk-through experience filled with spectacular ice and snow sculptures, which will take your breath away.

The life-like sculptures will delight kids and adults, and include: Vikings, fairies, Kelpies, Highland cows, eagles, Dolly the Sheep, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, Greyfriars Bobby and of course the Loch Ness Monster.

With a temperature of -10, it’s best to wrap up and look forward to a hot toddy or hot spiced apple juice at the ice bar.

Meet Rudolf and friends

Across Lanarkshire, the elves will be arriving by the sleigh-full and they will be bringing some very special furry friends with them. This Christmas, visitors will be able to meet some of Santa’s reindeer at M&D’s Magical Wonderland before swishing around on ice-skates on the attraction’s open-air rink. And, at Palacerigg County Park’s Winterfest Fayre, which is taking place on Saturday 9 December, there will be a unique live animal nativity scene.

Wreath making

2nd December, Luthrie Village Hall,

If you are trying to entertain older kids then why not appeal to their creative side with a wreath making class?

Treat yourself and them to this festive event, which also includes a Christmas craft and bake sale. Join local floral artist, Ruby, for a festive morning of wreath making and Christmas baking. After tea and coffee, you’ll learn how to create a fresh Christmas wreath from beginning to end. Perfect for a fun family day out.

Family dress up Bingo

22nd December, Loch Leven’s Larder, Fife

Have some fun with this festive, family bingo night. From 5-8pm, families can dress up in Christmas jumpers, antlers and elf hats (to match the staff) and tuck into a special festive meal before getting competitive at a game of bingo.

For more information on tickets and how to book, please visit Loch Leven’s Larder website.

Glamis Castle Christmas Market

8th-10th December, Glamis Castle Angus

Celebrate a family Christmas in a fairytale setting with this magical market, located in the castle grounds. Kids big and small can enjoy seeing the local crafters who will showcase their wares (perfect for a last minute spot of Christmas shopping) while local producers lay on some delicious food and drink. Tour the castle, visit Santa’s Grotto or enjoy a unique drive-in screenings of Elf and Home Alone.

Itison Drive In Movies

Until 24th December

Enjoy a family day or night out at itison’s annual festive film-fest. Located on Loch Lomond Shores, this year’s films are Elf, Home Alone and Home Alone 2.

As well and festive favourite films, there will be hot food and drinks, including hot chocolate, on site.

For more information and tickets, please visit their website.

Christmas at the Mills

Throughout December

One of Lanarkshire’s most magical locations, will once again be transformed into a winter wonderland.

On various dates throughout December, New Lanark World Heritage Site will be showcasing its spectacular Christmas at the Mills experience. Visitors will be able to enjoy festive rides, Santa’s grotto and even tick off some Christmas gifts at the Mill Shop. There will also be a chance for the little ones to make their own Christmas cards at the craft station.

This year the 18th century working mill will also be showcasing the ‘Magic Shoes’ pantomime, which takes inspiration from the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, ‘The Red Shoes’.

Entry to Christmas at the Mills starts from 2 December and tickets cost just £10.50, with additional tickets required for the pantomime.