Everything you need to know about Christmas in Glasgow

The Christmas lights switch on in Glasgow.
The Christmas lights switch on in Glasgow.
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With Christmas just around the corner, Glasgow is in the midst of a festive makeover.

From pantomimes to traditional festive markets, here’s everything you need to know about the best Christmas attractions and events going on across the city this year.

Glasgow Christmas Markets

Glasgow has two main Christmas markets this year, split between George Square and St Enoch Square.

The traditional European-style markets are full of festive foodie treats, as well as unique Christmas gifts.

Visitors can enjoy a mug of mulled wine as they browse the stalls, and tasty street food from local vendors will also be available.

At the heart of the St Enoch market is a cosy bar with festive drinks, and in George Square visitors will find a variety of family-friendly street entertainment.

Open: 9 November – 22 December (St Enoch Square), 25 November – 29 December (George Square), 10am-10pm

Christmas Lights Switch On

The festive season officially kicks off in Glasgow with the big annual Christmas light switch on.

Taking place in George Square on 19 November, 16,000 people are expected to attend.

This year, some brand new Christmas lights will be unveiled, followed by plenty of live entertainment, music, and a fireworks display.

Open: 19 November, 5-9pm

Sleeping Beauty Pantomime

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a good old fashioned pantomime.

This year’s festive show at the King’s Theatre is Sleeping Beauty, an enchanting fairytale with plenty of comedy, music and Christmas magic.

The cast includes Scottish stars such as Elaine C Smith, Johnny Mac, Juliet Cadzow and Paul-James Corrigan, best known for appearing in the soap, River City.

Look out for various other pantomimes and festive shows at other venues across the city, including Jack and the Beanstalk at SEC Armadillo and Cinderella at the Citizens Theatre.

Open: 2 December – 7 January, show times vary

The Big Wheel

The Big Wheel, located in George Square, is always a welcome festive sight in the city centre.

The giant ferris wheel rises almost 130 feet above ground, offering an amazing view of Glasgow’s skyline from a whole new perspective.

Also look out for the traditional carousel ride and other attractions in George Square this year.

Open: 25 November – 29 December, 10am-10pm

Style Mile Carnival

Spreading festive cheer across the city, the Style Mile Carnival will bring Christmas characters to life with a procession full of music, dance and entertainment.

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The procession will start in St Enoch Square, and will travel along Argyle Street, Queen Street, George Street, St Vincent Street, West Nile Street and West George Street, before finishing off in George Square.

Those watching can expect stunning costumes and exciting performances from toy soldiers, sugarplum fairies, Santa Claus and lots more.

Open: 26 November, 2:30-3:30pm

Glasgow Santa Dash

Embrace the spirit of giving this Christmas and take part in Glasgow’s Santa Dash.

The annual event (held on 10 December) sees thousands of participants dress up as Santa and run through the city to raise money for charity.

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The 5K charity run is expected to attract over 7,500 participants, and this year’s nominated charity is the Beatson Cancer Charity.

Since the event started in 2006, the Santa Dash has raised over £200,000 for good causes.

Open: 10 December, 9:30am

Blessing of the Crib

The traditional Blessing of the Crib ceremony is a much-loved event in Glasgow.

This year’s Blessing of the Crib takes place on 6 December, beneath the Christmas lights in George Square.

The event, hosted by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, is free to attend, and also includes performances from local choirs.

Open: 6 December, 6:30pm