It’s almost that time of year when the festive season gets into full swing.
To help you plan your time, here are 12 of the best Christmas events taking place across Scotland during November and December, from family-friendly attractions and things to do, to spectacular stage shows.
Glasgow On Ice
George Square, Glasgow
23 Nov – 5 Jan (except for 25 & 26 Dec and 1 Jan)
12noon-10pm, Sat & Sun 10am-10pm, adults £4-£10, child/concs £3-£8, family £14.50-£33 more info
Glasgow’s Christmas lights will be switched on at George Square on Thursday, November 14, and just over a week later Scotland’s largest outdoor ice rink will re-open, offering a chance to skate under the stars (and lights), plus the chance to warm up afterwards in the Christmas Marquee which will have free live music and festive films.
Edinburgh Christmas Light Night 2013
George Street, Edinburgh
24 Nov, 3pm – 5pm (First performance at 3pm; fireworks at 4.50pm), free and unticketed; more info
Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy will be switching on the lights at this massive free city centre event with performances from over 60 school, community and other groups, and a spectacular firework display.
The Christmas Carol Concert, Aberdeen
David Welch Winter Gardens, Duthie Park, Aberdeen
21 Dec, 11am & 2pm, free more info
An opportunity to listen to and maybe even sing along with your favourite carols at the David Welch indoor garden, where you can also enjoy the rare and exotic plants. Music will be performed by the talented Bon Accord Silver Band, and a certain man in a red suit may even make an appearance.
Dundee Christmas Light Night 2013
Dundee City Centre, 15 Nov
5:30pm – 9pm, free more info
Dundee’s Christmas Light Night marks the beginning of the city’s festivities, with a torchlight procession, the switching on of the Christmas lights, the return of One Big Ceilidh in City Square, The Dundee Nativity and a firework finale.
Christmas At The Castle, Stirling
Stirling Castle Esplanade
15 Dec, 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Event included in castle admission price (Adults £14.00, Children £7.50, Concessions £11.00); more info
Get into the festive spirit at Stirling Castle with the Swinging Santas, the Baron’s comedy capers and a Christmas puppet show. There will also be an opportunity to learn the traditions of Christmas and see traditional festive foods served at court.
A Dickens Christmas, Edinburgh
21 – 24 Dec, 11.15am, 12.15pm, 2pm & 3pm, more info
A traditional Victorian Christmas will be reenacted in the historic grounds of Edinburgh Castle, starring Charles Dickens as he prepares to write his classic festive tale, A Christmas Carol.
Dunfermline’s Winter Festival
23 Nov, 5pm – 9pm, free; more info
Santa and his reindeer will be making an early appearance in Dunfermline on November 23 and will be joined by a special celebrity guest for the Christmas light switch on. There will also be fairground rides, carol singers and more free family entertainment.
The 12 Days of Christmas at Crathes
Crathes Castle, Garden and Estate, Banchory
30 Nov – 1 Dec, 10.30am – 4.30pm, Adults £5, Children £3, family £12; more info
The Cairngorm Reindeer parades are an undoubted highlight of Crathes Castle’s annual festive weekend. The parades take place on both Saturday and Sunday.
White Christmas, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Festival Theatre
29 Nov – 4 Jan, Mon-Sat 7.30pm, matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm, Prices £16-£43; more info
The critically-acclaimed Irving Berlin musical (based on the Paramount Pictures film starring Bing Crosby) comes to Edinburgh with television stars Graham Cole (The Bill), Steven Houghton (Coronation Street, London’s Burning), and Wendi Peters (Coronation Street). Worth it just to hear the classic title song in its proper context.
The Stand Christmas Specials
The Stand Glasgow and The Stand Edinburgh
16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 Dec, tickets £12-15; more info
If you’re looking for laughs this Christmas, The Stand has you covered with festive comedy events in both Glasgow and Edinburgh. Glasgow’s line-up consists of Martin Mor, Janey Godley, Darren Connell and host Bruce Devlin, while Edinburgh has 2006 Scottish Comedian Of The Year, Mark Nelson, Steve Day, Susie Mccabe and host Joe Heenan.
Royal Scottish National Orchestra: Christmas Concert
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
22 Dec, 3pm, £12.50-£35 more info
Hear your favourite Christmas melodies as they were meant to be heard with orchestral versions of Christmas Festival, Sleigh Ride, Waltz Of The Snowflakes from The Nutcracker among others. Also includes a screening of that essential but rather sad festive film, The Snowman.
Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
6 Nov- 4 Jan, Prices vary; more info
A fun and interactive panto for all the family with a cast of professional actors supported by a chorus of talented young performers from across East Lothian.