Edinburgh has its own special magical feel in all seasons, but in the run-up to Christmas the city is particularly beautiful with thousands of Christmas lights and loads and loads to offer to the young, old, and in between. Edinburgh and its citizens get completely carried away with Christmas festivities, events, and performances to an extent that Edinburgh’s tourism slogan should be “We might suck at weather, but we are good at Christmas.” However, there is so much going on that it might be hard to get a comprehensive overview. That is why we would like to hereby provide you with an outline of the very best events happening in Edinburgh this November and December. So put on your mistletoe seatbelt and Santa hat and get ready for ride through all things Christmassy.
And don’t forget, on your Christmas trip to Edinburgh, stay with us at our 4-star Stewart serviced apartments from £85 a night for a one-bedroom apartment. Included in the price is a bottle of Prosecco and late check-out the next day – if that isn’t a fabulous deal.
35 Sleeps until Christmas: Edinburgh Christmas
Edinburgh Christmas officially opens its gates at 5pm on Friday 20th November. From that date onwards until the 4th January visitors can enjoy a number of rides in Edinburgh’s city centre such as the 60m high Star Flyer or the fairy wheel to take in the views. There will also be multiple ice rinks if you’re feeling sporty, a European and Scottish Christmas market for the hungry among us, and many more fun things to get you into the Christmas mood.
Central Edinburgh, 20th November – 4th January
25 Sleeps until Christmas: Virgin Money Street of Light
This year Edinburgh’s festive season sees a new addition to its Christmas calendar – the Virgin Money Street of Light. It is described as “an architectural installation of over 60,000 lights” along the Royal Mile synchronised to the music of local choirs. It takes about 20min and will light up Old Town each evening from 30th November. The event is free, however you still need to reserve tickets online and you have to be quick as some nights are sold out already.
Royal Mile, Edinburgh, 30th November – 24th December, 6.30pm or 8.15pm
11 Sleeps until Christmas: The Stand Christmas Specials
Merry Christmas Ha Ha Ha! If you don’t fancy eating dry turkey and wearing daft paper hats, then come to The Stand Comedy Club for some festive cheer instead. Some of the best comedians are packing the December bill with awesome entertainment such as the Stand Christmas Specials, which are on from 14th to 19th December. You can even include a Christmassy meal in the fun for £21 or just enjoy the show for £12.
The Stand Comedy Club, 5 York Pl, Edinburgh, 14th – 19th December, 8.30pm
12 Sleeps until Christmas: Rudsambee Concert at St Giles Cathedral
About halfway up the Royal Mile from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle lays the majestic St Giles Cathedral. Supported by the wonderful acoustics and magic atmosphere of the cathedral, Edinburgh choir Rudsambee will amaze you with Christmas music from around the world. Admission is free but donations will be welcome.
St Giles Cathedral, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, 13th December, 6pm
12 Sleeps until Christmas: The Edinburgh Santa Fun Run & Walk
Christmas time does not necessarily have to mean laying on the couch and stuffing your face with cookies until it looks like a cookie, because in Edinburgh during the run-up to Christmas you can quite literally take a run (pun intended). On 13th December British charity When You Wish Upon A Star hosts a Santa Run in West Princess Street Gardens, in which the whole family dressed up as big and little Santas can take part running or simply walking a 2.5km (1.55 miles) circuit. Adults pay £10, kids £5, and really small buggers £2.50 and just to mention it again: the proceeds of this event will go to charity granting the Wishes of children living with a life threatening illness. And even if you do not want to take part, still come down and watch hundreds of Santas run in circles.
West Princess Street Gardens, Edinburgh, 13th December, 11am
6 Sleeps until Christmas: Breakfast with Santa at Hard Rock Cafe
You can definitely tell from Santa’s belly circumference that he loves his breakfast. So why not join him for a jolly morning at the Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh? A typical Hard Rock Cafe style buffet breakfast as your weekend taste bud treat and games, face painting, puppets and Santa himself for your kids’ entertainment needs. Book early to reserve a place.
Hard Rock Cafe, 20 George St, Edinburgh, 19th and 20th December, 9am-11am
6 Sleeps until Christmas: Edinburgh Drive-In Spectacular
Think the world’s biggest outdoor LED screen, think Christmas movies, and think sitting in your car with a full bag of popcorn – that is the combination you will be able to enjoy at the Royal Highland Centre this December. All the classic Christmas movies from Home Alone to Elf will be shown in a drive-in cinema accompanied by lots of other entertainment such as Christmas karaoke and elves to welcome you. You pay £26 for a whole car no matter how many people you bring.
Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, 19th – 23rd December, 2.30pm, 6.30pm, 9.30pm