Get in the Festive Mood with Edinburgh's Holiday Attractions

Edinburgh transforms into a winter wonderland every year for the festive period. The city centre is swathed in lights, there are parties galore and some great shops and markets where you can buy presents and treats for your loved ones. There are also some wonderful annual attractions which are bound to put a smile on even the face of even most hardened Scrooge.

The pantomime is an annual tradition which is loved by children and adults alike. The jokes may be cheesy and the costumes outlandish but it is hard not to be swept up by the atmosphere and find yourself joining in ... “he’s behind you!” As ever, this year’s pantomime at the Kings Theatre, “Jack and the Beanstalk" starring Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Grant Stott looks set to be a crowd pleaser. 

There are a number of other great attractions for the kids, possibly the most magical of which is a visit to Santa Land. This great city center attraction includes a Santa Train, rollercoaster, maze, Reindeer Rid and Balloon Ride. Of course you can also get to meet Santa himself and pick up an early present.

The ultimate festive attraction in Edinburgh is of course the Hogmanay (New Year’s) celebrations in the city center. In Scotland the celebration of New Year’s Eve comes close to eclipsing Christmas. The capital plays host to a massive street party with an open air concert, and a huge ceilidh culminating in a world class fireworks display. 

Between 1 November and 7 January you can indulge in a little open air ice skating in East Princes Street Gardens. Set against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, the Scott Monument and the neo-classical forms of the art galleries on the...  Read More

The Edinburgh Santa Fun Run is a great annual event which raises money for "When you wish upon a star" - a worthy charity which brings some joy to very ill children across the UK. Every year huge numbers of fundraisers dress up as Santa Claus...  Read More

Between 20 November and 24th December the Virgin Money Street of Light will be lighting up West George Street in the heart of Edinburgh's New Town. The light show is to include a massive 60,000 lights which will be draped over buildings and...  Read More

The Cameo Cinema is one of Edinburgh's best-loved independent cinemas. It has a comfortable, cozy bar and shows an eclectic mix of interesting movies. It was originally the King's Cinema and it is a stone's throw away from the King's Theater. It...  Read More

Between 26th November and 31st December 2016 the Lyceum Theatre will be home to a new version of the much Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. With lavish Victorian scenery and costumes, this adaption looks set to be a great...  Read More

Outside the City

The "Loony Dook" is a completely crazy Scottish tradition. After staying up all night on Hogmanay (New Year's) and drinking copious quantities of alcohol, brave souls plunge into a freezing cold river, loch or even the North Sea! This annual...  Read More

The Festival Square Theatre is a temporary pop up theatre situated in Festival Square, in front of the Usher Hall, just off Lothian Road. Over the festive period it will play host to two spectacular shows. The hit West End and Broadway musical,...  Read More

Kings Theatre first opened its doors in 1906, and has been a prominent venue for performing arts ever since. Although the original frontage has been maintained, it was comprehensively renovated by Edinburgh City Council in the 1980's and has...  Read More

Between 20 November and 4 January Princes Street Gardens is transformed into Santa Land. In the heart of the Christmas Tree maze you can find the Elves Workshop where young ones will receive a little treat from Santa's helpers. There is also a...  Read More

Hogmanay is Scotland's world famous New Year's celebration, and the three day party held in Edinburgh is one of the liveliest in the country. Festivities begin with the torchlight procession and fireworks display on 30 December. On the eve of 31...  Read More


Meet Simon Hill

Simon has lived in various corners of Edinburgh over the last 18 years. He fell in love with the city as a small child after visiting the castle and returned to study Scottish History.

After...  More About Simon