After the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, Edinburgh’s Christmas is my favourite time of year in this beautiful city! I love Christmas in general, and it’s great to see the city light up and everyone filled with Christmas spirit.
When I first moved to Edinburgh last year, I worked at Edinburgh’s Christmas whilst I was job hunting, so I can appreciate all of the hard work that is put into the festival. It was great to see that everyone’s hard work was recognised when it won Best Festival at the UK:Event Awards, this time last year.
The best thing about Edinburgh’s Christmas is that there is so much going on that everyone can enjoy it – no matter what age!
East Princes Street Gardens
Princes Street Gardens is the biggest location for Edinburgh’s Christmas. Here you will find an ice rink that has some skating aids for children, the Big Wheel, the Star Flyer, European markets, Santa Land and much more! One of my favourite aspects is the bar that is also a carousel – the perfect way for adults to be adults, but also have fun. The food selection at the European market it fantastic; it is so difficult to decide what to have! However, the mini pancakes are a personal favourite of mine.
Santa Land is filled with exciting rides and activities for children, including Santa’s Grotto, Santa’s train, a children’s market and the Tree Maze; this is fun for all the family! Santa’s Grotto is an extremely popular experience so make sure to book in plenty time! Visiting Santa lasts around 30 minutes and children will get to draw their Christmas wish, receive a gift and listen to Santa reading a Christmas story.
Tickets for all rides and attractions can be booked online to save you from queuing, and EH residents get a 20% discount – make sure to bring a drivers licence or a utility bill to prove your EH postcode.
St Andrews Square
St Andrews Square hosts a fantastic Scottish Market, as well as the famous Spiegeltent; here you can be entertained by a selection of shows for both adults and children. Some of these shows include Stick Man – Live on Stage and Frisky and Mannish, which were both well received last year, and also Circa: Beyond, which I have heard great things about! The Scottish Market is the perfect place to grab a delicious meal before enjoying a show.
There is another ice rink in St Andrews square, which circles the Melville monument and a bar, which makes it perfect for adults. Although there are not as many rides here as there is in the Gardens, there is still a Christmas Tree Slide and a Double Carousel.
Virgin Money Street of Light
The Virgin Money Street of Light is a new event for Edinburgh’s Christmas, and one that I am very much looking forward to on the 23rd of December. The Street of Light is completely free but tickets need to be booked to confirm your date and time.
Edinburgh’s Christmas describe The Street of Light as “an architectural installation of 26 arches of 60,000 lights will run along the Royal Mile, from City Chambers to the Tron Kirk.
Enter this stunning canopy of light, rising up to 19 metres high, and listen to music sung and played by choirs from across Edinburgh synchronised to the lights.
With music from the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, the Edinburgh Gay Men’s Chorus, the Edinburgh Police Choir and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union.”
This sound a light shows sounds like a great way to bring Christmas to the Old Town, and I for one can’t wait for this magical experience!