Experience Edinburgh’s Winter Wonderland this Christmas

Family fun in Edinburgh this Christmas

Family fun in Edinburgh this Christmas

When the C word is first mentioned around October by friends and family and emblazoned across retail advertising, I shiver – not with the chill weather, but the thought of all that shopping and organisation.

But mention Edinburgh’s Christmas and I am in a warm nostalgic mood, the image of Princes Street Gardens transformed once again into a glittering Disney-style Winter Wonderland.

Produced jointly by Underbelly and Unique Events, Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2013 will be a bigger, brighter and better Festival of entertainment for all ages: Ferris Wheel, funfair rides, ice-rink, carol concerts, outdoor Markets, Santa’s grotto, cabaret, music,  theatre and pantomime.

The sparkling Festive city

The sparkling Festive city

Winter in the city is simply magical.  The Castle creates a fairytale backdrop for an adventure playground, with the giant Christmas tree (gifted from Norway since 1986) at the top of the Mound and the trees in Princes Street gardens sparkling with fairy lights.

Wrap up in hats and scarves for a whirl around the skating rink beside the Scott Monument, and book your tickets for the new, improved Big Ferris Wheel – now with cosy, enclosed 6 seater pods – an exhilerating skyride above Princes Street Gardens.  Another exciting attraction will be the Star Flyer in which you are “flown” 60 metres up in the air for spectacular city views.

This year more fun at the fair takes place in St. Andrew’s Square with a traditional Carousel and the huge Paradiso Spiegeltent arena where a diverse range of shows will be staged:

“Grabs you by the seat of your pants .. an irresistible cocktail of circus skills, live music and sexy humour”.

Limbo - Burlesque Circus Cabaret

Limbo – Burlesque Circus Cabaret

A reviewer raving about Limbo, which arrives in the Capital after thrilling audiences in Adelaide and London.  A new production of this burlesque circus-cabaret runs from 22nd November to 4 January with special VIP dinner /show tickets available for a great night out.

Captain Flinn

Captain Flinn

Kids will love two charming shows at the Spiegeltent – Captain Flinn and the Pirate dinosaurs (10 yrs +) and Little Red Riding Hood, ( 3+) with morning and afternoon performances.

These are just a few highlights taking place from a colourful programme of events which include several Christmas Markets, (Scottish food & drink, toys, gifts, traditional crafts), and Hot Dub Time Machine Dance Party nights.  And not forgetting great late night shopping, bars, pubs, restaurants, arts & culture around the city.

Scottish food, Children's and European craft markets

Christmas Markets for festive food, arts & crafts

And of course around town all the theatres are staging a wide choice of entertainment: Disney’s The Lion King at the Playhouse and transferring from movie to stage,  White Christmas, the all singing, all dancing musical at the Festival Theatre.   Peter Pan the Pantomime is at the King’s Theatre stars the usual trio, Grant Stott, Andy Gray and Allan Stewart for crazy family fun.   At the Royal Lyceum,  a dramatised version of  Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol,  the classic tale about the mean spirited Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past.

Don’t be a Humbug and book tickets now for a Festive family treat. !

The Christmas magic begins on Sunday 24th November when Radio Forth presenter Arlene Stuart hosts the opening ceremony before local sports superstar, Sir Chris Hoy switches on the lights to launch Light Night with a theme of “12 Days of Christmas”.

Around 850 performers from schools and community groups will entertain the crowds with songs, music and dance on a series of stages along George Street. This fantastic free show will also have a spectacular display of fireworks so get there in good time to experience this magical afternoon from 2.30 – 5pm.

The city will surely fizz with true festive spirit for six weeks leading up to Edinburgh’s famous New Year party – the Home of Hogmanay – for the countdown to 2014. 

Edinburgh during the Winter Festivals was chosen by Patricia Shultz as one of the “1,000 Places to See Before you Die”,  her travel guide book of where to go for  a memorable experience.

“Life is not measured

by the number of breaths we take,

but by the places and moments

that take our breath away”

No wonder that thousands of UK and international visitors (from sixty countries) plan a trip here between November and January, all ensured of a warm, cheery welcome and festive atmosphere.

“I can’t think of anywhere more magical – my best memory of the city is the sound of the carousel mingling with the bagpipes.”  Kate , an American visitor.

Join in the sparkling Christmas and New Year celebrations in Edinburgh this winter!.



Skating in Princes Street Gardens

Skating in Princes Street Gardens

About vivdevlin

I am an international travel writer, specialising in luxury travel, hotels, restaurants, city guides, cruises, islands, train and literary-inspired journeys. I review dance and theatre, Arts Festivals and love the visual arts. I have just experienced an epic voyage, circumnavigating the globe, following in the wake of Captain Cook, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.

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