There is also a celebration of St Andrew’s Day including free entertainment and things to do in St Andrew Square and special offers for Edinburgh’s attractions. There are FREE TICKETS to Edinburgh Castle and other Historic Scotland sites for the weekend of 28/29 November.
Tim Chalk’s Nativity Scene will be in St Andrew Square and you can visit the Christmas tree on The Mound (an annual gift from the Hordaland County Council in Norway).
Make sure you also pop into Jenners over the festive period to see their enormous Christmas Tree.
Here are some highlights of the winter festivals in Edinburgh:
- Sunday 22nd November. Light Night. Despite the name, it takes place in the afternoon in George Street from 2-5pm, there will be stages with entertainment and Susan Boyle will be turning on the lights and a fireworks display at 4.50pm. FREE to attend.
- Sunday 29th November – St Andrew’s day celebrations. Several free events to choose from and lots of offers on entry to Edinburgh attractions. Many of these offers run from mid-November.
- Sunday 29th November – Nativity concert in St Andrew Square. Starts at 3pm. FREE to attend.
- Monday 30th November – New for 2015, the Street of Light . You must reserve tickets in advance to secure entry. FREE
- Tuesday 1st – Thursday 24th December – 24 Doors of Advent. Back for 2015. Every day, a building around Edinburgh that’s usually closed to the public will open its doors. Buildings include: Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory, Gilmerton Cove and the City Chambers. FREE.
- Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December. The Charity Christmas Festival. Suitable for all ages, you can run, walk or toddle around Inverleith Park. Appearances from the man in red himself, leading the Parade from Stockbridge into Inverleith Park.
- Saturday 6th December and other dates Santa Cruises on the Union Canal
- Tuesday 8th December – Charity carol concert at St Giles’ Cathedral for Bloodwise.
- Thursday 10th December until Wednesday 24th December – The Christmas Tree Festival at St Andrew’s and St George’s West on George Street. Entry is free, but donations welcome. The charities this year are Amnesty International, Circle Scotland and Firsthand Lothian.
- Sunday 13th December sees the Santa Run take place. Dress up as Santa and take part in this fun event suitable for all the family.
- Sunday 13th December also sees the Summerhall Christmas Market return.
- Monday 14th December – St Columba’s Light a Light. The Tree of Remembrance will be light up at 6.30pm in Charlotte Square Gardens and remain lit until early 2016.
- Wednesday 16th – Friday 18th December – Stories with Santa at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
Winter theatre in Edinburgh
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the King’s Theatre. 28th November until 17th January.
- Cinderella at the Festival Theatre. 5th – 31st December.
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Lyceum Theatre. 28th November until 3rd January.
- The Traverse has Tracks of the Winter Bear (9th-24th December) and for children, White (12 – 24 December).
Other Christmas / special events in Edinburgh include:
- A Royal Christmas at the Palace of Holyrood House.
Heading into the New Year
- Friday 26th December – Cramond Loony Dook
- Wednesday 30th December – Sees the annual Torchlight Procession take place, with thousands of torch carriers illuminating the city through the streets to a spectacular Son et Lumière and fireworks finale on Calton Hill.
- Thursday 31st December – FREE family ceilidh at the National Museum, 1400 – 1530hrs
- Thursday 31st December – Candlelit Concert at St Giles’ Cathedral.
- Thursday 31st December – Wee Dub Hogmanay
- Thursday 31st December – Old Town Ceilidh in Parliament Square
- Thursday 31st December – Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party / Concert in the Gardens. The world’s largest Hogmanay party.
- Friday 1st January 2016 – The Commonwealth Pool is open
- Friday 1st January 2016 – New Year’s Day triathlon.
- Friday 1st January 2016 – The Loony Dook
- Friday 1st January 2016 – New Year’s Day, SCOT:LANDS. FREE to attend.