Festive activities to get you out of the house and into the holly jolly mood
There's no better place to get into the festive spirit than at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's annual Christmas at the Botanics (23 Nov–29 Dec) display, in which a million twinkling lights adorn the trunks and branches of their mighty arbors, and the famous Glasshouses are lit up in spectacular seasonal colours. Archerfield Walled Garden will also be transformed into the dazzling setting for the Christmas Fairy Trail (7–24 Dec), an immersive theatrical experience set in an ethereal realm where fairies and forest folk roam freely and surprises await behind every corner.
Meanwhile in Glasgow, it's the Disney film that will not die, so just Let it Go at the Frozen Prosecco SnowBall (SWG3, Fri 28 Dec), a sing-along clubbing experience inspired by the animated smash-hit. Every nook and cranny of the SWG3 will be filled with a thousand gallons of dry snow and falling snow-fetti, as well as stilt walkers dressed as Anna, Elsa, Olaf and co. Fancy dress highly encouraged, of course. Or head out into the countryside at the National Museum of Rural Life's Christmas Fair at the Farm (9 Dec) to meet some real donkeys in the nativity display, as well as Santa and his tractor-driving elf.
Even if a white Christmas isn't in the cards this year, never fear: Snow Factor, the longest indoor real snow slope in the UK, is hosting two festive events for young children. Santa and the Snow (17 Nov–23 Dec) will take the wee ones through their paces at elf training school before they're let loose in a custom-built snow play area. Of if it's little daredevils you've got, Dine with Santa (17 Nov–23 Dec) will get them a meal in Santa's Christmas room and a festive tale read aloud by the man in red himself, before the whole gang hits the slopes.
A one mile illuminated trail that winds its way through the garden. Wander beneath the tree canopies bathed in seasonal colour, enjoy the sounds of the Choir of the Trees and keep an eye out for Santa and his elves. There's spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate to warm you up.
Celebrate Yuletide on the farm at the National Museum of Rural life, with donkeys to pet, Christmas decorations to make and Santa and his tractor-driving elf to meet! Early bird tickets available until Sunday 18 November.