Enchanting wintry experiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow this December

Enchanting wintry experiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow this December

Christmas at the Botanics

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.

Christmas at the Botanics

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.

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Tue 18 Dec

£14–£16 (Children £0–£48; Family £0–£50) / 0131 248 2909

Wed 19 Dec

£14–£16 (Children £0–£48; Family £0–£50) / 0131 248 2909

Thu 20 Dec

£14–£16 (Children £0–£48; Family £0–£50) / 0131 248 2909

…and 8 more dates until 29 Dec

A Christmas Fairy Trail

An immersive theatrical experience set along a 1.5km trail, designed as a magical world of fairies and forest folk, with surprises around every corner.

Archerfield Walled Garden, Dirleton

Tue 18 Dec

£12.96–£15.12 (Children £8.64–£49.22; Family free) / 01620 388 588

Wed 19 Dec

£12.96–£15.12 (Children £8.64–£49.22; Family free) / 01620 388 588

Thu 20 Dec

£12.96–£15.12 (Children £8.64–£49.22; Family free) / 01620 388 588

…and 4 more dates until 24 Dec

Dine with Santa: Snow Factor

Enjoy a meal with Santa and sledging on real snow this Christmas.

intu Braehead, Glasgow

Fri 21 Dec

sledging for one child and one adult £29; Santa visit only £4 / 0871 222 5672

  • 10:00 – 19:00

Sat 22 Dec

sledging for one child and one adult £29; Santa visit only £4 / 0871 222 5672

  • 10:00 – 19:00

Sun 23 Dec

sledging for one child and one adult £29; Santa visit only £4 / 0871 222 5672

  • 10:00 – 19:00

The Frozen Prosecco Snowball Tour

Singalong clubbing experience inspired by Disney's Frozen.

O2 Ritz, Manchester

Sat 22 Dec

£8–£10 / 0161 236 3234

SWG3, Glasgow

Fri 28 Dec

Over-18s only

£9.25 / 0141 337 1731

Santa and the Snow: Snow Factor

Snow Factor's Christmas event, featuring an elf school, crafting at Santa's Workshop, Christmas storytelling, a snow play area and a gift from the ruddy-cheeked man himself.

Bar Varia, Glasgow

Tue 18 Dec

£9.95–£19.95 includes entry, a gift and access to snow factor's snow play area / 0141 885 7078

Wed 19 Dec

£9.95–£19.95 includes entry, a gift and access to snow factor's snow play area / 0141 885 7078

Thu 20 Dec

£9.95–£19.95 includes entry, a gift and access to snow factor's snow play area / 0141 885 7078

…and 4 more dates until 24 Dec

intu Braehead, Glasgow

Fri 21 Dec

£9.95–£19.95 / 0141 885 7051

  • 10:00 – 20:00

Sat 22 Dec

£9.95–£19.95 / 0141 885 7051

  • 10:00 – 20:00

Sun 23 Dec

£9.95–£19.95 / 0141 885 7051

  • 10:00 – 20:00

Christmas Fair at the Farm

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.

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