10 of the best things to do in Edinburgh and Glasgow this Christmas
- The List
- 4 December 2018
From clubbing to fairy trails for the family, 90s pop comebacks to the return of Mary Poppins
From dazzling cabaret and enchanting outdoor trails to raucous club nights and the return of more than one familiar face, we've compiled a few of the best seasonal events taking place in Glasgow and Edinburgh this year
Christmas at the Botanics
Over a million twinkling lights festoon the bowers of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, creating a spectacular winter trail with larger-than-life glowing flowers, scented fire gardens and shining reindeer, as well as perhaps a meeting with the big man in red himself.
Christmas at the Botanics, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Fri 23 Nov–Sat 29 Dec.
A Christmas Fairy Trail
Stroll through a magical world of fairies and folklore along this 1.5km self-led trail through the picturesque Archerfield Walled Garden, transformed into an immersive theatrical experience with projections, fire performers, dancers and ethereal lighting.
A Christmas Fairy Tail, Archerfield Walled Garden, Dirleton, Fri 7–Mon 24 Dec.
Christmas is all around in Richard Curtis' rom-com which interweaves the lives of eight couples over the holiday season. A live orchestra will accompany the screenings of this classic, and while its saccharine script has its detractors, we dare you not to tear up with Emma Thompson as the plaintive sounds of Joni fill the theatre.
Love Actually, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 8 Dec; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sun 9 Dec.
Children's Classic Concert: A Christmas Carol
No bah humbugs allowed at the RSNO's annual festive concert for the little ones, featuring plenty of sing-a-longs to Christmas classics and theatrical skits from actors at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, bringing to life the tale of miserly Scrooge's jolly redemption.
A Christmas Carol, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sat 8 Dec; Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 9 Dec.
Scottish Ballet: Cinderella
Christopher Hampson's version of the classic fairy tale is packed with wonder and delight, as we join Cinderella, her wicked stepmother and stepsisters and fairy godmother on a magical journey accompanied by Prokofiev's thrilling 1945 score.
Cinderella, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 8–Sun 30 Dec, then touring.
Having celebrated their 20th anniversary this year, Shaznay Lewis, Mel Blatt and sisters Nicole and Natalie Appleton are back on the road with new album Testament in tow, which sees the quartet once again team up with 'Pure Shores' producer William Orbit.
All Saints, O2 Academy, Glasgow, Mon 10 Dec.
Kid Canaveral's Christmas Baubles IX
An all day indie Christmas party curated by your hosts, Kid Canaveral. This year's edition features black feminist punk band Big Joanie, with plenty more live music and DJs across multiple rooms from 2pm until 1am.
Kid Canaveral, Summerhall, Edinburgh, Sat 15 Dec.
Mary Poppins Returns
The beloved nanny blows back onto our screens, with the iconic mantle now taken up by Emily Blunt. Set in the 1930s, the now-grown Michael and Jane Banks are once more in need of Poppins' no-nonsense magical housekeeping after suffering a personal loss.
Mary Poppins Returns, General release from 21 Dec.
Internationally acclaimed Royal Ballet Prima Ballerina, Natalia Osipova, leads the world premiere of The Mother, a new piece of dance based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Story of the Mother.
The Mother, Pleasance at EICC, Edinburgh, Fri 21–Sat 22 Dec.
Ever been to a club night in Edinburgh's Usher Hall? Well, here's your chance as Denis Sulta takes over the iconic venue with the FLY crew, featuring guest selectors Honey Dijon and Horse Meat Disco.
Sulta Selects, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 22 Dec.