Edinburgh's Christmas - kids' events round-up

From Santa's Grotto to Christmas Crafternoons, there's something to capture the kiddies' imagination

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Edinburgh's Christmas - kids' events round-up

It is, of course, a massive cliché to say that this time of year is all about the children. But when you look at the amazing array of events laid on for the nippers this Christmas and New Year, you know it’s true.

Naturally, Santa is going to be absolutely everywhere. He’ll have a Grotto as part of Edinburgh’s Christmas (Sat 23 Nov–Tue 24 Dec, 11am–7pm) while his Train (Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan: Sun–Thu, 10am–7pm; Fri & Sat, 10am–8.30pm) will be setting off from beside the Christmas Tree Maze (another innovative new delight for small people, located in East Princes Street Gardens: Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan: Sun–Thu, 10am–7pm; Fri & Sat, 10am–8.30pm).

Mr Claus also finds time to get himself over to Inverleith Park for Challenge Scotland events. The Santa Toddle and Parade (Sun 8 Dec, 1.30pm) is for the under-6s who are encouraged to dress up as elves as they greet the great man, who will arrive majestically via a horse-pulled open-top carriage. He’ll also have a Grotto here as part of the Edinburgh Charity Christmas Fayre (Sat 7 & Sun 8 Dec, 10am). Challenge Scotland’s programme also has a Golden Tinsel Mile Walk (Sun 8 Dec, 11.30am) and the Great Christmas Buggy Run (Sun 8 Dec, 12.15pm).

This year’s Ice Rink (Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan, 10am) is situated beneath the Big Wheel on East Princes Street Gardens, while the Children’s Market (Fri 22 Nov–Sun 5 Jan, 10am–10pm) on St Andrew Square features wares from Toys Galore. Everyone is welcome to the turning on of the Grassmarket Christmas Lights (Thu 28 Nov, 6.30pm).

The National Museum of Scotland is ideal for family gatherings, and children can indulge themselves in the Christmas Crafternoons (Sat 14 & Sun 15 Dec, noon), while local choirs get together for a Christmas Concert (Sun 15 Dec, 1.30pm) and there’s also a Hogmanay Family Ceilidh (Tue 31 Dec, 2pm).

Among the planned events at Edinburgh Castle is A Dickens Christmas (Sat 21–Tue 24 Dec, various times) in which the author of A Christmas Carol aims to restore some lost festive magic. No Scrooges allowed. As an accompaniment to the Edinburgh Playhouse’s Disney spectacular The Lion King, the City Art Centre is putting on Exploring The Lion King (Mon–Sat, 10am; Sun noon) all the way through to mid-January.

See edinburghschristmas.com for more details.

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