12 best Christmas events in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Your essential guide to festive fun, from Christmas markets to Star Wars

12 best Christmas events in Glasgow and Edinburgh

credit: Fraser Cameron

From bustling markets and bright illuminations to the season's best film and music, there's loads of fun to be had this festive season. Just wrap up warm and enjoy...

Edinburgh's Christmas Market
If you like your blood soaked in Glühwein come Christmas and you're partial to pretzels, Bratwurst and tiny, tasty pancakes, this is the place for you. The market, which is in the same vicinity as the ice skating rink, children's rides and Christmas tree maze, has stalls selling a range of crafts, gifts and foodie delights.
Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Fri 20 Nov–Mon 4 Jan.

The Good Dinosaur
After a quiet 2014, Pixar springs back into action with two releases this year. Inside Out had us all weeping in the summer. Now, The Good Dinosaur looks set to leave each of us wishing we had an Apatosaurus as a best friend.
General release from Fri 27 Nov.

These improv kids have been the toast of the Fringe for a few years running. Catch them as they enact on the fly one of Jane Austen's 'lost' novels. Ideas come courtesy of the audience so go armed with suggestions. Previous 'classics' have included 'Double-O Darcy' and 'Sixth Sense and Sensibility'.
St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Fri 27 Nov.

Street of Light
The Old Town lights up in extraordinary style this winter, as the Virgin Money Street of Light comes to town. 60,000 lights will line the Royal Mile from the Tron Kirk to the City Chambers. It's free but ticketed – sign up for a slot at virginmoneystreetoflight.com.
Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Mon 30 Nov–Thu 24 Dec.

Scottish Ballet: Cinderella
You don't need us to tell you the story of Cinderella (fairy godmother, missing shoe, handsome prince – that one). Scottish Ballet is bringing Christopher Hampson's version of the classic tale to the stage this season. The Scottish Ballet Orchestra are accompanying live with Prokofiev's world famous score, and acclaimed designer Tracy Grant Lord has turned her hand to the costumes.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Sat 5–Thu 31 Dec; Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Tue 12–Sat 16 Jan.

GFT Christmas film season
There's plenty of cinematic nostalgia at Glasgow Film Theatre this December with screenings of It’s A Wonderful Life, the highly quotable Elf, Gremlins, Jim Henson’s The Muppet Christmas Carol and the one that gets everyone debating whether it’s a Christmas film or not: Die Hard.
Glasgow Film Theatre, times vary.

Etsy Made Local Glasgow
Homemade website etsy hosts a series of local Christmas fairs around the UK. In Glasgow, over 60 makers, crafters and artists from in and around the city gather to sell their unique work, including original art, clothing, jewellery and homewares.
The Briggait, Glasgow, Sun 6 Dec.

Neu! Reekie!'s #XmasKracker
The first #UntitledLive turned out to be a 1000-person sellout, and the festive edition looks set to be even bigger and better. This avant-garde spoken word, film and music fusion night features appearances from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Liz Lochhead, White and Hector Bizerk. Merry! Christmas!
Central Hall, Edinburgh, Thu 17 Dec.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
Dispel those bad memories of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones: JJ Abrams' take on the now Disney-owned sci-fi franchise looks pretty exciting indeed. The old gang are back, plus there's two British stars to look out for too: John Boyega (Attack the Block) and Daisy Ridley.
General release from Thu 17 Dec.

Kid Canaveral’s Christmas Baubles VI
Big KC are bringing their somewhat infamous indie celebration back for a sixth consecutive year. This all-day party, held in conjunction with Lost Map Records, introduces their new album in an intimate setting, and features appearances from some very special guests (lineup still to be confirmed).
Pilrig St Paul's Church, Edinburgh, Sat 19 Dec.

RSNO Christmas Concert: The Snowman
‘We’re walking in the air’. Watch the Snowman come to life on the big screen, narrated by Georgie Glen and accompanied by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. This family event also features festive classics, carols and the chance to sing-a-long.
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sat 19 Dec; Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 20 Dec.

Subculture vs Optimo
Leave the leftovers for this Boxing Day special. Sub Club’s weekly Saturday night Subculture, led by Harri and Domenic, take on DJ duo Jonnie Wilkes and Twitch and their night Optimo.
Sub Club, Glasgow, Sat 26 Dec.