Edinburgh's Christmas goes West for the winter in 2016
Five Guys Named Moe and Morgan & West lead entertainment, while the West End gets in on the fun
Much like Santa's substantial gut, Edinburgh's Christmas seems to be getting bigger and bigger. For years, the city's festive celebrations took place in East Princes Street Gardens, before expanding into St Andrew Square in 2013. Last year, the staggering outdoor display 'Street of Light' set up shop on the Royal Mile, and now that very same attraction is moving to West George Street, as part of a move to expand the festival into the West End.
The expansion does not stop there, either. Festival Square (outside the Sheraton Grand) is home to the pop-up Festival Square Theatre, which houses event's entertainment strand. There, you can see the new Underbelly production of Five Guys Named Moe – the West End / Broadway hit musical, based on the music of Louis Jordan. For families, there's Morgan & West: A (sort of) Christmas Carol Magic Show! (1 Dec–7 Jan). This new show from the time travelling magicians is rooted in Dickens' famous festive tale.
Another key aspect of the festival's expansion is the Christmas on Stage partnership between Edinburgh's Christmas, the Lyceum, Traverse and Usher Hall. This partnership sets out to help promote the seasonal theatre offerings taking place across the West End (The Snowman at the Usher Hall, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at the Lyceum and Black Beauty at Traverse).
Of course, all the usual festive draws are back. East Princes Street Gardens has Santa's Grotto, the Santa Train and the Christmas Tree Maze, and rides including the Star Flyer, Carousel and the Big Wheel are there to thrill and partially terrify you once more.
The Scottish Market moves next to the Street of Light in George Street, so you can pick up all your tartan crafts there, while 24 Doors of Advent returns for another year, allowing residents and visitors to peep behind usually closed doors throughout the city throughout advent.
Light Night is on Sun 20 Nov, but the celebrations start on Thu 18 Nov. Everything wraps up on Sat 7 Jan.
Edinburgh's Christmas, Thu 18 Nov-Sat 7 Jan, times and prices vary.