Top 10 things to do in Edinburgh and Glasgow this December
A round up of the best events over the festive period
There can be so much pressure over Christmas and New Year to make it as good, if not better than last year. We've picked out 10 of the best events happening in December to help you make this festive period the best yet.
1. Edinburgh's Hogmanay
The world's biggest and best New Year bash, Edinburgh's Hogmanay, explodes into life in the middle of your capital city with three days of festive frolics. A mere taster of the exciting goings-on would include Paolo Nutini headlining the Concert in the Gardens, the Stoats Loony Dook, a fiery spectacle of the Torchlight Procession, and some kids' stuff with the superbly titled Sprogmanay.
Various venues, Edinburgh, Fri 30 Dec–Sun 1 Jan.
2. Scottish Ballet
Scottish Ballet's seasonal treat is their take on the classic Hansel & Gretel fairytale set in a magic forest where not all is as it seems. An extra delight is the version for kids which is sprinkled throughout the run.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Sat 10–Sat 31 Dec; Theatre Royal Glasgow, Thu 5–Sat 14 Jan.
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Fans of a galaxy far away are becoming spoiled with festive additions to the George Lucas franchise, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story looks set to disappoint no one with a cast including Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen and Diego Luna. May the force … and all that.
General release from Wed 14 Dec.
4. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll's timeless and bonkers classic, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, comes to town for a new version called created and directed by Anthony Neilson. Everyone over the age of five can go deep into the rabbit hole as Alice encounters the Mad Hatter, a March Hare et al.
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 26 Nov–Sat 31 Dec.
5. Snaw Queen
Kristine Cagney Kringle is back for another dose of Chrimbo chaos in The Snaw Queen as Johnny McKnight has more fun with the season's canon. But will Rudolph be saved from the evil one's clutches?
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 29 Nov–Sat 7 Jan.
6. Teenage Fanclub
The evergreen jangly rock'n'pop band, Teenage Fanclub, returned with a bang earlier this year with long-player Here, and a pair of heavily-attended gigs will cement the love that Glasgow has for Norman and the gang.
Barrowlands, Glasgow, Sat 3 Dec; O2 ABC, Glasgow, Sun 4 Dec.
7. Trailer Park Boys
The cult Netflix series elbows its way into Glasgow as Julian, Ricky and Bubbles attempt to find the real Father Christmas in Trailer Park Boys Live. For anyone who has seen the show, such a prospect will make you simultaneously shudder and giggle.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Sat 10 Dec.
8. The Black Madonna
A building which formerly belonged to biscuit bosses Crawford's plays host to arguably the party of the year as The Black Madonna makes her long-awaited debut in the capital. For those lucky enough to get a ticket, there's much fun to be had over two floors.
Biscuit Factory, Edinburgh, Sat 31 Dec.
9. Doctor Who
Another staple of the season is an adventure with the Time Lord and in the guise of our boy Capaldi, the good Doctor goes toe to toe with some nasty aliens, backed rather fortuitously by a New York comic book superhero.
BBC One, Sun 25 Dec.
10.Status Quo (Chosen by comedian Des Clarke)
'When it comes to Christmas I'm all about tradition. And nothing says Christmas more than rock lords-a-leaping about in double denim. Status Quo has become as much a part of Christmas in Glasgow as the George Square lights and getting elbowed in the baubles walking round Buchanan Galleries.
I'll admit it, their three chords of doom are my guilty musical pleasure. It evokes so many memories of growing up. Hearing 'Rockin' All Over the World' was as much a part of my childhood as watching Bullseye and eating Angel Delight.
This year's gig is even more special as it's The Last Night of the Electrics tour. That's right, after 50 years this is the last time Status Quo will ever play an electric guitar on stage. Rock history, mass headbanging, catchy riffs, old school nostalgia and a truly alternative way to mark the Christmas week. Go to the Quo: it'll be electric.'
Des Clarke is in Cinderella (yes, he's Buttons) at King's Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 2 Dec–Sun 8 Jan; Status Quo, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Tue 20 Dec.