Where to meet Santa in Edinburgh this Christmas
- Arusa Qureshi
- 8 November 2017
Head to one of the many grottos in the city, share breakfast with the big guy or spot him in the outdoors with his elves
There's frost covering the Meadows, the odd festive tune on the radio, and the faint sound of jingle bells in the distance which can only mean one thing: Christmas is basically here and it's time to get some quality time in with Santa. Thankfully, despite being busy sorting out everyone's presents and all, he always makes time for a few pit stops around the city at this time of year. We've rounded up some of the places you can meet the big guy in red in the run up to Christmas.
Head along to George Street to visit Santa as part of Edinburgh's Christmas. Kids can hear a fairytale, meet his helpers and even receive a small gift from the man himself. Sessions begin every 30 minutes and tickets must be bought in advance.
George Street, 18 Nov–24 Dec, £8.
Breakfast with Santa
Join jolly old St Nick for a special festive breakfast courtesy of the folks at Hard Rock Cafe. Tuck into some sausage and eggs before hearing a magical story from Santa's helper and enjoy presents, games and face painting.
Hard Rock Cafe, Sun 10 & 17, Sat 16 Dec, £13.99 (£10.99).
Sunday Lunch with Santa
Get treated to a magnificent carvery lunch with dessert in Ghillie Dhu's main auditorium, where you'll be joined by a very special guest. There's also face painting and arts and crafts to keep the little ones amused.
Ghillie Dhu, 10–17 Dec, £17.95 (£12.95).
Christmas at the Botanics
Wander along the illuminated trail in the garden and be entertained by the sights and sounds of Christmas, including the Choir of Trees and the scented Fire Garden. There's spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate to warm you up and don't forget to keep an eye out for Santa and his elves.
Royal Botanic Garden, 24 Nov–30 Dec, £16 (£10).
Edinburgh's Indoor Christmas Market
What's Christmas without a good market? The Surgeon's Hall indoor market will feature a range of stalls with unique gifts as well as festive food, live entertainment and kids' activities throughout the day. Pop by the grotto for a chance to meet Santa and help raise funds for Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity in the process, who will be receiving 50p from every adult entry fee plus 100% of profits from the Santa's Grotto.
Surgeon's Hall, Sun 26 Nov, £2 (children free).
Father Christmas' Grotto
Dobbies is always an exciting place at Christmas, with the wonderful decorations, sparkling lights and huge variety of trees on offer. Take the wee ones along this month, where they'll be welcomed by Father Christmas and be given a gift of their choice from a selection of toy brands including Lego and Playmobil.
Dobbies Garden Centre, Lasswade, 18 Nov–24 Dec, £9.95.
Just three miles south of Dalkeith, you'll find the National Mining Museum, where Santa has set up shop to meet and greet adults and kids alike. Get your photo taken with the big guy, receive a gift and you can even take part in a Christmas trail or do some crafts.
National Mining Museum, Newtongrange, 8–10, 15–17 & 22 Dec, £5.
Jupiter Artland's Christmas Fair
Following the success of last year's Christmas fair, Jupiter Artland have another one planned for next month, with craft stalls, seasonal food and drink from Chick + Pea and Spotted Pig Co. Hog Roast, homemade mulled wine and of course, a Santa's grotto. You can also enjoy craft activities throughout the day and carol singing from Harmony Choir and Star Harmonies Choir, as well as an appearance from the Jupiter donkeys.
Jupiter Artland, 2 & 3 Dec, £8.50 (£6, £3.50).
Cameron Toll Santa's Grotto
Cameron Toll's getting a Christmas upgrade this year, offering a more modern take on Santa's grotto with plenty of shimmering lights, wreaths and baubles. You'll find Santa just outside Sainsbury's, where you can chat to him about your Christmas wish list, take photos and enjoy a tasty bag of gold coins to take home. Visits are free but you're invited to make a voluntary donation to the Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity.
Cameron Toll, 25, 26, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 Dec, free.
Ocean Terminal Santa's Grotto
You can visit Santa daily at Ocean Terminal this festive period, where he'll be meeting all the good girls and boys to hear about their Christmas wishes. Tickets include a special gift from Santa and as usual, every penny from the sale of tickets is being donated to CCLASP (Children with Cancer and Leukaemia Advice & Support for Parents).
Outside Debenhams, Ocean Terminal, 11 Nov–24 Dec, £4.50.