Fantastic Family-Friendly Events in Edinburgh this December!
Christmas is just around the corner and with so much going on in Edinburgh, we thought it would be a good idea to share a few family-friendly events with you! From classic festive events, such as pantomimes, to a slightly scary Dickensian Christmas at the Writers’ Museum – there’s something for everyone! As well as including fabulous paid events, we’ve also included a selection of fun free events. So, wrap up warm and head out to enjoy all that Edinburgh has to offer at this time of the year!
1. Christmas Tree Maze
- When: 18th of November – 6th of January
- Where: East Princes Street Gardens
- Price: Tickets start at £3.50
- Website: www.edinburghschristmas.com/christmas-tree-maze
We’re sure you’ve heard of Edinburgh’s Christmas Markets, and if you do plan on visiting, there’s a magical Christmas Tree Maze for both children and adults to enjoy, on the lower level of Princes Street Gardens! Inside you’ll also discover the Elves’ workshop, where Santa’s little helpers will be waiting for you with a wee treat.
2. Christmas at the Botanics
- When: 24th of November – 30th of December
- Where: Royal Botanic Gardens
- Price: Tickets start at £16 (£10 for children)
- Website: www.rbge.org.uk/whats-on/christmas
This is a magical event you will not want to miss! There’s something for everyone at this festive event and fun for all the family. There will be a one-mile illuminated trail that winds its way through the world-famous Garden providing a magical experience after dark, plus lots more.
3. Doors of Advent
- When: 1st – 24th of December 2017
- Where: Various Locations
- Price: Free
- Website: www.edinburghschristmas.com/24-doors-of-advent
24 Doors of Advent returns from 1 – 24 December, and gives you an opportunity to peep behind usually closed doors throughout the city during advent. There are a few locations that might be particularly fun for the family!
4. The Giant Lanterns of China
- When: 1st of December 2017 – 25th of Febuary2018
- Where: Edinburgh Zoo
- Price: Advance tickets start at £17.50 (adult) and £9.50 (child)
- Website: www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/giant-lanterns/
This winter, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo will be home to The Giant Lanterns of China, an installation of over 450 dazzling giant lanterns that will illuminate the Zoo for 50 awe-inspiring nights.
Be wowed by Chinese performers, enjoy wintery hot food and drinks, and shop in our Christmas marketplace featuring hand-made crafts from Chinese artisans.
5. Cinderella Pantomime
- When: 2nd of December 2017 – 21st of January 2018
- Where: King’s Theatre
- Prices: Tickets start at £20
- Website: www.edtheatres.com/cinderella
Pantos are always a fun family event! There are various fabulous pantomimes to choose from in Edinburgh, but we’ve opted to feature King’s Theatre’s Cinderella. It’s their 13th year together in the King’s annual panto – the Dame, the daft laddie, and the villain who’s never quite evil enough to triumph; Edinburgh panto trio of Allan Stewart, Andy Gray, and Grant Stott.
6. A Festive Trail through Edinburgh’s West End
- When: 9th of December – 9th of January
- Where: Edinburgh’s West End
- Price: Free
- Website: www.edinburgh-westend.co.uk/west-end-sound-walks
Here’s a new free festive themed event. Edinburgh’s West End Sound Walk is a guided walk which allows the listener to follow a festive trail around this beautiful area of the city, following a series of clues. At the end of the walk, the listener will be rewarded with a glass of mulled wine for grown ups and a child-friendly refreshment for little ones.
The walk has been put together by Ana Betancourt and Gabrielle Haley of Black Goblin Audio, who are recent graduates of Edinburgh College of Art’s Sound Design course.
7. A Dickensian Christmas
- When: 16th of December
- Where: The Writers’ Museum
- Price: Free
- Website: www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/dickensian-christmas
Located in the beautiful Writers’ museum, A Dickensian Christmas shares classic Victorian tales of terror and ghoulishness for the Festive Season. So, pull up a fluffy cushion, sit back, and be a tiny bit scared as a collective of performers recount their favourite ghoulish tales for the thrill of children from 8 to 80. A magical and spectacular afternoon for all the family at Christmas!
8. RSNO at The Movies: The Snowman
- When: 22nd of December
- Where: Usher Hall
- Price: Tickets start at £19-£42
- Website: www.usherhall.co.uk/rsno-movies-rsno-christmas-concert
Enjoy a musical flight to the North Pole with the magical Christmas film, The Snowman, shown on the big screen, accompanied by the Orchestra and narrated by a special star guest. Then let the irrepressible Christopher Bell guide you through our Christmas party, filled with seasonal favourites, carols and, of course, a chance for everyone to sing along. The perfect start to your festive celebrations!
9. Hobo Cinema: An Indoor Winter Woodland Cinema
- When: 22nd & 23rd of December
- Where: The Biscuit Factory, 4-6 Anderson Place
- Price: £10-£13.50
- Website: www.roguevillage.com/hobo-cinema-winter-woodland/
This Christmas, Rogue Village are showing a host of classic festive films. They have also partnered with The Biscuit Factory, SugarDaddy’s Bakery and incredible botanical set designers, Pyrus Botanicals to create an indoor winter woodland inspired cinema in the heart of Edinburgh.
10. MagicFest Christmas Show
- When: 27th–30th of December
- Where: Traverse Theatre
- Price: £15-£22
- Website: www.magicfest.co.uk/magicfest-christmas
If you’re wondering what to do once the excitement of Christmas has faded, don’t fret, after sell-out shows at the inaugural Christmas Show last year, MagicFest returns with “The Secret Gift”, featuring stars of magic from around the UK and special guests from Spain.
11. Bairns Afore
- When: 31st of December
- Where: Princes Street Gardens
- Price: £10-£21
- Website: www.edinburghshogmanay.com/bairns-afore
A new event for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, this is one for the families! Celebrate with the kids, with spectacular fireworks and family entertainment, and all afore bedtime hosted by Forth One’s Mickey Gavin.