there may be less than one hundred days to go until Christmas but it still feels a little early to be talking in earnest about the festive season.
The days of barbecues on the beaches haven’t entirely disappeared yet for this year, judging by the weather at the weekend, and then there is the whole of autumn to enjoy. While we might not be ready to plan our Christmas days and nights out quite yet, there is no harm in having something to look forward to as the nights start to close in.
It looks as though the West End will be the place to be for a lot of the best festive entertainment this year. The Christmas Market and the Street of Light - which was one of the highlights of last year’s festivities when it appeared on the Royal Mile - will be right at home at the west end of George Street.
The return of the ice rink to St Andrew Square is sure to be a hit, especially for the 10,000 local children who will enjoy a free skate as part of Standard Life’s sponsorship deal with Edinburgh’s Christmas. The inclusion of special deals for residents - following an initial outcry about the high price of the festive attractions - looks as though it is becoming a welcome tradition.
It will be interesting to see how Festival Square works as a new entertainment hub over the winter months. It has of course been pressed into service as a Fringe venue in the past and used to be the place where Santa flew in over the rooftops to thrill the city’s children in the run up to Christmas.
Combined with the other venues in the area, the Lyceum, Traverse and Usher Hall, it will create a new festive cultural quarter, and give people a reason to strike out beyond the New Town.
One thing is for sure, with the Panto at the King’s, Mama Mia at the Playhouse, Alice and Wonderland at the Lyceum and Five Guys Named Moe in Festival Square, where will be no shortage of choice for a Christmas night at the theatre this year.