Edinburgh ramps up the Christmas party

Underbelly's Edinburgh's Christmas celebrations are an established part of the festive calendar. This year, they're expanding their celebrations across the city, with events both new and beloved, for all the family.

Friday, 27th October 2017, 3:02 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 4:11 pm
The calendar will light up Edinburgh throughout Advent

There’s no doubt one of the pleasures of Christmas is indulging in traditions – be it a family trip to the St Andrew Square Ice Rink, mulled wine at the European Markets or a visit with the wee ones to Santa’s Grotto.

This year, Edinburgh’s Christmas are launching new events that are sure to become fixtures on your festive calendar, every bit as anticipated as trimming the tree and writing to Santa.

With George Street’s traffic closed off to turn into a winter wonderland, it’ll play host to an all new exhibition – the Ice Adventure. A proper arctic expedition, visitors will enter a walk-through hall chilled to a nippy -10C, bedecked with life-like sculptures of Scotland’s most fascinating and fantastical creatures – from Vikings, fairies and kelpies, Highland Coos and Dolly the Sheep, Nessie, to our historical giants, like Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. Adults can warm themselves up with a nip of the good stuff at an ice bar inside the arctic environment – sponsored by the apropos Shackleton Whisky. Tickets are selling like hot-cakes and slots to visit the Ice Adventure are timed, so visitors are advised to book soon.

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If Edinburgh’s temperatures are quite cold enough for you, plan a daily visit to Edinburgh’s Giant Advent Calendar. Each day Double Take Projections will project an image of a by-gone Edinburgh Christmas onto the side of the magnificent General Register House, on Princes Street, for a glimpse of a past era. The images have been supplied by Historic Environment Scotland, the National Records of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland, and date back to the 1700s. They’ll be accompanied by a soundscape reflective of that year. It’s a fun, free daily way of experiencing Edinburgh’s rich Christmas traditions, playing at varying times from 5pm to 10pm December 1 - 25.

And to spread cheer across the town, Edinburgh’s Christmas has paired up with Edinburgh’s Trams to invite school children to design a special Christmas and Hogmanay Tram, which you’ll be able to spy as it wends its merry way around Edinburgh this Christmas Season.

Of course, Edinburgh’s Christmas will be back with all the firm, traditional favourites for you and your family to enjoy – the double Carousel, aerial thrill-ride the Star Flyer, and the Forth One Big Wheel, along with the European Market for when you want to bolster yourself with some delicious food and drink. The St Andrew Square Ice Rink - always a popular spot – will be running throughout the season. Bookings are strongly advised.

Edinburgh’s Christmas runs from Friday, November 17, 2017 to Saturday, January 6, 2018. For more information, visit www.edinburghschristmas.com