During the winter months in Edinburgh, you will have not only the possibility to experience seasonal events, but also the opportunity to re-discover the city from a new point of view. From the Christmas market to New Year’s day, Edinburgh has so many different things to do, you will surely find something you love…
The two most famous places to go shopping in Edinburgh are undoubtedly Princes Street and George Street. But the beautiful Victoria Street in the old town is also a great place to find a variety of shops, bistros, restaurants and cafes. It also has its very own dedicated Christmas Shop which is open all year round!
The Christmas Market
The Christmas Market (also called the European Christmas Market) takes place each year from 19th November until the 7th January and is located on East Princes Street Gardens. This market is said to be quite romantic. There, you can buy food, drinks, gifts and crafts from around the world.
Walks in the snow
The Meadows is a large public park. Sometimes, during winter, it’s beautifully covered by the snow and children (but also adults) usually like to play there. There is also the Royal Botanic Garden which is nice to see and walk in when there is snow.
Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay
Edinburgh New Year (known as Hogmanay in Scotland) and Christmas are the biggest and most famous events taking place in winter. During those days, many events and activities will run in and around the city. If you want to have more information on the activities taking place during this time, please have a look at this blog.
Theatre, Ballet, Pantomime…
Edinburgh also has a wide range of different cultural activities for the winter. On the programme: theatre, ballet, circuses and pantomime. Whichever cultural event you would like to watch, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Just remember to book your tickets early! Black Beauty at The Traverse thatre is a famous classic tale which will be performed on stage during December in Edinburgh.
Make a Christmas wreath
On 17th and 18th December, you can learn how to make your very own Christmas wreath from scratch with at Lauriston Castle. During the workshop you will create a beautiful giant wreath using fresh greenery grown at the castle. See more details here!
Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) are the most popular festivals taking place at the end of each year. If you’re in Edinburgh in December or early January, there are many events that you can take advantage of while you’re here!
Edinburgh’s Christmas starts on 18th November 2016 and ends on 7th January 2017. During this time, shows, free events and attractions are organised and the entire city is decorated to celebrate Christmas. When the sun goes down, you will see splendid and sumptuous lights and decorations on trees, buildings and restaurants. Here are some events, attractions, shows or markets that you will be able to see:
Christmas Tree Maze:
As the title tells you, it’s a maze across Christmas trees. You will have fun doing this. And inside the maze, you will see the Elves workshops.
Ice Skating takes place on St Andrew Square. It’s a funny activity that all the family can share at the same time ! You can hire a pair of skates directly on place. People on wheelchairs are also welcome on the rink.
Every child would probably wish to sit on Santa’s knees and tell him their wishes. But actually this is possible. From 19th November until 24th December 2016, young children can visit Santa in his Grotto and receives a wee gift.
It is a family event which will be held on 20th November. Shows and choirs will perform on George Street in front of 20,000 spectators.
It is a run that is 2.5 km long. This run is for everybody, competitive or casual athletes. The organization of this run is making a fund-raising for children who have a life threatening illness in Scotland. Usually, you will see people running with a costume of Santa Claus.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the Feast between the 30th December and the 1st January 2017. During those 3 days, incredible bands, chorales or fireworks will take place, as well as Scottish traditional music and street parties. Hogmanay is in a certain way the Scottish Feast to celebrate New Year. Here are some activities for this year:
This party is taking place on 31st December, from 7pm until 1am. DJs and live bands will fill the streets with live music in order to welcome the New Year 2017.
Old Town Ceilidh:
This event takes place at the same time as the Street Party but in the Old Town of Edinburgh. If you want to experience the Scottish culture, go for it! As there will be traditional music, Ceilidh, food & drink from Scotland.
Taking place on 31st December, Candlelit Concert is a celebration of baroque music. It’s at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.
Happy New Year ! All is said, or nearly: Midnight Moment is the passage to the new year 2017. At midnight, you will see fabulous fireworks from the Castle of Edinburgh but also from Calton Hill. And icing on the cake, You will have the chance to admire four fireworks ! Yes, in Edinburgh you have four fireworks which take place at 9, 10, 11 and 12pm during this night. So, if you miss one, no worries !
On the first January, between 1pm and 5pm, several artists will showcase in the streets of Edinburgh. You will discover Scottish innovative artists in music, art and theater. Don’t miss this!
And here, two videos from the celebration of Hogmanay in Edinburgh and in Scotland:
For more information, have a look at those websites:
From the creators of the Edinburgh International Magic Festival, MagicFest: Christmas Special will take place for the first time between 27th and 30th December 2016 at George Square Theatre. It is a unique opportunity to discover or re-discover magic with astonishing magicians such as Kevin Quantum, Florian Sainvet, Drew McAdam, Matthew J Dowden or Lewis Barlow. They will keep you busy for four days with mesmerizing cutting-edge illusions, mythical sleight-of-hand magic and fascinating edge-of-your-seat levitation. It’s a must-see event!
Here are the artists that will showcase their magic at the festival:
Kevin Quantum is a magician who trained in Las Vegas with notorious stars. His shows are usually connected with modern technology and visual magic.
Florian Sainvet is a French sleight of hand magician who was one of the finalists in the World Magic Championship last year, as well as in “France’s Got Talent”.
Drew McAdam is well-known for his mind-boggling performances. He has also really talented with telepathy.
Matthew J Dowden is known as the Dean Martin of magic. His shows are inspired by Hollywood and the classic art of magic.
Lewis Barlow is said to be one of the Scotland’s best illusionists.
Taking place from Friday 18th until Sunday 20th November, Edinburgh Art Fair is an art exhibition that shows paintings, sculptures and much more from more than 60 different galleries in the UK and abroad. The Art Fair will take place at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.
Over the weekend, artists will either demonstrate their skills to the public or run interactive painting classes through workshops. Here are some of the scheduled classes:
Leo’s Art Lab is a art class lead by the incredibly talented Scottish artist, Leo du Feu. The Lab will take place on Saturday and Sunday and is a drop-in class.
Open Easel Sessions gives you the opportunity to paint your own masterpiece. The easels are available from Friday morning until Sunday night for everyone (including children) who would like to try their hand at painting with acrylics on canvas.
Printmaking Talks gives you an insight into about various engraving techniques through talks and demonstrations
Damian Callan is a Scottish artist, based in Edinburgh, who usually draws and paints moving figures like his wife or his four children. He also teaches drawing and painting at his studio and in other venues in Edinburgh.
Some of the Exhibitors from 2016
1 of 1 is based in London and is a design company which produces and sells hand-made pieces such as art, jewellery or fashion. 1 of 1 will attend the EAF for the first time this year by showcasing eccentric paintings, photography and mixed-media works.
Image credit: Joe, Flickr
Clifton Fine Art is a modern art gallery based in Bristol. It shows contemporary art from the South West of England. This year, Clifton Fine Art will showcase emerging artists from the region.
Silo Arts, established in the heart of Lowestoft, will show arts from Orson Kartt an Kit Boyd at the EAF.
Urbane Art Gallery is a contemporary art gallery which shows international artworks as well as emerging talents. This art Gallery is located in Edinburgh.
Jamie Frost is a figurative sculptor and draughtsman. He especially likes drawing fine and coloured lines about bodies and portraits.
Gallery Different is based in London and presents contemporary paintings, sculptures, photography and drawings from British and international artists. This gallery particularly loves presenting vibrant art of exceptional quality.
Image credit: Charlie Llewellin, Flickr
For further information:
Dates: 18th-20th November 2016 Place: Edinburgh Corn Exchange, New Market Road, EH14 1RJ Time: Friday, 11.00 – 19.30, Saturday, 11.00 – 18.00 and Sunday, 11.00 – 17.00 Price: £5 and £3 concessions Website: www.artedinburgh.com