Edinburgh's festive events confirmed with return of Christmas markets

A range of activities for all the family have been announced to run across the city this festive season.

Edinburgh’s festive programme announced with ice rink, big wheel and return of Christmas markets Muckle Media

A range of festive celebrations have been announced for Edinburgh – including the traditional Christmas markets.

The popular Forth 1 Big Wheel will be included in the festivities along with a number of fairground rides, a Christmas ice rink and, of course, a visit to Santa.

Commencing on November 25, Edinburgh’s Christmas is set to include a number of free activities as part of a programme of events including a Nativity Carol Concert on Sunday November 27 and the Santa Fun Run on Sunday December 4.

Directors of UniqueAssembly, who are running the event, Penny Dougherty and William Burdett-Coutts, said: “We are delighted to be bringing Edinburgh’s Christmas to the city for both locals and visitors looking to get into the Christmas spirit.

“We really do have something for everyone with food and drinks, gift inspiration, fairground rides, and of course Santa himself ready to bring the Christmas cheer. We also have a number of free events taking place for everyone to enjoy including the Make a Wish Santa Fun Run – we really want to make it a Christmas to remember!” 

East Princes Street Garden will host the traditional Christmas Market with around 70 stalls with products from local traders alongside UK-wide and European sellers.

At West Princes Street Gardens, visitors will find Santa Land, offering the excitement of a Christmas tree maze and a family-friendly funfair as well as an all-new Santa Stories in the Piccolo where children can enjoy a special Christmas tale, told by Santa himself along with some special guest helpers.

All children will receive a gift and sittings will also include BSL, relaxed and audio described sessions.

Edinburgh Christmas Market in 2021 (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Getty Images

There is even offerings pets with the Santa Paws photo sessions which will see a donation from every ticket supporting a local animal charity.

In addition to meeting Santa, children will have the chance to attend the Elf Workshop offering kid’s crafting sessions as well as view the Nativity Mural installation during their visit. 

The city’s George Street will be home to a Christmas ice rink in partnership with Essential Edinburgh.

 The rink will be under cover allowing visitors to enjoy their day regardless of the weather surrounded by the 18th century architecture of the structure. 

Skaters can then warm up with a mulled wine or hot chocolate in the winter warming area.

Lord Provost Robert Aldridge, from The City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Edinburgh is one of the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas and this programme for 2022 promises a rich and varied programme of festive activities, events and experiences that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors of all ages. We can’t wait to see everyone enjoying it.”

Roddy Smith, from Essential Edinburgh, said: “Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations attracts visitors from near and far. We are delighted to once again be supporting the ice rink on George Street and installing the Christmas lights in St Andrew Square, George Street and throughout Edinburgh city centre, highlighting our attractions and all the shops and restaurants both visitors to the city and residents can enjoy during the Festive period!”

Unique Events are also hosting Social Bite’s Festival of Kindness, Tree and Gift Donation point, in partnership with Essential Edinburgh.

Donations can be made to help provide thousands of Christmas dinners and food packs, to help with the distribution of gifts to homeless and vulnerable families, children and individuals or for shelter to those without a roof over their heads this winter.

Open seven days per week from 10am- until late, Edinburgh’s Christmas Markets, Santa Land, Forth 1 Big Wheel, and other festive rides open on the afternoon of Friday November 25.  The George Street Ice Rink opens on Saturday November 26. 

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