Things To Do In Edinburgh at Christmas

If you’ve chosen to spend the festive period in Edinburgh this year you’ll be looking for things to do while you’re here. Naturally, seen as you’ll be here at Christmas, you’ll want to do things that are full of festive fun to put you in the mood, so we’ve compiled a list of great things to do while in Edinburgh at Christmas.

Go on the Big Wheel

If you want breath-taking views of Edinburgh then the big wheel should be for you, with thirty six pods that are weather proof and which seat up to 6 people. You’ll also get to hear an audio about the history of this famous Scottish city. The wheel is open from 10am onwards.

Christmas Tree Maze

This is perfect for the family with this Christmas Tree Maze. Once in there, you have to find your way out again. What’s more, while you’re in the maze, you’ll find the magical Elves workshop where Santa’s helpers will be waiting with something special for the children. There are no specific times, it’s a first come, first served basis. You must book your tickets online before attending.

Ice Skating

There is more than one ice skating rink in Edinburgh and the first one is on East Princes Street Gardens Terrace. You can have up to 45 minutes on the ice or as little as 30. You’ll need to arrive about 20 minutes before you put your skates on.

The second ice rink is at St Andrews Square with similar rules to the East Princes Street ice rink. There are double blades for the littles ones so they can get around a little easier. Wheelchair users can also use the ice rink.

Star Flyer

This is one ride you won’t forget. The Star Flyer at almost 60 metres high and will give you the ride of your life. You’ll see Edinburgh in all its Christmas glory from the comfort of your Star Flyer seat. There are some breath-taking 360 degree views. Admission is first come, first served, and there are no specific times of day to come, although there will be specific dates when it’s open, just check their site to confirm.

Visit the Christmas Markets

There are a few markets to visit in Edinburgh, the first is the Children’s Market with plenty of festive child friendly activities, including face painting and crafts. You’ll find the Children’s Market in Santa Land. It’s open from 10am to 10pm, so there’s plenty of time during the day to visit.

There is a European Christmas Market in the centre of Edinburgh and it starts at the Mound and continues through East Princes Street Gardens Terrace and through the Scott Monument. You’ll have a great shopping experience with artists, gift shops, crafts and lots of food and drink. Hours are 10am to 10pm.

The Scottish Market is located at St Andrew’s Square with plenty of food, drink and crafts. There’s delicious chocolate, seafood and locally produced food. There’s Scottish made woodwork and jewellery and plenty more. Hours are 10am till 10pm.

Santa's Grotto

A visit to Santa’s Grotto is important if you have little ones, and of course it’s the first on your list of priorities. There’ll be fairy tales and a special moment with Father Christmas and his helpers. The meet with Santa is every 30 minutes, and you can buy your ticket to see him online or at the box office.

Buy a Real Christmas Tree

Staying long enough to need a Christmas Tree? Then Edinburgh has a selection of the some of the best Christmas trees in the UK. You can order them online and what’s more there’s free delivery.

Watch a Christmas Classic

Yes, the most famous and most watched Christmas film is It’s a Wonderful Life and it’s one of the best films to see during the Christmas period. Starring James Stewart it tells the tale of a man who prepares to take his own life but is shown how the world would be without him, so he returns to his family for Christmas. A beautiful performance, it’s well worth seeing, especially now it’s been restored. You can see it at the Picture House in Edinburgh at 12.20 on Christmas Eve and there’s a group showing on December 20th at 1pm.

Go to the Panto

At the King’s Theatre Edinburgh you can see Snow White and the Seven Dwarves from 28th November through to 17th January. Great traditional fun for all the family.

We hope you find our comprehensive list of festive events for things to do in Edinburgh useful. Edinburgh is such a beautiful city and it’s the perfect place to spend your Christmas vacation, so we hope you have a fabulous time.