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Edinburgh’s Christmas Wonderland 2015, Markets and More

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Following on from last weeks blog post 5 Best Christmas Markets in Europe, we’ve decide to focus on one of Europe’s most popular – the Edinburgh Christmas Market.

Edinburgh’s Christmas was first launched way back in 1999 to complement the massively popular Hogmanay celebrations that take place in the Scottish Capital. The festive events now lasts a full 6 weeks and includes everything from a winter wonderland, exhibitions, pantomimes and shows, concerts and of course a traditional Christmas Market, topped off with the spectacular Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party and fireworks.

Spread across the city centre – with many streets turned into pedestrian areas just for the festive event – you’ll find something for everyone and for all ages including great family events taking place in Edinburgh from the end of November 2015 until early January 2016.

Here are just some of the great things happening as part of Edinburgh’s Christmas this year:

The Edinburgh Festive season officially starts on Sunday 22 November with the FREE Light Night event. Scotland’s own singing superstar Susan Boyle will official switch on the Christmas lights this year which is topped off with a fireworks show at 4.30pm. There will be a number of events taking place in George Street from 1pm including dance and songs to celebrate all things Christmas.

The Edinburgh Christmas Market consists of three separate markets. The original European Christmas Market in Princes Street Gardens, the Scottish Market situated in St Andrew Square and the Children’s Market right in the heart of Santa Land in Princes Street Gardens. All three markets are open daily from the 20 November right through to the 4 January from 10am to 10pm. Each market will boast a huge selection of different stalls including local and international crafts, art plus some of the best festive food and drink there is to offer at this time of year including mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

Santa Land will be surely be on the kids list of things to do this Christmas. As well as a chance to visit Santa in his festive grotto, there are a number of great festive fairground rides and attractions to keep them occupied. As always the Big Wheel and the Ice Rink are popular attractions but every year more and more are added including a helter skelter, balloon ride, traditional carousel, reindeer ride, rollercoaster, Santa train and the death defying Star Rider!

Another great thing for the kids is the Stick Man on stage. Scamp Theatre have created a fantastic stage adaptation of the popular children's book by Julia Donaldson. This St Andrew Square 60 minute show has cheap tickets too so it’s a must see for all the family.

At this time of year many of us just want to unwind after a stressful year and get lost in time with no rush or pressure. The Christmas Tree Maze is the ideal place to get lost – literally, with no time pressures what so ever. Can you make it in and out OK? Will you find the Elves’ workshop where you’ll find Santa’s little helpers waiting with a treat!

Many of the Edinburgh Christmas events can be pre-booked before arrival so save time and disappointment [it really is a popular place at this time of year!].

Many of Edinburgh’s permanent tourist attractions and shops also put on special events throughout the festive period. So if you wish to escape the outdoors why not check out the spooky and sometimes gruesome goings on at the Edinburgh Dungeon or marvel at the impressive giant Christmas Tree in the iconic Edinburgh department store, Jenners. If you’re in Edinburgh for the fresh air well we’d recommend hopping aboard one of the great Open Top Bus Tours that continue to operate throughout November, December and January. As well as seeing all the festive lights from the top deck of the bus they take you to other great places in the City, all of which have their own festive spirit inside like Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Yacht Britannia and the Botanic Gardens. You can book tickets and great things to do in Edinburgh here.

And finally, to top off your visit to Edinburgh, and what better way to finish, is taking in a traditional festive pantomime. This year at The Kings Theatre it’s the turn of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs starring Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Grant Stott in this fun, laugh out loud show for all the family.