This past weekend we headed to the city centre to sample some of the Edinburgh Christmas festivities. With small children in tow we were keen to avoid the worst of the crowds, so decided to head to St Andrews Square rather than the Princes Street Gardens – although I hear it is of epic proportions this year!

Edinburgh big wheel at Christmas

As luck would have it, it was the Edinburgh Lights switch on (imaginatively called Light Night) so there were performances on numerous stages dotted along George Street from 2pm. There weren’t too many people at this time, and plenty for Katie to see and get excited by.

Edinburgh light night pink stage

St Andrews Square is once again home to the ice rink, a helter skelter, and this year, a double level carousel. Edinburgh residents get 20% off all rides so it was only a few pounds for Mike and Katie to have a shot on the carousel. Katie has been on these before, but this year was finally big enough to go on her own horse to her immense pleasure.

Ice skating at St Andrews square

The only downside was the cold – Katie, Thomas and I all have the sniffles at the moment and Katie’s nose actually began to bleed. She was determined she wanted to go on the carousel repeatedly but was finally convinced to come into Harvey Nichols in search of chocolate brownies!

It was of course incredibly crowded, but we managed to get seats in the restaurant on the 4th floor fairly quickly. The menu was very limited but we all ordered warm drinks and then an odd selection off the desert board – chocolate tart for Katie and a cheese selection for Mike, Grandma and me!

The views from the 4th floor are incredible, and on this occasion proffered a great view of the festivities in St Andrews Square below, alongside breathtaking vistas across the way to Fife. The sun was just setting and with the sky lit up even Katie was sufficiently rapt to sit still long enough for us to enjoy our food.

Wondering back down George Street, the acts on the various stages were really picking up and the lights on each stage were beginning to dramatically light up the architecture only the street. Unfortunately, it was getting too cold for the kids after being out for so long so we regretfully did not see the fireworks (or Susan Boyle switch on the lights!). However, Mike and I were surprised it was all actually quite enjoyable and was lovely to see Katie have a great time. The absolute highlight was seeing a jet trail in the sky and convincing Katie it was Santa off to collect his Scout Elves in time to get them back to spy on us from December 1st.

Edinburgh Christmas Light night

We’ve not bought into the ‘elf on the shelf’ before but Katie is now of an age that I’m really hoping her imagination will add to the fun and have been scouring Pinterest for ideas of what Elfie can get up to – let me know if you have any winning ideas!

3 thoughts on “Activities: Christmas Festivities”

  1. This is where the city wins Laura, what an amazing atmosphere and sheer amount of things to see and do. We have nothing like that in the country. Great blog post lovely, thanks so much for linking up to #CityCountryLife, we love having you along xo

    1. I guess you’re right on that front – it’s pretty mad in the city centre right now! That said, I grew up in a town that was definitely more ‘country’ and actually miss a few things there – like late night shopping complete with carollers and Santa etc. We’re so used to late night shopping here it’s not a novelty at all! Thanks for commenting! xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *