Edinburgh is beginning to come alive with illuminations once again, and as family-friendly events, we thought we’re share a few that we’re looking forward to this year. As outdoor events, it feels good to let the kids get a bit of fresh air, and there surely isn’t a better antidote to the darker evenings than to send sparkling lights into the night sky.

Castle of Light: Hidden Treasures, 19 Nov-9 Jan, 4.30-10pm

Head to the castle for a celebration of history through a series of spectacular light installations. Join ‘Rex’, the famous red lion of Scotland, in a party of spectacular colour, light, and sounds. We attended the press review this year, where even the drizzle that filled the air, was welcome as the rays of light picked up the water droplets in the air!

Whilst not necessarily ‘Christmassy’, each light installation told a story of the castle or the the wider history of Scotland – bringing the castle to life! I was only sorry I we couldn’t explore all the rooms at night too and will definitely be suggesting Historic Scotland think about ‘after dark’ events as the views of the city from the top of the castle were stunning!

You can check out our full review from last year, and find more on our Instagram highlights from this year too.

Christmas nights at Edinburgh Zoo, 19 Nov-2 Jan, 4.45-7.30pm

For a more festive feel, head to a Christmas Night at Edinburgh Zoo. Discover the magic of Christmas spirit and Santa’s time by following a spectacular light trail. You can read our thoughts from last year’s event, or head to the zoo page to book.

Christmas at the Botanics, 25 Nov-2 Jan 4.15-8pm

If last year was anything to go by, the Botanics event will be Christmas personified. Focusing on celebrating the garden itself, expect a celebration of the elements as water, fire, air and fire meet. More details can be found here.

Spectacle of Light at Dalkeith Country Park, 4 Dec-2 Jan, 4.30-7pm

A little further afield, but definitely worth travelling to, the Spectacle of Light offers a play experience light no other. As Fort Douglas sparkles in the darkness – it’s like the Faraway Tree meets Nutcracker. Last year was one of the kid’s favourite events, and would definitely recommend for kids of all ages. When else do you get a chance to play in the woods in flickering lantern light?! Get more details and book here.

Disclosure: We’ve been invited to press reviews of some of these shows, but all words/thoughts/images are our own.

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