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What’s On In Edinburgh In December
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What’s On In Edinburgh In December

Picture of Tori Chalmers
Updated: 15 November 2016
So that the persistent sound of Christmas music resonating across Edinburgh doesn’t drive you completely mad, Culture Trip has been making a list of the coolest things to do this December (we’ve checked it twice). From endorphin-inducing eats and seasonal markets to exclusive events, and festive parties, may you feel merry and let there be a never-ending supply of mince pies and mulled wine. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year.

THURSDAY, 1ST DECEMBER – SUNDAY, 4TH DECEMBER

HISTORY | Step Inside And Unlock Edinburgh’s Buildings

📅 Thursday, 1st December – Saturday, 24th December

It may not contain chocolate but 24 Doors Of Advent, a contemporary type of advent calendar, is still stuffed to the brim with surprises. From the Royal Lyceum Theatre and Chapel of St Albert The Great to Murrayfield Stadium, explore the history behind some of Edinburgh’s greatest buildings and have a good old nose.

Tickets: Free

📍 Edinburgh, Scotland

THEATRE | Relive A Classic With Black Beauty

📅 Friday, 2nd December – Saturday, 24th December

Audiences will be chomping at the bit to relive this timeless tale. Based on the 1877 novel by Anna Sewell, the story of Black Beauty is a classic. A perfect outing for all ages, prepare to feel transfixed by Patrick and Hamish, who cleverly touch upon multiple themes while providing top-notch entertainment.

Tickets: £9+

📍 Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

ART | Find A Sense Of Place Through Joan Eardley’s Art

📅 Saturday, 3rd December – Sunday, 21st May 2017

A Sense Of Place showcases an impressive archive of the greatest works from artist Joan Eardley. Eardley is renowned for her hauntingly captivating paintings of street children in Glasgow and her ability to make the fishing village of Catterline near Aberdeen pop out from the canvas. The exhibition will feature photos, sketches and paintings.

Tickets: £9

📍 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art,75 Belford Rd, Edinburgh, Scotland

MONDAY, 5TH DECEMBER – SUNDAY, 11TH DECEMBER

ARCHITECTURE | Explore The Unity Between Scottish Landscape And Architecture

📅 Tuesday, 6th December – Saturday, 10th December

Explore the immense bond between Scottish buildings and the landscape in Landscape In The Context Of Buildings – An Exhibition. Not one to be missed, architecture buffs can explore themes of applied and borrowed landscape and the harmony between buildings.

Tickets: Free

📍 Dundas Street Gallery, 6 Dundas St, Edinburgh, Scotland

SCIENCE | Be The Jungle VIP At Monkey Business

📅 Friday, 9th December – Sunday, 23rd April 2017

The largest ever of its kind, Monkey Business, a jaw-dropping exhibition exploring the intricate relationship between humans and primates, will take to Chambers Street like a monkey to a banana. From the overall jungle vibe and impressive interactive displays to the realistic lighting, sights and smells, and conglomeration of over 50 primate exhibits, Monkey Business addresses pressing issues and sparks much-needed discourse regarding conservation, endangered species and human-animal relationships.

Tickets: £7+

📍National Museum Of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

BALLET | Enjoy The Sweet Vibes From The Scottish Ballet

📅 Saturday, 10th December – Saturday, 31st December

Those desperate for a generous dose of the holly jollies should look no further. Gaze at the ethereal Scottish Ballet flawlessly gliding and sparkling like swans in Christopher Hampson’s festive take on Hansel & Gretel. From enchanted toys and mystical forests, to a sensational score and endless treats, expect to be enraptured by this contemporary twist on the classic Grimm Brother’s tale.

Tickets: £14+

📍Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicolson St, Edinburgh, Scotland

FILM | Commiserate With Scrooge Over The ‘Bah Humbugs’

📅 Sunday, 11th December

Whether you’re on a worthy mission of watching every festive movie in sight or the non-stop swathes of jovial people keep testing your patience, mosey on over to The Cameo for a festive screening of Scrooge. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without it. Arguably one of the best A Christmas Carol adaptations, this 1951 film features the deftly talented Edinburgh-born actor Alastair Sim.

Tickets: £11

📍 Cameo Cinema, 38 Home St, Edinburgh, Scotland

HEALTH & WELLNESS | Run Like Rudolph At The Santa Run

📅 Sunday, 11th December

Raise money for When You Wish Upon A Star, a charity for critically ill children, and jingle all the way around West Princes Street Gardens at the Edinburgh Santa Fun Run & Walk. Don’t be a Grinch — put on that famous red suit and spread the festive cheer to one and all.

Tickets: Free To Watch, Entry Fee £5+

📍 West Princes Street Gardens, Starts At The Ross Bandstand, Edinburgh, Scotland

MONDAY, 12TH DECEMBER – SUNDAY, 18TH DECEMBER

THEATRE | Prepare For A Rollercoaster Of Emotions At Last Christmas

📅 Tuesday, 13th December – Friday, 23rd December

From the award-winning theatre company and Fringe hit Dirty Protest comes Last Christmas, a beautifully raw and relatable one-man show. Embark on a festive-related rollercoaster of emotions with a sobering approach to life’s little intricacies. One that stands out from the crowd.

Tickets: £14+

📍Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

FOOD | Embrace The Cocoa Induced Trance At Scotland’s Biggest Chocolate Festival

📅 Saturday, 17th December – Sunday, 18th December

Those who dream in chocolate will be overcome with a flurry of emotions after hearing that the biggest chocolate festival is coming to Edinburgh. From the chocolate cocktail bar and range of Scottish chocolatiers to workshops, live music, hot chocolate bar, the festive market, and tasting sessions, chocoholics are in for a treat. Don’t leave without making a pit stop at Santa’s Chocolate Grotto too.

Tickets: £10+

📍 The Biscuit Factory, 4 – 6 Anderson Place, Edinburgh, Scotland

MUSIC | Sing Your Heart Out To The Music Of The Starman At The Bowie Experience

📅 Saturday, 17th December

Immortalised through his songs, David Bowie will forever be a hero. Head on over to the Usher Hall, prepare for an out-of-this-world stellar evening and move your feet to the magic of his music. Bowie Experience, a stunning celebration of the Starman, demonstrates meticulous attention to detail and is a truly transformative experience.

Tickets: £22+

📍 Usher Hall, Lothian Rd, Edinburgh, Scotland

HISTORY | Uncover Festive Traditions From The Past

📅 Sunday, 18th December – Thursday, 22nd December

Starting on Sunday, 18th December, Victorian guides at The Real Mary King’s Close will be hosting hour long tours of the meandering passages below Edinburgh. After a mince pie and mulled wine, follow the leader for Yuletide Past and venture into a bygone time where thoughts of festive faeries and spirits encompassed the mind. Hear historically accurate accounts of how Scots lived and celebrated Christmas back in the day. Once more, expect multiple surprises along the way.

Tickets: £14+

📍 The Real Mary King’s Close, 2 Warriston’s Cl, High St, Edinburgh, Scotland

MONDAY, 19TH DECEMBER – SUNDAY, 25TH DECEMBER

MUSIC| Sing Your Heart Out With Christmas Karaoke

📅 Tuesday, 20th December

Don the mandatory (and exceedingly gaudy) Christmas jumper and congregate at Electric Circus to make an even bigger display with the surreal social practice that is karaoke. For the whole month of December, this dynamite drinking den is offering an epic 2-hour karaoke session, complete with a glass of bubbles and an After Eight Shot too. Go on — belt it out like no one’s watching.

Tickets: £8+

📍 Electric Circus, 36-39 Market St, Edinburgh, Scotland

COMEDY | Let Loose With A Cracker Of A Christmas Comedy Show

📅 Thursday, 22nd December

2016 Winner of The Best Small Club at the Scottish Comedy Awards, you can always count on Monkey Barrel to leave you rolling on the floor laughing. Absorb an unfathomable dose of festive cheer throughout the month of December with the Christmas Show. After all, ’tis the season to be jolly. Stand-up at its greatest, expect an absolute cracker with four of the best up-and-coming acts and a smashing compère too. The extra trimming is the national headline act.

Tickets: £12+

📍 Monkey Barrel, 9 – 11 Blair Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

FOOD | Grab Last Minute Fresh Food Items For The Perfect Christmas Meal

📅 Saturday, 24th December 2016

It’s Christmas Eve and all the shops are out of stuffing. Don’t let reality become a nightmare — with over 50 specialist producers, the Edinburgh Farmer’s Market has your back. Venture into the city centre with the whole family and stroll through the European Christmas Market before meandering around the Farmer’s Market. Grab those last minute food items and add that extra bit of cheer to the best meal of the year.

Tickets: Free

📍 Edinburgh, Scotland

MONDAY, 26TH DECEMBER – SATURDAY, 31ST DECEMBER

FESTIVAL | Let The Spellbinding Tricks Of Magicians Enchant At MagicFest

📅 Tuesday, 27th December – Friday, 30th December

Take advantage of extended family and friends being in one place and congregate in the George Square Theatre for MagicFest. With spellbinding displays of magic and a sprinkling of comedic relief here and there, prepare to be enthralled by cutting edge illusions and ineffable displays of magic. You’ll be levitating with joy before you know it.

Tickets: £14+

📍 George Square Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland

COMEDY | Have A Hoot At The Stand

📅 Tuesday, 27th December

Add that extra sprinkle of cheer to the most wonderful time of the year at The Stand Comedy Club with Hootfest! Stuff your face with piping hot, home cooked food and cry with laughter as you let hilarious comedians win you over.

Tickets: £15

📍The Stand Comedy Club, 5 York Place, Edinburgh, Scotland

CULTURE | Light Up The City And Unite At The Annual Torchlight Procession

📅 Friday, 30th December

Kick off Hogmanay celebrations with the renowned Torchlight Procession. Better than ever before, join over 40,000 people and carry a flaming torch through the city. The resplendent rays dancing amidst the glistening river of fire is a sight for sore eyes. A fascinating cultural event, the bonfire, fireworks and light show make for a stunning grand finale.

Tickets: Torches £12, Wristbands £3

📍Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland

MUSIC | Eightsome Reel Your Way Into 2017 At The Old Town Ceilidh

📅 Saturday, 31st December

So, you want to go to a real party? Grab all your mates and pas de basque all the way to the Old Town Ceilidh, where two open-air stages will host the most extravagant ceilidh yet. From the most delicious local eats and tasty drinks, to endless twirling and dancing the night away, it’s sure to be a braw night for all. Those new to the whole ceilidh scene need not worry — experts will be on hand to help teach. If all else fails, lap up the liquid courage from Belhaven Brewery.

Tickets: £47.50

📍 High Street and West Parliament Square, Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland

FESTIVAL | Celebrate Hogmanay Scottish-Style At The Street Party

📅 Saturday, 31st December

5, 4, 3, 2…1 – HAPPY NEW YEAR! When the bells chime and Auld Lang Syne starts resonating across Edinburgh, there is no better place on earth to usher in the New Year. Always a jaw-dropping showstopper, witness the city in all her glory as she comes alive with deftly skilled DJs and a contagious party atmosphere, overseen by the enchanting Castle, of course. Dance in the street and embrace all four stages, each of which will play different music genres.

Tickets: £25

📍 Edinburgh City Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland