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It’s beginning to look a lot like Edinburgh’s Christmas

22nd Oct 2021

20 November – 4 January 

  • On behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, Underbelly announces that tickets will go on sale for Edinburgh’s Christmas 2021 on Friday 22 October at 10am. 
  • Tickets will be on sale for selected rides and attractions.
  • The much-loved ice rink returns, sponsored by Lidl GB and partnered by Essential Edinburgh.
  • East Princes Street will see the return of festive food & drink and the Christmas Market.
  • West Princes Street will include Santa Land, featuring the magical Santa’s Grotto and family friendly attractions.
  • EH postcodes receive 20% discount.

Edinburgh’s Christmas is back and set to bring festive cheer to the heart of the city.

This year we see the return of the city’s much-loved Christmas ice rink, sponsored by Lidl GB and partnered by Essential Edinburgh, in its new home on George Street. The firm favourite will include a first for Edinburgh’s Christmas, skate up festive food and drink offerings alongside family sessions. Lidl on Ice will open on 20 November.

Once again East Princes Street Gardens hosts one the UK’s favourite Christmas Markets. The fantastic festive market will offer a wide range of European and local food, drink and crafts which are bound to get you into the Christmas spirit. The Forth 1 Big Wheel will return, alongside the Star Flyer, all against the backdrop of the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh’s Christmas at East Princes Street Gardens will open on 20 November.

In a first for Edinburgh’s Christmas, those looking to get to the top of the nice list will find the city’s magical Santa’s Grotto in West Princes Street Gardens. The lower gardens will be transformed into Santa Land featuring family-friendly attractions including the Christmas Tree Maze and market stalls, full of festive treats and gifts. Santa Land will open on 20 November.

Tickets for Ice Skating, Santa’s Grotto, The Forth 1 Big Wheel and Star Flyer are now available to purchase through the Edinburgh’s Christmas website. Those with an EH postcode receive 20% off their tickets.  

This year, Edinburgh’s Christmas is going contactless and introducing a new ‘tap and ride’ scheme, rather than purchasing tickets from the traditional box office you will be able to purchase your ticket at each ride. 

Further additions to the programme include: 

Winter Windows will return throughout the city, and this year’s theme is “Connections and Kindness”.  This special creative project encourages Edinburgh’s young and budding artists to showcase their talents to residents and visitors outside of the classroom. School pupils are invited to design their own stained-glass window to be displayed in our streets and community hubs. This year’s theme allows Edinburgh’s school children to reflect on the connections made and kindness that they received and gave during the global pandemic. 

The Nativity Scene, which this year moves to St Andrew Square. The Nativity Carol Concert, organised in conjunction with Edinburgh Churches Together, takes place on 28 November in St Andrew Square.

Following on from the success of the Light Night rainbow installation on the Mound in 2020, Edinburgh’s Christmas is working with Edinburgh based artist Hannah Ayre who will produce a beautiful contemporary art installation, illuminating the Mound with cascading geometric snowflakes. This installation will sit alongside Edinburgh’s Christmas tree donated by the Hordaland County Council in Norway and will replace the Light Night event. The Mound installation will be illuminated from 20 November.

The Neighbourhood Market will return in 2021 and offer free listings for local Edinburgh businesses and attractions to showcase their products. In 2020, 207 local Edinburgh businesses showcased their products on the Edinburgh’s Christmas website.

To make sure Edinburgh’s Christmas is an experience as enjoyable as possible to all, Underbelly is pleased to be offering sensory packs to children and adult visitors with additional needs. These will be available to hire, free of charge, and will contain a fidget toy, earplugs, water bottle, stress reliever and ear defenders. These items are designed to help users relax in situations they might find stressful. The sensory packs are designed and kindly provided by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

Underbelly is meticulously planning Edinburgh’s Christmas with Covid-19 in mind and is dedicated to creating a safe and fun environment for the 2021 Christmas celebrations. Working closely with the City of Edinburgh Council and Essential Edinburgh, Underbelly has created an unmissable festive programme, helping to boost domestic tourism and reinvigorating Princes Street and the surrounding areas. Edinburgh’s Christmas is designed to support economic recovery across the capital, driving footfall to the wider city centre area, bringing some much-needed cheer and happiness to both residents and visitors to Edinburgh.

This year’s festivities will also support Edinburgh’s Social Inclusion charity, the OneCity Trust with donations being taken at point of sale on the Edinburgh’s Christmas website and collection points at bars. 

Posted by Annie Wheeler