Festive Aberdeen 2016

The leaves have fallen, temperatures are dropping and the John Lewis ad has bounced onto our screens. It can only mean one thing... It's the most wonderful time of the year! I bloody love Christmas and everything that goes along with it. As the cards and decorations take over the shops, I thought I'd share a few things going on in and around Aberdeen over the festive season to get you in the spirit!

Christmas Village
25th November - 8th January. This year's Christmas village on Union Terrace promises to be bigger and better! With the help of Codonas, you'll find the return of the fairground rides, traditional wooden chalets at the market, a bigger ice rink, live music in the marquee and a Christmas tree MAZE in Union Terrace Gardens. I am far too excited for this new addition! Unfortunately the food and drink stalls won't be provided by Aberdeen businesses but if you're intent on keeping it local you'll find plenty places to eat nearby!

Light up Aberdeen
24th November. Watch the Granite City glow as they switch on the lights at Marischal college and the Castlegate tree.

Carol Singing
The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear...
Duthie Park hosts their Carols in the Park on the 17th December at the Winter Gardens and there's bound to be a service at your local church or school too.

America is the talk of the town at the moment what with the new President being a "local" business owner. Help celebrate this American holiday with a 5 course Thanksgiving dinner at Rye & Soda. On the 24th November you can tuck into a feast of a menu created by head chef Chris Tonner, in association with local turkey farmers Barra Bronze and Wild Turkey bourbon. At only £22.50pp you'd be as nuts as a Trump supporter to miss out on this! 

Reindeer parade & the Christmas Light Switch On
27th November. The Trinity Centre's annual parade will see Santa and his reindeer make their way from Castlegate to the shopping centre at noon - great one for the kids! Make a day of it and enjoy the Christmas Village festivities until the second parade of the day for the switch on at 5.30pm!

Wreath Making
Something completely different to try out at Underdog, Union Street. Heart Art Aberdeen are hosting this crafty event on the 3rd of December. Pick up some wreath making skills while sipping on a glass of Brewdog's Santa Paws!
For other crafty activities check out Teasel & Tweed.

Visit Santa
There will be many Santa's Grottos popping up in the area, but I hear the big man flies in specially for BA Store in Dunecht! The kids (young and old!) will love seeing Santa arrive in style by helicopter. Even Rudolph needs a rest sometimes!

Drive in Movie
Buddy the Elf, what's your favourite colour?
Nothing gets you into the spirit more than a good Christmas movie. We all have our favourite but I've never met a soul that doesn't love Elf! What better way to enjoy it than at a drive in theatre?! You can catch Will Ferrell in all his yellow tight clad glory at Aden Park, Mintlaw on 11th December as part of a World Challenge fundraiser. Tickets are priced at £25 per car.

Catch Dick McWhittington starring Elaine C Smith at His Majesty's Theatre or check out your local theatre! This year's Peterhead Panto is Peter Pan, while Inverurie will put on a show with Puss in Boots throughout December. Please check individual websites for dates, times and ticket info!

Scottish Ballet
Hansel & Gretel is this year's winter performance! I saw their version of the Nutcracker a couple of years ago and loved it. The show makes its way to Aberdeen in January so it's an ideal Christmas present to keep those festive feels going into the new year!

Ice Shows
Disney on Ice takes over the AECC with the magic of Frozen from 7th-11th December, or you can watch local ice skating stars perform "Once Upon a Christmas" on the 17th-18th December at the Linx Ice Arena!

Have a Ball
Breakneck Comedy are hosting not one, but two Xmas balls at the Beach Ballroom this year! Tickets are priced at £65pp and include arrival drinks, a 3 course meal, comedy acts and live music. A Christmas party with a difference on the 2nd and 3rd December!

Twelve Days of Christmas Trail
Twelve unique sculptures based on the classic carol have been lovingly crafted by a local woodcarver. They'll be located around the city during December to create the trail. Can you find them all?

Various Markets
There are a number of Christmas fairs being held in and around Aberdeen - so many I couldn't possibly list them all! Ministry of Crafts Christmas Market takes place on 3rd December at the Methodist Church on Crown Terrace, while the Etsy Made Local event takes place on the 2nd at The Foyer on Crown Street. UnderDog host their Old Togs New Tricks Vintage Fayre (the Christmas edition!) on 11th December. Keep an eye out for local adverts/Facebook events to find one near you!

Boxing Day Dip
Join the madness of Aberdeen Lions Club's annual Nippy Dipper event! Take the plunge into the chilly North Sea to raise money for the Lord Provest's charitable trust or any well deserving charity of your choice. Kick off is 10am from the Beach Leisure Centre and you can register online here.

The infamous Stonehaven Fireballs are going ahead this Hogmanay! If you'd rather stay in the city keep an eye on The Tippling House for news of their themed ticket only events - their dinner pairings are sure to be a treat! You can bring in the New Year with live music from local bands The Lorelei and Funk Connection at Schoolhill, with an impressive fireworks display from the roof of His Majesty's Theatre promising to start 2017 with a bang!

Whatever your plans this winter, make the most of the attractions. Have fun, stay warm, think of those less fortunate and spread some Christmas cheer (donations to Original 106 Christmas Appeal must be in by 12th December) and don't forget your local businesses!

Eat, drink and be merry - locally!


  1. I love this! I'm so excited for Christmas now - saw them building the ice rink this morning on my way to work!


  2. Thank you for those fabulous recommendations!
    I added some of the events to my calendar xx
    Kisses, Laura

  3. What a great post, thank you for compiling these, definitely bookmarking! x

  4. Wow I didn't realise there was so much on in Aberdeen being a student originally from Edinburgh - will definitely be heading to the market on Union Terrace and a drive-in of Elf sounds fab - just need to get a friend with a car to drive me haha!

    Mairi xx