Just like last year, 2023 has had its fair share of ups and downs, and we can’t believe the end is fast approaching. But it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Glasgow, and we are so ready to embrace the most wonderful time of year. So hit play on the festive playlist filled with Mariah and Bublé and have a jolly festive time with our guide to the best things to do in Glasgow this December.
Nothing says Christmas like holiday jazz, and this winter Fever is bringing a special candlelight concert performing some of the most heartwarming and jazzy holiday tunes. This festive season, get cosy and get yourself in the holiday spirit by enjoying seasonal music expertly performed under twinkling candlelight. Admire a stellar performance of “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, and feel it usher in all the good feelings that arrive with the most special holiday of the year. Find your tickets here.
TikTok celebrity Chef Jimmy Lee has opened an exciting new location in Larkhall, and it’s been a sure-fire hit amongst the locals. So, head down to Shanghai Oriental for some feel-good Chinese scran to check out the newly opened venue boasting of modern and warm décor. Indulge in culinary creations such as Chicken Satay, Scallops with Ginger and Spring Onions, and Roast Duck in Plum Sauce.
Thousands of people dressed as Santa will be running the streets this December. The Santa Dash is back for another year and will take place on Sunday, December 10. Around 6,000 people dressed as Santa are expected to be flooding the streets and spreading some festive cheer in support of The Beatson Cancer Charity. Get involved!
M&D’s is bringing Destination Christmas, a series of affordable festive events including ice skating, circus acts, Santa’s Grotto and more. Destination Christmas is kicking off on November 25, the festivities will continue right up until December 24. M&D’s Scotland’s Theme Park is located in Strathclyde Country Park, Bellshill, just a 20-minute drive from central Glasgow. Plus, the most expensive ticket for the events costs a mere £11.95!
Nothing says a bangin’ disco party like some ABBA tunes, and there’s an ABBA Christmas Day Party happening at Nonna Said in Glasgow on Saturday, December 16. Expect all your ABBA favourites with Christmas disco vibes during the cheerful day out. Plus, dressing up in your best disco attire is encouraged, so you’re more than welcome to bring out your craziest inner dancing queen. The party will take four hours starting at 2pm, so it’s perfect for day drinking and sobering up before bed. You can book your tickets here.
Christmas certainly isn’t Christmas without the festive markets popping up in the city during the winter months to lighten up the season. The much-loved events at St Enoch Square and George Square are bringing us one step closer to the big day with a myriad of seasonal chalets serving up the likes of bratwurst sausage, crepes, Dutch pancakes and Belgian chocolates, as well as a Festive Bar. Visitors can also treat themselves to a warming Hug in a Mug of Glühwein or a decadent hot chocolate with lashings of cream and topped with marshmallows. Just like previous years on George Square, visitors will be able to go ice skating on the central ice rink from December 1.
One of Scotland’s highly anticipated events having run for over a century, the favourite festive extravaganza is returning to Glasgow this winter, and it’s expected to be a good ‘un. The popular Irn-Bru Carnival is coming back to the SEC Centre from December 22 to January 14, but be quick to grab tickets. Packed with thrill rides like the 40m high Starflyer and Midnight Express Matterhorn, plus family rides, children’s rides, games, stalls and an inflatable play area for children, it will no doubt be an unmissable event in the festive calendar for all.
Fairy lights aren’t the only thing lighting up the city this season. Ready to drift away from all your worries? Well, hang tight as Fever have the solution with their ferry impressive candlelight concert at the splendid ship, the Glenlee, which will ignite your joy if it’s not already there. A classical music concert in candlelight filled with the most famous movie soundtracks like you’ve never heard before will be lighting up people’s days on December 22, where you can expect a number of your favourite film scores to be brought to the stage by a string quartet.
A joyfully sustainable festive market is coming to the Southside, and we cannot wait. Rags To Riches Christmas market will be held every Saturday during December in the run-up to Christmas. During the sustainability-led markets, over 100 small businesses, local artists and crafters will be showcasing and selling their work. You can expect anything and everything, from Christmas decorations to hand-crafted jewellery, hot water bottles or handmade soaps. You should not only be able to support local businesses, but also have some well-earned festive fun! Market-goers will also be able to indulge in mulled wine and food from local vendors, as well as listen to live music and attend festive workshops.
An extravagant light trail, the Festive Forest, with light shows and lasers is going to be enchanting Beecraigs Country Park near Linlithgow. The festive experience will run from 4pm between December 1 and December 23, offering visitors the chance to be transported to a fairy tale land deep into the woods. The 1.8-mile walk will boast festive laser shows and exciting lighting and sound effects for a truly immersive experience. And there is a host of other attractions: the longest light tunnel in Scotland, Radio Forth’s Silent Disco, a Cala Homes live music stage with DJ, musicians, choirs and carol singers there to liven up the party that not even the grumpiest could resist.
The rooftop venue VEGA is launching a Christmas Disco Boozy Brunch, set to be a noteworthy addition to Glasgow’s party scene throughout December. Expect plenty of fizz and gin cocktails, Christmassy disco vibes and a good boogie. Running every Saturday in the lead-up to Christmas on December 2, 9 and 16 for four hours from 12pm, VEGA’s new Festive Disco Boozy Brunch will transport brunch lovers to a disco winter wonderland, complete with live DJ sets, cocktails, a Festive Fizz station and, of course, plenty of snacks to accompany the main meal. Guests can raise a toast to their loved ones before tucking in; choosing from dishes including Huevos Rancheros, French Toast and Crispy Bacon or Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles.
The sell-out festive family film tradition, itison Drive-in Movies, is back this Christmas from December 15 – 24 as it enters its tenth year at Loch Lomond Shores. Adding to the classic Christmas films screened yearly, Arthur Christmas, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Bridget Jones’ Diary will be providing viewers with some feel-good quality time with their loved ones this December. You can also expect Elf, Home Alone 1 & 2, The Polar Express, Die Hard 2 and, of course, It’s A Wonderful Life. Plus, the organisers have announced an extra date on December 19 after phenomenal demand when tickets went on sale earlier this month.
13. Hang out with Bad Santa, play crazy golf and listen to 90s tunes
Golf Fang, the twisted crazy golf, cocktail bar & graffiti house, is inviting players to indulge in pure 90s nostalgia with a visit from a Bad Santa, hip flask in hand. On Saturday, December 2, Golf Fang is also raising money for a local charity across the weekend, and guests wishing to meet Santa will be asked for a ‘pay as you feel’ donation for a photo with the main guy. Plus, there will be themed cocktails to pair with the experience!
Scotland’s biggest Lush store is coming to Glasgow on December 8 at 11am, and it will be the first Lush anchor store. Guests can expect a “global flagship experience with experiential concepts“, as well as an in-store coffee shop hosted by Plant Blonde.