Just like last year, 2022 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.
1. Enjoy some festive sparkle at this holiday special candlelight concert
Nothing says Christmas like Love Actually or Home Alone, and this winter Fever is bringing a special candlelight concert performing some of the best music from the classic Christmas movies. 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 memorable carols and orchestral works from several composers, and feel it usher in all the good feelings that arrive with the most special holiday of the year. Find your tickets here.
2. Check out celebrity Chef Jimmy Lee’s brand new Salt & Chilli in Shawlands
TikTok celebrity Chef Jimmy Lee has opened an exciting new location in Glasgow’s Shawlands on November 18, and it’s set to be a sure-fire hit amongst Southside locals. So, head down to Kilmarnock Road for some feel-good Cantonese scran to check out the newly opened venue boasting of modern and warm décor. Salt & Chilli Oriental Southside is serving Cantonese street food reimagined with a playful twist, as well as comforting Chinese classics and fusion creations that combine traditional Hong Kong street food with a dose of modern Scottish vibes.
3. Get your skates on and head to Elfingrove
- Image: itison
Organisers of the much-loved winter festival, Elfingrove, is open and ready for action until January 8, and it’s a big one. itison has brought the country’s largest outdoor ice rink to Glasgow for the festive season, where visitors can skate around the stunning setting of Elfingrove taking place at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. At Elfingrove you can enjoy a starry night surrounded by snow, whilst gliding across across the ice situated on a purpose designed track around the front of the museum.
4. Cosy up in a Swedish forest chalet or ski gondola at this winter wonderland village
Bringing us a little bit of festive sparkle is one of the Glasgow’s biggest beer gardens. Right by the River Clyde, Cranside Kitchen will be launching a wonderful new winter village on November 24 for weegies to enjoy featuring a ski gondola, winter snugs, Swedish forest chalets and festive cocktails. Cranside Winter Village is here to save Glasgow Christmas with a cosy, warm, undercover festive experience including a bar serving mulled wine ciders, winter cocktails and boozy hot chocolates all throughout December.
5. Show off your dance moves at the ABBA Christmas Day Party
Nothing says a bangin’ disco party like some ABBA tunes, and there’s an ABBA Christmas Day Party happening at Kilts and Cocktails in Glasgow on the first three Saturdays of December. Expect all your ABBA favourites with Christmas disco vibes during the cheerful day out. Plus, dressing up as Disco Santa is encourages, so you’re more than welcome to bring out your craziest inner Santa. 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.
6. Get into the festive spirit at Glasgow Loves Christmas Fairs
Christmas certainly isn’t Christmas without the festive markets popping up in the city during the winter months, and while the official Christmas markets were cancelled, they were replaced with very similar Christmas fairs 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 the popular Ranch 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. There is an attraction capable of reaching speeds of up to 70mph at St Enoch Square, called The Blizzard, and an ice climbing wall where guests will be invited for a wee local adventure. And on George Square, visitors will be able to go ice skating on the central ice rink and go on a 33-metre-high observation wheel from December 1.
7. Experience thrilling rides and stalls at this year’s Irn-Bru Carnival
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 23 to January 15, 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.
8. Visit a free immersive exhibition made entirely out of recycled cans
A brand new immersive exhibition has arrived at the Glasgow Science Centre, and it’s made entirely out of recycled cans. A whopping 1,500 cans have been used for the art installation, to prove the infinite recyclability of aluminium as well as to raise awareness of recycling. The temporary Infinity Room installation, will be open to the public until January 8, where visitors can step into a giant can made of regular-sized cans. Once you walk inside the giant drink can, you will be transported to a mirrored room made of 25 square meters of mirrors that create an illusion of being surrounded by an infinite number of suspended aluminium cans.
9. Set sail for a night of unforgettable music at this floating candlelight concert
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 filed with the most famous movie soundtracks like you’ve never heard before will be lighting up people’s days on December 10, where you can expect a number of your favourite film scores to be brought to the stage by a string quartet.
10. Discover small independent businesses at this joyful Christmas market
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.
11. Go on an adventure to this festive light trail in a forest just an hour’s drive from Glasgow
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 2 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.
12. Play golf like you’ve never had before at this brand new entertainment venue with climate-controlled bays
You read that correctly, a Topgolf venue is coming to Glasgow, and people are losing their minds. Having reached immense popularity in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Dubai, the entertainment golf spot with climate-controlled bays is branching out to Glasgow’s Rutherglen area from December 15. Players can expect tech-driven games in a three-story venue, a generous food and drink menu, and it’s designed for both golfers and non-golfers. Every ball has a ball-tracing technology used in major golf events, and there are lit-up targets throughout the field that players can see from up above. Bring it on!
13. Attend a boozy disco brunch at the rooftop venue VEGA
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 3, 10 and 17 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, Edinburgh Gin 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.