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Winter fun in Glasgow

21 things to do in Glasgow this winter

21 things to do in Glasgow this winter

With events, shopping and fantastic places to eat and drink, here is our guide to the top 21 things to do in Glasgow this winter.

A ferris wheel lit up against the evening sky is slightly blurred. While a stone column surrounded with fairy lights in the foreground is in focus.

1. Enjoy not 1 but 2 winter wonderlands in the city centre! There will be family-fun at the Christmas Fair at St Enoch Square (November 18 - January 3). While the Christmas Fair at George Square (December 1 - January 8) includes an ice rink and observation wheel. Visit glasgowloveschristmas.org for details.

2. Children will enjoy an interactive trail and festive games at the beautifully decorated Pollok House before meeting Mrs Claus herself. Tickets can be booked for various dates (December 9-24) and timeslots via eventbrite.co.uk.

Hundreds of runners in Santa costumes are running up a closed street in the city centre.

3. It's the return of the Santa Dash on December 11. Join thousands of Santas, including children and even dogs, for a festive charity 5K. Visit glasgow.gov.uk to sign up.

4. For a tasty festive event for all the family, visit the Big Feed Christmas Family Festival at the SEC (December 10-11). There will be a range of street food, play areas, story tellers and a Santa's grotto. Buy tickets at sec.co.uk.

5. Book to see a show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, with the likes of Home Alone In Concert or a magical screening of the festive classic, The Snowman, accompanied by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Check out what’s on at glasgowconcerthalls.com.

6. Dance the night away on board the 126 year old Tall Ship with Deoch 'N' Dorus ceilidh band (December 8). Find out more about ceilidh nights at the Tall Ship.

7. Get rosy cheeks with a stroll on a crisp, winters day. Take a look at our guide to the top 5 winter walks in Glasgow.

8. See a classic festive film! Check out the Glasgow Film Theatre for their festive programming, which includes seasonal favourite, It's a Wonderful Life (visit glasgowfilm.org). Or how about A Muppets Christmas Carol with live orchestra at SEC Armadillo (visit sec.co.uk).

Detailed festive miniature cakes are laid out beside a festive garland and candy canes.

Credit: The Willow Tea Room Trust

9. Treat yourself to a fabulous festive afternoon tea at Mackintosh at the Willow (book at mackintoshatthewillow.com). Or head southside and enjoy a piano recital followed by afternoon tea at House for an Art Lover (book at houseforanartlover.co.uk).

10. Enjoy music and film performances at the stunning University of Glasgow. There will be carols in the cloisters (December 13) and a Festive Film Night at the ARC (December 16). Visit gla.ac.uk for details.

Two people dressed in traditional pantomime costume against a sparkly purple and blue background.

Credit: The King's Theatre

11. Shout ‘they’re behind you’ at a pantomime. This year it’s Beauty and the Beast at the King’s Theatre, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Tron Theatre and Mother Goose at various community venues. Visit atgtickets.com, tron.co.uk and check out glasgowlife.org.uk to book tickets.

A traditional Scottish dancer strikes a pose next to a musician on the accordian. They are standing on stage in the large OVO Hydro Arena.

12. Take a whirl at the world’s biggest ceilidh. Top musicians in the Scottish and Irish scenes will perform as part of an all-star ceilidh band at Hoolie in the Hydro (Dec 17). Buy tickets at sec.co.uk.

Skaters skate around a circular ice rink which has a Christmas tree in the centre. Fairy lights and a disco ball create sparkles on the ice and the white canopy ceiling.

13. Head to the Ice Experience at Elfingrove and take a twirl on Scotland’s biggest ice rink on the grounds of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Open from November 24 until January 8. Book tickets at itison.com.

14. Make sure you’ve secured a ticket to one of the New Year’s Eve parties in the city. Explore our top 10 picks for Hogmanay this year and bring in the bells in style at the likes of King Tuts, Arta, voco Grand Central Hotel and more.

4 children sit holding presents and wearing elf hats. A person dressed as an elf stands with arms up in the air behind them.

15. Princes Square has got parents' backs this Christmas with their Elf School (selected dates between November 20 - December 24). Children will enjoy festive fun while adults have 2-hours child-free to shop or dine. Book via eventbrite.com.

16. Browse unique gifts at some of the city’s best weekend markets and fairs. From the Merchant City Craft Fair (every weekend in Dec and every day from Dec 16) to the Barras Market (weekends until Dec 24), there is lots to choose from. Visit our gift guide page for more details.

17. From December 23 to January 15, take family and friends to the IRN-BRU Carnival, Europe’s largest indoor funfair. Head to irn-bru-carnival.co.uk to buy tickets.

18. Head to one of the city’s many cosy pubs for a warming tipple. Read about some of our favourites in our cosy pubs' guide.

19. Watch Scottish Ballet dancers tell the tale of The Snow Queen in a glittering production at Theatre Royal. Complete with live orchestra, the show takes place from December 14 – January 8. Book tickets at atgtickets.com.

20. Join in with Europe’s biggest celebration of roots and folk music at Celtic Connections from January 19 until February 5. Acts include Kate Rusby, Rozi Plain, Bonny Light Horseman and Kris Drever. Visit celticconnections.com to explore the full line up.

2 people drinking cocktails in a bar while watching musicians play. The view is from behind the musicians and there are lots of green plants around the bar.

21. Fancy celebrating with a cocktail or mocktail? Whether you want a stylish or speakeasy vibe, Glasgow has somewhere for everyone. Check out our top picks of cocktail bars.

Article last updated: December 2022

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