The most wonderful time of the year is almost upon us, offering the perfect opportunity to explore some of the events happening in South Scotland. Though Christmas may be slightly different this year, it won’t be any less festive in the Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, and Midlothian!
Whether you’re looking to plan a family day out in your local area, want to get crafty with a seasonal workshop or prefer to stay at home with exciting online events, check out our guide below.
Please note: In light of the coronavirus pandemic, health and safety are of paramount importance. Stay safe and adhere to current government guidance. Do not travel to or from areas in Protection Levels 3 and 4. If you are going for walks or exercise, always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Closures and access restrictions may apply and will be lifted in line with government guidance. Always check with places directly for visiting guidelines and prebook where possible.
Meet Santa and his Helpers
Head to Santa’s Grotto at Dalkeith Country Park
Santa and his elves are making an appearance at Dalkeith Country Park to give kids an unforgettably magical experience this Christmas. Each socially distanced visit will offer plenty of time for every child to share their dearest wish. They’ll even receive an under-the-tree worthy gift! And why not round off the day by heading to Fort Douglas – entry is included with every booking to meet Santa.
Meet and Greet with Father Christmas and his Elf at Paxton House
Paxton House is looking its Christmas best this December! The Picture Gallery is decked out as an enchanting Christmas scene with a glittering 12 foot Christmas tree. It’s undoubtedly the perfect place for a meet and greet with Father Christmas.
Discover Santa’s Grotto up at the farm with Jacksons at Jedburgh
This year, Santa is also heading to the farm. Kids will have a chance to not only meet him in his festive grotto, they’ll also get to meet and feed the animals for an extra special experience.
This December, Santa will be busy meeting children at the Cocoa Bean in Kirkcudbright! Families booking tables for breakfast, lunch or dinner will have the chance to not only meet Santa. The kids also get to take part in fun elf activities, a mini chocolate workshop and will receive a Christmas gift.
Christmas Markets & Shopping Events
Floors Castle Christmas Shopping Event – 27th to 29th of November
Pay a visit to the Apple Shed at Floors Castle in Kelso and choose from a selection of gifts, homeware and Floors Castle Kitchen produce. Or how about one of their luxury festive hampers? With a 10% discount on all purchases and free entry to the stunning gardens, Floors is definitely worth a visit this season.
Abbotsford Christmas Market – 27th to 29th November
In Melrose, the historic home of novelist Sir Walter Scott is welcoming Christmas. Prebook tickets to their Christmas Market and browse a variety of locally made gifts, look behind the scenes of the on-site luxury accommodation or explore the children’s woodland trail.
Can’t make it on those dates? Offers in the shop continue throughout December. And with the house decorated for the season, too, there are plenty of reasons to put Abbotsford on your list.
Jedburgh Market – 29 November
Once again, Jedburgh Market will take over the town’s High Street with stalls from local suppliers and makers. Whether you’re already planning Christmas meals or are looking for gift inspiration, come along and explore everything that’s on offer.
If you’re looking for locally made, one of a kind pieces, make sure to pay a visit to Harestanes’ craft workshops. Here you can choose from beautiful handmade jewellery, homeware and bespoke furniture pieces or simply stop by for sweet treats. Buy Design Gallery is open Wednesday evenings, while, Harestanes Glass Studio and Out There Artisan are open for shopping evenings on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 5.30-7pm.
Meet the Makers at Hawick’s Textile Towerhouse – weekends, 27th of November to 12th of December
Head to Hawick’s Textile Towerhouse for a series of festive Meet the Maker popups. On three weekends in November and December, you can pick up handmade gifts such as ornaments, textiles, ceramics and more by local artists, makers and creators.
Selkirk Farmers Market and Craft Market, 5th and 6th of December
Stop by Selkirk Farmers Market for their monthly event and a range of local produce and handcrafted gifts. In addition to the market stalls, December’s market will also see the Christmas lights being turned on, accompanied with live music by the Ridell Fiddles.
Choose your Christmas tree, enjoy a seasonal treat or drink, and indulge in some festive shopping – all in one place! Whether you’re looking for stocking fillers or baubles, Restoration Yard at Dalkeith Country Park is stocking a variety of fantastic gifts, homeware and decorations this season.
The Guild Festive Popup Shop – 28th of November to Christmas Eve
Visit Dumfries’ Loreburne Centre this December and discover a carefully curated collection of incredible makers, creators and producers from the region. With an abundance of choice and a wide range of makers represented, you can be certain to find gifts for all ages and interests.
Coorie Home Workshops with Fhior Garden Cafe at the Secret Herb Garden
Join Fhior Garden Café for a range of workshops that will fill your home (and heart) with Christmas cheer; from festive table decorations to seasonal baking and edible Christmas gifts. Workshops are held in the stunning surroundings of Midlothian’s Secret Herb Garden, with drinks and nibbles provided during the sessions.
Set your creative spirit free during this expert-led workshop. Choose from a variety of fresh flowers, dried fruits, pine cones and foliage collected from the estate to create your masterpiece.
Make your own festive treats at The Chocolate & Pastry School in Peebles. Classes on offer range from delicious Christmas patisserie to edible gifts, such as chocolate fudge and spiced German cookies. It’s the perfect opportunity to create extra special festive gifts for your loved ones.
Tune in for an immersive online game with the award-winning Bunbury Theatre Company. In Werewolf, allegiances are formed, suspicions are raised, and barefaced lies are the currency. Via Zoom, you’ll become part of the village of Barrenbrook, a quiet, sleepy town in the dark county of Bernenberg. But be careful! Werewolves have surrounded the village and as the bodies pile up, it’s your task to weed them out before they take over.
Make a Lantern for Langholm – 28th of November
Help light up Langholm with this fantastic community initiative! Centre Stage Community Theatre are inviting locals to craft their own lanterns to illuminate the town and spread cheer in this fun workshop. Alternatively, you can download the instructions and get crafty at home. As part of the project, crafters can also nominate their local heroes, who will be recognised with special golden heart lanterns.
Spectacle of Light at Dalkeith Country Park
The magical after-dark adventure returns to Dalkeith Country Park! Families embark on a breathtaking journey, filled with colourful light installations. While pixie lanterns and starbursts take you across the winding river, exploring Fort Douglas adventure park will be extra fun amongst the vibrant lights. And throughout the evening, there will be plenty of festive food and cheer on offer with mulled wine, hot chocolate, hot food and more.
The Parking Lot Social at Dalkeith Country Park
Celebrate all things Christmas with drive-in events by The Parking Lot Social! Following their successful summer events, the winter line up promises fabulously festive fun. December’s programme features pantomimes, festive movie favourites, silent discos and much more.