Highland and Moray events in January 2020
November 30 to January 4 Robinson Crusoe Panto, Macdonald Aviemore Resort, Aviemore – the tale of the heroic captain of the Good Ship Lizzie. As action-packed adventure with a shipwreck, treasure and everything you would expect from a great panto. Tickets available from www.macdonaldspeyvalleycinema.co.uk
December 6 to January 5 Beauty and the Beast, Eden Court, Inverness – spectacular family pantomime. www.eden-court.co.uk
December 31 to January 2 Kelpies, Selkies and Dragons, Abertarff House, Inverness – a storytelling and craft session aimed at 3–8 year olds who are looking for something fun to do during the holiday season. Visit www.nts.org.uk to book.
1 New Year Soakin', Thurso Beach, Thurso, noon-4pm – kick start 2020 with a splash in the sea! Registration for adults is £10 and for kids £1. All money raised to go towards Thurso Harbour regeneration plans.
1 Annual Dare to Dip!, Loch Insh Outdoor Centre, Kincraig, 10am-11.30am –£5 entry fee to raise funds for Lucky 2B Here, which aims to place defibrillators and deliver emergency life support training to communities throughout Scotland.
1 8th Annual Melvaig Loony Dook, Melvaig Jetty, Melvaig, noon-1pm.
4 Nucleus January Open Day, the Nuclear and Caithness Archives, Airport Industrial Estate, Wick, 11am-3pm – an exhibition of documents, calligraphy and the chance to speak to archive assistants about any research queries you may have!
5 New Year Skate Party Family Roller Disco, Moray Sports Centre, Elgin, 3pm-5pm – Family fun guaranteed, with skates for hire and great music to skate to.
5 Loch Morlich Running Festival, Loch Morlich Watersports, Aviemore, noon – a great opportunity to kickstart your 2020 after New Year and enjoy a family friendly event and stunning course, with the Cairngorms as your backdrop. Find on Facebook.
6 Christmas Tree Festival, Inverness Cathedral, Inverness – local businesses and organisations are invited to decorate a Christmas tree in their own personal way and help to raise funds for local charities.
7 Island Universes, Smithton Culloden Free Church, Smithton, 7.15pm – local astronomer Stephen Mackintosh from Highland Astronomy will take you on a journey through space and time, looking at the massive stellar structures that make up the observable universe – galaxies. Plus tips and advice on observing galaxies and other faint deep sky objects for yourself.
9 Talk & Tasting by Caorunn Gin, Grantown Museum, Grantown-on-Spey, 7pm – Gabrielle Balfour from the distillery, will do a deconstructed nosing and tasting, and explain the infusion process using five locally foraged botanicals and six traditional botanicals.
9-11 The Little Mermaid, Hopeman Memorial Hall. Hopeman – Hopeman Panto presents. Find on Facebook.
11 Burning of the Clavie, Burghead – ancient fire festival. A barrel of burning staves is carried through the streets to Doorie Hill where it is fuelled and left to burn out. Charred remnants bring luck for the coming year. Visit www.burghead.com/clavie
11 Auld New Year Ceilidh, Bonar Bridge Community Hall, Bonar Bridge, 7pm.
11 ELO Again, Elgin Town Hall, Elgin, 7.30pm – celebrating the truly universal music of Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra. www.elgintownhall.co.uk
13 Lauren MacCallum: Activism Through Adventure, Highland Council Chamber, Inverness, 7.30pm – part of the RSGS Inspiring People talks programme. A familiar face from The Adventure Show, Lauren MacCallum will ask if the climate crisis is a connection crisis – a consequence of losing touch with ourselves, our society and our land. Tickets available online at www.eventbrite.co.uk or on the door. RSGS Members and students are entitled to free entry.
15 Around the World in 80 Plants, UHI Inverness Campus, Inverness, 7pm – a world tour in plants without leaving Fort Augustus. Inverness Field Club talk by John Owen.
17 Finlay MacLean: 20/20 Vision, Elgin Town Hall, Elgin, 6.30 – a thought provoking talk mixed with inspirational music and famous quotations. Designed to lift your mood at this dark time of the year.
17 Adrian Cox, Nairn Community and Art Centre, Nairn, 7pm – world-renowned jazz clarinettist Adrian Cox and his quartet present music from their brand new album Now Is Spring. The music on this album tour is written by Adrian and longtime collaborator, pianist Joe Webb. www.nairncc.co.uk
18 Believe: The Cher Songbook, Elgin Town Hall, Elgin, 7.30pm – experience the ultimate tribute to Cher. www.elgintownhall.co.uk
18-19 Strathpuffer 24, Strathpeffer – when it comes to mountain bike challenges, they don't come much tougher or more rewarding than the legendary 24-hour mountain bike endurance event held every year in the Highlands in the middle of winter. www.strathpuffer.co.uk
16 Supernova Special, Inverness Sea Cadets Hall, Inverness, 8.30pm – with guest speaker Dr Anthony Luke of UHI talking about the incredible science and chemistry behind exploding stars. Opportunities for stargazing from the local nature reserve if conditions are clear.
17 Paul Tierney: My Wainrights Record, Ellis Brigham, Aviemore, 4.30pm – join the Aviemore team and ultra-runner and inov-8 ambassador Paul Tierney for a shoe demo, evening talk and screening of Paul's new film about his recent record breaking Wainright success.
17 Desert Island Discs Evening, Smithton Culloden Free Church, Smithton, 7.30pm – BBC's Fiona MacDonald interviews local liberal Thomas Prag and soprano Eileen MacIntosh. A fundraising event organised by the Inverness Singers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
18 Scozzesi, Nairn Community and Art Centre, Nairn, 7.30pm - an exciting new vocal male ensemble of professional, classically trained singers. www.nairncc.co.uk
18 The Freddie And Queen Experience, The Beaufort Hotel, Inverness, 7.30pm – the UK's premier Queen and Freddie Mercury tribute band.
19 The Legends of American Country Show 2020, Elgin Town Hall, Elgin, 6.30pm – fantastic night of toe tapping Country classics. www.elgintownhall.co.uk
20 Lidl Live: KT Tunstall, Strathpeffer Pavilion, 6.30pm –the Scottish pop rocker tours the country in support of Lidl opening its 100th store. All proceeds go to STV's Children's Appeal to help children and young people living in poverty.
20 Birds Of Prey, Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown-on-Spey, 8.30pm – wildlife Photographer and Tour Guide Gary Jones will highlight the species that are getting severely persecuted, and focus on the success stories of the reintroduction programmes for species such as Sea Eagles, Osprey, and Red Kite.
22-23 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2020, Eden Court, Inverness, 7.30pm – embark on a thrilling night of adventure with a brand-new collection of short films from the world's most prestigious mountain film festival! See www.banff-uk.com for more details.
24 Inverness Burns Club Burns Supper, Lochardil House Hotel, Inverness– visit www.invernessburnsclub.org.uk for details.
24 After Dark Explorations at Brodie Castle, Brodie, 5pm-9pm – immersive, contemplative and highlighting the physical personality of the castle itself, this experience is a reimagining of what a journey through 'history' might. www.nts.org.uk
24 Pianist Ailsa Aitkenhead, Spectrum Centre, Inverness, 2pm – after the success of her concert in January 2019, pianist Ailsa Aitkenhead returns to At One With Music to begin the commemoration of Beethoven's 250th Birthday with a programme that will include one of his major piano sonatas.
24 Flavour of Burns Supper, Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown-on-Spey, 7pm – with Dinner Dance and Address to the Haggis. Pre-booking is essential.
24 Nae Ordinary Burns Supper, Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, 7pm – Fiona Kennedy and John Bett, with an outstanding cast of singers, actors, musicians and choir. Dancing to The Jacobites. Musical director Nils Elders, Director John Bett.
24 Vampires Rock: Ghost Train, Eden Court, Inverness, 8pm – a tongue-in-cheek and laugh out loud storyline combined with an incredible stage set, lighting and sound, and a show like no other. www.eden-court.co.uk
25 Burns Wish Supper, Resolis Memorial Hall, Balblair. 6.30pm – Ashley & Lesley invite you to join them for a Burns supper in a final push to raise money for the charity, "When you wish upon a star" before they set off on their Arctic Trek in February. Their goal is to raise enough money to send families from the Highlands and Islands who meet the criteria on a lifetime trip to Lapland.
25 Inverness Detective Day, Inverness city centre – transporting you back to the 1920's, this "Peaky Blinders" inspired murder-mystery event will see over 100 teams compete to catch a killer. Will your team of detectives be able to stalk the streets, solve the clues and crack the case in time? www.cluedupp.com
25 Inverness Chinese New Year Celebration 2020, noon-3pm -Yee's Hung Ga Kung Fu Academy will perform a street parade in Inverness to celebrate Chinese New Year.
25 Annual Burns Night Celebrations, Corner on the Square, Beauly, 7pm.
25-26 Aviemore Sled Dog Rally, Glenmore Forest Park , Aviemore – the biggest event in the British sled dog racing calendar. The race features teams of two-eight dogs pulling their musher on a sled and if there's no snow, the races still go on with mushers using a three-wheeled rig that looks like a tricycle without a seat.
26 Bowie Experience, Elgin Town Hall, Elgin, 7.30pm – celebrating the sound and vision of David Bowie. www.elgintownhall.co.uk
27 The Murder Trial Live Tour 2020, Mercure Hotel, Inverness, 6.30pm– the unique social experiment that has gripped audiences is back! The Murder Trial Live puts audiences into the heart of a murder investigation that has been unsolved for 16 years, in a experiential dining event. Tickets are available at www.themurdertriallive.co.uk or call 01827 230610.
29 to February 1 The Snow Queen, Eden Court, Inverness – set to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov and performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. www.eden-court.co.uk
31 Jai McDowall, Elgin Town Hall, Elgin, 7.30pm – Jai won the fifth season of BGT, capturing the hearts of a nation with his powerhouse vocals, natural charm, and versatile song interpretations. www.elgintownhall.co.uk
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this listing, but please check ahead before travelling to any event.