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Festive events in Highland, Moray and Grampian

By Features Reporter

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With special appearances by Santa, Hogmanay ceilidhs and the magic of pantomime, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Oh yes it is!

November 27 to December 24 Winter Wonderland & Grotto, Simpsons Garden Centre, Inverness. Take a trip through the magical winter wonderland walkway and visit Santa in his grotto. Book at www.simpsonsgardencentre.co.uk

Simpsons Winter Wonderland & Grotto
Simpsons Winter Wonderland & Grotto

November 30 to December 8 Victorian Christmas, Delgatie Castle, near Turriff, 10am – exciting crafts for sale, Santa for the kids and home baking and lunches in the Laird’s Kitchen tearoom.

November 30 to January 4 Robinson Crusoe Panto, Macdonald Aviemore Resort, Aviemore – an action-packed adventure with a shipwreck, treasure and everything you would expect from a great panto. Tickets available from www.macdonaldspeyvalleycinema.co.uk

The cast of Robinson Crusoe at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, Aviemore.
The cast of Robinson Crusoe at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, Aviemore.


1 Exclusively Highlands Christmas Festival, Fyvie Castle, near Turriff, 10am – the castle will be brimming with festive fare for all. www.nts.org.uk

1 Banff Castle Grotto, Banff, 10am – come see the most magical grotto in town. Find on Facebook.

1 Christmas Market, Gordon Castle Walled Garden, Fochabers – tickets available from www.eventbrite.co.uk

1 Castletown Primary Christmas Fayre, Castletown Drill Hall,1pm-4pm.

1 Kincraig’s Christmas Craft Fayre, Kincraig Community Hall, 11am-3pm.

The Christmas tree festival at St Columba's in Grantown-on-Spey.
The Christmas tree festival at St Columba's in Grantown-on-Spey.

1 The BIG Switch-On, Market Place, Inverurie, 2pm-6pm.

3-7 Cinderella, Stewarts Hall, Huntly – Aurora Music presents this fairytale pantomime. Visit auroramusic.co.uk for tickets.

4-7 Aladdin, Wick Assembly Rooms, Wick – Wick Players 2019 pantomime.

5 After-hours Discover The Macallan Experience, Macallan Distillery, Craigellachie – incorporating a special welcome cocktail, two-course festive meal, and unique Distillery tour. Tickets can be purchased at www.themacallan.com

5-6 Christmas Wreath Making, An Talla, Dochgarroch Lock, Inverness, 6.30pm-9.30pm – find on Facebook.

5-8 Ullapool Christmas Tree Festival, Lochbroom and Ullapool Church of Scotland, 6pm – dress a Christmas Tree to showcase your group, organisation or chosen charity.

5-8 Christmas Tree Festival, St Columba’s Church, Grantown on Spey – a range of Christmas trees put up by different community groups.

Dingwall Academy pupils get ready for the Christmas Fair. Picture: Ian Rhind
Dingwall Academy pupils get ready for the Christmas Fair. Picture: Ian Rhind

6 Dingwall Academy Xmas Fair, Dingwall Academy, Dingwall, 6pm-9pm.

6 Christmas Fayre, Rothes Primary School, 3pm-5pm – stalls, raffles and arts and crafts. Entry is free and all funds raised go to the school.

6 Boat of Garten’s Christmas Market, Boat of Garten Community Hall, Boat of Garten, 4pm-7pm.

6 Pavilion Christmas Party, Strathpeffer Pavilion, Strathpeffer, 7pm – a three-course Christmas dinner followed by an evening of dancing with Guilty Pleasures!

6 For A Winter’s Night, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness – Scottish Ensemble’s alternative to the usual musical offerings of the season. Tickets from www.eden-court.co.uk

6 Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Fishermen’s Hall, Buckie, 6.30pm – Buckie Community Theatre Little Stars present. Tickets £10.

6-7 Aberlour Christmas Market, Aberlour Square and Church – two days of amazing stalls, food, drink and entertainment. Find on Facebook.

6-14 Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Florians Theatre, Inverness – tickets available from www.florians.org.uk

6-22 Snow White, Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen – a wonderful Attic Theatre Christmas production for the whole family to enjoy! Find on Facebook.

The cast of Beauty and the Beast at Eden Court, Inverness. Picture: Tom Illsley Photography/Imagine Theatre
The cast of Beauty and the Beast at Eden Court, Inverness. Picture: Tom Illsley Photography/Imagine Theatre

6 to January 5 Beauty and the Beast, Eden Court, Inverness – spectacular family pantomime. www.eden-court.co.uk

7 Christmas in the Avenue, Culloden Avenue, Culloden, 1pm-3pm – find on Facebook.

7 Turriff Christmas Fair, Baden Powell Centre, Turriff. Find on Facebook.

7 Songs from the Strath Gardens, Strathpeffer Pavilion, Strathpeffer, 7.30pm-9.30pm – Dingwall Choral Society presents five songs based on local myth and legend. They will also perform a selection of winter songs. www.wegottickets.com

7 Christmas Carol Concert at Fyvie Castle, near Turriff, 7.30pm – the St John Festival Choir, conducted by Professor Paul Mealor, present traditional carols and readings. Booking is essential. www.nts.org.uk

7 Funbox: Christmas in Toy Town, Elgin Town Hall, Elgin, 11am and 2pm – perfect holly-jolly silliness for all the family. Tickets from Sound & Vision, Elgin and www.ticketmaster.co.uk

7 Veco Christmas Market, Victorian Market, Inverness, 9am-4pm – a vegan and eco-friendly Christmas market. Find on Facebook.

7 Frost Fair, Dr Spence Memorial Hall, Udny Green, near Pitmedden, 11am-3pm – a wide range of crafts, bakes, and enjoy music with refreshments for the day.

7 Munlochy Christmas Craft Fair, Munlochy Village Hall, 6pm-8pm – entry £3.50, in aid of Barnardo’s. Entry price includes a glass of mulled wine.

7-8 Logie Steading Christmas Market, Logie Estate, Forres, 10am-4pm – artisan food and crafts, cocoa and mulled wine. www.logie.co.uk

7-8 Christmas/vintage Fair, Bogbain Farm, Inverness, 10am-4pm – Christmas gifts and crafts, vintage and antique, Santa’s grotto and tasty treats.

7-22 (Saturdays and Sundays only) Christmas at Brodie Castle, near Forres, 10am-4pm – sit in Santa’s sleigh, create Christmas arts and crafts and browse the market. Visit www.nts.org.uk for tickets.

7-22 (Saturdays and Sundays only) Kids’ Festive Fun Weekends, Mackenzie & Cruickshank, Forres, 10am-4.30pm – featuring fairground rides, bouncy castle, huskies and face painter. www.mackenzie-cruickshank.com

Santa takes you on a magical journey with Keith & Dufftown Railway. Picture: Eric Cormack/SPP
Santa takes you on a magical journey with Keith & Dufftown Railway. Picture: Eric Cormack/SPP

7-22 Santa Specials, Keith & Dufftown Railway, Dufftown Station, Dufftown – Santa and the elves will take you on a magical train journey to the North Pole. Email balmer376@btinternet.com to book.

7-23 Winterwoodz, Wildwoodz Paintball, Munlochy – a Christmas letter writing and posting experience for all the family. www.wildwoodzpaintball.co.uk

7-24 Peter Pan, Town Hall, Inverurie – join Inverurie Panto on a trip to Neverland with this spellbinding pantomime for all the family.

8 Christmas Craft Fayre, Murkle Village Hall, Murkle, 11am-3pm.

11-14 A Christmas Carol, Elgin Town Hall, Elgin, 7.30pm – by the Elgin Amateur Dramatic Society. Go to www.ticketsource.co.uk for tickets.

12-14 Peter Pan: A Moray Yule Tide Caper! Out of the Darkness Theatre Company, 4 The Wards, Elgin. Find on Facebook.

13 Christmas Fayre, Edderton Community Hall, Edderton, 6pm-9pm

13 Christmas Concert, Castle Fraser, near Inverurie, 7pm – a joyful evening of singing and mulled wine in the comfort of the Great Hall. www.nts.org.uk

13-15 Buddy Holly & The Cricketers: Holly at Christmas, Eden Court, Inverness – Holly’s hits, other contemporary classics and some Christmas crackers. www.eden-court.co.uk

13-15 Winter Wonderland, Whin Park, Inverness – Santa’s visit to Whin Park with his reindeer is one of the most popular Christmas events in the Highlands. www.invernessfestivals.com

14 Christmas Special: Stickman, Harvest Centre, Greyfriars Street, Elgin, noon-4pm – an original and unique music and movement event from Moo Music Moray based on the well known Julia Donaldson Stickman winter tale. Find on Facebook.

Winter Wonderland and Whin Park, Inverness. Picture: Gary Anthony/SPP
Winter Wonderland and Whin Park, Inverness. Picture: Gary Anthony/SPP

14 Dores Community Christmas Market, Dores, 10am-2pm.

14 Santa Experience at the Farm, The Paddocks, Byres Farm, Fochabers, 9.30am-12.30pm – take a tractor and trailer ride to our magic tree, feed the animals and visit Santa. Book tickets at www.byresfarm.co.uk

14-22 Christmas at Abertarff House, Inverness – join Father Christmas and his merry elves at the oldest house in Inverness. Visit www.nts.org.uk for more information and to book.

15 Huntly Santa Run, Huntly, 11am-2pm. Find on Facebook.

16 Christmas Gothic, Eden Court, Inverness, 7.30pm – three seasonal tales of terror to scintillate the gooseflesh for dark Christmas nights. www.eden-court.co.uk

18 Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook, Eden Court, Inverness, 8pm – Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, John McCusker and Phil, lead you through a night of modern and traditional Christmas music. www.eden-court.co.uk

19 Abbamania 2019 Christmas Party, Ironworks, Inverness, 7.30pm – Europe’s leading Abba tribute. www.ironworksvenue.com

20 Winter Launch 2019, Village Green, Aviemore, 3pm-6pm – a festive snow fun event for all the family. Find on Facebook.

21 Rhythmnreel: Caithness Christmas Bash, Thurso Royal British Legion, Thurso, 8.30pm – tickets priced £15, available from the legion bar.

22 Winter Festival Finale, Gordon Castle Walled Garden, Fochabers, 10am-6pm – with the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd, carol singers, mulled wine and festive fun! Tickets available from www.eventbrite.co.uk

22 Children’s Christmas Party, Bettyhill Village Hall, Bettyhill, 2pm-4pm.

27 Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Ironworks, Inverness, 7.30pm – www.ironworksvenue.com

28 Rhythmnreel, Duthac Centre, Tain, 7.30pm – fundraising festive bash. Find on Facebook.

28 Mànran, Strathpeffer Pavilion, Strathpeffer, 7.30pm – shake off the post-Christmas blues.

Red Hot Highland Fling, Inverness. Picture: Callum MacKay/SPP
Red Hot Highland Fling, Inverness. Picture: Callum MacKay/SPP

31 Rhythmnreel Hogmanay Bash, Ironworks, Inverness, 9pm – the Highland’s biggest indoor party. www.ironworksvenue.com

31 Hogmanay Street Party, Princes Street, Thurso, 11pm-1am – featuring music from Cover2Cover.

31 Red Hot Highland Fling Hogmanay Show, Northern Meeting Park, Inverness, 8pm – Scotland’s biggest free Hogmanay concert.


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

Every effort has been made to ensure the events listing is accurate but please phone ahead or check the relevant website before travelling to any event.

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