Our Top Picks for January in Edinburgh

Our Top Picks for January in Edinburgh

Image credit: Flickr, Katherine

It’s the end of the festive season in Edinburgh but there is still plenty to do in the city this month! Here are our top three picks for January:

Say It Ain’t Sew

Is picking up a new skill your New Year’s Resolution? Cabaret Voltaire are offering free sewing classes every Tuesday, giving you the chance to get crafty for free!


Date: Every Tuesday until 28 February 2017
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Price: Free
Place: Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh Old Town

Jack Whitehall: At Large

This January, popular English comedian and actor Jack Whitehall will perform at the Playhouse. Beat the January blues and go and see him for some guaranteed laughs!

Image result for "Jack Whitehall"

Date: 11 January 2017 to 12 January 2017
Time: 8pm
Price: from £30
Place: Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh New Town


Wonderland is a musical inspired by the famous story of Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Lose yourself in this inspirational adaptation of a timeless tale.

Image result for alice in wonderland

Date: 20 January 2017 to 28 January 2017
Time: 7.30pm / matinee 2.30pm Wed & Sat
Price: From £21.40
Place: Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh New Town

Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) are the most popular festivals taking place at the end of each year. If you’re in Edinburgh in December or early January, there are many events that you can take advantage of while you’re here!

Edinburgh’s Christmas starts on 18th November 2016 and ends on 7th January 2017. During this time, shows, free events and attractions are organised and the entire city is decorated to celebrate Christmas. When the sun goes down, you will see splendid and sumptuous lights and decorations on trees, buildings and restaurants. Here are some events, attractions, shows or markets that you will be able to see:

Christmas Tree Maze:

As the title tells you, it’s a maze across Christmas trees. You will have fun doing this. And inside the maze, you will see the Elves workshops.

Ice Skating:

skating around the round rink 01

Ice Skating takes place on St Andrew Square. It’s a funny activity that all the family can share at the same time ! You can hire a pair of skates directly on place. People on wheelchairs are also welcome on the rink.

Santa’s Grotto:
Joyeux Noel Lou ! - Steve.© -
Every child would probably wish to sit on Santa’s knees and tell him their wishes. But actually this is possible. From 19th November until 24th December 2016, young children can visit Santa in his Grotto and receives a wee gift.

Light Night:

It is a family event which will be held on 20th November. Shows and choirs will perform on George Street in front of 20,000 spectators.

Santa Run:


It is a run that is 2.5 km long. This run is for everybody, competitive or casual athletes. The organization of this run is making a fund-raising for children who have a life threatening illness in Scotland. Usually, you will see people running with a costume of Santa Claus.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the Feast between the 30th December and the 1st January 2017. During those 3 days, incredible bands, chorales or fireworks will take place, as well as Scottish traditional music and street parties. Hogmanay is in a certain way the Scottish Feast to celebrate New Year. Here are some activities for this year:

Street Party:


This party is taking place on 31st December, from 7pm until 1am. DJs and live bands will fill the streets with live music in order to welcome the New Year 2017.

Old Town Ceilidh:

Ceilidh 5

This event takes place at the same time as the Street Party but in the Old Town of Edinburgh. If you want to experience the Scottish culture, go for it! As there will be traditional music, Ceilidh, food & drink from Scotland.

Candlelit Concert:


Taking place on 31st December, Candlelit Concert is a celebration of baroque music. It’s at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.

 Midnight Moment:


Happy New Year ! All is said, or nearly: Midnight Moment is the passage to the new year 2017. At midnight, you will see fabulous fireworks from the Castle of Edinburgh but also from Calton Hill. And icing on the cake, You will have the chance to admire four fireworks ! Yes, in Edinburgh you have four fireworks which take place at 9, 10, 11 and 12pm during this night. So, if you miss one, no worries !


On the first January, between 1pm and 5pm, several artists will showcase in the streets of Edinburgh. You will discover Scottish innovative artists in music, art and theater. Don’t miss this!

And here, two videos from the celebration of Hogmanay in Edinburgh and in Scotland:



For more information, have a look at those websites:


Lose yourself in magic at MagicFest’s Christmas Special

Lose yourself in magic at MagicFest’s Christmas Special

From the creators of the Edinburgh International Magic Festival, MagicFest: Christmas Special will take place for the first time between 27th and 30th December 2016 at George Square Theatre. It is a unique opportunity to discover or re-discover magic with astonishing magicians such as Kevin Quantum, Florian Sainvet, Drew McAdam, Matthew J Dowden or Lewis Barlow. They will keep you busy for four days with mesmerizing cutting-edge illusions, mythical sleight-of-hand magic and fascinating edge-of-your-seat levitation. It’s a must-see event!

Here are the artists that will showcase their magic at the festival:

Kevin Quantum is a magician who trained in Las Vegas with notorious stars. His shows are usually connected with modern technology and visual magic.


Florian Sainvet is a French sleight of hand magician who was one of the finalists in the World Magic Championship last year, as well as in “France’s Got Talent”.


Drew McAdam is well-known for his mind-boggling performances. He has also really talented with telepathy.


Matthew J Dowden is known as the Dean Martin of magic. His shows are inspired by Hollywood and the classic art of magic.


Lewis Barlow is said to be one of the Scotland’s best illusionists.



Further information:


Tickets are on sale now at www.magicfest.co.uk

By Phone – 0131 226 0006

In person – Fringe Box Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1QS

£18/£16 conc/£14 child

Dates & Venue:

Tuesday 27th – Friday 30th December

Shows at 2pm and 7pm – 2hrs with interval

George Square Theatre, University of Edinburgh, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9L


Unleash Your Creative Side at the Edinburgh Art Fair!

Unleash Your Creative Side at the Edinburgh Art Fair!

Taking place from Friday 18th until Sunday 20th November, Edinburgh Art Fair is an art exhibition that shows paintings, sculptures and much more from more than 60 different galleries in the UK and abroad. The Art Fair will take place at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.

Artist Demonstrations & Painting Classes
Donna Dewberry One Stroke Painting Demonstration
Image credit: Nancy Nally, Flickr

Over the weekend, artists will either demonstrate their skills to the public or run interactive painting classes through workshops. Here are some of the scheduled classes:

Leo’s Art Lab is a art class lead by the incredibly talented Scottish artist, Leo du Feu. The Lab will take place on Saturday and Sunday and is a drop-in class.

Open Easel Sessions gives you the opportunity to paint your own masterpiece. The easels are available from Friday morning until Sunday night for everyone (including children) who would like to try their hand at painting with acrylics on canvas.

Printmaking Talks gives you an insight into about various engraving techniques through talks and demonstrations

Damian Callan is a Scottish artist, based in Edinburgh, who usually draws and paints moving figures like his wife or his four children. He also teaches drawing and painting at his studio and in other venues in Edinburgh.

Some of the Exhibitors from 2016

1 of 1 is based in London and is a design company which produces and sells hand-made pieces such as art, jewellery or fashion. 1 of 1 will attend the EAF for the first time this year by showcasing eccentric paintings, photography and mixed-media works.
Strange Land
Image credit: Joe, Flickr

Clifton Fine Art is a modern art gallery based in Bristol. It shows contemporary art from the South West of England. This year, Clifton Fine Art will showcase emerging artists from the region.

Silo Arts, established in the heart of Lowestoft, will show arts from Orson Kartt an Kit Boyd at the EAF.

Urbane Art Gallery is a contemporary art gallery which shows international artworks as well as emerging talents. This art Gallery is located in Edinburgh.
Roids and Towns

Image credit: RJ, Flickr

Jamie Frost is a figurative sculptor and draughtsman. He especially likes drawing fine and coloured lines about bodies and portraits.

Gallery Different is based in London and presents contemporary paintings, sculptures, photography and drawings from British and international artists. This gallery particularly loves presenting vibrant art of exceptional quality.
Dance at Guari
Image credit: Charlie Llewellin, Flickr

For further information:

Dates: 18th-20th November 2016
Place: Edinburgh Corn Exchange, New Market Road, EH14 1RJ
Time: Friday, 11.00 – 19.30, Saturday, 11.00 – 18.00 and Sunday, 11.00 – 17.00
Price: £5 and £3 concessions
Website: www.artedinburgh.com

Celebrate Literature at Book Week Scotland 2016!

Celebrate Literature at Book Week Scotland 2016!

Image credit: g_leon_h, Flickr

Book Week is a festival that takes place every year in November. During this week, writers, poets, storytellers and illustrators will visit libraries, schools and community centres to celebrate books and literature. People of all ages are welcome to come and join in the celebration in different locations around Scotland and, if you’re in Edinburgh there is lots to enjoy!

Here are a few events which you can attend in Edinburgh throughout Book Week:

1. The Library is Open with Val McDermid, Louise Welsh, Zoe Strachan, Allan Radcliffe and Ryan Vance

This event is about books of LGBT history and you will have the opportunity to chat with one of these authors and have a drink. This event is scheduled on Saturday 26 November 2016 at 19:00 and is for adults only,

2. Night shadows: An evening of songs, readings and stories inspired by the Gothic tradition

This event is for adults and is free. It’s about exploring the Gothic tradition (horror, romance and darkness) in music and words. During this journey, you will explore Germanic forests, Robert Louis Stevenson’s ideas, as well as David Campbell’s poems and readings. This event is scheduled on Tuesday 22 November 2016 at 18:00.

3. Black Widow

This is a free event which will be held on Thursday 24th November 2016 at 18:30. Chris Brookmyre will narrate his novel “Black Widow”. It’s about strong topics such as sexism in every day life, social media trolls and hacking. Strongly recommended for the internet generation !

4. Mind your language! Writing without words with Marjorie Lofti Gill

This event is interactive and suitable for all ages: children, grandparents, adults etc. It’s about the idea that in the near future, the government will restrict some words from the vocabulary in order to prevent terrorism and increase security. Your task: you will be a member of a secret poetry society and your goal is to write, without being censured, a radical poem about this restriction of words. Good luck !

5. Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Readings

In this event, Amnesty International pays homage to  writers who have been imprisoned, tortured or killed because of their works. You will have the opportunity to buy second-hand books. all the money will be raised for Amnesty International’s works. This event is free of charge and will take place on Friday, 25th November 2016 from 18.30 until 19.30.

More information about Book Week Scotland:

Date: Monday 21 – Sunday 27 November

Place: different venues in Edinburgh

Price: mostly free

Information: http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/reading/book-week-scotland/about

Book Week Scotland: official trailer of 2012: