As the nights draw in and the days are shorter, Dumfries and Galloway comes alive with festive cheer. There are plenty of events throughout the region to get you in the seasonal spirit, from markets to Santa visits and Christmas themed workshops and events.
In this blog, we’ve given you some suggestions for a range of events to enjoy over the festive period, some traditional, some a little bit different, all worth visiting. We’ve listed them in date order to make it easier for you to find the right event for you.
If you’re looking for something a little different, local and handmade to give as gifts this year, look no further than the Annual Studio Sale at We Make Pots. The sale is on Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th November and includes pottery by Clare, who makes beautiful, functional stoneware ceramics, as well as art by local artist Pamela Grace. There will be nibbles and bubbles too!
Castle Douglas sees the return of the Christmas Wine and Gin Fair on the 23rd November. Building on the success of last years event, this ticketed event ideal for picking up some perfect plonk for the festive season, whether it’s to be given as gifts or enjoyed with friends.
Kirkcudbright does Christmas just a little bit differently to the rest of the world. Santa forgoes his traditional sleigh to arrive in Kirkcudbright Harbour by boat. He then walks through the town, followed by a procession of excited children to a Winter Wonderland.
As well as Santa, there are stalls, food and drink and of course, because who needs reindeer; alpacas for the kids to meet. The event on the 30th November is a great opportunity for the kids to meet Santa and to pick up some great gifts from the local crafts and food stalls.
If you like crafts and stalls, then Dumfries Farmers Market is worth a visit. With two Christmas events, on the 1st & 15th December, you can make sure you get along and treat yourself to some great produce and crafts at Dumfries Train Station.
Dumfries Christmas Festival and light switch on is one of the areas biggest and best Christmas events. Event organised Kirsten says this of the upcoming event “This year’s Christmas Festival will be a real community affair. We had an incredible response to our call out for local musicians, bands, performers and dancers…who will perform from 12pm -6pm on Sunday 1st December at The Midsteeple Plainstanes. We also have over 35 talented makers, creatives and producers from our region and beyond taking part in this year’s Makers Market, almost double the size of last year. You’re sure to find the perfect handmade Christmas gift for someone special.”
There’s also storytelling, Santa’s Grotto, a treasure trail around the town, carol singing, Santa’s reindeer, horse and carriage rides and Paint the Toon! Colour in part of a building in the town centre, you can drop in at their digital drawing workshop at The Stove during the afternoon. Then watch as the results are projected onto a building after dark.”
If you’re looking for something for the kids, how about sending them to Elf School? Hetland Garden Centre are running Elf Shool sessions every Friday at 4.30pm & 5.30pm. These are ticketed events and you need to book in advance. Have a look at Hetland Garden Centre website for other Christmas themed events.
Ernespie Farm are taking Christmas to the maximum this year, with two Christmas events for the kids as well as a Christmas Market running each day from the 1st -24th December. Kids can choose whether they wish to have breakfast with Farmer Christmas on the 7th, 14th and 21st December, or take the tour on Farmer Christmas’s tractor sleigh to the enchanted wood, every day form the 4th to the 22nd December.
Both of these are ticketed events and booking is online or in store. The usual indoor and outdoor play and cafe are also open throughout December and if you’re looking for great gifts, the shop is well worth a visit.
Dumfries Baton Twirlers are hosting an an afternoon with Santa at Locharbriggs Community Centre on the 8th December, from 2pm to 4pm with a Santa’s Grotto, games with Santa, a gift, food and drinks and arts and crafts and lots more.
There’s lots on all over the area and as always, the best place to find out more about events at Christmas, or any other time of year, is to visit Dumfries and Galloway What’s Going On.
Wherever you go over the festive period, we hope you and your family have a fantastic Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.