Nine things to see and do in Glasgow that can’t be missed this Christmas

Mariah Carey has been defrosting for the past month and you know what that means

I know it feels like Halloween just ended, but we’ve already hit December 1st and Christmas is just around the corner (where has the time gone!?).

As you get older, every Christmas feels less Christmassy than the last. But, that’s not happening this year. There’s so much to see and do in Glasgow to make this Christmas the Christmassiest of Christmases (take a shot every time you read Christmas).

1. Visit Winter Wonderfest at George Square

I have to start off with Glasgow’s very own Winter Wonderfest which is an essential when it comes to all things Christmas in Glasgow.

There are two locations for Winder Wonderfest, both in the city centre. One at George Square and the other at St Enoch Square. George Square is the bigger of the two and boasts a variety of activities including:

  • An ice rink (an alternative to Elfingrove since it’s sadly not running this year – open December 1st)
  • Bar (enjoy the season’s best festive drinks)
  • Silent disco
  • Rides (big wheel, helter-skelter, carousel and more)
  • A sensory and quiet zone ( an area designated to cater for sensory needs)
  • Community hub (go down to see local artists perform – this is new for 2023!)
  • Festive stalls (get ready to spend your money on things you probably don’t need but will definitely make you happy)
  • Food, food and more food (dutch pancakes, Nutella crepes, sugared doughnuts and more)

Winterfest at George Square will be open from Saturday 25th November to Sunday 7th January.

2. Or visit Winter Wonderfest at St Enoch Square

Winterfest doesn’t stop there: St Enoch Square provides a festive bar, as well as rides, market stalls and a variety of other food and drink stalls. I will be forcing my friends to go for the German food, it just can’t be beaten. I know they charge an obscene amount (£7) for a bratwurst but Christmas isn’t Christmas unless I eat one.

It’s open from Friday 10th November to Saturday 30th December so make sure to visit before it’s too late!

3. Watch your favourite Christmas movies at the Grosvenor Picture Theatre

If you want to watch classic Christmas movies that take you back; the Grosvenor has a great lineup for this year. Here are some of the Christmas Specials running in December:

  • Home Alone
  • Love Actually
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Elf
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Die Hard

Adult tickets range from £12 to £15 depending on the movie.

Head down to Ashton Lane for some nostalgia and a lux movie experience.

4. Bake some gingerbread cookies

Let’s break up this list with something you can do at home. I feel like baking gingerbread cookies is the most extra thing to do but it is so worth it. I suppose you can do this any time of the year (and technically anywhere) but it doesn’t hit the same unless it’s Christmas.

Get your friends around and bake some gingerbread men with Shrek in the background (or Shrek 2 if you want to up the levels). If you’re lazy or really bad at baking, get a baking kit, or even better get a gingerbread house kit and compete with your friends and/or family for the best decorated house. By the end of it, you’ll have a flat that smells absolutely delicious and hopefully some great cookies to accompany.

5. Binge all of the Harry Potter movies

Here’s a more budget friendly movie option, try binging all of the Harry Potter movies. If you’ve already watched the movies, there isn’t a more perfect time to re-watch them. If you haven’t watched the movies, this is a sign from the universe to do so. Harry Potter is the perfect movie experience for Christmas, so schedule a Friday or Saturday with family or friends (or go solo) and binge all eight movies.

The run time totals 19 hours and 40 minutes so you could technically watch them all in a day. But I would recommend if you want to keep up with your sleep schedule, to watch from Philosopher’s Stone to Goblet of Fire on day one. Then proceed to binge Order of Phoenix to Deathly Hallows Part 2 on the second day. Ultimately if this is too much of a commitment, and you don’t have the hours, if I could pick one movie to watch, I would pick Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s not only my favourite instalment because the plot beats the rest, but the movie itself screams Christmas as most of the main story takes place in a snow-topped Hogwarts.

All instalments of the Harry Potter series are on Netflix right now.

6. Get matching Christmas pyjamas


Best purchase of 2023 tbh 🤣🎄 #grinchpjs #christmaspjs #grinchpjamas #grinchtiktok #christmastiktok #christmaspjs #musthaves #christmasready

♬ original sound – IndiaMoon

Be extra and get matching pyjamas with your friends or family this Christmas, as seen above. It’s a perfect addition to movie nights or to wake up wearing on Christmas day. There are some really cute red silk pyjamas at H&M right now if you want ones that you could wear year round.

Or if you wanted exclusively Christmas themed pyjamas, head to Primark for the matching Grinch set! For the girlies who want a more bougie option – Boux Avenue has the cutest pink Christmas pyjamas in stock right now (they’re on the top of my wish list if anyone I know is reading this).

7. Support local businesses at the Rags to Riches Christmas market

The Southside is hosting a Rags to Riches sustainable Christmas market, made up of local artists performing and local businesses selling anything and everything festive. There will be plenty of mulled wine and local food trucks at the market, as well as live music. It’s a bit of a journey from the west end, but if you’re looking for unique presents for friends and family, this market is perfect for you.

The market is open on 9th December and 16th December, from 12pm to 4pm at The Deep End on 21 Nithsdale Street.

8. Experience a Candlelight Concert playing the most iconic movie soundtracks

This December, The Tallship of Glenlee on the banks of the River Clyde will host a unique performance including some of the most famous soundtracks from our favourite films, all under hundreds of candles. The programme consists of soundtracks from Interstellar, Dune, James Bond, La La Land and more.

Enjoy a beautiful rendition of orchestral pieces by various composers organised by Fever. Tickets range from £23 -£54, depending on seats.

9. Visit Riverside Museum’s Christmas Market

This Christmas market is being held inside the Riverside Museum, where you can visit 40 stalls that sell anything from art, candles, jewellery, jams, festive drinks, food and more. The market is free to visit and open on the 2nd and 3rd December, from 10 am to 4:30 pm on the 2nd, and 11am to 4:30 pm on the 3rd.

Related stories recommended by this author:

• Elfingrove hits freeze: Glasgow’s biggest Christmas ice rink is cancelled

The ultimate guide to solo eating around Glasgow

• I went to the Ashton Lane Christmas street party and here’s how it was