Hamilton holds its first comedy festival this week, with performances in venues across the town centre, proceedings start tonight in the Avon Room, with a set from Fred MacAuley. Over the next few days there are also appearances from the likes of Janey Godley, Garry Little, and local funnyman John Gavin. Elsewhere, Billy Kirkwood presents a showcase for some of the best comics on the Scottish scene, and Toybox, a stand-up show specially designed for children. Canada's Tom Stade closes the festival on Sunday night at Hamilton Palace. www.hahahamilton.com
Saturday and Sunday, CCA, Glasgow
This free, multi-arts festival takes place over the weekend in Glasgow's CCA, and features a range of thought-provoking performances, talks, film screenings, and exhibitions. With the forthcoming independence referendum in mind, the festival will focus on race, ethnicity, and national identity with discussions featuring figures from the Scottish arts scene. The programme also includes the first screening of new work by filmmaker Arpita Shah, stand-up from Bruce Fummey, drama and live performance by Mona Bozdog and Lou Prendergast, and a club night with African high-life-inspired Samson Sounds.
Santa Fun Runs
Sunday, Glasgow and Edinburgh
Dress up as Santa and run (or walk) for charity. Glasgow's Santa Dash 2013 leaves George Square at 9.30am, with the 5K course looping out west as far as Finnieston Street. This year's charities include the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice. Details are at www.glasgow.gov.uk/santadash , entry is £5-£15 with registration available on the day. Edinburgh's event is in Princes Street Gardens at 11am. The course is a shorter 2K and money raised goes to children's charity When You Wish Upon a Star.
Enter at www.thesantarun.org.uk for £7.50-£15.
Behind the Scenes at the Fair
Friday to Sunday, Riverside Museum, Glasgow
The Riverside Museum celebrates the traditional funfair this weekend. Exhibits include a steam traction engine, a carousel, chair-o-planes, and swing boats, and there will be games, food, and the chance to try running a stall. Inside, you'll also find fairground art, rare objects, information films, and members of some of Glasgow's show families on hand to answer questions. Best of all, entry to the museum and all rides are free.
Festive Christmas Open Weekends
Saturday and Sunday, Falkland Palace, Fife
Fife's Falkland Palace has been given a festive makeover and will open to visitors from 12pm-3pm over the next two weekends. In step with the property's past as the Stuart monarchs' country residence, many of the rooms will be filled with 16th-century decorations, while the Library will be done out 1930s style to host storytelling at 1pm each Saturday. Younger visitors can join a robin-themed treasure hunt, and everyone can join in with Scottish traditional music and carols in the Royal Chapel.
National Museum Christmas Events
Saturday and Sunday, National Museum of Rural Life and National Museum of Flight
More nostalgia-themed Christmas fun at the Museum of Rural Life near East Kilbride and the Museum of Flight at East Fortune. The former has a Christmas Fair and Foal Show on Sunday, with traditional Victorian parlour games, decoration making, and the chance to meet donkeys and adorable Shetland foals. The Museum of Flight's Home Front Christmas offers two days of wartime festive activities, plus the chance to meet Santa on board a Boeing 707.
Glasgow and Edinburgh, Saturday and Sunday
Festive musical fun presented by personable percussion duo Owen Gunnell and Oliver Cox, whose stock in trade is lively and entertaining concerts introducing orchestral music to younger audiences. Here, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Manor School of Ballet perform a selection of winter favourites, including a new version of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, with narration by Siobhan Redmond. Tickets are £10-£15, with concerts at 1pm and 3pm on Saturday in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and on Sunday at 3pm in Edinburgh's Usher Hall.
The Great Inverness QR Code Treasure Hunt
Enter a tech-savvy treasure hunt and raise money for children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent. Individuals, families and teams can take part, using a smartphone to scan and solve a succession of QR "square barcode" clues placed around the city centre. There some great prizes to be won, with refreshments and extras such as face painting for kids included. On-the-day registration is available, with the event kicking off at the Ramada Encore Hotel at 11.30am for noon. Entry is £10 or £20 per family.
World Cup Gymnastics
Saturday, The Emirates, Glasgow
Another important warm-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, featuring some of the world's best gymnasts - including Team GB London 2012 medallists Daniel Purvis and Sam Oldham. Day tickets are £8-£18, but there's been a huge amount of interest and they're sold out. Not to worry, there is a waiting list for returns - register by calling 0141 353 8000. If you still miss out, the weekend has been extended to include the British Men's under 12, under 14 and the Women's Espoir Championships, running from Friday to Sunday.
Santa's Reindeer Walks
Saturday and Sunday, Highland Wildlife Park
Take a stroll around the Highland Wildlife Park with Santa then meet a herd of reindeer. There are tours at 11.30am and 2.30pm for the next three weekends, and entry is free with admission to the park (£8-£12). Run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the park near Kingussie also has a range of Scottish wildlife and endangered animals from around the world to discover, including birds of prey, species of elk, deer, bison and camel, plus wolves, wildcats, wolverine and polar bears.