The UK's biggest winter music festival starts tonight with a special concert featuring Nicola Benedetti, Julie Fowlis, Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham. The 18-day programme encompasses traditional folk and roots music, plus pop, rock and world music - with performances from Scottish acts such as Del Amitri, Capercaillie, and Mogwai and international names including Bobby Womack and Mary Chapin Carpenter. For those who'd like to get a bit more involved, there's a series of workshops at City Halls on Saturday and Sunday, where you can try out a range of traditional instruments.
The Antarctic Photographs of Herbert Ponting
Baird Institute, Cumnock, Thursdays to Saturdays until April 30
Best remembered for Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated trek to the South Pole, the 1910-13 British Antarctic Expedition was comprehensively documented by pioneering photographer Herbert Ponting. A selection of images printed from some of the 1700-odd glass plates Ponting brought back to civilisation are on display at East Ayrshire's Baird Institute until April, capturing the desolate beauty of an utterly pitiless environment, and prompting the notion that no matter how dreich, the weather could always be worse.
Summerhall, Edinburgh, until January 26
A slightly difficult concept to explain, but here goes: Summerhall's fascinating, bizarre and rather wonderful installation is the ongoing product of 50 years work by "accidental artist" Jerry Gretzinger. Consisting of a massive hand-made map of an entirely imaginary place, Jerry's Map started life as a doodle on a single piece of paper, before developing into a colourful, sprawling, constantly-evolving topographic plan of a fantasy country with cities, rivers, and infrastructure covering more than 2500 A4 sheets.
Turner in January
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until January 31
Bequeathed to the Scottish National Gallery by collector Henry Vaughn in 1899, this celebrated cache of watercolour paintings by landscape artist Joseph Mallord William Turner is exhibited free of charge every January. There are nearly 40 paintings on display, spanning Turner's entire career - scenes of land, sea and sky across Britain and Europe including no fewer than six depictions of Venice - and just over two weeks left before they go back into storage until 2015.
Top Gear Live
SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Friday to Sunday
It's in Scotland for the first time this weekend, and according to Jeremy Clarkson, it's "the most spectacular motoring theatre show in the universe". Amongst some other possibly hyperbolic stuff about high-octane entertainment and masked sidekick The Stig wearing a kilt, there's also the mention of spectacular motorised stunts, a series of petrol-powered Commonwealth Games-inspired challenges, an abundance of drool-worthy supercars, and lashings of timeless banter from Messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May. Word is, all five performances are sold out, but you can sign up for ticket updates.
Judy's Affordable Vintage Fairs
Glasgow and Edinburgh, Saturday and Sunday
A vintage shopping double header, as this well established retro market pitches up in the Wasp Studios at The Briggait in Glasgow on Saturday, followed by Edinburgh Corn Exchange on Sunday. Expect tons of stalls laden with clothes, accessories, homewares , hair and beauty products, menswear, and collectibles dating from the 1920s to the 1980s. Since it's also January, visitors can look forward to huge discounts and plenty of new season stock to sift through. Open from noon to 5pm, entry is £2.
Moscow State Circus
Intu Braehead, near Glasgow, until Sunday
The last four days of a January run for the Moscow State Circus, performing a specially devised show inspired by Gorky Park, Moscow's famous amusement park. Introduced by clown duo Pavlik and Klava, performers include flying trapeze troupe Alievs White Birds (Silver Clown winners at the 2011 Monte Carlo International Circus Festival), the daredevil Veslovski rollerskate stunt team, and feats of physical skill from hand balancer Vladislav Khostik. Ringside seats are £33, but rear circle tickets are only £11.
World Snow Day
Snow Factor Braehead, Sunday
A mere snowball's throw away from the Moscow State Circus Big Top is Snow Factor, Scotland's only indoor ski slope. To mark the second annual World Snow Day on Sunday, the centre is offering free 90 minute ski and snowboard taster sessions for all ages. Children accompanying paying adults can also take up the offer of a free sledging session. Set up by Federation International de Ski to encourage more youngsters to take up snow sports, there are also World Snow Day events taking place at Glenshee and Glencoe Mountain Resorts.
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, until February 2
Eighteen days of events focusing on language, music, art, and story got underway yesterday at Edinburgh's Scottish Storytelling Centre to celebrate the legacy of Robert Burns. The programme's centrepiece is Burnsiana - an exhibition of sculpture, painting and photography inspired by Scotland's national poet and created over the last decade by award-winning Scottish artist Calum Colvin. Further ahead are a series of alternative Burns Supper events from next Wednesday, and a variety of storytelling, talks, and music on Saturday January 25.
Last chance to see: Christmas Shows
Edinburgh and Glasgow, until Sunday
If you haven't managed to catch a pantomime or Christmas show over the festive period, there's still time. After a seven-week run, the King's Theatre in Edinburgh's offering, featuring usual suspects Grant Stott, Andy Gray, and Allan Stewart ends on Sunday (www.edtheatres.com). The curtain also comes down on The New Magical Adventures of Pinocchio at Glasgow's Pavilion with a special offer on remaining seats (£8-£11, www.paviliontheatre.co.uk). Back in the capital, there are a limited number of tickets still available for the blockbusting stage version of The Lion King, which reaches the end of a marathon three-month stint at the Playhouse.