1. Illumination: Harbour Festival of Light 
Various venues, Irvine, until Sunday

Ayrshire’s sparkling winter festival is back, bigger, bolder and brighter. Highlights include aerial acrobatics, light and sound at a light, fire and aerial art spectacular, a light trail across Irvine Harbourside, a lantern parade, sparkling skiff racing and demonstrations by Scottish Coastal Rowing Association, stunt cycle displays, food and craft fair, whisky tastings and entertainment aboard a 1960s cutter boat with “whisky bard” Robin Laing, funfair; and a second free firework display which will bring the festival to a close on Sunday.

Most events are free. The light, fire and aerial art spectacular and whisky tasting are ticketed. Please see illuminationfestival.co.uk for performance times and tickets.

2. Santa’s Magical Wonderland
M&D’s, Motherwell, until December 24

The M&D’s magical Christmas experience for the whole family is back by popular demand. Families can have a skate on an open air ice rink followed by traditional Christmas storytelling. Visit live reindeer and meet Santa Claus himself in Scotland’s largest grotto which features animated Christmas scenes. All children will receive a special gift from the man in red. See Santa or one of his helpers collect the mail and feed the reindeer at noon and 3pm. Final storytelling session is at 5pm.

Tickets cost £6.55 per child. Adult entry is £4.25 and includes free tea/coffee a mince pie. Head to scotlandsthemepark.com to book.

3. St Andrew’s Day Pop-up Cinema
SWG3, Glasgow, Saturday

Scottish haggis brand Macsween is extending its St. Andrew’s Day celebrating with a unique pop-up cinema. Commemorating all things Scottish, the company has compiled a list of its most-loved Scottish films and will host a day jam-packed with screenings of the nation’s classics, combined with a series of haggis treats. Films include Brave, From Scotland With Love and a sing-a-long version of Sunshine On Leith. As well as the screenings, there will be a Christmas market with local artists, designers and makers.

Tickets cost £5 per film for adults and £2 for children. Price includes one cinema screening, one portion of haggis street food and a goody bag. Search the event on Eventbrite to book.

4. Scottish Music Awards
Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Saturday

Aiming to provide much-needed fundraising for vulnerable children and adults across Scotland, the star-studded bash is back from organisers Nordoff Robbins Scotland. Celebrating Scotland’s world-renowned music, the event is an important part of the charity’s efforts to provide music therapists and sessions to those who need it most. The awards have been the main fundraising event for the charity since 1996. Singer-songwriter, Lewis Capaldi will entertain.

For ticket information, email simon@nrscot.org.uk.

5. Lanarkshire Festive Wishlist
Various venues, Lanarkshire, throughout December

As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, tourism body VisitLanarkshire has created the ultimate festive wish-list, with activities guaranteed to melt any Scrooge’s heart. From movie screenings of Christmas classics to festive rides and an animal-theme nativity, head to visitlanarkshire.com to see the complete guide, sure to make everyone merry and bright.

6. Cinderella
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, until December 31

Full of silliness, slapstick, music and fun, this is the perfect choice for families looking for alternative festive entertainment this Christmas. It’s almost time for the Prince’s ball, but poor Cinderella is working her fingers to the bone in the cold, dark kitchens, thanks to her cruel and greedy stepsisters. Luckily, Cinderella has the help of some new friends, and a little magic, to help her get to the ball and win the heart of the Prince. But does her heart’s true desire lie closer to home?

Tickets prices start at £14.50 for adults and £8.50 for children. Book at citz.co.uk.

7. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Edinburgh Playhouse, until Saturday

The chart-topping music legend was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent, but fought her way into the record industry as a teenager where she sold her first hit Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? at the tender age of 17. Just three years later, she was writing number one hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll, including the Drifters, The Shirelles, Aretha Franklin and the Monkees. All along, though, her greatest challenge was to find her own voice and finally step into the spotlight which she did with her multi-million selling LP Tapestry.

Tickets cost between £19.50 and £82, plus booking fee. Head to atgtickets.com to purchase. The show will then come to Aberdeen in January and Glasgow in February next year.

8. Book and a Brew
Grassmarket, Edinburgh, today until Sunday

The Greater Grassmarket is celebrating Book Week Scotland with a special deal. Anyone who buys a book in participating bookstores or borrows from the Central Library will be given a voucher, entitling them to a complimentary hot drink in a local cafe. See all the participating outlets at greatergrassmarket.co.uk. Scotland’s sixth national celebration of books has hundreds of free events that have been taking place across the country this week, with top names such as Liz Lochhead, Judy Murray, Christopher Brookmyre, Val McDermid and Bernard MacLaverty all taking part.

Visit scottishbooktrust.com/events to find one near you.

9. Producers’ and Crafters’ Festive Market
High Street, Falkirk, tomorrow

Stock up on goodies at this month’s special festive market brought straight to the public by some of the country’s leading producers. Produce available will include mouth-watering beef and pork, seafood, dairy, hot food, vegetables, gluten free produce plus a range of locally made crafts. The market takes place from 11am to 4pm.

10. Stepping Out
Drimsynie Estate, Lochgoilhead, tomorrow to Sunday

With the nation’s favourite dancing extravaganza in full swing, Argyll Holidays is bringing the glitz and glamour of Strictly Come Dancing with a weekend packed full of live music and dancing. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities against the backdrop of the Arrochar Alps and Loch Goil, such as free dance lessons and classes teaching the waltz, Argentine stroll and the rumba.

Prices  from £40 per person. Visit argyllholidays.com to learn more.


St Andrew Square Ice Rink
Melville Monument, Edinburgh, until January 6, 2018

AROUND the beautiful, lit-up square is a bar also on hand, serving up something to warm up for the whole family on those cold, but festive,
nights. Skating slots last for around 45 minutes. Ticket prices start
from £5.

Head to edinburghschristmas.com to book a time slot.
Arrive 20 minutes in advance of your booked slot to allow for time to get skates on!