As Edinburgh’s Christmas markets welcome huge crowds to the city centre this festive season, guests can also venture out into Costorphine for a wild Christmassy adventure at the zoo. Edinburgh Zoo is bringing a heartwarming Winter Village on its grounds surrounded by animals and lovely views of the Pentland Hills, inviting guests to make the most of the colder months.
Edinburgh Zoo is organising an exciting Winter Village this year, taking place between December 1 and January 7, 2024. The Christmas market will feature a number of attractions and events, including Santa’s Grotto, an ice rink, festive wreath making and breakfast with the Clauses.
What is more, the entrance to the is completely free, however, those wanting to go see Santa or ice skating must book a slot together with their zoo tickets.
The Rockhopper Ice Rink is Edinburgh’s only environmentally friendly rink, suitable for skaters of all levels. While there will be walk-in slots available for a 30-minute session, guests are advised to book in advance while purchasing zoo tickets.
Visitors can support local businesses this Christmas by picking up some quality gifts at the Winter Village Christmas Market, open from 10am – 3:30pm. What is more, there are still spots for stalls at the market, so if you’re a business looking for a spot, there’s time!
There will be wreath-making workshops with tickets at £65, showing guests how to create a 14-inch sustainable wreath decoration, with materials sourced directly from Edinburgh Zoo. There will be four workshops on December 3, 6, 10 and 13 starting at 12:30pm, and taking up to three hours.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa, so meeting both Santa Claus and Mrs Claus at the Festive Grotto is an essential part for the little ones. The Festive Grotto will run up until December 24, and tickets need to be booked in advance online, or together with the zoo entry tickets, with separate daytime and evening slots.
Between December 9 and 24, families are invited to have breakfast with Santa and Mrs Clause themselves, bringing some well-anticipated Christmas cheer. Guests will indulge in snowman pancakes, participate in craft activities and listen to a story from Mrs Claus. Plus, there’s a gift involved! Prices are £35 for a child and £15 for adults.
Lindsay Ross, events and experiences manager at RZSS, said:
“The festive season is an exciting time of year and Edinburgh Zoo’s Winter Village will be the perfect way for the whole family to celebrate. With activities and events for everyone to enjoy, we are especially thrilled to invite visitors to Rockhopper Rink this year to experience a wonderful winter moment with an environmentally friendly twist.
“Whether you take part in one of our wreath-making classes, have breakfast with Santa and Mrs Claus, or skate on Rockhopper Rink, every visit will support our wildlife conservation charity to continue its vital work around the world, protecting species and creating deeper connections for people and nature.”