Top 10 Winter Festival Activities

1 |Chinese New Year

Always a colourful and exciting time of year, enjoy an action-packed parade through the streets of Perth City Centre to celebrate Chinese New Year! 


Dragons, dancing lions and lanterns light up the city centre as we join Perth’s Chinese Community in celebrating their New Year. A sight to behold, Perth will become a Chinese city for the evening with stunning colours and firecrackers brightening up the night sky. 

With lots going on throughout various locations in Perth City Centre, it’s an evening where we’ll say goodbye to the year of the rooster and hello to the year of man’s best friend – the dog! 

Since its inception in the 1960s, Perth’s Chinese Community has grown and flourished and in more recent years has worked closely with organisations such as MEAD, to help other minority communities find a safe and happy voice within Perthshire. This Saturday event is one of the last in the Perth Winter Festival and is always big, bright and brilliantly noisy! 


Date: Saturday 10 February 2018 – parade begins at 17:30 

Location: Various locations in Perth City Centre 

Ticket prices: FREE – no booking required 

2 |Perth Chocolate & Gin Street Festival

A festival dedicated to two of the finest things in life – chocolate and gin! The Perth Chocolate and Gin Street Fest celebrates the delightful and mouth-watering combination between both of these things out in the city streets in what is sure to be a fun-filled event for adults and children alike. 

Everybody loves chocolate, right? This November, browse through a range of stalls and choose from the variety of incredible chocolate bars, biscuits, buttons, sauces and spreads. And since it’s winter, warm yourself up with beautiful cups of hot chocolate – it’s the festive season after all, you’re allowed to treat yourself! 

With some of the finest gins from around the UK available at the street stalls, there’s a huge variety of flavours to choose from. Sample them; buy a bottle or two for yourself or for Christmas presents, any excuse to enjoy one of the nation’s favourite drinks. 

This is a family event and there are a host of different things happening during the festival. There are Chocolate Workshops for the kids, where they can learn how to make chocolate snowmen or festive lolly pops. Each child will receive a free goody bag to take away with them along with whatever creations they have made during the event. All the ingredients are supplied and it’s suitable for kids aged 7 and up. 

For the adults, there’s an opportunity to enjoy an Artisan Chocolate Tasting and Gin Pairing Master Class, with the award-winning Iain Burnett, Highland Chocolatier, and three Scottish gin distilleries. They will share with you some of the secrets into how Iain’s famous Velvet Truffles and hand-crafted gins can bring out the best in the flavours of each other. 

Exel Wines are also offering gin and wine tastings over the weekend, including the popular Rubis Chocolate Wine. Exel will be offering up a selection of their favourite gins for you to try which are sure to leave your taste buds tingling! 

So, for a weekend which celebrates two of the finer things in life, make sure you are in Perth City Centre for the Chocolate and Gin Street Fest this November in what is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the Winter Festival!  

Date: Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th November 2017 

Location: Various locations Perth City Centre 

Prices: FREE – booking required for some events 


3 |Halloween

A celebration of all things spooky and scary, get ready for carved pumpkins and terrifying ghosts at the City of Perth Halloween Parade and Fun Night! A host of different activities on throughout the city centre during the evening; it’s a festival of fun for all ages in what’s many people’s favourite time of year.  


A free and fun event, Perth is the place to be this Halloween weekend. A colourful and creative costume parade will head through the city centre, with mummies, werewolves and vampires taking over the streets. 

Can you outrun the ghouls? Give it a go in the Halloween Howler – a fun, junior race for kids aged 6-12. Or if you’re feeling a little adventurous, why not take the Halloween Screamer zip wire straight down the High Street? There’s so much fun to be had all in spooky spirit! 

And if that’s not scary enough for you, then grown-ups may want to tackle the Castle Horror 666 Zombie Maze! There’s no telling what may be lingering around the corner, ready to jump out on the unsuspecting. You don’t want to take the wrong turn… 

There’s no booking required and this is a family friendly event. With that in mind though, there will be certain areas of the city which are zoned and will be unsuitable for children, due to the scarier entertainment on offer. Parental discretion on the night is advised. 

For an action-packed night of scares and frights, make sure you come down to the city centre this Halloween weekend for the City of Perth Halloween Parade and Fun Night! 

Date: Saturday 28 October 2017 from 5:30pm to 9pm 

Location: Various locations Perth City Centre 

Prices: FREE – no booking required 



4 |Lantern Parade

This beautiful event sees Perth light up with a procession of people holding lanterns and torches heading through the city centre. It’s sure to get you feeling festive and the day includes a workshop on making lanterns and a nativity scene. 


Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year as the countdown clock enters the final few weeks before the big day. Perth’s Christmas Lantern Parade is a stunning procession of light which culminates in the unveiling of the Perth Nativity Scene. 

It kicks off from St. Ninian’s Cathedral on the city’s North Methven Street and heads through the city centre, finishing at St. John’s Kirk where the Nativity Scene will be displayed outside. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate your local community’s festive season and everybody is welcome to join in the procession! 

There will be daytime workshops held to create the lanterns and the celebrations don’t stop at the end of the procession – carol-singing, bell-ringing and a celebration of all things Christmas will follow the walk and get you in the mood for the holidays. 

No booking is required and the event is free but everyone is encouraged to being along your lantern or a torch. 

Come down and celebrate the meaning of Christmas on this beautiful and festive evening. Just make sure you wrap up warm on what will be a Cold December Night filled with the warmth of the Perthshire community! 

Date: Saturday 2nd December 2017 from 17:00 

Location: Parade starts from St Ninian’s Cathedral to St John’s Kirk via Perth City Centre 

Ticket prices: FREE – no booking required 


5 |Perth Christmas Lights Switch On

Perth’s biggest ever Christmas party will be packed with star studded guests, fabulous live music and entertainment, and festive fun! The 2017 Christmas Light Switch On is one of the busiest days of the year in the city centre and you won’t want to miss the big event which will see Perth illuminate in stunning festive lights! 


Perth really is the place to be this Christmas and one of the headline events of the Winter Festival is the Christmas Light Switch On. With famous names and fun for the whole family, there’s nowhere you’d rather be than Perth City Centre! 

With street entertainment, a music and children stages, a Christmas parade and even an ice-rink, there really is something for everyone. All of this is going on in and around the bustling city centre so there are plenty of opportunities to pop into the fabulous Perth Indies to do a spot of Christmas shopping. 

The light switch on commences at 18:15 but there will be events on throughout the entire day for everyone to get into the holiday spirit.  

The famous faces that will be turning up to help everybody celebrate have been announced and there are some huge stars coming along to meet the crowds. TV Talent Show judge Alesha Dixon heads the bill, which also includes MUD, East 17 and Boyzlife, plus a whole host of other fantastic local and nationally recognised acts. 

The event coincides with Perth’s Chocolate and Gin Festival, where the kids can get excited over the delicious sweets available around the city centre and the adults can browse some of the finest locally sourced gins. 

There are stages which will be used on the day; music stage, children’s stage and the main stage. The music stage is on King Edward Street, children’s stage at Horsecross Plaza and the main stage which will be set up on Tay Street and opens at 17:00. 

It’s one of the biggest events of the year for the city so make sure you don’t miss out on what will be a day of family festive fun! 

Date: Saturday 18 November 2017 from 12:00 – 9.00 pm (Christmas Lights Switch On at 6.15 pm) 

Location: Various locations Perth City Centre 

Ticket prices: FREE – no booking required. 


6 |Norie-Miller Light Nights

One of the highlight events of the post-Christmas Winter Festival schedule, watch as Perth lights up each night in spectacular fashion. With different themed nights including special evenings to celebrate Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, it’s a beautiful way to spend a winter’s evening in the Fair City. 


The Riverside Light Nights at the Norie-Miller Walk are a stunning experience for the whole family. The fantastic themed nights which include Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day are accompanied by food, drink and lots of other fantastic surprises. 

On the banks of the River Tay, you will marvel at the gorgeous illuminations which turn Perth into a magical wonderland. The look and feel of the riverside walk will change throughout the run, making it perfect for return visits! 

Why not go with your significant other on Valentine’s Day for a romantic walk before heading out for a nice dinner and some drinks? With other fantastic themed nights to be confirmed, it’s the perfect event for couples, families and friends alike. 

Come along and enjoy a jaw-dropping show with fun themes and delicious food and drink in what is one of the final events of Perth’s Winter Festival. 

Date: 27 January – 14 February 2018 from 15:00 to 22:00 daily 

Location: Norie-Miller Walk, Perth 

Ticket prices: FREE – no booking required. 

7 |Perth Strathearn Round Table Bonfire Night

It’s one of the most magical events of the year – get your sparklers at the ready and dress up warm as the city’s annual Bonfire Night returns to the South Inch! This year’s event is organised by volunteers from Perth Strathearn Round Table, with live music and plenty of other things to keep you entertained as you watch the evening sky light up with bright fireworks! 


Get the gloves and hats on and get outside in the crisp November air for one of the biggest annual events in Perth. The crowds flock to the South Inch at this time of year for a fantastic explosion of colour in the winter skies while watching Guy Fawkes burn on the bonfire. 

Organised by volunteers from Perth Strathearn Round Table, there’s so much going on throughout the evening which makes for a great family night out. Food and drink, music and other live entertainment accompanies the fantastic fireworks display which will leave children and adults alike completely mesmerised! 

This traditional night on November 5th gets underway with the lighting of the bonfire at 7pm, before the fireworks commence at 7:30pm. Delicious grub including Bonfire Night favourites such as hot dogs and candy floss will be available at various food stalls around South Inch Park. 

Dress up warm and get outside for the Perth Strathearn Round Table Bonfire Night 2017 – and while you’re in the city centre, why not enjoy some of the finest bars and restaurants that Perth has to offer after you’ve watched the fantastic display! 

Date: Sunday 5th November 2017 from 7pm 

Location: South Inch Park 

Prices: FREE – no booking required 

7 |Perth Festive Feast

Perth’s Festive Feast is part of an action-packed weekend in the city centre, following on from the Christmas Light Switch On and the Perth Chocolate and Gin Fest. A giant edible cake of Perth will be unveiled and a competition for homemade soup will both add to the fun on a weekend celebration of food and drink! 

Celebrating some of the best and most creative of Perthshire’s food and drink, supported by live entertainment from local bands and other performers, Perth’s Festive Feast is going to be an incredible event. On one of the standout weekends of Perth’s Winter Festival, there’s a lot happening throughout the city centre. 

Perth’s Chocolate and Gin Street Fest continues on for its second day with some of the best chocolates and gins being showcased in city centre stalls. The combination of two of life’s finer things, it’s going to make for a busy day! 

A slightly more creative event also takes centre stage during the Festive Feast – Cake Fest Perth and Kinross. A giant, edible map of Perth made in cake form and containing some of Perthshire’s most iconic landmarks will be unveiled by Head Baker, Simon Preston. This fun event will be made up of contributions by local bakers, both professional and amateur, who have all been commissioned to create a certain piece on the map. 

Warm your cockles on a cold November day with some of the finest homemade soup, which will go to a public vote on the day to confirm the champion. This is the second annual Zuppa – the Great Perthshire Soup Competition – with the best recipes using locally sourced ingredients going head to head vying for your votes! Cake, soup, chocolate and gin – what more could anyone want for a festive feast? 

Date: Sunday 19th November 2017 from 12:00 – 17:00 

Location: Various locations Perth City Centre 

Ticket prices: FREE – no booking required although some events on the day may have costs 

8 |Perthshire Creates Christmas Market

If you’re struggling for ideas for what to get your loved ones this Christmas, then perhaps an original hand crafted gift by local designers and artists may be what you’re after. Perthshire Creates Christmas Design Market is a great event showcasing some of our regions finest artistic talents. 


This free event is perfect for those who like to buy gifts that are unique and original. The Perthshire Creates Christmas Design Market could be the ideal place to pick up a special gift or to add a delightful decoration to your Christmas tree or your festive feeling home. 

Browse stalls packed with jewellery, ceramics, art, textiles, photography, glass and metalwork, and more. The event takes place at the Civic Hall on Perth’s High Street and is a great place to start or finish a day of Christmas shopping! 

Perthshire Creates is a network which shines a spotlight on some of the contemporary, creative activities which are happening across the Perth and Kinross area. It showcases the work of artists, designers, creative businesses and cultural organisations in the local area. Perthshire Creates has been made possible through Creative Scotland’s Place Partnership programme and was initiated by Perth & Kinross Council. 

So come along, shop until you drop and pick up something special this Christmas, whether for yourself or a loved one, knowing that you are helping our local creative talents in the process! 

Date: Saturday 25 November 2017 from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm 

Location: Civic Hall, Council Buildings, 2 High Street, Perth 

Ticket prices: FREE ENTRY – no booking required 


9 |Santa Run

One of the most eagerly anticipated events of Perth’s Winter Festival – get ready to race and have fun in the 2017 Santa Run! The streets of the Fair City will be packed with Santa Clauses of all shapes and sizes in what is a great day out for all of the family. 

This annual 5K fun run event is open to adults and children alike who just love all things festive. Wearing old St. Nick’s finest red and white woollies, competitors race around the circuit looking to be the first Santa over the finish line. 

All runners are supplied with their very own Santa outfit – with children and adult sizes available – and it’s a great event for locals, visitors and spectators as we get close to the big day. The busy crowd will be cheering each and every runner around the course, many of them wearing jolly Christmas jumpers and other festive fashion favourites. 

Finisher medals are provided which not only outline your achievement of completing the race but could also double up as perfect tree decorations. There are also some of the city’s fabulous Indie retailers who offer up some nice perks and discounts to all of those wearing Santa suits and clutching the finishers medals! 

At just £10 to enter, it’s a bargain for a fun day out and that price includes the Santa outfit, finisher’s medal and a festive goodie bag too. 

For a great day out for the whole family, why not get involved in Perth’s Santa Run 2017 – it’s sure to be a wonderful occasion whether you are running or spectating, guaranteed to get you feeling nice and Christmassy! 

Date: Saturday 9th December 2017 at 12:00 

Location: Race commences from Horsecross Plaza, Perth City Centre 

Prices: £10 

10 |St Andrew’s Day Festival

A day to celebrate Scotland’s national day and enjoy our country’s rich culture, the Perth St. Andrews Day Scottish Festival is going to be an incredible event. The best of Scotland’s food and drink and music will make for a fantastic Sunday in the Fair City. 

This is a free event taking place throughout the city centre with live music and the finest grub from Scotland’s natural larder. There will be a street marketplace and the day will be hosted by broadcaster Grant Stott. 

Rock to the sound of our national instrument when one of the country’s most famous bands, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, take to the stage. There will also be performances from local duo The Mad Ferret Band, songs from the Rod Stewart Songbook and many more terrific and talented musicians providing first-class entertainment. 

Why not wear a splash or tartan to feel even more Scottish? There will be plenty of things going on throughout the entire city centre and ample opportunities to get stuck into some fine food and drink from local and Scottish suppliers.  

The Perth St. Andrew’s Day Festival is part of the Winter Festival and no booking is required, just come down to the city centre and get involved. While in the area, there will be plenty of local Indie retailers, and bars and restaurants, all in the Scottish spirit. 

A fantastic family day out celebrating everything that’s great about our country, make sure you’re in Perth City Centre on Sunday 26th November for the St. Andrew’s Day Scottish Festival!  

Date: Sunday 26 November 2017 from 12:00 – 17:00 

Location: Various locations in Perth City Centre 

Prices: FREE – no booking required 


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