Christmas is fast approaching and this year the people of Dundee are invited to celebrate together through a series of free events and activities.
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From festive crafts for kids to live music and opportunities to meet the big man Santa himself, there’s something on offer for everyone this Christmas in Dundee 2023.
Christmas in Dundee 2023 starts with the Hooley
The festivities kick off on Saturday November 25 with the return of the Dundee Hooley for 2023, starting at 3pm with a fantastic line up of entertainment in City Square.
There will be football freestyler Ross Brown, Poppy Bubbles and her brilliant bubbles, and performances from the Ukranian Choir, Bharatiya Ashram Dance Group, Urban Moves, PyroCeltica and Ceol Dun Deagh. There will be a BSL interpreter on the main stage.
Dundee Hooley torchlight procession
The parade, led by the Lord Provost and the Dundee City Pipe band, will light up the city centre starting from 5.30pm at High School of Dundee followed by Dundee Schools Pipe band.
Participants will carry live wax torches and they’ll be joined along the way by fire performers PyroCeltica, giant puppets and lanterns from Thingumajig Theatre, and dancers from Shaper Caper and Urban Moves. Thingumajig Theatre have been working with local artists and designers to create two giant lantern puppets especially for Dundee, so they’ll be out and about alongside lanterns made by the public at open workshops.
The Commotion Drummers Samba Band will bring the spectacular display to a close and then from 6pm a ceilidh will see everyone dance the night away with the ever popular Skyrie (or until 7pm at least!).
You can register to take part in the torchlight procession although spaces are limited, but regardless, it’s set to be an unmissable night, with live music and food and drink stalls also on offer to keep everyone warm, fed and entertained throughout.
Other key events and activities this Christmas in Dundee
The Dundee Hooley will get the city’s festive season off to a flying start, but there is lots more planned in the lead-up to the big day.
Festivities in City Square will be every Thursday to Sunday, from Thursday November 30 to Saturday December 23.
Pamis will also be at City Square for Christmas Sundays 3, 10 and 17.
Visitors are welcome to join in the festivities every Thursday through Sunday, including the Christmas Special on Saturday December 2, from 11am to 6pm.
Christmas Special on Saturday December 2
Stop by to join in with activities including:
- The glittering magic of live ice carvings from Sand in your Eye
- A joyous adventure with Poppy Bubbles
- A rainbow-filled Unicorn Dance Party at 12.30pm and 3pm
- Transformative face painting for kids
- A crystal ball juggler and magician
Festive weekends in the run-up to Christmas
Throughout the other weekends in December, head down to City Square to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy live music and take advantage of free, family-friendly events.
Get a little friendly competition going at the bumper cars for kids or the curling lanes, then afterwards strike a pose with the light-up penguin and reindeer duo (lovingly named Reinoo and Reintoo) and capture your winning smiles with a selfie.
Make a wish at the sparkling, enchanting wishing fountains or donate a gift at the Tree of Kindness from Social Bite to help provide gifts and meals to homeless people.
And kids can also get crafty in the activity tent, where they can colour in Dundee-themed Christmas cards or write letters to Santa!
Meet Santa in Dundee before the big day arrives
Christmas day may be the busiest time of the year for Santa and his elves, but Mr Claus has cleared some space from his diary just for Dundee.
From November 30, Santa will be tucked away in a cosy tipi in City Square every Thursday to Sunday (up until Saturday December 23).
It’s free to meet him, all you need to do is book in for a slot online and then rock up for your appointment!
Reserve a meet-and-greet with Santa online now to make sure you don’t miss out.
The Christmas countdown ends with a Santa Send-Off
The grand finale of Dundee’s Christmas programme will take place on Saturday December 23 with a Santa Send-Off, perfect for ramping up the festive cheer before the big day.
Gather your family in City Square from 12.30pm to wave off Santa, who’ll be collecting all the Christmas letters and saying goodbye to get ready for December 25.
Enjoy Dundee this Christmas
If you’re travelling from out of the city to join the celebrations, why not make a whole day of it and explore some of Dundee’s other attractions, like The McManus, Dundee Rep Theatre and Discovery Point, to name just a few?
Whatever your plans, start saving some key dates in your diary and book free activities now to ensure you squeeze every drop of festive fun out of the coming weeks. The Christmas in Dundee programmes of events is the perfect opportunity to make great memories and enjoy some magical experiences with your loved ones.
Follow Visit Dundee City on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates or find out more about free festive events and activities to celebrate Christmas in Dundee 2023.