Cradling hot cups of mulled wine, browsing stalls and pulling on ice skates. Aberdeen’s biggest-ever Winter Festival promises to pull out all the stops this year to make Christmas a magical one.
The £200,000 venture, funded by Aberdeen City Council and business group Aberdeen Inspired, will take over the city’s Union Terrace for five weeks transforming the street into a winter wonderland.
Modelled on other popular fairs in Scotland such as Edinburgh’s Christmas market, the five-week attraction has been devised following calls from local residents for more major events to take place in Aberdeen as part of the city masterplan consultations.
So what can people expect?
Part of Aberdeen's Winter Festival, which begins with the Bonfire Night fireworks at the beach and includes the Nativity, Christmas light switch on parade and the carol concert, the new Christmas Village will take over the city's Union Terrace with a host of activities for all the family in a bid to get people excited for the holidays.
The village, which will run from November 25 to January 3, will host numerous stalls selling gifts and toys with businesses encouraged to apply for licenses to sell Glühwein and hot ciders to get shoppers in the Christmas spirit.
A beer tent has also been proposed for the village, with hot food outlets to set up shop on the street and Christmas displays to entertain families.
One of the star attractions will be the first open air ice rink in Aberdeen in years, situated at the grassy area next to the William Wallace monument, taking pride of place in front of His Majesty’s Theatre.
The decision to bring the rink outdoors after two years will bring a fresh perspective for skaters – although it is yet unknown if Finance Convener Willie Young will be strapping on his skates in 2015.
Aberdeen amusement park Codonas will provide funfair rides, and although it is yet to be confirmed what visitors can expect, a mixture of thrill-seeking, family friendly and children’s rides will open as part of the Christmas Village.