Scotland’s former capital, restored to city status in 2012, will be wearing its seasonal festive colours with pride presenting a programme of events guaranteed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The emotion begins with the Santa Parade and switching on of the Christmas lights in the city centre on November 21. Watch the children’s faces light up at the same time, Christmas has officially begun!

Be part of the crowds that assemble from 12 noon, with events going right through to 8pm, and enjoy the run up to the switching on of thousands of lights illuminating the High St. with an afternoon of entertainment and celebrations, a parade, fireworks and famous name acts on stage.

Throughout the day, street entertainers and a Children’s Stage at Horsecross Plaza present opportunities for sing-a-longs and ‘selfies’ with the stars. Catch One Direction Tribute show, Mr Boom, The Frozen Tribute Show, Cobblers the Clown and a Festive Show. Families can also indulge in some ice-sculpting fun in the Perth Igloos.

Across the afternoon, Santa can be visited in his grotto in George St, with a Christmas Carnival in St John’s St. – while the main stage in Tay is the starting point for the Santa Parade at 5.30pm and scene of the Christmas Lights switch-on at 6.15pm – and live performances! Programmed events continue over the weekend.

A great day for visitors, community groups and locals to mingle in the spirit of yuletide celebrations – and as with many of Perth’s seasonal events, free to boot!

A 9 letter word beginning with CH

This time it’s not Christmas but Chocolate! The Perth Festival of Chocolate is happening the same weekend of November 21/22 at a site on King Edward St. Market stalls will be tempting ‘chocoholics’ with mouth-watering aromas and sweet treats, and a programme of events that includes workshops and demonstrations.

As an aperitif, there’s a Chocolate Festival Dinner at Café Tabou on November 18, a wine and dine themed five course flavourful feast that starts with a special Chocolate Martini Cocktail!

Scotland’s largest outdoor chocolate festival is a wonderful source of unusual and delicious gifts for chocolate lovers, while in the kids tent Fife storyteller Sheila Kinninmonth, presents ‘Tasty Tales’ with puppets, props and sound effects. Chefs will be sharing their chocolate recipes and tips too, in time for anyone planning to make confectionery and cakes.

Seasonal shopping

Beautiful, crafted and distinctive items that make gorgeous gifts are to be found across Scotland. This year sees the Perthshire Winter Festival Markets, the first three weekends in December, with dozens of stalls selling quality local food produce along with arts and crafts; and a Scottish themed St Andrew’s Day market on November 29. If you are looking to line the larder with Scottish cheeses, oatcakes, haggis and more, take a very large basket! A whisky event will be hosted at Perth museum the day before.

The city also has a range of independent boutique shops, and retail outlet St John’s Shopping Centre. Those looking for something stunning and unique should head for The Handmade Show at Perth Concert Hall on November 15, from 10.30am to 16.30pm, an event which showcases design talent for artisan handmade goods including hats, jewellery, cushions and more.

Part of Perth’s appeal is its small scale. However, if you have the time you may want to head to the Christmas markets of Edinburgh and Glasgow, each an hour’s drive from the resort. In the capital, Christmas, Scottish and Children’s markets operate from November 20 to January 4 2016. The emotion of Christmas is very much alive too in Glasgow with its magical Continental market village of over 50 gift stalls, glowing with festive lights come dusk, while skaters on the ice rink (check dates and times) add to the scene in St Enoch Square, November 13 to December 20.

Please check times and dates on the related websites as events are subject to change.

photo credit: Tony Austin