5 Child Friendly Hogmanay Hoots!

new-years-day-1020100_1280Hogmanay – let’s celebrate, let’s go out, go mental.

Scratch that.  We’ve got kids.  Can we still have fun?  Course we can!

Here’s a round up of the best of Scotland’s family friendly Hogmanays on offer.  Midday is the new midnight.

1 Hogmanay in the Honest Toun, Musselborough – The Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh is hosting a full day of activities to bring in the new year.

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Lantern making workshop – Courtesy of Hogmanay in the Honest Toun

During the day are multiple ticketed events (which you pay for) including a family ceilidh, a lantern making workshop, a Samba drumming workshop, a traditional pantomime (Cinderella), storytelling, song, puppetry, face-painting, craft activities, music and movement.

The evening activities are free and visual.   At 6.30pm the crowd gathers at The Brunton for the Lantern Parade, which sets off at 7pm, led by the Edinburgh Samba Band, walk-about illuminated birds and Jacks of Frost. Wrap up the night at Fisherrow Links for the celebratory fireworks display from 7.30pm to 8pm.  Surely your tots will be exhausted by then!?

Artemis - Jacks of Frost illuminated 2

Courtesy of Hogmanay in the Honest Toun


Family Hogmanay Dinner, Ardoe House Hotel, Aberdeen – The evening starts at 6.30pm – upon arrival guests are welcomed with a glass of bubbles or a fruity cocktail for the kids. A buffet menu is on offer with a specialised young diner selection and sweetie table.  Race you to the sweetie table!


Courtesy of Ardoe House Hotel

Entertainment includes fairground games, face painters, party games, resident disco and an entertainer. Whilst your cherubs are mesmerised and occupied you can relax or show them what dancing is really about – learn from the master.  The night ends with a vivid sparkle of fireworks to herald the arrival of 2016.


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Courtesy of the Irn Bru Carnival

Irn Bru Carnival, SECC, Glasgow – Europe’s largest indoor funfair returns from 23 December 2015-17 January 2016.  For any tots who like to scream and whistle as they’re whirled round like wee spinning tops then this is funfair heaven.  There is a colourful list of funfair rides such ‘thrill rides’ (for the bravest of the tots), ‘family rides’ and ‘children’s rides’.  I think I’d be doing “hook-a-duck” at one of the stalls or getting my face painted but no doubt Mr Toddler would aspire to something more invigorating.

This year there’s also a new feature, Inflatable Play, offering slides, bouncy castles and soft play.  Have a bouncy new year.

Action from the matchSt.Johnstone v Celtic  photographed by Alan Peebles

Courtesy of the Irn Bru Carnival


4 Stirling Winter Festival – Stirling is holding a Carnival of Light and Sound with a parade, entertainment and fireworks.  The Light Parade will feature sculptures and lanterns from local groups and schools, accompanied by musicians and arts groups.   The  parade is from 7-9pm and ends with a firework display, not too late for many excitable tots.

If feeling energetic, or just plain bonkers, join the Resolution Run on New Year’s Day to kick start 2016.  5k and 2.5k options available.



5 Family Ceilidh, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh – Looking for a day time drop in event? The family ceilidh at the National Museum of Scotland might get your kilt in a twist.  From 2.00-3.30pm the Canongate Cadgers Ceilidh Band will set the pace for your tots to trip the light fantastic. It’s stated that it’s enthusiasm rather than experience that counts which is a good thing as my tots’ interpretation of dance moves is pretty fluid. Get birlin’.


May your family prosper in 2016.



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