Twinkling lights, Christmas trees and a sprinkling of frost – it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in Argyll and The Isles. Across the region you’ll find festive events that all the family can enjoy, from visiting Santa to carol singing. Make it magical and make your way to one of these family events this festive season in Argyll.
Loch Lomond Festive Faerie Trail 1st to 31st December
On the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, the faeries are decorating their trail for Christmas. The Loch Lomond Faerie Trail is a fabulous family attraction in the village of Luss run by Loch Lomond Adventures. Setting out from Luss Village Car Park, you’ll head off on a magical faerie adventure to solve the festive faerie mystery. You can also pre-book a meeting with Father Christmas at the end of the trail in his grotto at Luss Winter Coffee Shop. Tickets to meet Santa are limited and only available on Saturday 8th & 15th December, so book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Santa’s Magical Grotto Loch Lomond Shore
Head down to Loch Lomond shores to see Santa Claus and his elves. Expect festive tales, magical train rides, a shot on a funfair ride and even a free gift. Enjoy free refreshments and a Christmas film on arrival then join the elves for a story-telling session before you visit the magical toy room. Hop on board Santa’s magic train to meet the man himself. You also get a shot on the magical funfair ride at the end. And on 22nd December two of Santa’s reindeer with Santa’s sleigh will be visiting Loch Lomond Shores. Kids can get their photos taken with the reindeer and sleigh. The times are from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.
Mount Stuart Spirit of Christmas Garden Trail
Take a walk in the beautiful grounds of Mount Stuart and follow this festive trail. Baubles will be hung on some of the most special trees on the Mount Stuart lawn. Open one up and help yourself to a Christmas treat! The idea is that, in the spirit of Christmas, you replace that treat with something lovely from you to someone else. You could leave a poem, a drawing, a heart-warming message, a coin or even something for eating (as long as it’s wrapped). Mount Stuart also has a great adventure playground that kids of all ages will love.
Another option at Mount Stuart is the annual carol service in the exquisite Marble Chapel. Doors open at 6.30pm and the performance will start at 7pm. Tickets are £6 and will be available from WM Skelton in Rothesay.
Other fun things for kids on Bute: visit Rothesay Castle and take a walk to Scalpsie Bay to see the seal colony.
Tarbert Christmas Fair, 7th December
Kids will love this event, which is a real community affair. The day starts at 4pm when the fair opens in the Tarbert Arts and Leisure Centre. Santa will be there too. Carol singers will deliver a dose of festive cheer as the village lights are switched on.
Other fun things for kids to do in Tarbert this Christmas: take a walk up to Tarbert Castle. There are some great way-marked walks further up the hillside, including the first section of the Kintyre Way. Look out out for the resident lawnmowers – sheep who provide conservation grazing on the site.
Santa’s Grotto Oban
Visit Santa’s Grotto in Homebase in Oban on 8th and 15th December from 11am to 3pm.
Other fun things for kids to do in Oban this Christmas: do a chocolate workshop with the Oban Chocolate Company, walk up to McCaig’s Tower, explore Dunollie Castle or walk across the ‘Bridge Over the Atlantic’ to Seil.
The Cyber’s Christmas Fayre, 9th December
Head to Port Ellen on the island of Islay for this Christmas event and lights switch-on. There will be a Santa’s Grotto, stalls selling Christmas gifts and crafts, a Christmas vintage tractor parade and carol singing. At Port Askaig there’s carols at the RNLI station on 9th December too. Santa will also be making an appearance.
Other fun things for kids to do on Islay this Christmas: take a walk in the RSPB reserves and do some winter bird watching.
Kilfinan Christmas Fayre, 9th December.
Make your way to Argyll's Secret Coast for the Kilfinan Christmas Fayre from 1 to 4pm. There will be stalls for last minute presents, food, music and merriment. Santa will be there to keep the kids happy.
Dunoon Community Choir Christmas Special, 16th December
Join Dunoon Community Choir for a programme of well-loved Christmas music for all in this special concert at Dunoon Burgh Hall. It’s going to be a fabulously festive affair, so get ready for a good sing-a-long. Pay an extra £10 and you can tuck into Christmas Lunch.
Other fun things for kids to do in Dunoon this Christmas: walk in magical Puck’s Glen to discover waterfalls and incredible views, discover the soft play at Hunters Quay Holiday Village or catch a Christmas film at Studio Cinema.
Tobermory Santa Dash, 23rd December
Grab your Santa hat and join in the festive Santa Dash in Tobermory on Mull. This fun family event takes place along the Main Street of Tobermory on the last Sunday before Christmas each year. Registration is at the Lifeboat Station. There’s a junior and an adult race. The adult race starts at the clock, goes along Main street, up out of Tobermory to the roundabout and then around the top of town, back down Argyll Terrace to the clock tower.
Other fun things for kids on Mull: go for a bracing winter walk on Calgary Bay and visit the Tobermory Chocolate Shop.