What’s on this season: Central Belt of Scotland

Head out for adventure, fun and memories with our top pick of events across the central belt.

Credit: New Lanark Trust

SHINING LIVES: FORTUNES OF FATE
11-13, 17-20 October
New Lanark World Heritage Site
www.newlanark.org 

Travel through light, sound and time at New Lanark Heritage Site with an immersive sound and large-scale light installation illumination projecting images onto the site’s impressive building facades. 

The innovative experience is back by popular demand, but this time with a new story, Fortunes of Fate. Brought to you by Double Take Projections, you will have the chance to watch 230-year-old buildings turn into screens for lights, colours, historic images and videos. Follow a crew of Highlanders as they set sail on a brave voyage from Skye to North Carolina before finding their new home in the mill village of New Lanark. 

Credit: Beacon Arts Centre

SLUG
14 October
Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock
www.beaconartscentre.co.uk 

Slug is munching through your prize-winning cabbages, eating your roses and leaving slimy trails all over the lawn. Slug is taking over your thoughts and tormenting your dreams. Slug needs to be stopped. But slug doesn’t care! Join the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, for the battle of the century as a gardener takes on their slimy foe in a comic clowning adventure like no other. Slug is a wordless piece and is suitable for D/deaf and HoH audiences, with lots of silliness for those aged seven and up. Tickets are priced at just £5 with the performance starting at 2pm. Book now through the website or call the Box Office on 01475 723723. 

Credit: Five Sisters Zoo

FIVE SISTERS ZOO ILLUMINATIONS
15 November – 23 December
Five Sisters Zoo, West Calder
www.fivesisterszoo.co.uk 

Zoo Illuminations will return to the Five Sisters Zoo bigger and brighter than last year. New attractions include lit up water fountains, an enchanted riverside walk to see the snow leopards and an undercover heated bar area. 

Festive stalls, a chance to meet Santa and his reindeer, and the opportunity to toast marshmallows around the fire pit will all feature alongside the zoo’s residents. Enclosures, trees and plants will be illuminated for full magical effect. 

Credit: John Young

FUNBOX: CHRISTMAS IN TOY TOWN
21 November – 31 December
Various locations throughout Scotland
www.funbox.co.uk

Ho Ho Ho! Family favourites Funbox are getting in the festive spirit with their brand-new show: Christmas In Toy Town. Join Anya, Kevin, Gary and Bonzo (formerly of The Singing Kettle) as they take on a special job for Santa in this seasonal singalong spectacular. With 13 venues across Scotland from November right through to January – there’s bound to be a theatre near you. It’s the perfect treat for all the family. 

Don’t forget to dress up as, or bring, your favourite toy and remember your Santa hat. Big people, too! 

For more information and all tour dates go to www.funbox.co.uk 

MINI FEST
16 November
Albert Halls, Stirling
www.stirlingevents.org 

Grab the kids’ dancing shoes and head to Stirling’s Albert Halls for a day of singing, dancing and face painting. A day for parents and their festival bestie little ones, this indoor family fun day will feature three tributes acts covering hits from the Spice Girls, Little Mix and Ariana Grande. 

Alongside entertainment festival face painting, including sparkly eyes and glitter tattoos, will be available. Family tickets for two adults and two children are available to help you make a saving before you take to the dance floor. 

Credit: Pavilion Theatre

THE MAGICAL ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO
28 November – 12 January 2020
Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow
www.paviliontheatre.co.uk 

Treat the entire family to some festive fun at this year’s Pavilion Theatre pantomime. Based on the original story of Pinocchio, this is a show for all ages with a hilarious Glasgow twist. Sure to be a sing-a-long adventure with lots of audience participation, you can be confident that Pinocchio will be clean family entertainment with plenty of surprises along the way. 

With a brand-new script, stunning scenery, costumes and magical special effects this show is not to be missed. Discounts and concessions are available for all performances through the festive season right through to January. 

Image © Gibson Digital 2016

FESTIVE FAMILY FUN
Various dates throughout November and December
Cardwell Garden Centre, Gourock
www.cardwellgardencentre.co.uk 

Get the family into the Christmas spirit at Cardwell Garden Centre this winter. Visit Santa’s Grotto at the indoor carnival or book your place to have breakfast with Santa from early November until Christmas Eve. 

Perfect for little ones, the Crafty Little Kids club runs on the first Sunday of every month, giving them a chance to make festive crafts and even something to hang on the tree. While the kids are getting creative, browse the centre’s large selection of Christmas decorations and displays for some tree inspiration before picking up your very own Scottish grown Christmas tree. Book your family’s place at one of Cardwell Garden Centre’s festive events online. 

Image © Disney

DISNEY’S THE LION KING
5 December – 29 March 2020
Playhouse, Edinburgh
www.atgtickets.com 

Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi-award-winning musical will redefine your expectations of the theatre. At its heart, The Lion King is the powerful and moving story of Simba – the epic adventure of his journey from wide-eyed cub to his destined role as the King of the Pridelands. With tickets starting from £20, the show is perfect for the entire family or a parents’ night off. Are you ready to be welcomed into the circle of life? 

What family days out do you have planned this autumn/winter? Send us your pictures on Twitter and Instagram

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