Things to do and places to eat this winter in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire

Castle Fraser covered in snow

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are beautiful all year round, but during the winter months our setting could rival a Christmas card. Do you know that there are enchanting adventures, a jam-packed programme of festive events and heart-warming foodie experiences just waiting to be experienced by our students this festive season? Here are some of our suggestions to get your winter wish list started.

Things to do

Skiers on snowy mountain.
📍 Glenshee Snowsports Centre. Image credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

With snow-topped mountains, frosted fairy-tale castles, wide open parks and gardens, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets, winter in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire really is a magical time.

If you like to stay active, the North East has fantastic winter sports options for you. And you don’t even need to travel far to try exciting activities. You will find dry ski slopes just a few minutes away from campus, ice-skating training sessions on the Beach Promenade and even curling games just outside the city centre.

But if you’re looking for a more classic snowy experience, you can venture outside of town on natural ski slopes, or even take part in a dog-sledding activity near Stonehaven. Read our winter sports blog for more information!

Aberdeenshire’s castles are the perfect destination for winter walks and will make you feel like you are stepping into a fairy-tale. Visiting Craigievar Castle, Castle Fraser, Drum Castle or Fyvie Castle covered in snow is a must to appreciate the beauty of our region during the cold days.

In town, there are also many locations that are worth visiting this winter, such as Brig O’Balgownie, Aberdeen Beach and Duthie Park. The city centre is also perfect to warm up indoors while still getting out of the house. You can start your Christmas shopping by heading to Union Square or have a stroll around some museums and galleries.

Find out more about winter activities in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

What’s on

Christmas Village ride called Freak Out at night.
📍 Aberdeen Christmas Village

Are you ready to get into that festive spirit yet? Because we are! Celebrate the festive period at incredible events and festivals throughout winter.

The highlight this year is obviously the reopening of Aberdeen’s Christmas Village on Broad Street! Open until Saturday 31 December, the village has a wide range of attractions, including:

  • The Open Air Ice Rink. For £7 a session, you can skate on real ice against the beautiful backdrop of Marischal College.
  • Festive Fairground Rides. There is a wide variety of rides to please everyone from the thrill seekers to the more cautious individuals.
  • Curated in the Quad. An open-air Christmas Market organised by charity Charlie House showcasing locally produced crafts, arts and gifts.

You can learn more about the Christmas Village on the Aberdeen City Council website.

Other highlights include live music at the Music Hall, shows at the P&J Live and even a Christmas event at Crathes Castle. See what’s on this festive season.

Places to eat and drink

Woman sitting on a Christmas market table smiling at the camera
📍 Aberdeen Christmas Village

Is there anything better than a heart-warming meal on a chilly evening? On top of offering great attractions, the Christmas Village has opened its new “Village Square”, inspired by European Christmas markets, which provides a relaxed environment to enjoy a selection of street foods. You can expect to find German Bratwursts, haggis bon bons, Dutch pancakes, churros, hot chocolate and mulled wine and beer.

If you would like to stay warm while enjoying a nice meal or hot drink, you can also sit down at one of the many cosy cafes in town. Read our blog “My top 5 cafes in Aberdeen” to explore your options.

Discover more about the food and drink scene in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.


What is your favourite thing to do in the region during winter? Let us know in the comments!

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