Country Rock, Santa Run, and the famous Nativity Lantern Parade

Country Rock Party and Lantern and Nativity Parade | Saturday 9th December

Join us for a weekend full of fun, family events guaranteed to rock your Christmas spirit!

This fun Saturday party includes a Country Rock Stage, a jam-packed Community Stage, Perth's annual Santa Run, and our beautiful, atmospheric Lantern and Nativity Parade – complete with carols, mince pies and hot tea at the end! 

Expect an afternoon of live music from local acts and famous names, outdoor dancing, street entertainment, Santa's Grotto, and oh so much more. And because we want everyone to have a great time, all activities, music and Santa's Grotto are free of charge. (Excluding the small fun fair rides.)

One thing's for sure – Perth is bringing a party atmosphere unlike any other.  

Remember to tag us in your photos on social media - @PerthCityAndTowns and use the hashtag #PerthWhereChristmasIsMade

Head For The Highlights on Saturday 9th December

  • Arrive by bus and travel for free > 
  • Horsecross Plaza Country Rock Stage - Rock out to country music with a heavy twist from throughout the decades
  • Horsecross Plaza - Our family zone welcomes Santa's Grotto and the Ice Caves. And don't miss Perth's Santa Run!
  • St Paul's Square - Get your tickets quick for the Silent Disco sessions
  • George Street - Photo opportunities and festive fun with birds of prey displays and the Cairngorm Reindeer.
  • King Edward Street - Our Community Stage will feature acts from the Perth community.
  • King Edward Street and St John's Place - Visit the Christmas Cabin Trail with creatives and producers from across the area.
  • Throughout the City Centre - Walkabout characters, small funfair rides, stilt walkers and street entertainment.

Remember, our festive activities are FREE OF CHARGE* meaning those who are finding things tough right now can let their hair down for a few hours and enjoy a day of fun. (*Except the small fun fair rides.)

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for full updates on all of the events listed below.

Why not make a weekend of it?  Check out the details of the rest of our fun-packed weekend with Cakefest and Rock on 10th December > 

Country Rock Stage at Horsecross Plaza | 12–5pm

New to Perth's Christmas celebrations, the Country Rock Stage kicks off at 12pm and runs all the way through to 5pm. Expect cowboy hats and a whole lot of gravelly singing and rocking out to country music from through the decades.

This fabulous live music extravaganza for all the family includes:

•  Clearwater Creedence Revival

•  Los Pacaminos & Paul Young

•  Joe Martin

•  The Southern Rock Allstars


Perth's Santa Run | Horsecross Plaza | 12 noon

For the more energetic among you, join in all the fun of the Santa Run.

After a good warm up, and a lot of ho-ho-ho-ing, this 5k for all the family starts at Horsecross Plaza on Mill Street before heading over both bridges to finish at the North Inch.

This race is both family and dog friendly.

Even if running isn't for you, pop along to appreciate the spectacle that is hundreds of Santas pounding the pavements of Perth!

For more information and to register >


Drop In Lantern Sessions | St Ninian's Church | 2pm to 4pm

And Lantern and Nativity Parade | St Ninian's Church | Starts 4.30pm

With Lisa Earl Lantern Workshops 2pm to 4pm

As evening falls, Perth’s annual Christmas Lantern & Nativity Parade lights up the streets.

Starting from St Ninian’s Cathedral on North Methven Street, the parade follows Perth Pipe Band and weaves through the city centre, finishing at St John’s Kirk where the Nativity Scene will be displayed outside. 

There will then be a carol service with mince pies and hot cups of tea. 

Remember to bring your lantern or a torch, wrap up warm and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas in Perth.  

Don't have a lantern ready to go?  We've got you covered! From 2pm–4 pm, Perth's fabulously crafty Lisa Earl will be running drop-in Lantern Workshops at St Ninian's Church. All materials supplied.

  • 2pm to 4pm | Drop-in Lantern Workshops at St Ninians by Lisa Earle. All plastic bottles supplied by Lisa.
  • 4.30pm – 4.45pm | Gather at St Ninians Church
  • 4.50pm | Carol & Switch on the St Ninians Nativity scene
  • 5.00pm | Parade to St Johns Kirk (with Perth Pipe Band)
  • 5.15pm | Carols at the St Johns Kirk Nativity Scene with Perthshire Brass     

Perth Community Stage on King Edward Street | 12–5pm

Wholesome family fun for the wee ones and young at heart, the Community Stage on King Edward Street will keep everyone entertained for hours with local talent and family-filled entertainment.

Expect singing, dancing, and a whole load of festive fun!

Details of performances and times are coming soon.


Santa's Grotto and Ice Caves | Horsecross Plaza

Santa and his reindeer fly back in to Horsecross Plaza and will be with us for a weekend of gift giving and Christmas magic! 

Santa can't wait to meet all of the good boys and girls from Perth and to hear your Christmas wish list. Make sure to come with a big smile and happy heart. 

Santa will be in Perth for two weekends:

Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd December
Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th December

There's one free gift per child under 12. You do not need to book to see Santa, however please do expect to queue.

You'll also find the fantastic North Pole Ice Caves right next door to our Grotto. Grab your hat and head on in for some extra-chilly, festive exploring! 


More Fun Throughout the City Centre | 12–5pm

Running over two days, these city-wide events and activities will keep the kids amused, shoppers happy and ensure everyone remains in the festive mood.

Stop for a selfie with a stiltwalker, have a browse through our cabins or why not stay for the night in Perth and enjoy a whole weekend of fun? 

Walkabout Acts - Get up close for a selfie with the impossibly tall stiltwalkers or our other street entertainers.

Musical Magic - It wouldn't be Christmas without some Christmas tunes! Look out for the Street Organ performer. 

Funfair - All the bright lights, sounds and fun of the fair will take place throughout the streets.

George Street Festivities - Head to George Street and get your camera ready to capture the Christmas magic! Stop a while and watch our birds of prey displays, and the fabulous and friendly Cairngorm Reindeer!

St Paul's Square | Silent Discos | 5 – 7pm

Get your festive groove on at St Paul’s with our fabulous Silent Discos. You know you’re at a great party when there’s dancing in the streets and this year, you can do exactly that in Perth city centre. 

Bringing hits from throughout the decades to Perth’s newest and most fun entertainment space, all you need to do is grab a set of earphones, tune in to your favourite song and let your moves run wild.  

To ensure everyone enjoys the same experience, there is a maximum of 50 people in each disco.

Saturday 9th December

Christmas Cabin Trail | King Edward Street & St John's Place

We all love a Christmas Market and over December you'll be spoilt for choice in Perth city centre.

Visit the Christmas Cabin Trail, drop into the Farmers' Market and make sure to walk round to Perth Creative Exchange for a very special makers event.

Christmas Cabin Trail | King Edward Street & St John's Place | 2nd to 24th December

Back for 2023, a procession of festive cabins will offer up gifts and goodies from a host of your favourite local traders. 

This trail of gorgeous wooden cabins will showcase some of the best of Perth’s independent retailers and local, quality artisans.  

Running each day from 2nd until 24th December, you can expect to find plenty of inspiration for gifts, treats for yourself, and a warm, Perth city welcome. 

Come for the Day 

Christmas shoppers, residents and visitors will be able to enjoy free travel on all local bus services within Perth and Kinross Council area on the four Saturdays leading up to Christmas.

Instead of paying a fare, passengers will be able to hop on board buses for journeys wholly made within the Perth and Kinross Council area on December 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd, and travel free of charge.

The participating local bus companies taking part are Stagecoach East Scotland, Docherty's Midland Coaches, Elizabeth Yule Coaches, Sweeney's Garage and Glenfarg Community Transport Group.

Find Out More >

Arrive nice and early and you can make the most of a day in Perth city. Pick up a Christmas Gift Guide from one of our fabulous independent retailers – or for the super organised, browse Perth's Independent Christmas Gift Guide online now and plan your shopping route in advance!  You'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to cafes, restaurants and bistros too, with everything from a homemade scone to an award-winning curry within easy walking distance. 

City Centre Restaurants >    

Cocktails and Artisan Drinks >   

Christmas Gift Guide >

Make a Weekend of It

If you're travelling from further afield, why not make a weekend break of it? Book into one of the area's accommodation providers

Festive events and Christmas markets in Perthshire >       

Accommodation in Perthshire

Check out our Be Inspired Perthshire section for more ideas and things to do across the region.