Thinking of something special for the family Christmas holiday? A luxury lodge might fit the bill. Or we can highly recommend a relaxing weekend in Aviemore to buy your Christmas gifts whilst avoiding big crowds – and throw a bit of me time in there too.

November and December holidays are perfect opportunities to treat the kids to a winter warmup and get everyone into the festive spirit. 

Here are some of the experiences we know you will enjoy. 

  • Take the kids out sledging – we generally do not get much snow in November but sometimes it does  arrive on the hilltops in October.  If you are lucky, you might just get to throw a few snowballs on Cairngorm Mountain or at least enjoy a brisk walk on fair days. 
  • Visit the Reindeer Herd and the Sled dog Centre – get up close to  these beautiful animals before they go out on their travels with Santa Claus.   You might even be able to stock up on some reindeer food for Christmas Eve.  The Highland Wildlife Park has 3 wonderful Polar Bears, and if you are lucky,  you might just see them playing in the snow – their favourite past time. 
  • All aboard for the Santa Express.  Travel back in time on the local steam train and enjoy some special trips to reminisce or delight the kids.  Lunches and special days are available but must be booked in advance as they are so popular. 
  • Go shopping on Santa Claus Drive –  a nod to Aviemore’s past, the new shopping centre is situated in Santa’s old village.  Now a little meca for locals and tourists with a range of shops that will help you but the perfect presents for your loved ones.  From luxuriously warm clothing and equipment in Tiso, Speyside Spirits in the Snug, Perfume and Gifts in Superdrug and a bit of everything in Home Bargains.  You might just tick everything off your list.
  • Aviemore also has some other great shops that are most welcoming in the run up to Christmas.  Go to FatFace for some great service – who doesn’t love FatFace after all!   There are lots of other mountain equipment shops including Ellis Brigham, Nevis Sport and Mountain Warehouse.  Support local by visiting Aviemore Boutique for stylish gifts,  Backcountry for preloved equipment and clothing, or The Village Store for lots of gifting ideas.
  • Take a trip through to Grantown on Spey – the charming High Street here has a lot of independent businesses for truly unique gifts
  • Have to buy something for the person who has it all – why not try some new bike gear from Bothy Bikes or Mikes Bikes.  Get the best of help and advice. 
  • Perhaps you have some serious foodies in the family.  You must visit Rothiemurchus farm shop for some seriously good local venison and beef, a range of lovely cheeses and accompaniments.  Also worthy is The Deli in Aviemore main road, Walkers for some real Scottish shortbread, or the Kilted Fudge Company for sweet stocking fillers. 
  • We all know you cannot go wrong with gifting alcohol. Why not go local and go the extra mile by purchasing a local gin whisky or hand crafted beer. The Cairngorm Brewery have a fantastic shop full of real ales and some local spirits.  Buy in mini kegs or bottle packs.   If you love gin, or know someone who does ( we love gin here at igloo) why not purchase from local distilleries at Kinrara, Inshriach, Speyside Byron’s,  Cairngorm and Caorunn at Balmenach. 
  • Get your toast for the bells at local whisky distilleries – with Speyside malts being the envy of the entire world, this present will be appreciated.  Local bottles include Dalwhinnie,  Speyside, Angels Nectar, Tomatin and Glenlivet.