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Aberdeen Christmas Village 2023: What’s new this year?

Operator Codona's has lodged plans for this year's Aberdeen Christmas village. The Freak Out is out and the Ferris wheel is in. So, including changes to the fairground rides, here's everything we know so far.

The Aberdeen Christmas village in 2021. Plans have been lodged for the 2023 event, with hopes of an opening date of November 16. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson
The Aberdeen Christmas village in 2021. Plans have been lodged for the 2023 event, with hopes of an opening date of November 16. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Plans for the Aberdeen Christmas Village 2023 have been unveiled – with more traders to be packed into the Marischal Quad.

But whether the market will expand into Union Terrace Gardens is yet to be revealed.

Stretching out to the city centre gardens was touted by council chiefs in March, as they reviewed the success of last year’s Aberdeen Christmas village.

This will be the first festive season since UTG reopened on December 22 2022 after a £30 million revamp.

However, no proposals have yet emerged to make use of the space with an initial planning application lodged only for Broad Street.

What’s planned for Aberdeen Christmas village 2023?

The most noticeable change in the lineup of attractions expected at the 2023 Aberdeen Christmas village is the absence of the Freak Out fair ride.

A bright, spinning flash of squeals in the winter’s night, it hurled brave revellers above Broad Street.

The Freak Out, the neon blur pictured, will not return to the Aberdeen Christmas Village in 2023. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson
The Freak Out, the neon blur pictured, will not return to the Aberdeen Christmas Village in 2023. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Squeamish onlookers grimaced as the cars swung ever closer to Marischal College.

But this year, a Ferris wheel will take its place.

The usual list of family-friendly attractions, such as candy cane bungee trampolines, the Frozen palace, children’s carousel, helter skelter and the ice rink, will remain.

And for the fairground art fans among us, so too will the Fast and Furious attraction.

The Vin Diesel and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson feature on the Fast and Furious ride at Aberdeen Christmas village. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson
The Vin Diesel and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson feature on the Fast and Furious ride at Aberdeen Christmas village. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Operator Codona’s also promised the usual spread of ‘festive’ food and drink, including German bratwursts, locally-sourced venison burgers and pork sausages, haggis bon bons, Dutch pancakes, doughnuts, Belgian fries, waffles and churros.

Stalls in Broad Street would also sell mulled wine, beer, Baileys hot chocolate and other hot drinks.

Take a look at plans for this year’s Christmas village in Broad Street

When will the Aberdeen Christmas village open?

Work to create the Aberdeen Christmas Village is planned to start in Broad Street on Friday November 3.

Jamie Simpson springs into Christmas on the candy cane bungee trampolines at Aberdeen Christmas village. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson
Jamie Simpson springs into Christmas on the candy cane bungee trampolines at Aberdeen Christmas village. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Round the corner in Upperkirkgate, building work would commence seven days later.

The winter wonderland is expected to open on Thursday November 16, trading through until Hogmanay.

Planning documents state it will close early on Christmas Eve and reopen on December 27.

Meanwhile, the Curated in the Quad market would run over five weekends from Friday November 17.

It would have 30 stalls, offering local gourmet food and drink produce, arts and crafts.

Curated in the Quad will have an increased 30 stalls this year, offering more space for local traders during the Christmas shopping period. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson
Curated in the Quad will have an increased 30 stalls this year, offering more space for local traders during the Christmas shopping period. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

A different line-up of traders is promised each weekend until it closes.

Codona’s estimates it would take up to a week to pack it all up, beginning on January 1.

Residents will have to behave a little longer to stay on Santa’s nice list in the hope of the Aberdeen Christmas Village spreading down into Union Terrace Gardens.

Aberdeen Christmas Village to return – and could extend into Union Terrace Gardens