This January looks set to be truly scrumptious, filled with childhood favourites and offering plenty of sweet treats! Dive into the depths and discover fun for all the family while you lift those January blues with winter activities, shows, and adventures, all in the picturesque setting of Hampshire and The Isle of Wight.
History comes to life…
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with a fantasmagorical exhibition at Beaulieu! Visit us this new year to see a truly scrumptious collection of never-before-seen memorabilia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this family favourite film.
Explore 19 acres of ramparts, outer fortifications, secret underground tunnels, and ammunition bunkers of Fort Nelson – a fully restored Victorian fort, on top of Portsdown Hill overlooking the Solent.
Immerse yourself in the past at Milestones, Hampshire’s museum of living history this January. Explore the museum’s streets, shops and buildings to discover how people used to live, buy a ration of sweets from our 1940s sweet shop, view our unique collection of vintage vehicles and have a go in our penny arcade!
Get in from the cold weather this January and discover life in Henry VIII’s navy at The Mary Rose in Portsmouth, where as well as exploring the historic shipwreck, visitors can see, hold and even smell original Tudor objects recovered alongside her.
Visitors to Whitchurch Silk Mill will have the rare opportunity to join a guided tour, learning how the Mill has changed over time, where we get our silk from and how we produce this beautiful fabric on Victorian machinery using the power of the River Test.
Join Chawton House for a magical night of merrymaking following the ancient tradition of the Orchard Wassail! Held on Old Twelfth Night, there was the practice in cider-producing regions of England of visiting orchards to recite incantations and sing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year.
Winchester Cathedral’s annual Open Evening returns on 29 January. Don’t miss this special opportunity to explore the Cathedral by night and find out about life at Winchester Cathedral ‘behind-the-scenes’. Entry is free for all, with guided tours throughout the evening.
The great outdoors…
Head out on an invigorating three-mile guided walk across Bembridge and Culver Downs on the Isle of Wight, from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the sea and the landscape below. Meet at the car park next to Bembridge Fort, booking not needed. The event is free but normal charges apply to Bembridge Fort.
Running from 12 January, adventurers can search for four toys hidden in boxes on The Vyne’s estate in Geocaching: The lost toys. Visitors can download the Geocaching® app online, use a GPS or collect a map from Visitor Reception. Normal admission applies.
Spot the signs of Winter at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, look out for the colourful berries and smell the scented flowers. Notice changes in the weather and the different wildlife. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Garden admission fees apply. Trail price: 50p.
Still looking to head out and enjoy the great outdoors this Winter? Why not go and explore the stunning Beaulieu River on a Winter Paddle with New Forest Activities? Choose from either open-top Canadian canoes or stable touring kayaks and enjoy a 2 hour guided paddle of the river’s nature reserve. You may need to layer up (and pack yourself a flask of hot chocolate of course!) but there’s nothing quite like exploring the river’s beautiful nature reserve on a crisp Winter’s day. Great for all ages, see their website for available dates and times.
Indoor fun and adventures…
From Sharks and Stingrays to magical Moray Eels, Blue Reef brings the magic of the undersea world alive. Journey through the underwater tunnel below the giant Sea of Cortez with its hundreds of colourful fish. More than 40 living displays and the amazing Otter Holt provide an unforgettable experience.
Dive to the depths of the ocean with Pirates and Mermaids: Science at Sea at Winchester Science Centre as the team explores marine life, current issues affecting our oceans and what we can do to keep them healthy in an exciting live science show. Fancy dress encouraged!
Visit Marwell Zoo’s Tropical House and escape the cold! You’ll be immersed in a living rainforest, sharing the habitat with an array of species, including the Linne’s two-toed sloth, pygmy marmosets, crocodile monitor, tropical free flying birds, butterflies and more. Plus, look out for their newest arrivals, two zebra foals!
Mottisfont’s first exhibition of 2019 will be a welcome return to the world of Norman Thelwell, from 5 January – 22 April, featuring plump ponies, local landscapes, and social satire. Families visiting in February half term can enjoy a Country Capers activity trail inspired by Thelwell, and the exhibition includes child-friendly labels.
A fun, interactive comedy night, where YOU the audience decide who should stay and who should go is coming to Emirates Spinnaker Tower this January. Brave comedians will fight for your attention on stage, and you have the chance to vote for them to stay and keep making you laugh, or leave with their tail between their legs! Hosted by their resident comedian James Alderson, this comedy night with a difference is a chance to hear some really fresh comedy material and discover exciting new talent.
Kickstart the new year with an exciting programme in Portsmouth Guildhall’s new Studio. Have a laugh with The Noise Next Door, travel to the streets of Paris with Tina May’s celebration of Edith Piaf or enjoy children’s classic, The Moomins. Plus, classical music season continues with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Portsmouth Chamber Music.
Your winter festivities won’t feel complete without an encounter with Scrooge – and this season’s Ebenezer will be unlike any other in this innovative new adaptation of what is, for many, the ultimate Christmas classic. This will be the Dickens story you know and love but much more… There will be snow and there will be ghosts, but filtered through Blue Apple’s unique style of uplifting theatre that includes drama, dance, puppetry and music. See it at The Theatre Royal Winchester this January!
The New Forest Heritage Centre gallery in Lyndhurst will be showing works inspired by the landscape in the New Forest by local photographic artist Cathryn Baldock. Cathryn won first prize in the 2018 New Forest Open Art competition with her piece entitled, ‘All the Leaves are Brown’.
Riverside Bowl is a community focused entertainment venue ran by the charity Valley Leisure Ltd. It offers ten-pin bowling, glo-golf, snooker, pool and arcades along with an American style diner. Stylish party rooms are available within the facility for local groups, corporate events and children’s parties.
Bursting with original music and songs, The Big ENORMOUS Present at Nuffield Southampton Theatres 12 – 13 January, is perfect as an introduction for young theatregoers. Set in a school playground, Polly, Jack and Dot find a really big present and discover what’s hidden inside in this tale of friendship and fitting in.