A Festive Peek at Christmas in Hampshire

October 3, 2019

We’re one-step into October and already getting excited about Christmas! We know it’s early, but the fun gets booked up quickly! So here’s a festive peek at what’s on this Christmas in Hampshire…

Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink
Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink

Visit Paultons Park from Saturday 23rd November and celebrate Christmas in a world of twinkling illumination, seasonal music and a giant musical Christmas tree. Discover magical scenes inside Santa’s Grotto and don’t forget to head to the 4D cinema and watch all new film, The House of Magic. Peppa Pig World will also be transformed for the festive season, featuring Peppa & George in their winter outfits! Pre-booking essential.

Winchester Cathedral is the place to be this Christmas! Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market and Ice Rink are back from 21 November 2019, with guaranteed rain-free skating on the spectacular covered Ice Rink. Join family carol services on 8 and 15 December and experience the famous Lantern Parade on 28 November.

An Enchanted Christmas with the Flower Fairies Saturday 23 November – Sunday 5 January 10am-4pm. Enjoy a magical Christmas at Mottisfont, with beautifully decorated rooms inspired by the Winter Flower Fairies. The exquisite original artwork by Cicely Mark Barker will be on show in the gallery, and families can enjoy a festive, fairy-themed trail out in the grounds. 

Spinnaker Tower Toy Making
Spinnaker Tower Toy Making

Travel back in time to a bygone era at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where classic characters welcome you to a world of festive cheer, as you enjoy one of the south’s finest Christmas festivals. The Victorian Christmas Festival returns in 2019 from 29 November – 1 December. Treat yourself to some well-earned retail therapy in the Christmas markets, meet Victorian street performers, a traditional green Father Christmas and so much more!

The Toymakers workshops returns to Spinnaker Tower, with Santa’s elves helping children complete their own special toy to take home, before having the opportunity to meet Santa in his grotto!  (Tickets must pre-booked). For grown-ups, a twist on the traditional – Festive High Teas will be available throughout December.

Visit Exbury on 7th – 8th and 14th – 15th December for a traditional family Christmas event centred around their wonderful steam railway. Exbury’s engine shed will be decorated like Christmas grotto where children can book to meet Father Christmas in his special train carriage. The Christmas train will also be back with carol-singing led by elves and a short performance part-way through the jolly journey reminiscent of the festive favourite – the panto!

Christmas at Marwell takes families into a world of topsy-turvy delights with an Alice in Wonderland theme. Enjoy a tea party with Mother Christmas as she recounts a curious tale and little ones can craft a ‘magical’ elf door in the workshop. Even meet Father Christmas for a surprise gift!

Watercress Line
Watercress Line

Travel in a festive train carriage on the Watercress Line for a magical trip where Santa and his jolly helpers visit you in your seat with a gift. Grown-ups get treated to white wine and mince pies, whilst children enjoy a soft drink and a gingerbread man. Each child also receives an activity pack. 30th November and throughout December. 

Join civilian and military re-enactors with the Watercress Line and experience the atmosphere of a WWII Christmas on the railway 26th – 27th December. You can enjoy song, dance, steam and seasonal merriment at the period stations. Dress up in your own period costume, or just come along to soak up the atmosphere.

Come to Milestones Museum on 7-8 December for a seasonal undercover market on its Victorian streets. Visit over 40 stalls selling treats and gifts, meet Father Christmas in his grotto*, enjoy festive refreshments, create vintage-style make-and-takes, enjoy Christmas carols, learn about Christmas traditions from days gone by and experience a Victorian Christmas with our costumed interpreters. *additional charges apply. 

Head to the Isle of Wight this Winter for an enchanting Christmas journey with Red Funnel Ferries. Search for Santa at ‘Tapland’, the new all-weather event at Tapnell Farm Park, or walk through the sparkling forest to POLAR hollow and meet the life-sized cuddly polar bear at Robin Hill. 

On 7 & 8 December, 14 & 15 December and 21 December – 1 January travel back in time and visit the Victorian Montagu family home at Beaulieu this festive season. Sip a glass of warming mulled punch and soak in the festive atmosphere of Palace House, with stunning decorations and a Christmas tree in each room.

Head to Butser Ancient Farm for Tales of Winter Magic on Friday 13th December; an evening of family-friendly storytelling, music and entertainment around a roaring fire. Later on in December experience a unique winter solstice celebration with ‘The Holly King; An Ancient Midwinter Celebration’. On the 21st, 22nd and 23rd December the farm will welcome small groups to enter the roundhouse, transformed into an enchanted forest, and meet the Holly King whilst listening to magical stories of Midwinter. 

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Treat your family to a magical Christmas on the Isle of Wight as Kids Go Free with Wightlink over the holiday season. Let Wightlink start your Christmas cheer with their programme of onboard festive ferry entertainment.

Come to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens this Christmas for a wonderful wintry adventure with the family for a special The Snowman™ and the Snowdog winter trail, inspired by Raymond Brigg’s much-loved classic. Saturday 30 November – Sunday 5 January. Price: £5 per child (Garden admission fees apply).

Dino Discovery with the World of Dinosaur Roar! at Winchester Science Centre and PlanetariumWeekends: 30 November – 15 December 2019, Daily: 19 December 2019  – 6 January 2020. The Science Centre has teamed up with popular children’s book series The World of Dinosaur Roar! for an imaginative dinosaur-themed Christmas. Meet Trixie the baby triceratops and her friendly ranger and take part in a dino dig, trail and live science show.  Book for the Father Christmas grotto and new Christmas planetarium show to add a little Christmas magic and sparkle to your day. Tickets: General Admission, £13.20 per person (with GiftAid) includes all dino-themed activities.Planetarium and Grotto tickets carry an additional charge. 

A Victorian Christmas takes place Royal Armouries Fort Nelson on Saturday 21 – Monday 23 December and Friday 27 – Tuesday 31 December. It’s December 1896 and the garrison is preparing for the festivities. Gather around the kitchen range for seasonal tales and warm mince pies, in the company of Mrs Blenkinsopp and Private Dobson. Shows at 11am, 12noon, 2pm & 3pm. Book your tickets online.

​Soak up the traditional festive atmosphere at Stansted House this Christmas with their Christmas Fayre 21st-24th November. With a wide range of gifts to provide inspiration for everyone and festive entertainment, you’ll find everything you need to make this Christmas a magical one.

New Forest Activities Christmas Paddle
New Forest Activities Christmas Paddle

December 2019 will see Robin Hill launch its brand new and spectacular Christmas evening event – POLAR, which promises an enchanting Christmas journey with a spectacular show finale like no other! plus a host of other festive activities as part of the award-winning event series at Robin Hill. 

Enjoy Christmas on the Farm on weekends through December beginning the 7th, 10am to 4pm. Visit Manor Farm throughout December for a host of fun festive activities including Elf Training School, The 12 Days of Christmas Trail and Christmas crafts. There will also be a very special visitor as Father Christmas will be calling in at the farmhouse for a chat and a sing-song on the 14th, 15th, 21st & 22nd  Dec. Normal Farm Admission Charges apply.

At Whitchurch Silk Mill visitors return to a bygone era, where silks are woven on Victorian looms. They can get ahead of Christmas shopping, or treat themselves to some retail therapy whilst browsing traditionally woven silk gifts and scarves. A festive café menu and Mill events add to the cheer.

Enjoy a festive paddle along the stunning Beaulieu River with New Forest Activities this Christmas. Keep an eye out for Santa along the way who will be paddling in his canoe full of gifts. As part of their Christmas Canoe Paddle, you’ll enjoy a scenic 90-minute guided tour of the river before receiving a Christmas gift from jolly old St Nick himself! Great for all ages from 18+ months.

Visit Birdworld this Christmas to enter a magical winter wonderland full of different festive scenes complete with a very special spotting trail. Meet Santa’s reindeer and some friendly farm animals before the children are taken to Santa by the impish elves to receive their present. 

Stansted House Christmas Fayre
Stansted House Christmas Fayre

Head to Queen Elizabeth Country Park this festive season for Christmas at the Park 7th – 22nd December (weekends only) . For decoration making with the head elf, a tractor ride for a wonderful woodland trail, then an opportunity to go and meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto. This activity is approximately 2 hours long and all children require adult supervision. £15.50 per child.

Are you looking to book a fun filled Christmas Party for you and your employees this year? Or is it your child’s birthday in the upcoming months? Celebrate in style this Christmas at Riverside Bowl! Their adult and junior party packages will have you covered. Book before it’s too late! Give them a call on 01264 568192, or visit their website.

The Theatre Royal Winchester has a host of festive shows and pantomimes on this Christmas to entertain the whole family. A Christmas Carol sees multi-award winning actor, Guy Masterson, playing every role – from Scrooge to Marley to Tiny Tim – in this clever one-man rendition of the classic Charles Dickens’ story. There’s also Christmas with Tenors Un Limited, Dick Whittington – Theatre Royal Winchester’s 2019/20 Panto, Santa’s Christmas Countdown – The Santa Show 2019, and The Scummy Mummies Christmas Show.