It truly is the most wonderful time of year and there’s plenty of Christmas events taking place in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. With opportunities to see Father Christmas, festive performances, magical wonderlands and plenty of Christmas cheer.
Here are 25 Christmas events in Hampshire for 2021 for all the family which will get you into the festive spirit:
- A Celebration of Christmas returns to Paultons Park this year! From 4th December, the park will be transformed into a winter wonderland, with magical Christmas shows and decorations at every turn. New for 2021, Tornado Springs will also be fully decorated for the occasion with magical illuminations!
- The Brickworks Museum holds its smallest and sweetest event of the year on 12th December. Be sure to book your tickets to see Father Christmas, who will be taking a day out from his very busy December schedule and coming to the ‘works to hand out gifts to his smallest fans.
- Make your wishes come true this Christmas at Theatre Royal Winchester with their spellbinding, traditional family pantomime Aladdin! Will Aladdin find the magic lamp and marry Princess Jasmine or will his plans be thwarted by the villainous Abanazar? With original songs, a great cast and a hilarious script this show will be pure Genie-us!
- The New Forest can be magical at Christmas time so be sure to visit New Forest Activities this Christmas for ‘Christmas Canoe Paddles’! Enjoy exploring the stunning river on a 90 minute guided tour with the added excitement of knowing you’ll soon be meeting jolly old Saint Nick. All children will receive a gift from Father Christmas and there’ll be hot chocolate on hand to keep everyone toasty. Don’t forget to book!
- Enjoy the sights, sounds and science of Christmas past…way past. Between 21st November and 16th January, enjoy a roar-some festive season at Winchester Science Centre’s Science Dino-mite. Experience a Jurassic adventure filled with dino digs, fossil festival, dino-mite science demos and shows, plus a special guest appearance from Santa Claus himself.
- Wrap up warm and enjoy quality family time at Marwell Zoo this December. Marvel at magical decorations and festive scenes, from an enchanting princess carriage to Santa’s sleigh and flying reindeer! Plus, Father Christmas will be making some special appearances, so be sure to bring your Christmas wish list!
- Visit Christmas at Chawton House and travel through time to discover Christmas traditions of times gone by. Spot the Twelve Knits of Christmas in the beautifully decorated House and enjoy the exciting Glimmering Gardens light trail. They’ll also be running a series of festive events, with more information coming soon.
- Steam Illuminations returns to the Watercress Line, through December and into January 2022. Prepare to be wowed as you see the unique Christmas digital LED steam train, creating an incredible light show of many colours and patterns. New for 2021, travel through magical ‘snow’ at one part of the ride and spot new light installations along the line.
- Christmas isn’t just about the children. Adults can enjoy Christmas at Bombay Sapphire Distillery with a special event on Saturday 18th December. Begin your experience with a hot cocktail, before one of the Gin Experts leads you in a fun and lively cocktail mixology session. Tickets must be booked in advance.
- Enjoy one of Hampshire’s gardens this festive season with a visit to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, for Santa’s Tree Tour. As winter is warmest when shared with friends, the whole family can enjoy a festive trail while you explore the wonderful tree collection on this family self-guided trail. Running from Saturday 4 December to Monday 3 January 2022.
- The magic returns to Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight this Christmas. Follow the story of POLAR on selected evenings of magical delight between 4th – 23rd December. With beautifully illuminated ancient woodland, stunning festive displays, delicious food, Pippa the polar bear, and a few special guests from sister park, Blackgang Chine.
- Visitors to Jane Austen’s House this December will experience a magical multi-sensory exhibition, ‘Six Winters’: scenes from Jane Austen’s Life & Imagination featuring the bitterly cold winter of Jane Austen’s birth and her first reading of Pride & Prejudice. For an extra special experience, visitors can book an after-hours guided tour of the exhibition.
- Longdown Activity Farm is open on selected dates through December with their usual schedule of animal activities which run throughout the day. During your visit, look out for the Festive Lodge and enter a magical world of twinkling trees, snow, sparkling lights, and festive decorations. Feel the joyful spirit of Christmas as you walk through the Lodge, past the peaceful Nativity scene, and then on to Father Christmas himself who will be sat in his rocking chair resting before his big day. He will be waiting to give the children a jolly wave and an extra special “Ho-ho-ho”.
- White’s Christmas Market on the 4th December is a great opportunity to shop local this Christmas, with over 20 local artisan stall holders with great present ideas and lots of eco-friend gifts too. Then head down to Gilbert White’s House for festive entertainment, beautiful Christmas decorations and Mulled Wine. Entry is just £2 for adults and Children go free!
- This December, escape the winter blues with Red Funnel Ferries. The Isle of Wight has excitement and adventure waiting at every turn, from hiking to Mountain biking and everything in between. So, banish your winter blues, say bye-bye to boredom and hello to fun and freedom with a trip to the Isle of Wight.
- Celebrate something different and connect with ancient traditions at a winter solstice celebration at Butser Ancient Farm (Tuesday 21st December) or enjoy family-friendly fireside storytelling with ‘Kings of the Winter Woodland’ (Monday 20th December). You can also make a natural hedgerow wreath at a special craft workshop (6th and 10th December)
- Visit Portsmouth’s New Theatre Royal this festive season and attend the most magical pantomime of them all! Cinderella opens in Portsmouth from 15 – 31 December for 30 enchanting performances. With stunning sets, live music and plenty of audience participation, this show is one that you will not want to miss!
- At the DDay Story, take on the WW2 make do and mend attitude this Christmas and have a go at making your very own homemade decorations. Learn how to make a beautiful little peg dolly angel to sit on your Christmas tree, inspired by the classic wooden pegs used during the Second World War. Make your own wartime paper wreaths and garlands and discover how people improvised decorations in wartime when materials were scarce. Drop-in any time from 11am to 2pm for expert help from family activity specialist Vikki Phillips. The activity is included in the museum ticket price.
- Make it a Christmas to remember, with a special screening of family favourite, The Snowman, accompanied by a magnificent live orchestra in the atmospheric setting of Winchester Cathedral. Alongside The Snowman, enjoy We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, based on the bestselling book by Michael Rosen. Taking place on the 4th December, tickets are available to buy for performances at 2pm and 4pm.
- Looking for a gift that’s a little different this year? The annual Milestones Christmas Market takes place on 4th and 5th December.
- Fancy Festive High-Tea at the iconic Spinnaker Tower? From the 1st to the 31st of December you can visit The Clouds on the 2nd viewing deck of the tower at 105m high and take in the spectacular views.
- There’s lots going on at MAST Mayflower Studios:Direct from the West End with live music, puppetry, plenty of audience participation and lots of laughs! in What The Ladybird Heard (2nd – 4th December).
We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! So it’s time to prepare yourselves for this very special production of Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain (8th – 11th December).
Second Star To The Right (10th – 24th December) Where little ones can snuggle up with their grown-ups to travel through the stars and wonder at this magical sensory experience.
Peter Pan – An Awfully Big Musical Adventure (18th – 31st December) Performed by a cast of more than 50 talented local youngsters, the show is an action-packed adventure, adapted from JM Barrie’s wonderful story and full of pop and film songs you’ll know and love. Why not end the year with all the family flying off to Neverland?
- Head down to Beaulieu between 10th -12th December for a festive winter wonderland, full of gifts to fill those Christmas stockings and delicious food and drink producers to discover at the Artisan Collective Fair.
- Join Craig Revel Horwood, Debbie McGee and the legendary Richard Cadell & Sooty in Mayflower Theatre’s pantomime for 2021 Cinderella (10th Dec – 2nd Jan)
- Tapnell’s award-winning Christmas event returns for 2021 with new Characters and adventures! Let Tapnell Farm Park, take you on a magical Christmas Adventure from North to South this December..on the trail of the Naughty Elf!
For more 2021 Christmas events in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, visit the Hampshire’s Top Attractions Events page