December attractions and events in Hampshire and Isle of Wight for 2022

November 17, 2022

Steam Illuminations december attraction in Hampshire

As the official month to be merry and bright, we’ve compiled a list of December attractions and events in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for 2022.

Our list of what’s on in December this year makes it easy to plan a fun-filled month of Christmassy delight. From a Narnia-inspired world and light installation experiences to Christmas fairs and markets, fabulous theatre shows and activities for the more adventurous types, there’s so many options and something for everyone!

Step into Christmas 

Cosmic Christmas at Winchester Science Centre
Cosmic Christmas at Winchester Science Centre

This festive season, join Santa in Cosmic Christmas, a brand new live-action family adventure at Winchester Science Centre. Watch as Santa and Aster the elf recreate their first festive space mission. Be wowed as the tale comes to life through live science and an out-of-this-world Planetarium journey. Oh, and a sprinkling of Christmas magic, of course!

Steam Illuminations is a magical Christmas experience (image above), wonderful for the whole family! It’s an incredible light show on and in a steam train. The one and only Voiceover Man, from Britain’s Got Talent, will entertain you throughout the train journey with jokes, festive music & interaction with your free LED wristband. Tickets are on sale now for dates throughout November to January 2023. 

Discover a traditional Christmas at Chawton House this December. Delight in the handmade decorations and explore the new festive installation Once Upon A Pantomime. After, treat yourself to festive refreshments in the Old Kitchen Tearoom. From 10 December, visit after the sun has set and explore The Glimmering Gardens. 

Step into a Narnia-inspired world at Mottisfont this winter, with decorations, an exhibition and family activity trail inspired by The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Walk through the magic wardrobe, visit the Beavers’ cottage, and sit on a throne at Cair Paravel as you explore the timeless story.

Enjoy a little Christmassy History

Festive days out at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard are a treat when it comes to the best December attractions. Have you been wanting to visit the historic ships and fantastic museums all year and haven’t had time? Over the winter holidays might be the best time to plan your visit anyway! Enjoy an inspirational day out by celebrating the festive season on HMS Warrior. Or, travel back in time at Mary Rose Museum to celebrate the season alongside the Tudor Ladies.

Butser Ancient Farm winter frost in the sun
Butser Ancient Farm winter frost

Step through time and explore Butser Ancient Farm’s historic buildings brought to life with the magic of the season! Discover winter folklore on a magical family adventure, meet the Deer Queen and Holly King, enjoy festive make-and-take crafts, and get cosy by the fire for seasonal storytelling in a roundhouse.

There is only one opportunity to visit The Brickworks Museum to see their collection of 4,000 elderly bricks this December – at their smallest and sweetest event of the year, the Children’s Christmas Special on December 11th. Get in the spirit for the festivities and meet Father Christmas. 

Hampshire Christmas fairs and markets

White’s Eco Christmas Fair, on December 3rd, provides the perfect opportunity to find eco-friendly presents! There will be lots of stalls selling beautifully handcrafted eco-items. The house will be festively decorated with merriment in the air, and yuletide performances from local Choirs in our atmospheric Great Parlour. Entrance only £3!

High in demand each year, with visitors travelling far and wide to enjoy festive stalls and treats on Milestones’ cobbled streets, book now for the Milestones Christmas Market (3 – 4 December)! The market offers the perfect opportunity to stock up on unique gifts ahead of Christmas. Please note that pre-booking is required. 

Whitchurch Silk Mill is kicking off their Christmas season on the 3rd and 4th of December with their market, hosting plenty of local makers and crafters. Kids can make their own Christmassy crafts at the Mill during the holidays too with workshops on the 20th and 21st.

Thrilling festive days out

For the ultimate fun-packed December attractions, join Paultons Park for ‘A Celebration of Christmas’ running on selected dates from 3rd December. Paultons will be transformed into a winter wonderland, with magical Christmas shows and illuminations at every turn. Tornado Springs

Child embracing adventure at December attractions like Go Ape
Go Ape winter adventures

and Peppa Pig World will be included in the festive fun with lots of magical decorations!

How do you make a Go Ape adventure even more fun? Explore the forest in the most magical of seasons, that’s how! Amongst glorious pines and beneath big winter skies, canopy high adventures are waiting, so come and join the tribe.

Get on track throughout the Christmas period at Thruxton Kart Centre. Adults and Juniors (from 12 years old) can race wheel to wheel on five different circuit layouts. Arrive & Drive sessions from £25. They also offer Grand Prix and Endurance type racing.

Join New Forest Activities for a festive paddle on the Beaulieu River to find jolly Saint Nick! All children will receive a gift from Santa in his canadian canoe in this completely unique way to celebrate Christmas. 

Outdoor fun

Marwell Zoo are offering £6 child and £10 adult tickets on select dates this winter 2022! The zoo will be operating at reduced hours (1pm-4pm) before opening at 5pm for their Glow Marwell magical light experience. The trail event promises an uplifting evening of festive delights! Check Glow Marwell for details.

 

Light Up
Light Up at Hillier Gardens

Until 31st December, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is transformed into an awe-inspiring, kaleidoscopic and multi-sensory world of light and sound with Light Up.

Make your way around Lepe Country Park, Royal Victoria Country Park or Queen Elizabeth Country Park, completing themed activities as you go with A Winter Wander with The Snowman™ and The Snowdog. Trail packs cost £7 and include an activity booklet, crayon, a babyccino and a special licensed gift!

Wrap up warm and head to the Hawk Conservancy Trust to see iconic winter birds take to the skies in their winter flying displays! This tranquil time of year is a fantastic chance to get close to their amazing birds of prey, including their iconic Snowy Owl and Golden Eagle.

The Hawk Conservancy Trust at Christmas.
Sweeney Todd in the snow at Hawk Conservancy Trust

 

Enjoy the New Forest on bike. Keep a lookout for Santa this year at Cyclexperience, he could be hiding somewhere inside the building! Then for the younger ones who have completed their cycle ride, who knows, maybe he has a small gift waiting for them on their return! 

Enlightened returns to Staunton Farm! Want some Insta-worthy pretty pictures? Fancy losing yourself in the magic of enchanting light installations? Enlightened has a special something for everyone, so why not explore the illuminated light trail between 1 December 2022 – 1 January 2023? And make sure to enjoy one of their irresistible food offers! 

Christmas carols

The Army Medical Services Band will return to the Army Flying Museum on Saturday 10th December for their ever popular Christmas Carol Concert. They will be playing some firm favourites with the opportunity for audience participation. Booking is required for this free concert, with all donations gratefully received.

Head to the Isle of Wight for magical December attractions and events

The Isle of Wight is full of December attractions with festive activities for the most wonderful winter trip. Be enchanted by the magic of a Wight Christmas. With a whole programme of festive events on the Isle of Wight, you’ll be feeling the festive spirit! As the frost covers the vast countryside and villages, the Island transforms into a winter wonderland; unique Christmas markets, children’s entertainment, pantomimes, live music, Christmas lights, festive food & drink, special events – sing carols with lions (yes, really!), make Christmas wreaths, ride a steam train ending with a visit to Santa, and a whole lot more! Discover more and travel to the Isle of Wight with Wightlink.

What’s on in December for Christmas shows

Theatres are essential December attractions to visit and enjoy with the whole family through the Christmas period! Including the traditional festive Hampshire panto.

MAST Mayflower Studios have an amazing array of shows coming this December. Alice; A Musical Adventure in Wonderland is the Christmas Youth Production, a Mayflower produced show with 50+ young people making up the cast. Also, there is Down The Rabbit Hole, the perfect early years show for under 5s, another Mayflower produced show. Finally, Hey Duggee is premiering at MAST this December, opening on the 2nd December, a Kenny Wax production. 

Sleeping Beauty at New Theatre Royal Portsmouth
Sleeping Beauty at New Theatre Royal Portsmouth
  • It’s panto season and there’s nowhere better to be this December than the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth. Don’t miss Sleeping Beauty, the magical pantomime full of enchantment and comedy. With live music, stunning sets, slick choreography and sensational costumes, it’ll be a magical time for the whole family this Christmas.

 

  • Opening 10th December, Jason Donovan leads the cast in  Mayflower Theatre’s magical pantomime, Goldilocks and the Three Bear. For three weeks only, the theatre will be transformed into a sensational circus, where everything is possible, and anything could (and will) happen.
  • The Wizard of Oz tells the story of Dorothy who follows the yellow brick road to the magical Land of Oz where she hopes to find the wizard who will help her get home to Kansas. On her way she makes three friends, who also have wishes they hope the wizard will grant. Join the traditional family pantomime at Theatre Royal Winchester (3rd Dec – 2nd Jan).

Jack’s beanstalk won’t grow and Cinderella’s glass slipper is broken! So, Christmas might have to be cancelled, unless someone can save it! Santa Saves Christmas, 19th December at Theatre Royal Winchester, is a festive, musical family adventure (suitable for children aged 2 – 7). Plus, every child gets a specially wrapped present from Santa!

The show is also available to watch at home with the Livestream option!

With so many amazing options to choose from, which December attractions and events will you be putting in your calendars for 2022? 

Looking for special Christmas gifts? Check out our blog on amazing Christmas gifts, day out gift cards and vouchers. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter so you don’t miss anything over the Christmas period!

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