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christmas decoration hanging at christmas market

What’s happening in Hampshire this Christmas?

It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiime of the year isn’t it? Also one of the most expensive, the one filled with most pressure to get out on festive days that spark joy and ignite memories. And of course the stress of making sure that meeting the big man is the perfect scene!

Here’s my rundown of what’s going on locally in the Hampshire area.

  • Journey through the magic with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince at The Point in Eastleigh. Expect lots of beautiful dancing…and the Land of Sweets! There are two sessions at 1pm and 3.30pm on Sunday 15 December.
  • From 13th – 31st December The Stickman will be trying to find his way back to his family tree. Will he succeed? Find out during the 55 minute performance at The Berry Theatre in Hedge End.
  • Join Jingle the Elf in ‘Wonderland‘ for Marwell Zoo’s 10th Christmas event. The daytime experience gives access to the zoo during the day whilst the evening experience includes a wonderland train ride to the magical Marwell Hall. Running from now through to Christmas eve.
  • For me, it’s not Christmas until you’ve taken a trip to the Winchester Christmas Market. A beautiful location in the heart of the Cathedral grounds, wooden stalls surround the main attraction of the iceskating rink. Fellow blogger Alice wrote a great review which you can read here
  • Chin chin! It’s time to ditch the kids and head to the third annual Ginchester Christmas Market at the Great Hall in Winchester. Held over three sessions from 12-8.30pm – there will be craft spirit producers from around the region.
  • Staying in Winchester, the next event on my festive ‘to do’ list is the Snowman Tour. The Snowman will be flying into Winchester Cathedral on Saturday 14th December. You can’t get much more festive than that!
  • Turn your little ones into elves at The Elf Society in Fair Oak. Join the Christmas mission at Santa’s workshop exploring the work stations before heading to the Elf Invention factory. Standard tickets are available until the 22nd whilst the Christmas Festival Experience tickets are available for 23rd and 24th December only.
  • Keydells Woodland Walkthrough is amazing and a festive tradition for our household. Held at Keydells Garden Centre this is a truly magical display and keeps all ages in awe. Be warned there are usually queues, so do be prepared for a bit of a wait…but it is worth it!
  • This year Paultons Park throws open their doors showcasing festive lights, music and an abundance of Christmas trees…and Peppa and George perform the Bing Bong Christmas song daily! If you’re planning a day at Paultons, take a read of how to make the most of a day out.
  • Ice skating and Apres ski at West Quay Southampton – fancy yourself as a bit of a torvill or dean? Or more like Bambi on ice? Open every day from 10.30am to 9.30pm, it’s fun for all ages (11.45am-1pm is Toddler Time). If gliding around isn’t your thing then just watch it from Moguls Alpine Bar with a mulled wine or a hot chocolate in hand!


  • Santa Special at the Watercress Line. Running every weekend through to Christmas Eve, the beautiful Watercress Line throws open the (train) doors for the Santa specials! Hop onboard a festive train carriage for a magical trip. Children will enjoy a soft drink and a gingerbread man whilst adults get treated to a mince pie and a glass of wine…which you might need to give you some dutch courage for the Christmas sing song onboard.
  • Dino Discovery and Santas Science Grotto at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium – All the way through to the 6th Jan, you can experience the Dinosaur Roar which sees dinosaur characters brought to life through a dinosaur trail, animated short story and hands-on activity zone. As well as this children of all ages can become palaeontologists (anyone else think of Ross Geller?) at the Dino Dig and Fossil Forensics where they’ll meet a dinosaur ranger and their baby triceratops and handle real and replica fossils at the mini Fossil Festival. The Santas Science grotto is running on weekend dates throughout December (but do come at an additional cost)
  • Santas Grotto at Monkey World From the 16th-20th Dec, Monkey World are holding twilight events from 5-7.30pm where you can take a fairy lit buggy ride deep into the park before meeting Santa in his grotto. Grown up guests can warm up with mulled wine and mince pies whilst the children enjoy receiving their gifts from the big man.
  • Enjoy an enchanted Christmas with the Flower Fairies at the National Trust Mottisfont until 5th Jan. Let the Winter Flower Fairies guide you through the decorated grounds with a festive family trail. The mischievous creatures that live in the gardens have stolen Father Christmas’ to do list – your mission is to help find him!
  • Visit Father Christmas at Furzey Gardens where you’ll listen to festive Christmas stories and make a special decoration in the tea room, stroll around the gardens and hunt out the bits for the nativity trail. I’m sure you’ll find fairies aplenty on your amble around too!
  • Meet Woody the Woodsman as he takes you on a journey around the home of Mr & Mrs Claus at Hoburne Bashley. Every weekend throughout December, at various time slots you will be treated to cookie decorating, story time and of course a meet and greet and present from Santa.

What are your plans for a special festive day out this year?