Mon 9 - Sun 15 Dec
CHRISTMAS: Wreath Workshop at The George, Yarmouth, Mon 9 Dec
Pop along to the rather beautiful The George in Yarmouth for a festive wreath making workshop with Dianne Wheeler from Bonne Fleur Florist. As well as all the bits and pieces to make your garland you’ll also get a festive two-course meal at The George as well, which is worth the ticket price in itself.
EVENT: Christmas Lights Tour, Ryde and Newport bus terminals, Sat 7 – Mon 23
I absolutely love going around at this time of year and checking out all the twinkly lights. If that’s your bag as well then grab your ticket to ride with the Southern Vectis Christmas Lights Tour. This three-hour bus ride (don’t worry, there’s a loo break!) takes you to some of the best examples around the Island on an open top bus. Take blankets, a flask of hot chocolate for the kids (and one of mulled wine for yourself, obvs) and enjoy all the festive flickering lights go by.
FAMILY: The Magic of Christmas, Chobham Adventure Farm, Chobham, Surrey, Sat 30 Nov – Tues 24 Dec
This immersive 2.5 hour experience will transport your family to a magical place where they’ll learn how to become an official elf helper and get an official elf name, meet real live reindeer, help Mrs Claus decorate gingerbread men, make a teddy bear and finally get their hands on the golden key and meet Father Christmas himself.
CHRISTMAS: Tapeland Christmas Experience, Tapnell Farm, until Mon 23
You’ll have to be fast with this one as many sessions have already sold out. Starting off with a letter to your house from Santa, you and your family can head to Tapnell Farm for a totally immersive Christmas experience. The elves will be reading you stories and getting you involved with interactive puzzles to solve, there’s plenty of food to enjoy AND you get to meet Father Christmas himself. Also, make sure to strap on your skates and head to the one-and-only rollerskating rink on the Island this festive season.
KIDS AND FAMILY: Afternoon Tea or Breakfast with Santa, Various dates throughout December
Considering how busy the big FC should be this month we’re mighty impressed at him giving up his time to break bread with the kids of Hampshire…. though Rosebourne Garden Centre does make a mean cake, so we can’t really blame him. Throughout December the kids can get all excited for Christmas with these special afternoon tea and breakfast sessions with the big man himself, plus you can also check out their special Christmas Tree picking events as well.
EVENT: POLAR, Robin Hill Country Park, until Sat 21
Robin Hill is getting a magical Christmas makeover this season with the launch of POLAR. Head to the park to jump on Father Christmas’ tractor, meet Pippa the Polar Bear (honestly, she is SO realistic it’s amazing!), drink hot chocolate and enjoy the show and sparkly lights.
EXHIBITION: Wykeham Gallery Christmas Show, Stockbridge, until Tues 24 Dec
Need to pick a gift for someone really special. Then how about some fab art? Along with the first exhibit of new artist to the gallery, Fi Katzler, there’s also other works, bronzes and much more. Handily as well, you can take away your purchase the same day. Now, how do I go about wrapping a 6ft sculpture… hmm.
CHRISTMAS: Wreath Workshop, New Forest Lavender Farm, Tues 10
For a fragrant and slightly unusual take on the festive adornment, the New Forest Lavender Farm are holding their own wreath making workshop where you can add a little bit of that purple foliage into the mix. Along with your materials, your costs include tea, coffee and some of their handmade lavender shortbread (oooh, yes please).
THEATRE: Aladdin, Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, Wed 11 Dec 2019 –Sun 5 Jan 2020
Aladdin is all the rage this year and I promise you that this show is worth it. With a star-studded cast including The Voice’s Lucy Kane, Phats & Small’s Ben Ofoedu and none other than (drum roll, please) Boyzone’s Shane Lynch this pantomime will be an epic festive production.
FOOD & DRINK: Fairy Lights and Fizz, Guildhall Winchester, Thurs 12
Join Hattingley Valley and seven other local vineyards for a tasting of over 18 (Oh, yes!) different types of local fizz for the festive season. *hic*
WORKSHOP: Bel and the Dragon, Kingsclere, Thu 12
Calling on the skills of Susie Babington Gardens, you can join the team at the Bel and the Dragon in Kingsclere for an evening of festive wreath making (with the added bonus of a seasonal cocktail and canapés). Not only has this country inn got some major swag with their food, but its the perfect countryside setting to get in the spirit.
THEATRE: Aladdin, The Anvil, Basingstoke, Wed 12 Dec 2019 – Sun 5 Jan 2020
Aladdin and the gang have landed safely via a magic carpet ride. Be mesmerized this Christmas by creative scenery, gorgeous costumes and ‘a whole new world’ of panto. With CBBC’s Mark Rhodes and Chris Pizzey this is a fantastic production that the kids will adore.
KIDS & FAMILY: Dear Santa, The Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Thurs 12 – Fri 13 Santa is working very hard this year to make sure all children wake up to a magical Christmas morning. With help from his cheeky Elf, Santa delivers a truly merry production. This an ideal theatre introduction for any aspiring actors and actresses and all children get to meet Santa after the show, who is waiting with a special gift for every boy and girl (Do I get one too?)
WORKSHOP: National Trust Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere, Fri 13, Sat 14, Sun 15
You know that the National Trust do Christmas very well and this is a brilliant opportunity to get in the Christmas spirit with some beautiful surroundings. Featuring foliage and cinnamon sticks for that perfect Yuletide scent, you also have access to the grounds for some inspo as well.
THEATRE: Peter Pan, The Mayflower, Southampton, Fri 13 Dec 2019 –Sun 5 Jan 2020
Sprinkle on some fairy dust and fly down to the Mayflower to enjoy the swashbuckling magic of Peter Pan. This panto is packed full of amazing special effects and celeb guests including the award-winning singer Marti Pellow (SWOOOON) and Darren Day. With the odd cheeky jokes for the grownups, this panto is fab for the entire family.
CHRISTMAS: La di da and Blooming Cow Christmas Crafting, Andover, Sat 14
You had better be quick to book this one, as they always lead up to the season. Combining the gift-giving forces of La di da and Becky from Blooming Cow Flowers, you can add an extra bit of spectacle into your festive wreath here. Along with the usual foliage and florals, they’ve also got some free-range pheasant feathers to add a good slog of countryside charm. Included in your ticket is a glass of Prosecco, tea and coffee, and the promise of lots of mince pies.
CHRISTMAS: Christmas Carol Concert, Royal Victoria Country Park, Sat 14
For something a bit more traditional and sombre, then head down to the chapel at Royal Victoria Country Park for a full-on festive Christmas Carol Concert. Surrounded by the gorgeous Hampshire park, you’ll need to wrap up warm for the weather but get that warm and fuzzy feeling from singing Christmas tunes.
EVENT: The Christmas Garden, Sandown Battery, Sun 15
This one has ALL the festive feels. This ever-popular annual event lights up the Sandown Battery and comes complete with a brass band courtesy of Vectis Brass, carols from the Ventnor Exchange Community Choir and even a professional storyteller. The *groan* Poo Museum is also there as well which is worth baiting the kids with.
DANCE: The Nutcracker, The Point, Eastleigh, Sun 15
Christmas shows don’t get more fabulous than The Nutcracker and performed by the Let’s All Dance company, kids and grown-ups alike will enjoy this spectacular ballet through the Land of Toys.
FAMILY: Christmas Film Festival, Cineworld Newport, Sun 15
What’s the most amount of times you can watch Elf before going completely bonkers? Trick question, it’s never going to happen. If you LOVE a Christmas movie and need a dose of The Santa Clause or The Holiday to get the tinsel flowing then head along for this fab charity event to watch some Christmas Crackers and raise money for a great cause.