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25 things to do in Hampshire this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:20 02 January 2018

Enchanted Osborne

Enchanted Osborne


There is so much to see and do in Hampshire over the festive season, from carol services to markets and of course amazing food and drink and Charlotte Tomlinson-White’s day-by-day guide brings you the pick of the best

Christmas Murder Mystery Dinner - 1 December

Hone your super sleuth skills, dust off those magnifying glasses and solve the greatest crime this festive season has to offer. Get into the spirit of the occasion and raid the Groundlings wardrobe to dress the part?

Groundlings Theatre, 42 Kent Street, Portsmouth PO1 3BS, groundlings.co.uk

Christmas with The Rat Pack - 2 December

Celebrate Christmas at the coolest party in town. Step back in time to the glamorous nights of Vegas and experience Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin performing, accompanied by the Burrelli Sisters and The Rat Pack Big Band. Enjoy favourites such as Mr Bojangles and That’s Amore, as well as seasonal classics.

The Anvil, Churchill Way, Basingstoke RG21 7QR, anvilarts.org.uk

Festive Workshop - 3 December

Get into the festive mood and discover your creative side at this festive workshop. Join design duo Moulou in transforming salvaged pallet boards into beautiful rustic Christmas signs for your home or a personalised gift. All materials included.

Ashcroft Arts Centre, Osborn Road, Fareham PO16 7DX, hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Christmas - 4 December

The ground floor of Hinton Ampner is transformed into scenes from classic fairy tales such as Rapunzel, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood. Alongside the sparkle, discover magnificent floral displays, plus the country house’s famous miniature mice in fancy dress. Venture on the outdoor family trail and discover 25 fairytale secrets hidden behind Advent Calendar boxes.

Hinton Ampner, near Alresford SO24 0LA, nationaltrust.org.uk/hinton-ampner

All the Colours of Christmas - 5 December

Inspired by Kaffe Fassett’s vibrant exhibition in Mottisfont’s gallery, celebrate Christmas with colour and sparkle! Featuring traditional and contemporary twists, marvel at the rooms beautifully dressed with their own colour themes and festive scenes. Discover glittering Christmas trees, piles of presents and dramatic floral arrangements. Outside, artist installations emphasise the ground’s winter colours. With an outdoor family activity trail.

Mottisfont, near Romsey SO51 0LP, nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont

Christmas at Marwell - 6 December

Have a magical Christmas at Marwell. Join the elves in Marwell Hall for mulled wine or blackcurrant and a festive reindeer cookie, listen to Mother Christmas read an enchanting tale inspired by The Nutcracker and create your own Christmas Eve plate in the elves’ workshop. With a photo opportunity and present from Father Christmas. Don’t forget to venture to the zoo to see the animals.

Marwell Zoo, Thompsons Lane, Winchester SO21 1JH, marwell.org.uk/zoo

Festive Quiz and Supper Night - 7 December

Warm up those brain cells with this fun, light-hearted quiz. Get together with colleagues, friends and family to make a team or pop along on your own to and make up the numbers on another team. With supper, including vegetarian option. Don’t forget to bring your own wine or beer.

Lepe Country Park, Exbury Southampton SO45 1AD, hants.gov.uk/countryside/lepe

Ice Rink - 8 December

Wrap up warm and have some seasonal fun on the ice. A sure way to get you and your family in the festive mood, glide around the outdoor ice rink and admire the magnificent backdrop of the iconic Cathedral. With a clear roof, offering a rain-free experience.

Winchester Cathedral, The Close, Winchester SO23 9LS, winchester-cathedral.org.uk

Christmas Door Wreath Workshop - 9 December

Head to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and try your hand at making a beautiful yuletide wreath for your front door. With a wide selection of foliage, berries and unusual stems supplied from the Gardens, let Hillier’s head gardener guide you through the process. Refreshments and lunch provided. Booking is essential.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Jermyns Lane, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 0QA, hants.gov.uk/hilliergardens

Christmas Hunt - 10 December

In celebration of the 12 days of Christmas, head to Langrish House and venture around the grounds in search of edible hidden treasures. Perfect for all the family, don’t forget to bring your own container to collect all your goodies. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking is essential.

Langrish House, Langrish, Petersfield GU32 1RN, langrishhouse.co.uk

Christmas Market - 11 December

Each year thousands flock to this market with national and international status. Peruse over 100 attractive wooden chalets boasting a wide range of Christmas goodies including British crafts, decorations and bespoke items, as well as seasonal food and drink. With its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere, it is definitely worth a visit. Don’t forget to venture inside the Cathedral itself.

Winchester Cathedral, The Close, Winchester SO23 9LS, winchester-cathedral.org.uk

A Christmas Carol - 12 December

Join The Dickens Theatre Company as they bring to life some of Charles Dickens’ favourite characters, in their unique telling of the greatest Christmas story ever told. Old miser Ebenezer Scrooge has no time for Christmas or those that celebrate it, but will a visit from three spirits change his outlook?

The Haymarket, Wote Street, Basingstoke RG21 7NE, anvilarts.org.uk

Carols by Candlelight - 13 December

In lavish period costume in front of an evocative candlelit setting, join The Locrian Ensemble for popular carols and Christmas string medleys, as well as some seasonal surprises. The ensemble will be joined by West End star Jill Washington, who will sing festive favourites such as Handel’s Messiah, White Christmas and Walking in the Air.

Theatre Royal Winchester, Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8SB, theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk

Festive High Tea - 14 December

Head to Spinnaker Tower and enjoy breathtaking views whilst savouring a festive high tea, 105 metres above Portsmouth Harbour. Guaranteed to tickle your taste buds.

Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, PO1 3TT, spinnakertower.co.uk

Christmas Ceilidh - 15 December

Suitable for all ages and experience levels, join Threepenny Bit for a night of English ceilidh dancing. The expert caller will be on hand to guide you through the steps. Threepenny Bit play bold arrangements of traditional and original tunes combining folk, jazz and classical music, perfect for ceilidh dancing.

Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8SB, hants.gov.uk/wdc

Festive Burlesque - 16 December

Hundred Watt Club present an evening of vintage inspired, Christmas themed entertainment. Always seductive, sublime, and that little bit ridiculous, expect festive burlesque, cabaret and circus acts, as well as drag acts, peppered with old-school mischief.

West End Centre, Queens Road, Aldershot GU11 3JD, hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/west-end-centre

Food with Father Christmas - 17 December

Father Christmas will stop in for a hearty meal at Hawk Conservancy Trust ahead of his impending worldwide voyages. After a cooked breakfast or tea, children will meet Father Christmas, as well as two miniature donkeys and an owl. Ticket also includes half-price admission voucher to spend the day at the Hawk Conservancy Trust.

The Hawk Conservancy Trust, Sarson Lane, Weyhill, Andover SP11 8DY, hawk-conservancy.org

Victorian Country House Christmas Party - 18 December

Lady Featherstonhaugh hosts one of her famous festive season parties. See how Uppark’s Victorian servants celebrated Christmas below stairs. The dining room reveals the excesses enjoyed by the family. Meet the ‘servants’ too, life-sized paper mannequins by Denise Watson of Delicarta.

Uppark House and Garden, South Harting, Petersfield, GU31 5QR, nationaltrust.org.uk

A Jazz Christmas Carol - 19 December

Take a journey through the characters and scenes of the Dickensian classic, with scenes from the original Dickens story read aloud and brought to life by eight musicians. A different musician portrays each character in this festive celebration of literature and jazz.

The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, 56 East Street, Havant PO9 1BS, thespring.co.uk

Miracle on 34th Street - 20 December

A festive film with some tasty Christmas treats. Starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara and John Payne, Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is a Christmas classic in which an old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalised as insane. Can a young lawyer prove he is the real thing? With all proceeds going towards supporting the work of The Spring.

The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, 56 East Street, Havant PO9 1BS, thespring.co.uk

Christmas Carols & Owls by Moonlight - 21 December

Head to The Hawk Conservancy for an evening of Christmas carols plus an owl flying demonstration. Welcomed by the festive sounds of The Blue Horizon Handbell Ringers, delight in both traditional and modern Christmas carols, played by Test Valley Brass and sung by the Andover Museum Loft Singers.

The Hawk Conservancy Trust, Sarson Lane, Weyhill, Andover SP11 8DY, hawk-conservancy.org

The Snowman & Paddington Bear’s First Concert - 22 December

Don’t miss this special showing of the festive classic on the large screen accompanied by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Paired with Paddington Bear’s First Concert, narrated by Pui Fan Lee from CBeebies, it is the perfect festive musical treat for the family

Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth PO1 2AB, portsmouthguildhall.org.uk

Enchanted Osborne - 23 December

This yuletide, gather with friends and family, wrap up warm and explore the grounds of Osborne House after dark. Venture on an enchanting garden trail, lined with strings of lanterns laced through boughs of trees and twinkling fairy lights, and step into a magical wonderland. With traditional fairground, heritage-inspired stalls and seasonal treats.

Osborne House, York Avenue, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32 6JX, english-heritage.org.uk

Santa Specials - 24 December

Board the festive steam train, see Santa and ride on the Watercress Line. Santa and his helpers will visit each child in their seat to deliver a gift. With white wine and mince pies for the grown-ups and soft drinks and gingerbread men for the children!

The Watercress Line, The Railway Station, Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 9JG, watercressline.co.uk

Christmas lunch at The Aviator - 25 December

Christmas day at The Aviator is a lavish affair including Champagne, a gourmet lunch and copious amounts of festive spirit. Served in the two AA Rosette Brasserie, the five-course menu showcases the season’s finest ingredients. Just sit back, relax and celebrate Christmas Day with family and friends.

Aviator, 55 Farnborough Road, Farnborough GU14 6EL, aviatorbytag.com


Things to do in Hampshire this month - We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

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