25 things to do in Hampshire this Christmas
PUBLISHED: 10:02 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:37 07 December 2018
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 our day-by-day guide brings you the pick of the best
Christmas Gardeners Breakfast - 1 December
Enjoy a delicious breakfast in the splendour of the festively decorated 18th Century Jermyn’s House. Savour porridge or cereals, followed by a cooked breakfast with home cured bacon, local sausages or kedgeree and finish with toast, jams, honey and marmalades. Then venture on an exclusive guided tour of the Gardens with the Head Gardener and discover seasonal highlights of the Winter Garden and beyond.
£23.95, 8.30am, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
The Dickens Christmas Festival - 2 December
Visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and be transported to a Victorian street, with snow-covered cobbles, a lively Christmas market and a colourful, interactive cast of Dickens’ most famous characters. Browse over 100 stalls selling fine hand-crafted gifts and curiosities. Highlights include an enchanting Living Snow Globe and festive tipples at Fagin’s Tavern or the Gin & Prosecco Parlour. Expect plenty of festive cheer!
Adults £15.50, children 5-15 £13.50, 10am-6pm, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Christmas at Beaulieu - 3 December
Discover a new magical after-dark illuminated Christmas trail set within the beautiful landscape of Beaulieu. Specially designed for all the family to enjoy, highlights include the Tunnel of Light, Meadow of Light and Singing Trees. With hidden surprises too – watch out for frosty snowflakes, shimmering stars and gigantic baubles where least expected! You may even catch a glimpse of Father Christmas and his elves who will be greeting visitors.
From £14.50 for adults and £8 for children, 4.45pm-10pm, National Motor Museum
Hinton’s Christmas Murder Mystery - 4 December
Owner Ralph Dutton’s glamorous Christmas house party is in full swing. But, foul play is afoot. Wander through rooms dressed in sparkling vintage decorations and wonderful floral arrangements to find out ‘who done it’, with the help of Inspector Grey. With traditional sweet shop and festive activities for children. You can also help Inspector Grey’s dog Albert find the Christmas pudding thief, on Hinton’s festive mystery trail through the gardens.
Booking is essential, free for members, adults £13.50, children £6.75, Hinton Ampner
The Night Before Christmas - 5 December
This yuletide, venture to Mottisfont to see scenes from the much-loved poem, The Night Before Christmas brought to life. The house will be adorned with traditional decorations and little mice in secret corners, just waiting to be discovered. Then head outside to explore the grounds where the festive theme continues with a trail. Don’t forget to look out for Father Christmas’ sleigh!
Free for members, adults £14.30, children £7.15, Mottisfont
Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market - 6 December
Visit Winchester to explore one of Europe’s best Christmas Markets! Nestled in the shadow of the majestic Winchester Cathedral, you will find over 100 exhibitors, hand-picked for their high quality products. Inspired by traditional German Christmas Markets, you will be captivated by the sights, sounds and smells of Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market, with tempting seasonal treats, exclusive Christmas gifts, and a bustling festive atmosphere.
10.30am-6.30pm Sunday to Weds and 10.30am-8pm Thursday to Saturday, Winchester Cathedral
Festive Craft - 7 December
Discover your creative side and join local artist Helen Mortimer for some festive craft. Learn about the artistic medium of paper craft, use techniques like stamping and embossing to create festive cards and small three dimensional projects in the Festive Papercraft Workshop. While in Décopatch for Christmas, learn the art of décopatch using gorgeous papers and decorate baubles or perhaps gift boxes to decorate your own tree!
1.45pm-4pm, £22.50 for décopatch and 11am-12.45pm, £12 for papercraft, Sandham Memorial Chapel
Christmas Beer Festival - 8 December
Back by popular demand, don your best (or worst) Christmas jumper and enjoy a delightful selection of seasonal brews at The Point’s second Christmas Beer Fest. Savour a German-style feast and then dance the night away to the merry, toe-tapping sounds of folk duo Uncle Tom’s Cobbleys and special guest DJ Resco.
£10 including a token for a pint of real ale or mulled cider, 7pm-12am, The Point
The Spitfire Sisters at Christmas - 9 December
Join The Spitfire Sisters for an evening of musical nostalgia. The award-winning vocal harmony group will be spreading Christmas cheer as they perform festive songs both old and new, with their unmistakable vintage styling and extra mirth for good measure. With beautiful musical accompaniment, it is guaranteed to warm you better than a glass of mulled wine!
8pm, £16, The Spring Arts & Heritage
Festive High Tea - 10 December
A Festive High Tea at Emirates Spinnaker Tower is the perfect Christmas treat! Take in the breathtaking views whilst dining on a traditional afternoon tea with a seasonal twist. Expect a selection of sandwiches with all your favourite festive flavours, an assortment of sweet treats and fruit scones with clotted cream and jam, all served with your choice of tea or coffee.
£55 per couple, Emirates Spinnaker Tower
Heigh Ho the Holly - 11 December
Join Joglaresa for an original and enchanting festive treat - Heigh Ho the Holly! Yuletide is the time when the Holly King triumphs over the Oak King in their cyclical yearly battle. Blowing the dust off medieval song and bringing seasonal cheer to Basingstoke, Joglaresa’s Christmas concerts are a romp through the carols of Christmas past. With fidel, harp, bells, bagpipes and voices sounding together.
£21, 7.30pm, The Haymarket
The Nativity - 12 December
After their triumphant take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Howard and Stu from Living Spit are back to tackle the second greatest Christmas story ever told…the Nativity! With the usual mix of silly songs, pitiful puppetry and more Biblical befuddlement than you can shake a figgy pudding at, Living Spit’s Nativity promises to be a cornucopia of comic Christmassy crudeness that you will never forget! Not for the faint-hearted…Recommended for ages 14+.
£15, 7.30pm, The Spring Arts & Heritage
The Scummy Mummies Christmas Show - 13 December
Ho, Ho, Ho... it’s the Scummy Mummies Christmas Show! Comedians Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson bring a special Christmas themed comedy show to Theatre Royal Winchester, based on the UK’s No.1 Kids and Family Podcast. Expect scummy carols, yuletide sketches, festive stand-up and very scummy Santa stories! Don’t forget to grab your signed copy of The Scummy Mummies book after the show. Recommended age: 18+.
£20, 7.30pm, Theatre Royal Winchester
Southampton Ice Rink - 14 December
With its 900 square metre rink, Skate Southampton is a fantastic addition to WestQuay’s twinkling Esplanade this month. Warm up with a mulled wine or hot chocolate in Moguls Alpine Bar before heading out to show off your skills on the ice. Adults £11.50, children £9.50, 10.30am-9.30pm,
The Snowman - 15 December
Experience the magic of The Snowman film brought to life with a big screen and live orchestra in the beautiful surroundings of Winchester Cathedral, courtesy of Carrot Productions. With other festive treats - including an animated film of the award winning book The Bear and the Piano, and a fun introduction to the orchestra - it makes the perfect winter outing for all the family.
From £23, 1pm, 3pm and 7.15pm, Winchester Cathedral
The Snow Queen - 16 December
Tutti Frutti, one of the country’s leading family theatre companies, presents this tale of growing up, loyalty and friendship. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story and adapted by Mike Kenny, this delightful story for young people and their families takes audiences on a winter journey brimming with festive cheer and magic aplenty. With memorable music and songs from Ivan Stott.
Adults £11, children £9, 11am, The Point
Christmas at The Vyne - December 17
Wiggett Chute welcomes you into his family home. Beautifully decorated for the first time since The Vyne’s multi-million pound roof project, explore the house for the magical splendour of a Victorian Christmas. Take a step back in time and wander the rooms and corridors of The Vyne decked out for a Victorian Christmas. Don’t forget to venture outside on the Christmas Carol trail!
Members free, adults £11.75, children £5.90, The Vyne
Adult Puppet Panto - 18 December
When a bunch of puppets put on a show, how will they cope when everything goes wrong? Join Stuff and Nonsense as they present their very first show for grownups. A fun, festive alternative panto delivered by a bunch of muppet-style puppets and a multi-talented team of comedians, actors and musicians, the show was created in response to popular demand by older audiences attending the company’s family shows.
£11, 7.30pm, The Berry Theatre
Santa Special at The Watercress Line - 19 December
See Santa on a magical steam train ride on the scenic Watercress Line. Travel in a festive train carriage where Santa and his jolly helpers visit you in your seat with a gift. Grown-ups will be treated to white wine and mince pies, whilst children enjoy a soft drink and a gingerbread man. Plus, each child will also receive an activity pack to keep them entertained on this enchanting one hour journey.
Adults £18, children £18, under 1s £10, Mid Hants Railway Ltd ‘Watercress Line’
Last Night of the Christmas Proms - 20 December
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra presents this fun-packed concert for all the family, featuring classics old and new, all wrapped up with a sprinkling of magic and sparkle. Featuring conductor Pete Harrison and two West End singers, enjoy a rollercoaster of seasonal favourites including Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Walking in a Winter Wonderland and many more!
From £17.25, 7.30pm, Portsmouth Guildhall
Carols and Owls by Moonlight - 21 December
This yuletide, head to the Hawk Conservancy Trust for a special evening. Delight in the festive sounds of The Blue Horizon Handbell Ringers then join in with Christmas carols under the night sky, accompanied by Test Valley Brass. Plus, witness the Trust’s beautiful owls twist and turn in the night sky. With mulled wine and a mince pie.
£19.50, 6pm, The Hawk Conservancy Trust
Dick Whittington - 22 December
Follow hero Dick Whittington on his quest for fame, fortune and happiness. With an all-star cast including soap legend Steve McFadden, singer, songwriter and actor Joe McElderry, funny man Bobby Davro, American singer, songwriter, actress and author Sheila Ferguson, pop and television star Suzanne Shaw and ultimate pantomime dame Andrew Ryan, don’t miss the action-packed pantomime full of laughter, music and eye-popping special effects!
From £25.50, 2pm or 7pm, Mayflower Theatre
Christmas at Paultons - 23 December
Celebrate Christmas in a world of twinkling illuminations, seasonal music and a giant musical Christmas tree. Families will enjoy Santa’s Grotto as they join a reindeer on his journey to find Santa in time for Christmas Eve. There will be a gift for all children and a festive treat for adults. Peppa Pig World will also be transforming as Peppa and George wrap up in their winter scarves, hats and coats. Among the land of seasonal music and giant Christmas trees, Santa in his sleigh from the TV series can also be seen.
Adults £29.50, 3-13 year-olds £31.75, 12-35 months £18, Under 1 £10, 10.30am-4.30pm, Paultons Park
Christmas at Marwell - 24 December
Discover a magical experience for all the family at Marwell. Enjoy tasty refreshments with the elves, join Mother Christmas in Pirate Cove for Neverland stories, and make your own Christmas present bag before receiving a special gift from Father Christmas. Then capture the perfect family photo as a lasting memory of the day. Don’t forget to venture around the zoo and wish season’s greetings to all the animals, from ring-tailed lemurs to pygmy hippos and more.
Adults £25.50, 3-16 year-olds £28.50, 12-36 months £15.50, under 1 £7.50, 10am-4pm, Marwell Zoo
A Golden Christmas Lunch - 25 December
Nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park, why not treat the family to Christmas Day lunch at Langrish House? With everything decorated in gold, enjoy a glass of Prosecco on arrival before dining on a delicious three course meal. Cooked by award-winning chefs, highlights include South coast scallops to start followed by roasted Hampshire turkey main and homemade Christmas pudding dessert. With coffee and petit fours to finish.
Adults £110, children £42.50, 12pm, Langrish House
More December events
• Christmas Carols - 6 December at 2pm
• Singing - 10 December at 2pm
• Porchester Bell Ringers - 13 December at 2pm
• Ashcroft Choir - 16 December at 2pm
• Danielle, Harp Player - 19 December at 2pm
• Collage Party - 19 December
• Christmas Songs with Miranda - 22 December at 2pm
• Jack and the Beanstalk Panto - 28 December at 2pm